The Pharisees Made the Sabbath a Burden
The pharisees objected to the act of the disciples plucking grain on the Sabbath (Mark 2:24) because this activity was a violation to their own man-made traditions. The Pharisees had reduced the Sabbath to a preposterous and impossible set of rules. But Christ approved of His disciples plucking grain on the Sabbath (Mark 2:25-26). And His own acts of healing on the Sabbath day illustrated that it is “lawful to do well on the sabbath days” (Matthew 12:12).
The Pharisees had no right to object the act of plucking grain for the Mosaic law specifically allowed a hungry person to pluck grain or fruit and eat as he passed through a field: “When you come into your neighbor’s vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes at your pleasure, but you shall not put any in your container” (Deuteronomy 23:24, 25).
God Made the Sabbath to Bless Man
God instituted the Sabbath at the very beginning (Genesis 2:2,3) for the blessing of man. To tamper in any way with the Creator’s instructions is equal to denying that God knows what is best for His children. He intended the Sabbath to be a time of rest from daily work in order to have a closer relationship with the Creator.
Jesus taught, “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). The many requirements of the Pharisees to the meticulous observance of the Sabbath were based on the concept that the Sabbath was of more importance in the sight of God than humanity. But the Sabbath was designed and ordained by our loving Creator for the benefit of humanity. God did not create us because He had a Sabbath and needed someone to keep it.
God designed that the Sabbath should be a blessing, not a burden. It exists for our benefit. It was made to increase our happiness, not to be a burden. We can’t do certain tasks on the Sabbath to win favor with God. Rather we don’t do such tasks so that we can spend our time and thoughts on godly pursuits. This in turn will increase our understanding and appreciation of God and help us love Him and our fellow men more fully.
The Lord promised true Sabbath keepers, “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).
In His service,
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