Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath
The reading for today tells of how the Pharisees criticized Jesus because His disciples were picking heads of grain on the Sabbath. Other accounts add a detail to this story; the disciples were hungry (Matthew 12:1, Luke 6:1-5).Under Jewish law, harvesting on the Sabbath, as with a sickle, was unlawful, but if one were hungry, it was permissible to pick and eat from a neighbor’s vineyard or field (Deuteronomy 23:25). Jesus tells the Pharisees, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” On another Sabbath, after healing a man with a shriveled hand, they again confronted Jesus for working on the Sabbath. He responded by asking them, “Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” Confounded and embarrassed, the Pharisees joined with the Herodians, other enemies of Jesus, in plotting to kill Him.
It is important for us as Christians to keep in our hearts both of Jesus’ responses. Yes, keeping the Sabbath is important, but it should not become merely a religious exercise, one that prevents us from doing good for others. As followers of Jesus Christ, every day in every way we should do good and work toward saving lives. In that sense, everyday should be the Sabbath to us.
Stepping Out in Lent – As we get closer to Good Friday and the crucifixion of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we strive to do what is pleasing in God’s sight no matter what day of the week it is. Every day should be our Sabbath even if our words and deeds embarrass our enemies. As the great humorist Mark Twain was quoted “Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” I am sure that Our Lord inspired Mr. Twain.
Author – Van Jones is a member of the Vestry and is responsible for our parking and the markings on the grass lots. Along with his wife, Maryann, he helps to set the altar for our Wednesday 12:10 Healing Service.