The original instructions of the Sabbath lead us not into hunger, neglect of ourselves and others, prolonged illness or condemnation as the rabbinic law did, but just the opposite:  joy, healing, building up ourselves and others, intimacy with God and abundant life.  I can attest to this in my own observance of the Sabbath.

The Sabbath is just one example of how God’s law brings abundant life.  Instead of a day of don’ts and can’ts that the scribes and Pharisees had made it, Jesus showed us the true meaning and intent of the Sabbath — a day to sit at his feet and receive his life, not depriving ourselves or others, but planning ahead to take a day in which we put away our own pursuits and pursue only God.

In all his comments regarding the Sabbath, Jesus was dividing truth from deception, separating God’s instructions from man’s.  This is what we are required to do today:  Read the instructions for ourselves and follow God’s leading instead of man’s.


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