In Matt. 12:8,1 the Lord Jesus Christ refers to himself, the Son of Man, being “Lord of the Sabbath”:

8 “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” NASB

Ηʹ κύριος γάρ ἐστιν τοῦ σαββάτου ὁ υἱὸς τοῦ ἀνθρώπου NA28

God the Father is the creator, and He rested on the seventh day (i.e., the Sabbath), and He blessed it and made it holy. Given his submission to God the Father, I am wondering if the Lord Jesus Christ ‘became’ Lord of the Sabbath when he became incarnate.

1 cp. Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5


5 Answers 5


Because Jesus was the one who was used by God to create all things:

Note: Jesus is never identified as the creator. Later in this question it is acknowledged that it was done through him. If it is the intention of this answer to build on Jesus as creator rather than intermediate, evidence should be presented first.

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without Him nothing was made that was made [...] 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. [-John 1:1-3, 14 (NKJV)]

The book of Hebrews also states that the Son of God was the one through whom God used to make everything:

1 God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, 2 has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds; 3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, 4 having become so much better than the angels, as He has by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. -Hebrews 1:1-4 (NKJV)

Jesus, before he became flesh as a man, was used by God in the creation of all things. God the Father created the heavens and earth using the Holy Spirit,

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. [-Genesis 1:1-2 (NKJV)]

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness...." [-Genesis 1:26 (NKJV)]

The Spirit of God has made me, And the breath of the Almighty gives me life. [-Job 33:4 (NKJV)]

It was the Word, through whom God uses to created all things by speaking them into existence:

6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
And all the host of them by the breath of His mouth. 7 He gathers the waters of the sea together as a heap; He lays up the deep in storehouses. 8 Let all the earth fear the Lord; Let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of Him. 9 For He spoke,and it was done;
He commanded, and it stood fast. [-Psalm 33:6-9 (NKJV)]

12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. 13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. [-Colossians 1:12-16 (NKJV)]

Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath because it was through Him that the Sabbath was made.

  • Brian - +1 - But with a fun objection; A.) Technically, the Sabbath may not have been created, by Jesus, or his Father; B.) According to a better translation of Mark - the Sabbath actually "came to be, (Mark 2:27 - ἐγένετο)"; C.) The Greek of Genesis 1:1 even uses another term, "ἐποίησεν / make"; D.) Elsewhere, in Mark 13:19, "ἔκτισεν / create" is used; E.) Regardless, Genesis 1 is very clear that God stopped working / creating before the Sabbath. Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 7:59
  • @elikakohen - A) Yes it was. See the John 1:3 quote in my answer. B) "Came to be" is not a better translation and obscures the fact God actively made a 7th day, blessing it and sanctifying it (Gen 2:3), thereby setting it apart from the other 6 days. It also contradicts the fact that the word is being used actively, which would require it to be translated as "made" and not "came to be" (I would actually be very curious if you could find any translation at all that translates Mark 2:27 that way).
    – user6503
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 18:07
  • 1
    C) & D) English also has multiple words for making something (create / make / form / fashion). What rule is there that says everyone has to use the exact same word when talking about the same concept? For instance, see Isaiah 27:11 where both עשה [made] and יצר [formed] are used in the same sentence; and Isaiah 45:7 where both יצר [form] and ברא [create] are also used in the same sentence.
    – user6503
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 18:07
  • E) "If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable..." (Isaiah 58:13). God claims the Sabbath as His day because He made it. The deep places of the earth, the heights of the hills, the sea and the dry land are His because He made them (Psalm 95:4-5). In the same way, the Sabbath is His because He made it as well.
    – user6503
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 18:07
  • Brian - I totally understand the conclusion you are making; A.) Out of curiosity / For Fun - I posted another question about this: Judaism.SE - In Genesis 1 : Was the Sabbath Created? Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 18:10

Yeshua is Lord of the Sabbath because He and the Father are one.(ESV) Is 9:6 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.Yeshua is both Father and Son.(ESV)Jn 8:58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” In this passage from John, Jesus identified Himself just as the Father did in Ex 3:14 (NASB) God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM”; and He said, “Thus you shall say to the sons of Israel, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’”


Why is Jesus the Lord of the Sabbath and NOT the Father?

Since Jesus is the King of the Kingdom of God he is also “Lord of the sabbath.”

Matthew 12:8 (NASB)

8 "For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

“Lord of the Sabbath.” While on earth, Jesus Christ referred to himself as “Lord of the Sabbath.” (Mt 12:8) The literal Sabbath day, which was meant to bring the Israelites relief from their labors, was “a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to the Christ.”

Colossians 2:16-17 (NASB)

16 Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath [b]day— 17 things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.

Hence, the Sabbath was part of a temporary arrangement for worship that pointed forward to a future, superior arrangement.

As Lord of lords, Christ will rule over the earth for a thousand years.

Revelation 19:16 , 20:6 (NASB)

16 And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, “KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.”

20:6 Blessed and holy is the one who has a part in the first resurrection; over these the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with Him for a thousand years.

Jesus performed most of his impressive miracles on the Sabbath:

Luke 13:10-13 (NASB)

Healing on the Sabbath

10 "And He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And there was a woman who for eighteen years had had a sickness caused by a spirit, and she was bent double, and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, He called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your sickness.” 13 And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again and began glorifying God".

John 5:5-9 (NASB)

5 "A man was there who had been [a]ill for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He *said to him, “Do you wish to get well?” 7 The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” 8 Jesus *said to him, “Get up, pick up your pallet and walk.” 9 Immediately the man became well, and picked up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was the Sabbath on that day.

This foreshadowed the peaceful rest and other blessings that mankind will experience under the Thousand Year Reign of Christ after the end of Satan’s oppressive rulership. Therefore, the King of that Kingdom is also “Lord of the sabbath.”

The expression "new heavens and a new earth" means that there will be a new government and a new earthly society over which that government rules. During his 0ne thousand year rule, Jesus will bring mankind to spiritual and physical perfection, which will, therefore, be like a sabbath rest for earth and mankind:

Revelation 21:1-4 (NASB)

The New Heaven and Earth

21 "Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth passed away, and there is no longer any sea. 2 And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is among men, and He will [a]dwell among them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be among them[b], 4 and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed.


1. Question -

Why is "Jesus" the Lord of the Sabbath and NOT the Father?

NASB, Matthew 12:8 - “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

2. Alternative Answer -

Jesus could be the "Lord of the Sabbath", following his argument that the Sabbath was created FOR him, by the Father - for ALL Sons of Adam.

However - Although Jesus usually speaks of himself as "the Son of Man", there seems to be a valid argument that "Son of Man" may also include all people, generically - in this context :

Granted - this is hardly a "traditional view" - but it is substantiated by the texts ...

3. The Texts : The "Son of Man" as "Messiah", and "Man" -

In Context - Jesus' Conclusion Extends to ALL People :

NASB, Matthew 12:12 - `How much more valuable then is a man than a sheep! So then, it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

However, this justification to call himself the "Lord of the Sabbath" - based on the Sabbath's purpose - would appear to extend to all people :

NASB, Mark 2:27 - Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

And, by extension - all people may be considered "lords" of the Sabbath - if the Sabbath was created for them.

"Son of Man" in Scripture :

In Hebrew Scripture, (Bible Gateway Search), "Son of Man" was usually a reference to an actual son of Adam. It wasn't until the Book of Enoch, (Jewish Encyclopedia, Book of Enoch), that the "Son of Man" was a consistent reference to "The Messiah":*

Search : site: http://www.sacred-texts.com/bib/boe/ "Son of Man".

Note: All of the religious scholars, at that time, if aware of the Book of Enoch - knew exactly what Jesus talking about.


Look there at that second word in your Greek quote of scripture: γάρ; this small word in Greek, a particle, which according to BDAG:

...is a conjunction used to express cause, clarification, or inference. (This is key to answering your question.)

In BDAG under 1.) it is stated: marker of cause or reason Under 2.) it states: marker of clarification, 'for', 'you see'

In Zodhiates' CWSDNT he states: γάρ GAR, a causative particle expressing the reason for what has been before, affirmed or implied. For, in the sense of because, and so forth.

Under D.) Put by way of explanation or demonstration:(1)Where it merely takes up a preceding annunciation and continues or explains it, like the English "namely,""to with,""that is,"

Read Matthew 11:25-12:8; there, is what has gone before. There, you will find the presentation of God (who is the Father) being mingled in and with Jesus Christ, becoming the way of knowing God and of having the possibility of being supplied with the real rest; the rest that is the Sabbath.

γάρ...Lord over what is the Sabbath is the Son of Man.

Because He, has (11:27) had delivered to Him, of the Father, all things. And no one knows the Son but the Father; and no one knows the Father but the Son and he to whom the Son will reveal Him.

...and 12:7, But if you had known what this means: "I will have mercy and not sacrifice, you would not have condemned the guiltless!"

γάρ...(it is in light of all this that) Lord, over what is the Sabbath, is The Son of Man.

It is as Hebrews 1 says...God had spoken in the past to the fathers through the prophets in many different ways, but has in the last of these days spoken to us...

In Son... that is, Jesus Christ.

So we can understand, γάρ, that even in regard to the Sabbath, Jesus Christ is The Way, The Truth, and The Life.

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