Keeping the Sabbath Day

June 10, 2013

One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grain fields, and as his disciples walked along, they began to pick some heads of grain. The Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath? – Mark 2:23-24

The Pharisees were always watching Jesus and his disciples. Their purpose was to witness them doing something against the law, and then accuse them of breaking it.

On this Sabbath Day the disciples were accused of harvesting grain. While the Pharisees were quick to interrogate Jesus regarding his disciples’ unlawful conduct, they neglected to consider their own transgressions.

Jesus proceeded to uncover the Pharisees lack of regard and understanding of the real purpose of the Sabbath when he said, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (2:28).

Jesus’ rebuke of the Pharisees is one that needs to touch my heart. From time to time I forget what the purpose of the Sabbath Day is. While it is called a “day of rest,” it actually encompasses much more. The Sabbath, or rest day, is all about the rest God provides for me when I am weary. It is a rest which comes through the forgiveness of sins. It is a rest which offers peace and assurance through the promises of God’s Word. It is a rest I can relish because I can stand in the presence of God.

This is the rest I need, and it is the rest Jesus offers. It is also the rest God the Father protects with his commandment, “Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy.”

Certainly there are many distractions and disruptions on Sundays, or any day for that matter. This is why I need to look past them and dwell on the precious gift God offers me through Christ. When I focus on Jesus, I will understand what the Sabbath is. I will also understand why I need to make every effort to keep it by gladly hearing and learning his precious Word every day.

Prayer: O gracious Lord, I rejoice in your Word as one rejoices in great wealth.  Make your Word my joy and my delight. Then, make your Word the source of my rest for this life and my peace for eternal life. Amen