Some of us have either heard of the Sabbath or we haven’t. Some believe observing the seventh day of the week to be an old custom, while others view it as still relevant today. I know a lot of us are curious about it. Many of us may not be aware of this, but our Savior Jesus was a Sabbath keeper. No he wasn’t sitting back in a temple all day on the seventh day proclaiming “Holy, Holy, Holy” . No he wasn’t closing himself off from the rest of the world crying “I can’t do this or that”. He was out there in the community doing good for others, even on this day.
The Sanhedrin feared Jesus came to do away with their laws. On the contrary Christ came to do the opposite. If anything, Jesus opened our eyes about all the ways of God, including the Seventh day, specifically what is okay to do during this time.
Jesus as we know was always helping others; doing good for others in need. The Sabbath as scripture records was not a time in which Christ insisted on taking a day off from being compassionate. Why should we? On a Sabbath day, Jesus healed a woman who was crippled in the synagogue where he was teaching. The leader of the synagogue said there were six days that one should work, but not on the Sabbath. Christ was ready though.
“The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.” -Luke 13:15-17 NKJV
In Mark 2:23, Jesus and the twelve disciples were walking through a grainfield during the Sabbath. As they walked the disciples were plucking the grain and eating it. The Pharisees asked Jesus “why they would do what is not lawful on the sabbath.”
“But He said to them, ‘Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?” And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.”” -Mark 2:25-28 NKJV
Mark 3 records how Jesus healed a man with a withered hand on the sabbath day. Those Pharisees, who were constantly looking for any opportunity to accuse Jesus were on their toes looking to see if he would heal on a sacred day.
“Then He said to them, “Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” But they kept silent. And when He had looked around at them with anger, being grieved by the hardness of their hearts, He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.”
Was He just supposed to send the man away until sabbath hours were done? Like Christ, let us tend to the sick and afflicted on any day of the week. Sabbath is practically the perfect time.
It is good to do good for others on the sabbath. It is good to be merciful and compassionate to everyone, including said “enemies” on the Sabbath. Feed those who are hungry and feed yourself, because we as people are going to be hungry regardless of what day it is. Put gas in someone’s car for they have places to be. Put clothes on someone’s back for they must be warm, and nobody needs to see them bare. Help someone on the side of the road because nobody wants to be stranded. Go beyond your church walls and witness to someone who is in need of spiritual food. For I guarantee you your church family might have heard the same material more than once. If you have the opportunity to save a life, then in the name of Jesus go right ahead.
Make the Sabbath a delight, and make everyday a day to do good for others. For when we do, we do good for Him.
(Header image not owned by me. Image found on Unsplash )