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In Luke chapter 6 we come to a segment where there is a conflict over the issue of keeping the Sabbath. In addition to fraternizing with sinners as Jesus often did, the breaking of the Sabbath was a major sensitivity to the religious leadership of the time.
One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. Some of the Pharisees asked, "Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?"
You see, the Pharisees being a hypercritical bunch taught that you can’t even rub the wheat kernels in your hand or you are working and threshing the grain.
Jesus answered them, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions." Then Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."
The point here is that when David and his men were hungry, the need of their hunger superseded the law of what to do with the consecrated bread. Then, Jesus points out that He, Himself, is the Lord of the Sabbath, so He can do anything on this day.
Right after this, Jesus went into the synagogue and was teaching there. He spotted a man who needed His help. I think Jesus saw this as a perfect opportunity to make His point further. It’s like Jesus went out of His way to heal a man on the Sabbath. Check out what happens here:
On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, "Get up and stand in front of everyone." So he got up and stood there.
Jesus really sets up this miracle, so that everyone will see it and get the point. I’m sure it was clear that Jesus was going to disregard the Sabbath laws in order to heal this man.
Then Jesus said to them, "I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?" He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He did so, and his hand was completely restored. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus.
Jesus wasn’t opposed to keeping the Sabbath. What He was opposed to was making the Sabbath so prominent that it became the new God that threatened the vitality of a relationship with Him. In another Gospel Jesus said that “man was not made for the Sabbath to serve it, but the Sabbath was made for man to enjoy and get a rest from the stresses of life.
Sabbath is for man to enjoy. Before finishing up on this paragraph, I want to clarify what keeping Sabbath might entail. Here are a few reflections on the proper view of Sabbath:
1. Sabbath is A SANCTUARY IN TIME!
2. It’s A TIME TO DISCONNECT FROM THE RAT RACE OF LIFE— TO REST!
3. A TIME TO KEEP YOURSELF PLUGGED INTO GOD NO MATTER WHAT!
4. A TIME TO CULTIVATE JOY & HAPPINESS IN YOUR SOUL!
5. A TIME TO SEEK GOD’S WISDOM!
6. A TIME TO REFUEL YOUR GRATEFUL HEART!
7. A TIME TO RECONNECT WITH YOUR CORE VALUES!
8. A TIME TO GET IN SYNC WITH THE RHYTHM OF CREATION!
9. A TIME TO ENJOY GOD’S SALVATION FOR YOU!
10. A TIME TO HANG OUT WITH JESUS!
This last reflection is exactly where Jesus was from the beginning. He invited all who wanted to follow Him to come apart for awhile and just be with Him. This is just as vital today. Jesus is still calling men and women to come and just be with Him.
There’s a great statement that has caught the theme of keeping the Sabbath: It is “COME APART FOR AWHILE OR YOU’LL JUST COME APART.” Since Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath, then He can make it all work best without any legalistic system of do’s and don’ts for you to perform. So, think about it. COME APART FOR AWHILE OR YOU’LL JUST COME APART.”
Sunday, December 17, 2006
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