Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Street Level Devotions / Did Jesus Sin?

Luke 6: 1-5
One Sabbath when Jesus and his disciples were walking through some wheat fields, the disciples picked some wheat. The rubbed the husks off with their hands and started eating the grain.

Some Pharisees said, “Why are you picking grain on the Sabbath? You’re not supposed to do that!”

Jesus answered, “You surely have read what David did when he and his followers were hungry. He went into the house of God and took the sacred loaves of bread that only priests were supposed to eat. He not only ate some himself, but gave some to his followers.”

Jesus finished by saying, “The Son of Man is Lord over the Sabbath.”

Over the years I have found myself having disagreements with some religious folks I call “Sabbath Keepers.” These are normally people who believe all people should keep one of God’s commandments of observing the Sabbath, which is held on a Saturday. Saturdays are recognized as the seventh day of the week, and many Christians over the years recognized this as the day they should observe as the Sabbath. Some are extremely strict about this and spend a great deal of time on this particular commandment. Another aspect of these individuals is that they also seem to be rather legalistic about other components of the Bible. This is certainly not true of all Sabbath Keepers, but it is true of a large number of them.

While there is some evidence that those who worshiped God before Jesus observed Saturday as “the Sabbath,” there is also evidence that early followers of Jesus worshiped on the first day of the week, in celebration and remembrance of the day he rose from the dead, which was a Sunday.

One of the things we need to recognize is the intent of the command. With the passage from Luke 6, it is clear that according to the religious leaders of the day, Jesus was in violation of what they perceived to be a strict interpretation of the law regarding the Sabbath. Jesus on the other hand gave an illustration that showed they really didn’t understand the intent of this law. Jesus clearly states in verse 5, “The Son of Man is Lord over the Sabbath.” In other words, the Sabbath is more about Jesus than it is the specifics of any law.

It is a good thing that we observe the concept of the Sabbath, the directive by God hasn’t changed. However, the specific day is not nearly as important as the concept of recognizing and reflecting on what God has done for us. The Sabbath for me is a day I reflect on all that Jesus has done for me. It is a day I remember the good things of the week which I have experienced. All of us should observe a day where we can be focused on the goodness and work of God. What day we do that is not nearly as important as it is that we do that.

I realize there are many friends who may read this that are strict Sabbath Keepers. I will not take this space to argue that point as I will not get involved here in a legalistic debate of the issue. My hope is that this devotion will simply encourage you to observe a day of the week to keep the intent of the Sabbath, just as God reflected on his work and his creation, take the time to reflect on the work of God, and of how he has used you. It isn’t just a day of rest; it is a day of reflection. Reflect on the goodness of God.

This week, if not observing a day where you can reflect on the goodness of God, start. It may only be a half a day to start; it may be only a few hours, but start by giving and setting aside some time for just you and God. It doesn’t have to be on a Sunday as Jesus clearly stated the Sabbath is about Jesus, not a day. Jesus is more important than any day, which is why we should give him time.

Thought for the day: There is nothing wrong with observing a Saturday as the Sabbath, neither is there anything wrong with observing any other day of the week as your Sabbath. There is something wrong though with not wanting to reflect on the things God has done for you, and taking the time to thank him for those things.

I love this song, and no matter what day you observe the Sabbath on, there is reason to find love regarding church. Just click on the video, if the video don't appear, just click on the link:


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Banner Kidd said...

Sir, It is not a concept. Sabbath is a command and it is specific. The day will come when you stand before the Almighty and then you can tell HIM that you got the concept and ignored the command. The problem with church today is that it never goes beyond concept into application. Always theory but no life.

Mike Furches & The Virtual Pew said...

Thanks for your concern, thankfully you are not the judge. It was people making these types of judgments that ifnored the very things Jesus did, and the very things taught in scripture like the verse mentioned above.

Mike Furches & The Virtual Pew said...

Just for the legalist who will want to argue my point, go elsewhere and post your views on your own blogs, I won't get into Pharisiac (sp?) debate here. Folks can do that at their own blogs. I will recommend that Seventh Day Adventist for example are among those who are the most argumentative on this subject, thier prophetess, Ellen G. White is well researched as being a false prophet and one who many consider more of a cult leader. This does not mean all SDA's are in this, or that all Sabbath Keepers are in this. But The Virtual Pew does not, nor will it provide a venue for others to promote legalism. Christ provided liberty and grace, he is the son of God, and is the only means which we can escape hell. Enough of that for now, but for those not supporting the work of this ministry, the fruit it produces, and the lives that are changed, fine. Jesus as well had issue with the religious pharisees. BTW, I have refused to post various posts dealing with legalism on this subject, please don't email me trying to convert me on the subject, you will be blocked. It is as simple as that. If you want to discuss the need for grace, the need to discover and practice a Sabbath as God would provide let's go there. It is a shame though historical evidence is clear, the early church in honor of Jesus resurrection started meeting on Sunday, the first day of the week. The other reality is, that according to the standards of many Sabbath Keepers, Jesus was in sin according to their teachings as he broke the Sabbath laws numerous times, that is if the teaching of the Sabbath Keepers was correct. Obviously Jesus didn't sin though, and it is obvious their view is wrong.

Mike Furches & The Virtual Pew said...

BTW, sorry for the typos, but you will hopefully get the point.