Sabbath Day Worship

Sabbath or Sunday Worship Part 10B Series

Religion and the Sabbath – Sunday Worship Part 10B- Jesus and the Apostles

Remember, don’t let anyone deceive you by promising power and glory, which is deceitful according to their evil nature.   Promising something they can’t do, their wickedness is temporal, and they are doomed in the lake of fire. Better yet, submit to the Holy One with eternal promise and receive everlasting life and joy that never lasts. 

The word Sabbath comes from a Hebrew word meaning rest, and almost all nations of the world have a weekend rest, either Saturday or Sunday. The majority of countries throughout the world work on Saturdays and take Sundays off, while others have both Saturday and Sunday rest which gives more time spent with the family and time for God. Before the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Sabbath day was dedicated to commemorating God’s day of rest after He finished the six days of creation and rested on the seventh day. This is a sign of God’s relationship with His people. The seventh day is a holy day ordained by God for His people to rest from daily labors and time to fellowship with Him. Everyone who sins breaks God’s Law, for all sins are contrary to the Law commanded by God.   

The fourth Commandment of God says to refrain from work on the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11). In the New Testament, Jesus’  disciples got hungry, plucked some grains, and ate them as they walked through a field. This allowed the religious leaders to accuse Jesus and the apostles of breaking the Sabbath, although their primary purpose was to get Jesus in trouble.

The full text of the commandment they were accused of violating reads: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God.” Jesus and the apostles disregarded the 4th commandment of God and therefore gave accusers ground to accuse Jesus of being the leader of the group that violated the Law. Jesus came in defense of his apostles who did the labor of plucking the grains and said: “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27-28).

Every Jewish follower of the Law in ancient Israel knew this command: do not work on the Sabbath. Respect the LORD’s day. No excuses.

This brings us to why Jesus healed people on the Sabbath day. When Jesus was asked which commandment is the greatest, his response, as recorded in Matthew 22:37: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind…the second is like, unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the prophets.” In these two commandments, Jesus did not mention rest days from labor on Sabbath. Instead, Jesus worked on Shabbat to heal people. When asked if it was lawful to heal on Shabbat (Matthew 12:10), He replied: “What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out?

When we use our gift of common sense, which includes the gift of help, we do not need to pause and ask ourselves if it is okay to administer our help to someone in need when we can do it. Jesus healed a man, as recorded in John 5:1-18 who had been unable to walk for 38 years, a man with a bad Spirit as stated in Mark 1:21-28 and John 4:31-36, Christ Heals a Man with a Dropsy: Luke 14:1-6. a man with a withered Hand in Matthew 12:9-13 Mark 3:1-6 Luke 6:6-11, a blind man- John 9:1-12, Peter’s Mother-In-Law: Matthew 8:14-15 Mark 1:29-31 Luke 4:38-39, and a Crippled Woman: Luke 13:10-17. There is a need for help, and the help is there; can we deny it?

On Sabbath day, he entered the synagogue and taught not as the scribes. Mark 1:21-22. The accusers also work on the Sabbath, and Jesus commented: “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it?” Luke 13:15.” Christ also made his accusers aware that he knew they also work on Sabbath. This exposes the Pharisees’ hypocrisy, who worship standing so they will be noticed.

God is all in all.

Bishop Joseph

Bishop Joseph Vitug, Ph.D. - Bishop Emeritus

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