Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #4 Jesus and the Sabbath day

A day given to man

From sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday the Jewish community kept a day for God. The ‘day’ began when darkness fell. The reason for this is found in Genesis 1:5:

Genesis 1:5 The Scriptures 1998+  (5)  And Elohim called the light ‘day’ and the darkness He called ‘night.’ And there came to be evening and there came to be morning, the first day.

People could see the wonderworks of God from the moment it became light until it became dark again. When the darkness fell over man the day came to an end for them and a new day broke on. They remembered that the evening and the morning were the first day whereby the void was the beginning of everything and for the days evening came first.

Though it took 2,500 years until we do find a first record on the Sabbath and man’s duties.

Exodus 20:9-11 The Scriptures 1998+  (9)  “Six days you labour, and shall do all your work,  (10)  but the seventh day is a Sabbath1 of יהוה  {Jehovah} your Elohim. You do not do any work – you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. Footnote: 1There are other Sabbaths, but this is the weekly Sabbath.  (11)  “For in six days יהוה  {Jehovah} made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore יהוה  {Jehovah} blessed the Sabbath day and set it apart.

From then onwards we can assume there was the custom to have six days of labour and the Jews could do all their work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Adonai Jehovah their God and in it they did do no work. They like we should notice that God said it was Him, the Elohim Adonai Who blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

Today, orthodox Jews still keep that Sabbath. It was a wonderful rest for those who worked six days a week, and especially for slaves. For everyone, it was a release from busy days focussed on making a living. They could, on the Sabbath, give their full attention to worshipping God.

Different ideas about the Sabbath at the time of Jesus

Man could take full use of the day given by God, but this could be done in different ways, and there was not always agreement on how to keep the day holy.

At the time of the Nazarene Jeshua, who came from the lineage of king David, the Jewish leaders about the Sabbath day were very strict. They looked around them and were not afraid to rebuke the ordinary citizens. They liked to admonish those who did not want to step in line with their teachings. Their way of treating people was totally different than God guided and treated His people. They were probably harder on people than God would like them to treat those matters.

The Nazarene Jeshua saw how they treated others and how their way of thinking got them far away from God’s intentions.

Dispute of Jesus and the Pharisees over tribut...
There were many points of different views between Jeshua and the Jewish leaders. – Dispute of Jesus and the Pharisees over tribute money (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About the Sabbath Jeshua took a very different view than the Pharisees or many other rabbis. For him it was clear we had to offer ourselves as children of God and should go deep into His Words getting the real meaning of them.

As a devote Jew, Jeshua, to day better known as Jesus Christ, could see how the leaders were much concerned about the “letter of the law“. They overlooked quite often what the intentions of the Creator were. They being more concerned about the literal words as such got blinded from the real intentions, like we still can find many today.

Jesus knew his heavenly Father very well and always tried to do his Father His will and not his own will. He also understood we had to follow God’s Word, but to do that we had to understand what God meant. Jesus knew about the love of his heavenly Father for mankind and how He had created everything around and had given it to man to his use. How man would use the things around him and would divide time was given to man to deicide. Not everything was strictly ruled or drawn out by God.

For Jesus there were things we could do on the Sabbath day and other things not. Most of all he was concerned to follow God’s Law to its spirit. Sometimes certain things he did looked like a work that could not be done on a Sabbath, like taking out rugs, carrying people or things, or even healing. By the  Jewish leaders it was looked at as something people could not do.

Jesus and others working on the Sabbath day

When Jesus healed men and women on the Sabbath day, the leaders were against him. They even complained that a lame man who Jesus healed was “working” on the Sabbath. All because he carried his mat after being healed!

The healing Jesus did was also something which could not receive grace in the eyes of the Jewish leaders. Though for the Nazarene man, who was called the son of God, he was doing the Will of God and helping God’s creatures. By helping them in their life, Jesus saw it as a way in which God could be glorified by his work.

God knows everything. In case He would not have liked what this man from Nazareth would have done He would not have called him His beloved son.

Matthew 3:17 The Scriptures 1998+  (17)  and see, a voice out of the heavens, saying, “This is My Son, the Beloved, in whom I did delight.”

Matthew 12:18 The Scriptures 1998+  (18)  “See, My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My being did delight. I shall put My Spirit upon Him, and He shall declare right-ruling to the nations.

Mark 9:7 The Scriptures 1998+  (7)  And there came a cloud overshadowing them, and a voice came out of the cloud, saying, “This is My Son, the Beloved. Hear Him!”

Also the apostles got convinced that this son of man became a beloved of God and had received authority from God.

Ephesians 1:5-7 The Scriptures 1998+  (5)  having previously ordained us to adoption as sons through יהושע {Jehsua} Messiah to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His desire,  (6)  to the praise of the esteem of His favour with which He favoured us in the Beloved,  (7)  in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of trespasses, according to the riches of His favour,

Colossians 1:9-15 The Scriptures 1998+  (9)  That is also why we, from the day we heard, have not ceased praying for you, and asking that you be filled with the knowledge of His desire in all wisdom and spiritual understanding,  (10)  to walk worthily of the Master, pleasing all, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of Elohim,  (11)  being empowered with all power, according to the might of His esteem, for all endurance and patience with joy,  (12)  giving thanks to the Father who has made us fit to share in the inheritance of the set-apart ones in the light,  (13)  who has delivered us from the authority of darkness1 and transferred us into the reign of the Son of His love, Footnote: 1Lk. 11:35, John 8:12, John 12:46-50, Acts 26:18, Eph. 5:8.  (14)  in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins,  (15)  who is the likeness of the invisible Elohim, the first-born of all creation.1 Footnote: 1Heb. 1:6, Rev. 3:14.

Though they too were looked on and despised for plucking ears of corn to eat when they were hungry on a Sabbath.

Matthew 12:1-2 The Scriptures 1998+  (1)  At that time יהושע {Jehsua} went through the grain fields on the Sabbath. And His taught ones were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain, to eat.  (2)  And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your taught ones are doing what is not right to do on the Sabbath!”

Decisions to make

Doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath? Who is going to decide that? Is it up to man or is it up to God, the Divine Creator Who installed the day of rest originally for Him and not for man?

The leaders then, had probably forgotten how previously in history also other men of God, like David and his companions did, when he was hungry, had entered into the house of God, and ate the show bread, which was not lawful for him to eat, neither for those who were with him, but only for the priests.

Matthew 12:3-5 The Scriptures 1998+  (3)  But He said to them, “Have you not read what Dawiḏ did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him:  (4)  how he went into the House of Elohim and ate the showbread which was not right for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?  (5)  “Or did you not read in the Torah that on the Sabbath the priests in the Set-apart Place profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?

All those works Jesus and his apostles did were to provide for their physical soul, to stay healthy physically or to make others healthy. Jesus had come to do his Father’s will, and he did it. Those moments he made others healthy again were moments he put himself aside to help others. We also can do that.

Jesus also reminded the people around him that the Sabbath was made for man and that he as a son of man and sent one from God was standing in a place were one was greater than the temple and even got to be master of the Sabbath. (Matthew 12:6,8)

Mark 2:25-28 The Scriptures 1998+  (25)  And He said to them, “Have you never read what Dawiḏ did when he had need and was hungry, he and those with him?  (26)  “How he went into the House of Elohim, while Eḇyathar was high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not right to eat, except for the priests, and he gave it also to those who were with him?”  (27)  And He said to them,
“The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.  (28)  “So the Son of Aḏam is also Master of the Sabbath.”1 Footnote: 1Mt. 12:8.

Luke 13:15-16 The Scriptures 1998+  (15)  Then the Master answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loosen his ox or his donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it?  (16)  “And this one, being a daughter of Aḇraham, whom Satan has bound, look, for eighteen years, should she not be loosened from this bond on the Sabbath?”

But still many thought Jesus could not do the healing nor other works on the Day of God.

John 9:14-16 The Scriptures 1998+  (14)  Now it was a Sabbath when יהושע {Jehsua} made the clay and opened his eyes.  (15)  Therefore the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.”  (16)  Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from Elohim, because He does not guard the Sabbath.” Others said, “How is a man who is a sinner able to do such miracles?” And there was a division among them.

Luke 13:10-17 The Scriptures 1998+  (10)  And He was teaching in one of the congregations on the Sabbath,  (11)  and see, there was a woman having a weakening spirit for eighteen years, and was bent over and was unable to straighten up at all.  (12)  And יהושע {Jehsua}, seeing her, called her near and said to her, “Woman, you are loosened from your weakness.”  (13)  And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was straightened up, and praised Elohim.  (14)  But the ruler of the congregation, responding, much displeased that יהושע {Jehsua} had healed on the Sabbath, said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men should work, so come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.”  (15)  Then the Master answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loosen his ox or his donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it?  (16)  “And this one, being a daughter of Aḇraham, whom Satan has bound, look, for eighteen years, should she not be loosened from this bond on the Sabbath?”  (17)  And when He said this, all His opponents were put to shame. And all the crowd rejoiced for all the splendid works being done by Him.

What would you do

Having people loosened from their infirmity did not please the leaders having this happened on a Sabbath.  The rulers of synagogues said unto the people that there are six days in which men ought to work and in them therefore people had to come to be healed on those days, and not on the Sabbath day. Still today there are people thinking that way.

When something happens in your household, what would you do? When one of your children swallows something and come s into danger of life. Would you not go as fast as possible to the hospital and expect there somebody to help your child?

Jesus in his time gave an example most people would understand. He spoke about hypocrites who would not each one of them also when they on the Sabbath would loose their ox or ass from the stall, to lead him away to watering or when there would be an accident help them. (Luke 13:5)

Luke 14:5 The Scriptures 1998+  (5)  And to them He said, “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, shall not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?”

Matthew 12:10-14 The Scriptures 1998+  (10)  And see, there was a man having a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, “Is it right to heal on the Sabbath?” – so as to accuse Him.  (11)  And He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, shall not take hold of it and lift it out?  (12)  “How much more worth is a man than a sheep! So it is right to do good on the Sabbath.”  (13)  Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored, as healthy as the other.  (14)  But the Pharisees went out and took counsel against Him, so as to destroy Him.

Before Jesus his time already advice was given:

Exodus 23:4-7 The Scriptures 1998+  (4)  “When you meet your enemy’s ox or his donkey going astray, you shall certainly return it to him.  (5)  “When you see the donkey of him who hates you lying under its burden, you shall refrain from leaving it to him, you shall certainly help him.  (6)  “Do not turn aside the right-ruling of your poor in his strife.  (7)  “Keep yourself far from a false matter, and do not kill the innocent and the righteous, for I do not declare the wrong right.

Proverbs 25:21 The Scriptures 1998+  (21)  If your enemy is hungry give him bread to eat, And if he is thirsty give him water to drink,

Further let us think about this:

John 7:21-24 The Scriptures 1998+  (21)  יהושע {Jehsua} answered and said to them, “I did one work, and you all marvel.  (22)  “Because of this Mosheh has given you the circumcision – though it is not from Mosheh, but from the fathers – and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath.  (23)  “If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the Torah of Mosheh should not be broken, are you wroth with Me because I made a man entirely well on the Sabbath?  (24)  “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”

We also should not judge others doing certain duties on the Sabbath or any other day.

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Preceding articles:

Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #1 Before rain of food from heaven

Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #2 Testimony

Why we do not keep to a Sabbath or a Sunday or Lord’s Day #3 Days to be kept holy or set apart

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