Religious leaders opposed Jesus while He was doing good on the Sabbath day because it broke their manmade rules. The follower of Jesus must realize that it’s always the right time to do the right thing.
23 One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. 24 And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” 25 And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: 26 how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” 27 And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. 28 So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
3:1 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand.2 And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. 3 And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” 4 And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. 5 And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. 6 The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him.
Rediscovering the Sabbath
- Remembering the Sabbath (Ex. 20:8-11) is preserving one day a week for rest in order to serve at full capacity for the rest of the week.
- God invited His people to trust Him for seven days of provision out of six days of work (Ex. 16:20-30).
- After Jesus’ resurrection, the early Church worshiped on Sunday but still rested on Saturday.
- Over time, we have interpreted the Lord’s Day as when we are busy as the church instead of when the church is restful as individuals.
- Making the Sabbath holy doesn’t mean that the rest of the week is unholy.
Reengaging the Opportunity
- The Pharisees prioritized man-made rules over God-given opportunities.
- Jesus doesn’t bow to our ideals – we bow to His truth.
- The Sabbath is a gift of get-to in a world of have-to.
- God’s commands were made for man, not man for God’s commands.
- All of God’s commands provide ample opportunity to promote God’s glory and our good.
- Don’t let your convictions suspend your compassion.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.