Lord of the Sabbath

On a Sabbath, while he was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands. But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?” And Jesus answered them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those with him?” And he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” Luke 6:1-5

Today’s verses are a prime example of how the Pharisees and the Jewish rabbis had over the centuries so covered God’s law that it was virtually unrecognizable. God through Moses gave the entire Law in three books of Our Old Testament, Exodus, Leviticus, and Deuteronomy. The Law does not fill any of these three books. Yet if one looks at the Jewish Talmuds they are over 6,000 pages. In one of my studies I was required to read what the Babylonian Talmud said about cleaning a house to remove all the leavening in preparation of Passover, specifically how a woman could know if she had cleaned properly. The discourse went over 30 pages on just this one topic.

If these writing were just commentaries then that would not have been an issue. The problem is that the Pharisees and religious leaders of the day were using these layers of commentary and debate to cover over God’s Law. They insisted that the Jewish people not only obey God’s Law but the layers they had placed on top. In fact these manmade rules disallowed so much that as we see in today’s verses even the rubbing of some heads of grain in order to separate the grain was considered work and therefore not allowed. These restrictions included how far one could walk from their home before it was considered work. Or what one could and could not carry before one was considered working. This leads to the creation of eruvs, essentially frames or wires connecting building in order to make them one building, so they could carry things such as house keys, canes, babies, etc. from home to the synagogue on the Sabbath. What one rule prohibited another allowed a circumvention.

Jesus tells the Pharisees that He is lord of the Sabbath. In fact we learn from the Bible that Jesus taught that the Sabbath was created for man not man for the Sabbath. God rested on the seventh day after the six days of creation. Now God did not need to rest in the sense that we need rest. God’s rest was the ending of His creation of the universe and everything in it. It marked the end of creation and the beginning of life after creation. Just as God rested from His labor of creation so He wanted us to rest after a week of labor. He wanted us to have the time to worship and contemplate Him. He wants us to take time from the day to day worries and refresh ourselves. What God does not want is to make the Sabbath so rule filled that we are constantly worries about breaking a rule so that we no longer can concentrate on the real purpose of a Sabbath.

The Pharisees had made the Sabbath into what they thought it should be not what God wants it to be. Jesus in today’s verses is reclaiming the Sabbath for God and for us.

Have a blessed day,



About dwwork

The name of this blog is taken from 1 Peter 3:13 - “always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience. This verse became special to me over ten years ago when I was asked to teach an adult Sunday school class on Christian apologetics. This interest grew over the years to the point that I took some graduate level classes in apologetics. I think the best way to be prepared to give and answer to everyone who asks is to know scripture. It is my hope that through these short devotionals the reader will become more familiar with each verse. I have tried when possible to make them personal hoping in some small way to show that God’s word written over two thousand years ago is still relevant today. In the writing of these short devotionals I have been able to better understand how God’s word impacts my life. It is my hope that you too will come closer to our Lord Jesus and develop a closer relationship with Him. Finally, if the reader finds anything in conflict with scripture please let me know. God’s word is the final authority always overrules anything I might write. David
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2 Responses to Lord of the Sabbath

  1. Yes David it is very True man made rules are the pits! when not for our protection but used to control and manipulate. Under the New Covenant Jesus is our Eternal Rest, He is fulfillment of the Sabbath and as we can see in the Scriptures below and as you shared, it is not the day that we choose but our heart desire to spend time with God When we seek Him we will find Him waiting for us, when we ask we will receive His gifts, when we knock He will open and let us in to receive all He has provided that is needed for our completeness in Christ Jesus.

    Romans 14: 5-6 One man considers one day more sacred than another; another man considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. He who regards one day as special, does so to the Lord. He who eats meat, eats to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains, does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.

    Respectfully to those who are a Jew or S.D.A? if they depend on the Law to save them it means they will be judged by the Law and if they break any of the rules and regulations that go with the Sabbath they will be judged for doing so.

    Jesus did not keep the Sabbath Legalistically, as the Scriptures shows us and you confirmed David, the early Church met everyday of the week for communion and fellowship and they went to the Temple not just on Saturday but everyday too. Paul preached when and where it was needed, including on Sunday. I’m thanking God for 7 days in a week.

    I have No problem with those who want to make Saturday their Holy day but I prefer to make every day Holy, in other words I believe that as we Christians no longer live for ourselves but the Lord and that one day a week is just not enough to express my heartfelt Love for Him and others. This is why I see Blogging as important for me, it is a daily communion with God and an opportunity to be in fellowship and encourage The Body of Christ where ever they are and yes to correct if needed too, although for sure not always appreciated, itching ears only want agreement even when they are in error.

    I would indeed have a big problem though David if I decided to follow all the rules and regulations that go with keeping the Sabbath, how do I tell you that I need to kill you because you do not keep the Sabbath, still that’s not my biggest problem I’m also not sure how to explain why I killed you to the Police….. do you have any ideas that may help? also be careful you don’t turn your stove on or have a barbecue on Saturday.

    Sabbath Regulations…..

    Exodus 35:1-3 Moses assembled the whole Israelite community and said to them, “These are the things the LORD has commanded you to do: For six days, work is to be done, but the seventh day shall be your Holy day, a Sabbath of rest to the LORD. Whoever does any work on it must be put to death. Do not light a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day.”

    Things are really getting complicated now David, I just don’t know how I’m ever going to be able to get Two Lambs for every Saturday and can you tell me what kind of defects I’m to look for, after all ……. lambs all look the same to me… Cute… and than what about in Summer…sometimes there is a fire ban… so who am I to obey…. I can’t cook them in the oven because they won’t fit!… It’s all very confusing don’t you think!… Yes I’m very, very Thankful that Jesus is the fulfillment of the Sabbath!

    Sabbath Offerings…..

    Numbers 28:9-10 Prepare the second lamb at twilight, along with the same kind of grain offering and drink offering that you prepare in the morning. This is an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the LORD. ” ‘On the Sabbath day, make an offering of two lambs that are a year old without defect, together with its drink offering and a grain offering of two-tenths of an ephah of fine flour mixed with oil. This is the burnt offering for every Sabbath, in addition to the regular burnt offering and its drink offering.

    Colossians 2:16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.

    The Lord does not judge us as severely as we do ourselves in the flesh and also critically judge others for things that have no eternal value, this is why we must put our flesh to death, it is obedience to do so, we cannot earn Salvation but we will show we have it, big difference!

    But it is not by our strength that we do what is needed, being Born Again means we have God’s nature or seed and by the empowering of The Holy Spirit we willingly keep the most important Commandments to Love Him and others, which means we don’t hurt anyone, not because we are told not to, but because we want to and because we can be no other way. 1John3:9

    Christian Love Always in our Unity in Christ Jesus – Anne.

  2. dwwork says:

    Anne, wow, what a great comment. As always thanks for your additions to my post. Have a blessed day, David

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