To understand the context, let’s read Luke 6:1-5, “And it came to pass on the second sabbath after the first, that he went through the corn fields; and his disciples plucked the ears of corn, and did eat, rubbing them in their hands. And certain of the Pharisees said unto them, Why do ye that which is not lawful to do on the sabbath days? And Jesus answering them said, Have ye not read so much as this, what David did, when himself was an hungred, and they which were with him; How he went into the house of God, and did take and eat the shewbread, and gave also to them that were with him; which it is not lawful to eat but for the priests alone? And he said unto them, That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.”

The expression we read in the first verse, “the second sabbath after the first” is difficult to define.  It is the only time this expression is used in the Bible and is very difficult to explain, with some very good and Godly commentators disagreeing with its meaning.  However, we do understand that the Lord and His disciples were accused of breaking the law by picking corn on the sabbath.  The word corn here means wheat or barley. They rubbed it in their hands to separate the grain from the chaff.   The legalistic Pharisees were probably thinking of Exodus 20:10 which says, “But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.”  They considered the rubbing of the wheat in their hands to be labor.  Of course, their argument lacked any logical spiritual merit, but they were using it to entrap the Lord. 

Instead of arguing the point with these Pharisees, the Lord spoke to them of the incident of David and his men eating the shewbread which was forbidden to be eaten except for the priests.  You can read of this incident in 1 Samuel 21:1-6.  David and his men were starving and had nothing else to eat.  In verse 5, David declared, “the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.”  Because of their need, the rightful king David declared this bread was now common and okay to eat.  It would not make sense for these men to die from starvation when this bread was available.  In relating this event in Mark 2, the Lord told the Pharisees, “The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.” (Verses 27-28).  In this portion, it is brought out that the Lord taught them that the sabbath was meant for the benefit of man.  It was never intended to be harmful to men.  The strict restrictions regarding the sabbath were put in place to make sure that man had a day of rest, even as the Lord rested on the seventh day after His work of creation.  So, man wasn’t made so that the sabbath might be observed.  No, the sabbath was made for the benefit of man, assuring them of a day of rest.

Going back to our portion, the Lord declared in Luke 6:5, “That the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.”  In the New Testament, the Lord Jesus is referred to as “the Son of man” 85 times.  Simply put, “Son of man” refers to the Lord’s humanity, while “Son of God” refers to His deity.  The Son of man is Lord.  As Lord, He is also Lord of the sabbath.  As Lord of the sabbath, he could reject the Pharisaical customs and burdens and return the sabbath to what is was originally intended to be…a blessing, not a burden.  (420.6)