Monday, October 18, 2021

Jesus and Sabbath Observance

 Last week = Jesus clashes with religious leaders over "tradition" - were not necessarily following the spirit of the Law.
Post - exile interest in the Law (1st. 5 books of the Bible = the Torah) led to TRADITION OF THE ELDERS

Last week = fasting         this week = Sabbath Observance

I)  Sabbath = the 7th. day - Gen. 2:1-3 - 7th. day set apart

II) Shabbath or Shabbat is literally "Rest"   and/or "cessation"  - God ceased from creative labors.

The next reference (1st. after creation)  = gathering manna double on Friday  - Ex. 16:22
Then = the 4th. Commandment - Ex. 20:8-11

Before the Exile..... prophets preached "Israel desecrated the Sabbath" - (definition = treated something Sacred with disrespect - profaned

So ... 2 Chron. 36:20-21
Then ... the return led to development of Sabbath observation which led to TRADITIONS of the elders.!!  "Rabbinic Law"

These traditions turned into 39 creative activities forbidden, extreme applications, and expansions for us today due to time and technology.

NOTE... exceptions .. to save human life.  If a human life is endangered, a Jew is Required to violate Sabbath law to save life.  (which = answer to a higher law!!!)

Result = (1)  the blessings (of Sabbath) became burdens
             (2)  those who made no attempt to Keep the Rabbinic Law were labeled "sinners".

My paraphrase:  The Sabbath was established to benefit man"  (not vice versa)
In other words, God didn't create men to bless the Sabbath.  God created the Sabbath to bless Man!

Text:  Mark 2:23-28  Mark 3:1-6 - (they had no doubt that Jesus could heal.  But, would he?)
Luke adds  "they were furious!"  
(1)  Jesus healed on the Sabbath  (contrary to their view)
(2) Jesus challenged their views, interpretations, the traditions!
(3)  Jesus declared that He had Both ... the knowledge AND the authority to do so!!!!
(Galilean carpenter challenges teachers of the Law!?!

The Purpose of the Sabbath

I)  REST - physical, mental, emotional break

II)  WORSHIPfocus on God's person, Word, will,  blessings...... etc.  (because our knowledge of, view of, relationship with Him affects our lifestyle.   We need to come together!

III)  WITNESS - Ex. 31:12-13  "sign..."
(1)  to future generations of Jews
(2)  to Gentiles also?? Jews not always popular, but always distinct!!

Three parts of Jewish Law = Civil, Ceremonial, Moral.  Jesus fulfilled the Ceremonial Law - no longer obligated to keep that. 
The Civil Law was for Israel at that time in that nation.  Not obligated to keep that.
However, God's Moral Law - never changes - same today as it was then.
Therefore, Gentile believers, wanting to worship, decided to do so on the "Lord's Day" (Resurrection Day) for worship

Some observations:
(1)  Sabbath observance was instituted for man's benefit - ie.... to bless, not to burden.
Question:  HAS THAT CHANGED?  If not, ... then....

(2)  Sabbath observance is still a valid issue.
On one hand we needn't repeat the error of Israel....
However, there is still a need for...
WITNESS  (Sabbath observance is NOT just for you!!)

(3)  "The Sabbath was made for man" does NOT mean we can do with it as we please!!
Compare:  creation made for man:  therefore do with it as we please.  Not so.
                 Eve made for Adam, therefore he could do with her as he pleased.  Not so.
Question:  Therefore, how to treat the Lord's Day in a manner that pleases God?

(4)  honoring God's laws does not necessarily determine your salvation.  (which = by grace)
BUT... honoring God's law affects your sanctification!! - ie:  the process of spiritual growth, becoming what He created and saved you to be!!! - When constantly disregard God's laws, it hinders growth.

(5)  Sabbath laws were not instituted to honor the Sabbath... but to honor God!
Point being:  do you treat the Lord's Day in a manner that honors God?? good for me, those around me, the lost?

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