Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus declares that he is Lord of the sabbath.
Again and again, Jesus is portrayed as violating the sacred command to rest on the seventh day. His disciples pick grain on the sabbath, and many times he cures on the sabbath, much to the dismay of the protectors of Jewish law.
When challenged, he declares himself Lord of the sabbath (a breathtaking claim for a Jew to make, since Yahweh alone could be assigned that title) and clarifies that the sabbath was made for man and not man for the sabbath.
In short, he claimed the properly divine prerogative of relativizing the significance of perhaps the defining practice of pious Jews and placing it in subordination to the kingdom of God.