The historicity of the Sabbath-controversy passages passes a variety of tests including historical plausibility, dissimilarity, and multiple attestation. These passages find a natural place in Jesus' encounter with the Pharisees. The plucking of grain on the Sabbath and the Sabbath healings could not but raise the ire of the Pharisees, who thought of themselves as the guardians of the law. Since the Sabbath was an anticipation of the eschaton, Jesus regarded it as the perfect day for bringing wholeness to those in need. These Sabbath deeds are an indispensable part of the kingdom he brings, and thus they point to his messianic mission, his authority, and his identity. Thus, as with the question of Jesus' view of the law itself, so too the Sabbath controversies find their final explanation in matters of Christology and eschatology.

The text of this article is only available as a PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.