A Discussion of the Sabbath
Key Verse: Luke 6:5
And Jesus added, “The Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath.”
Additional Reading: Luke 6:1-11
How often do you think about the idea of keeping the Sabbath holy? I doubt that very many of us have a discussion or even a thought about it.
However, in Jesus’s day, it was a very important subject to the Jewish people. For them the Sabbath, was holy and should be kept holy. To make sure everyone kept the Sabbath Holy, they came up with a lot of rules to help people know exactly what it meant to keep the Sabbath a sacred day. All meals eaten on the Sabbath had to be prepared the day before. On the Sabbath, a person could only walk so far, or they would be making the sabbath a day of work. There were many other rules the Jewish leaders made to help the people avoid sinning on the Sabbath day.
In our reading today, we see two more rules that Jesus had to deal with head on.
First, the disciples were walking along and felt hungry, so they broke off heads of grain to eat. The Pharisees watched them do this and confronted them with this accusation: “Why are you breaking the law by harvesting grain on the Sabbath?”. Jesus stepped in and reminded these Pharisees of the time when, in the Old Testament, David and his men were hungry and David sent them into the House of God, breaking the Law by eating the sacred bread. Then Jesus reminded them that He was “Lord, even over the Sabbath”.
Our reading for today continues by giving a second example of how the Pharisees tried to condemn Jesus for healing a man with a deformed hand on the Sabbath. Once Jesus healed the man, they quickly got ready to accused Jesus of working on the Sabbath. Before they could, Jesus asked them a question, “Does the Law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil? Is this day to save life or to destroy it?” They were furious with Jesus and started another discussion among themselves on how to get rid of Jesus.
What can we learn from Jesus’s teachings on the Sabbath?
First, let’s remember that originally God gave His people the Sabbath so that they would take one day a week to rest; it was for their own good and well-being! That is still true today, we all need a day to rest and enjoy an uninterrupted day with our families. Those who ignore this pay the natural causes that come from paying too little attention to their own mental well-being as well as missing out on the blessing of being with their families. We should not pay so much attention to the day we take as we do to simply taking a day.
Secondly, for us Christ-followers today, we follow the example of the early Christ-followers, who soon after the resurrection of Jesus started taking time to worship on their day of rest. For these early followers, this happened to be on their first day of the week, which was Sunday; they called this day the “resurrection” day. I hope you are following their example and making sure that you find time to worship with fellow believers on your day of rest. They felt that it was a special day to gather with other believers to worship their Lord and Savior Jesus. In fact, the Hebrew writer made this very clear when he wrote: “And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near” (Hebrews 10:25).
Are you taking seriously these reasons God gave His people the Sabbath?
Father, I praise you for your knowledge and love for us, down to reminding us to take a day, out of our week, to rest, enjoy family and worship Jesus! It’s in Jesus’s Name I pray, amen.