Genesis 41-42 Matthew 12:1-23
“Jesus left there and went into their synagogue, where there was a man with a crippled hand. They were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they asked him, ‘Is it right to heal on the Sabbath day?’” (Matthew 12:9-10 NCV)
We see a lot of confrontation about the Sabbath Day between Jesus and the Pharisees. It’s not because the only time Jesus healed people was on the Sabbath, though. As you look through the Old Testament and see why Judah went into exile, one of the charges against the nation was that they desecrated the Sabbaths. The Pharisees were determined that this wouldn’t happen again, and so they made all kinds of rules for behavior on the Sabbath to set up a wall around it to protect it. And then they set up workarounds so that they could break the spirit of God’s command to honor the Sabbath, while following their man-made rules about the Sabbath. Jesus shattered the glass wall they built around the Sabbath to “protect it” by honoring God’s true intentions. Thus, He did good for others on the Sabbath. He healed people. His disciples ate grain they picked from the fields. They honored the God of the Sabbath daily, and rejoiced as they realized that Sabbath was made for man.
I’m not going to try and tell you the right way to honor the Sabbath because our times have changed. I can say that if you are chasing after false gods, including career and/or money as if they were more important than God, you won’t be able to honor the Sabbath. If you live in such a way that it appears that you have no relationship with God, then you won’t be able to honor the Sabbath. Going to church one day a week doesn’t negate a lifestyle opposed to God the rest of the week. The Sabbath is an offering to God of our time designed to honor God, but offered with the understanding that all of our time belongs to Him, much like the tithe is an offering to God of our money given with the understanding that all that we have belongs to Him. If you really want to honor the Sabbath, live for God every day.
Lord, keep me true to You in all that I do. Let my life reflect Your love and grace to others every hour of every day throughout my years.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.