Series: The Gospel: It's Not...
Message: About the Sabbath
Preacher: Mark Johnson
Daily Walk: Mark Johnson
Refresh: Open with prayer. Read or listen to Psalm 92:10-15.
Read: Mark 2:27; Romans 13:10 (NLT). As you read this version, note 1-3 insights/questions.
Reflect: Seven of Jesus’s miracles of healing are identified as having been performed on the Sabbath. None of them were emergency cases. All of them were adults with chronic conditions.
One had been blind since birth. One had been “possessed” for 18 years. One had been an invalid for 38 years. All of them could have waited until Sunday for their healing. The Jewish leaders recognized this. The “official of the synagogue” where Jesus healed the possessed woman told the people, “There are six days in which we should work; so come during those days and be healed, but not on the Sabbath!” (Luke 13:14, TEV)
Not only did Jesus heal on the Sabbath, but He went out of His way to do things that irritated the religious leaders even more. He told the man at the Pool of Bethesda to carry his bed home. For the man who had been blind from birth, He spat on the ground and made a paste for his eyes. To the Pharisees, He might as well have driven the first man home in a moving van full of his furniture and used a cement truck to mix the salve for the eyes of the second one. Just the act of spitting on the ground was considered unlawful on the Sabbath because a blade of grass may be irrigated by the spit!
No wonder Christ said that the teachers of the Law and the Pharisees “bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men’s shoulders.” (Matthew 23:4, KJV) No one but the religious scholars could keep track of what the rules were. The common people were constantly worried that they may be breaking the Sabbath, and yet they were supposed to view it as a “delight.” (Isaiah 58:13)
So Jesus came to clear away the burdensome mystery and superstition from the Sabbath and the Law. He drove into town on the Sabbath with His disciples in combines, and moving vans and cement trucks and shouted, “Happy Sabbath! I’m here to glorify my Father!” (See John 17:4)
No wonder they had to have Him killed.
Respond: Pray for the religious leaders of our day.
Research: What were some of the other principles the Jews held for the Sabbath?