Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath
At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them. 2 When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.”
3 He answered, “Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. 5 Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? 6 I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. 7 If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
9 Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”
11 He said to them, “If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”
13 Then he said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.
DO WE CONDEMN THE INNOCENT?
“Surely not!”, we might say in unison like a responsive reading at church in the old days. But let’s go a little deeper and truly investigate our hearts. I’ll just throw out some thoughts and rants for what they are…merely words I’ve heard said or read in social media.
“I refuse to wear a mask at church because this is all a conspiracy. To expect this by our church leaders is ridiculous.’
“God will not grow our church unless we open the doors to the building and let us all come back to normal.” “What we know is what we need.”
“Reaching out to anonymous people online who we cannot know if they really love God is fruitless.”
“We need to know for sure if they are doing what we do each Sunday in following God.”
“Our leaders do not have enough faith or they would bring us all back to do church again.”
“I am tried of only watching online. I want what I know is good for me.”
“I need people to smile at me, hug me, and love on me in person.” “I need my church for me.”
“I need to stand at my post and greet people coming into the building again. It’s what I do. It’s what I know to do for God.”
“I don’t care what others think, they’re just too afraid.”
“Church is meant to be on Sunday in a building. I need to know it will always be there for me when I come.”
The Pharisees consistently pointed out all the “unlawful” actions of Jesus Christ, LORD of the Sabbath and Lord of all, when He did not follow their protocol. Do we do that? Do we really think it is “unlawful” to proclaim Jesus online? I’m amused at the thought of what the late Billy Graham, the greatest TV evangelist, might say in these times.
Jesus brought change in the ways people think about what God said in His Word. He taught God’s real intention for God’s Law. He came not to abolish or change the message that God gave but to fulfill it with His life while explaining what God really wanted from all of us. He wants us to love Him back and to love others like He loves us. All day, every day.
“If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent. For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” –Jesus
“Someone greater than the temple is here.” –Jesus
Jesus is not only Lord of the Sabbath, that time we take to focus ALL our being, hearts, minds and souls, on Him to worship and learn from Him, but as believers Jesus should be LORD of our thought life which leads to our behaviors.
Jesus proclaimed Truth to the religious leaders who forgot God, left God out of their lives and only lived for themselves. He, being the Innocent One was the Only one who had the authority and right words for the right time. Jesus was and is LORD of the Sabbath, the cornerstone of His people who believe…the church.
As believing brothers and sisters of Jesus Christ, we should certainly speak up when leaders go against God’s Word, say they do not love God, no longer speak of the salvation of Jesus and only speak only of themselves while gaining more power for themselves. This is the filter through which our warning words should flow.
“The Sabbath” experience is transforming from a specific place (“Begin in Jerusalem…”) to all the parts of the world through ever advancing technology God is using to accomplish HIS work, His purposes, in His plan to save the world! He is teaching His leaders to be flexible, not missing any way that can be used to spread His message of salvation for all!
Let us center our thoughts on Christ, Lord of all, before judging and ask ourselves as His bride, His church,
What do you want, Jesus, LORD of the Sabbath?
Innocent, God-filled, God loving church pastors and other leaders everywhere are scrambling to learn new and inventive ways to use technology in this pandemic to get the Word out that God is alive, Jesus saves us and His Holy Spirit can help us grow up in Him! These passionate people are discovering with hope and amazement that God IS IN THIS as thousands all over the world are finding their way to Him! These are exciting times!
We might not know who they are…yet…but leaders are working hard to provide all the help these unknowns who are known to God will need in their walk just as passionately as they help the local church and community.
By the way, volunteer serving in our communities is at an all time high in the number of hours given by believers who have been prompted to just go and help anywhere and in any way they can, as they were trained at church and created by God to be and do! Hallelujah!
My heart, as a believing leader, is to serve the LORD of the Sabbath in ANY way that HIS work of seeking and saving the lost is accomplished. It’s not about me. It’s all about Jesus.
Use these words to bless others as you have blessed me with your lesson about who is LORD. May all that we think, say or do today and always be done for your glory as we help people find and follow you. And may all be done…
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.