Jesus and the Sabbath
Of about 20 specific cases when Jesus healed people, a third took place on the Sabbath. By healing on the Sabbath, the Lord taught the people by example the will of God and how the Sabbath should be kept. And He affirmed saying, “it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:12).
The Savior would not pass by the opportunity of bringing healing to a sick person. To Him, not to save a life would be to take it; not to do that which would promote life would be to destroy it ( James 4:17). To give life and healing is following the principle of the sixth commandment that says, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13), as shown by Christ in the Sermon on the Mount.
He said, “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’ shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, ‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of hell fire. Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift (Matthew 5:21–24). Thus, the sixth commandment was in no way in conflict with the fourth – the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8-11).
- The demoniac in the synagogue at Capernaum (Mark 1:21–28),
- The paralytic at the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:1–16),
- The blind man at the Pool of Siloam (John 9:1–7),
- The woman in-firmed for 18 years (Luke 13:10–17),
- The man with the dropsy (Luke 14:1–6).
- Peter’s mother-in-law (Mark 1:29–31).
- The man with a withered hand (Mark 3:1-6).
The Sabbath Was Made For Man
The seven reported miracles of healing done on the Sabbath day were against the traditions of the religious leaders (John 5:16) but were in perfect harmony with God’s law. Jesus said, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27). The Sabbath was designed and ordained by a loving Creator for the good of humanity. God did not create man because He had a Sabbath and needed man to keep it. Rather, a loving Creator knew that man, needed time for spiritual growth and physical rest. The seventh day Sabbath was designed by God to for this need.
The Lord ordained that the Sabbath should be a blessing, not a burden, and it is to man’s best interest and not to his harm to keep it. Humans should refrain from work that they may dedicate their time, their energies, and their thoughts to having a relationship with their heavenly Father.
The Religious Leaders Made the Sabbath a Burden
The religious leaders at Christ’s time made the Sabbath a burden by their rigid and meaningless rules. For this reason, they objected to His healing on the Sabbath. Sadly, some of the Rabbis would do for a dumb animal that which they would not do for a child of God (Matthew 12:11, 12). They would allow a man to suffer, but would save an animal from suffering—lest, financial loss result to the owner. How could they place a lower value on human life than on the life of dumb animals?
Christ rebuked the the scribes and Pharisees saying, “making the word of God of no effect through your tradition” (Mark 7:13). Thus, they were exposed in their true light as hypocrites (Mark 7: 6) and as enemies of both God and their fellow men. Unfortunately, the danger of upholding human ideas and interpretations of God’s requirements above the “weightier matters of the law” (Matthew 23:23) is present today as it was then.
For more on the Sabbath, please check (Lessons 91-102) of the Bible Lessons.
In His service,