Is it OK for medical professionals to work on Sabbath?


By BibleAsk Team

Work on the Sabbath

Some ask the question: Is it OK for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to work on the Sabbath?

Jesus Christ said, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out?  Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:11, 12). By healing on the Sabbath, Jesus showed us that it is right to do good on the Sabbath.

In another occasion, Jesus healed on the Sabbath to teach the importance of being merciful. “Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up. But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God” (Luke 13:10-13).

The woman not only was a human being, and thus infinitely more important than an animal (Matthew 12:11), she was a daughter of God who needed help. And Jesus did not deny her because it was the Sabbath Day.

The Sabbath Was Made For Man

Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). God did not create man because He had a Sabbath and needed someone to keep it. God knew that man needed time for rest and spiritual growth. The seventh day Sabbath was ordained of God to meet this need.

To change God’s original plan would be disobeying the fourth commandment (Exodus 20:8-11). God planned that the Sabbath should be a blessing, not a burden, and it is to man’s interest and not his injury to observe it.

Medical Professionals and Sabbath Work

As for Christians who are professionals in the medical field in secular hospitals, they can request to take the day off for religious reasons. If they work in Christian institutions where all workers are Christians, they will have to take turns to working on the Sabbath day.

During the sacred hours, the medical professionals should attend only to the essential duties and emergencies but schedule all other procedures that can wait to the week days. Some conscientious Christians even put the money they earn on the Sabbath into God’s treasury. These consider their work as acts of voluntary service. May those who work in the medical field pray for wisdom on how to keep the Sabbath holy (James 1:5).

For more on the Sabbath, please check (Lessons 91-102) of the Bible Lessons.

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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