Why did Jesus heal on the Sabbath?

Author: BibleAsk Team


Jesus – “Lord of the Sabbath”

Jesus did heal on the Sabbath because He declared, “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. Rather, the Creator knew that man needed time for physical and spiritual rest and growth.

Jesus declared, “Wherefore the Son of man is Lord also of the Sabbath” (Matthew 12:8 and Mark 2:28). The Sabbath belongs to the Lord. It points to Him as both the Creator and the Sanctifier. He also said, “My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the Lord who sanctifies them” (Ezekiel 20:12).

The law of Ten Commandments, of which the Sabbath forms a part (Exodus 20:2-17), God gave to His people as a blessing. “The Lord commanded us,” said Moses, “to do all these statutes, to fear the Lord our God, for our good always, that He might preserve us alive” (Deuteronomy 6:24). And of all who keep “the Sabbath from polluting it,” the Lord declares, “Even them will I bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer” (Isaiah 56:6, 7).

God promised a Sabbath blessing, “If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, from doing your pleasure on My holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy day of the Lord honorable, and shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, nor finding your own pleasure, nor speaking your own words, then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; and I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the Lord has spoken” (Isaiah 58:13, 14). Material as well as spiritual blessings are promised to those who enter with all of their hearts into the spirit of the Sabbath (Matthew 6:33).

Healing on the Sabbath

No one has the right to load the Sabbath with heavy burdens—as did the Jews—or to attempt the transfer of its sacredness from one day to another. Both are acts of the evil designed to lead people away from the true spirit of Sabbath observance.

When questioned, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath days?” Jesus answered, “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? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath days” (Matthew 12:10-12).

The religious leaders, at Jesus time, rather than violate their traditions, they would leave a man to suffer, while they would relieve an animal because of the loss to the owner if it were neglected. Thus, more care was given to an animal than for man, who is made in the image of God (Genesis 1:27).

The Savior knew that in healing on the Sabbath He would be regarded as a transgressor, but He did not hesitate to break down the wall of traditional requirements that burdened the Sabbath (Mark 7:8). Jesus did many healing miracles on the Sabbath. The following are the references to these miracles:

  1. The man with the withered hand (Mathew 12:9-13; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:6-11).
  2. Peter’s mother-in-law, who had a fever (Mathew 8:14-15; Mark 1:29-31; Luke 4:38-39).
  3. Casting an unclean spirit out of a man (Mark 1:21-28; Luke 4:31-37).
  4. The crippled woman (Luke 13:10-17).
  5. The man with dropsy (Luke 14:1-6).
  6. The lame man by the pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-18).
  7. The man born blind (John 9:1-7,14).

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

In His service,
BibleAsk Team

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