Sabbath Day, Petty or Pertinent. Which one of the Ten Commandments are you consistently guilty of disobeying? You might say, Well, #3, #4, #9, #10… But, the one I want to focus on is the SABBATH DAY. Maybe you think Sunday is the Sabbath day. No. The Sabbath day is Saturday, the seventh day of the week, literally, sundown Friday until sundown Saturday. Here’s a question: Are you going to go to hell because you willfully break the commandment to keep the Sabbath? A few years back, I was getting onto Interstate 75. There was a billboard saying, Saturday is the Sabbath, not Sunday. You will go to hell if you worship on Sunday, or something similar. Is that correct?
THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO LUKE CHAPTER 6
by Delbert Young
Sabbath Day, Petty or Pertinent (Luke 6:1-5)
Sabbath Day, Petty or Pertinent? – Luke 6:1-518
Scriptures: Exodus 20:3-17; Matthew 23:23-24; Luke 6:1-2; Exodus 20:8-11; Colossians 2:16-17; Hebrews 4:3-9; Luke 6:5; Luke 6:1-2; Luke 6:3-5; Mark 2:27; Luke 6:5
I want to begin today by reminding you how sacred we Christians hold the Ten Commandments. Do you agree? However, there is at least one of the Ten Commandments you break every week. You may say, “Not me!” Well, let’s list them and see.
Exodus 20:3-17 (1) “You shall have no other gods before me. (2) “You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything… (3) “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God… (4) Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy… (5) Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land… (6) You shall not murder. (7) You shall not commit adultery. (8) You shall not steal. (9) You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. (10) You shall not covet…”
So, which one of those are you consistently guilty of disobeying? You might say, “Well, #3, #4, #9, #10…” But, the one I want to focus on is the SABBATH DAY. Maybe you think Sunday is the Sabbath day. No. The Sabbath day is Saturday, the seventh day of the week, literally, sundown Friday until sundown Saturday. Here’s a question: Are you going to go to hell because you willfully break the commandment to keep the Sabbath? A few years back, I was getting onto Interstate 75 from East Ridge Ringgold. There was a billboard saying, Saturday is the Sabbath, not Sunday. You will go to hell if you worship on Sunday, or something similar. Is that correct?
Luke remains on subject matter, that being, the radical position of Jesus when compared to the Jewish religious system. Already, early in the ministry of Jesus, there was bitterness, hostility, and hatred toward Jesus by the religious leaders and it was escalating. A severe conflict was brewing and Jesus was generating it.
Jesus was already viewed by religion as the most dangerous person alive and they were correct. Jesus attacked them relentlessly. He was destructive to their religion and so to their way of life. Jesus wasn’t attacking the prostitutes, tax collectors, or what they called the “low-life” of society. Jesus certainly called sin, sin and demanded repentance, but it was the religious establishment he attacked. Why? It was false and burdensome. It was damming souls with false, petty, irrelevant solutions to sin, false petty ways to please God, and false ways to connect with God. Jesus was about truth, not irrelevant religion.
What are we about? Do you focus on people going through real issues, or our petty irrelevant issues? People are going through hell with their finances, marriages, children, etc., and we’re concerned about our petty issues. The problem is focusing on petty issues gets us in trouble with God. It brings a “Woe to you” from Jesus.
Matthew 23:23-24 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! …You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.
What did Jesus mean? They reverse the size of importance. They were measuring their tithe to the grain, but merciless and judgmental toward people. Swallowing a gnat will not harm anything, but swallowing a whole camel would kill you. So, what camels are you swallowing? What petty thing are you putting so much emphasis on, but amounts to a petty gnat? Watch out for that camel!
In our lesson today, we watch and listen as Jesus attacked and exposed the very heart of that false legalistic religion’s system. The heart of their corrupt system was, and remains today, the Sabbath day. If you were/are a Jew, you must obey the laws of the Sabbath day. The “grade” you make keeping the Sabbath determines your sinfulness or righteousness.
With that said, let’s read from our study in Luke as we see again how radical Jesus was when it comes to religious views.
Luke 6:1-2 One SABBATH Jesus was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is UNLAWFUL ON THE SABBATH?”
To them this was unlawful meaning grounds for indictment. You’re kidding! Plucking some grain off a wheat stalk was grounds for arrest? They were whacked out because the disciples of Jesus were getting a perfectly legal snack.
Here’s where I want to concentrate our personal ministry today. What “Whacks” you out? Have you ever had some relatively unimportant petty thing totally control you? At the time it wasn’t petty to you, but in hindsight, it was silly and it was petty. Actually, it didn’t matter to a “hill of beans” or a handful of grain. What petty things do you allow to control you, irritate you, upset you, and even affect your relationship with Jesus?
So, was this petty, or was Jesus sinning? Was he allowing his disciples to sin? Let’s get a better understanding of the Sabbath day.
Exodus 20:8-11 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. ON IT YOU SHALL NOT DO ANY WORK, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the SEVENTH DAY. Therefore THE LORD BLESSED THE SABBATH DAY and made it holy.
That’s the entire command. Notice how clear and simple it is. What was God’s Sabbath day command? DON’T WORK (mela’kah – employment)! That’s it! Don’t let your children work. If people work for you, give them the day off. Don’t plow the mule or ox. Let them rest. Refresh yourself. Refresh your relationships with your family. Kick your mind and body into neutral and enjoy God and his creation.
Instead of keeping it simple and the best day of the week, they made it complicated and the worst day of the week.
The Pharisees and PhD’s didn’t think God was specific enough. He didn’t give enough rules, so they did what religion and legalism do. They added rules for a day off. Really? We need rules for a day off? Evidently! They loaded it down with legalistic restrictions of how far you could walk. You could not cook even if you wanted to cook for your family. IN THE TALMUD THERE ARE TWENTY-FOUR CHAPTERS OF ENDLESS RIDICULOUS SABBATH RESTRICTIONS JUDAISM SAID/SAYS PEOPLE’S SALVATION DEPENDED UPON. Judaism demands an oppressive burdensome life developed around the Sabbath day teachings. It said to please God and connect with God; you must obey all these ridiculous petty Sabbath rules.
Prior to the Law of Moses there was no Sabbath day observance. Does that mean it wasn’t sin before the Law, but is after the Law? Why did God institute the Sabbath day? In the days of slavery to Egypt, the children of God were mistreated and had no days off. After delivering them, God instituted the Sabbath day. It was intended to be a special day, the best day of the week, and different from any other day – sanctified. The Sabbath day was a big thing to God.
So what happened? Why don’t we continue to keep Saturday “holy” “consecrated” (set apart) as a day for everyone to rest? The resurrection of Jesus was on a Sunday, the first day of the week. Add the fact the Holy Spirit, who Jesus said would come, also came on Sunday, the Day of Pentecost. Early Christians took Sunday seriously and began to worship on Sunday. Sunday became precious and remains to this day the most precious day of the week.
Colossians 2:16-17 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a SABBATH DAY. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
All the things of the law were a shadow of things that were to come: the reality, however, is found in Christ.” The Sabbath is found, or fulfilled, in Christ. Jesus is our Sabbath, so we continue the Sabbath.
Hebrews 4:3-9 Now WE WHO HAVE BELIEVED ENTER THAT REST, just as God has said… There REMAINS, then, a SABBATH-REST for the people of God
There is a Sabbath for God’s people, but it’s not a DAY. It’s a REST. If you believe in Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you fulfill the Sabbath, but it’s not only one day a week. It’s a constant way of life. You don’t think about God only one day a week because of petty rules. You rest in God anytime, all the time, in whatever situation you find yourself. In every petty or serious situation, we enter the rest of the Sabbath. We rest in Jesus. With that said, I jump to the end of today’s section.
Luke 6:5 Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
The Sabbath is all about the Son of Man who is Jesus. The Sabbath is no longer about a day be it Saturday or Sunday – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. It’s about Jesus, the Son of Man.
Sunday became known as the Lord’s Day (Rev 1:10) and that’s why we at Life Gate assemble together on Sunday. Realize, it’s not a command to worship on Sunday. That would take us back to legalism which Paul rebuked and Jesus distained. However, we are commanded to not forsake assembling together to worship (Heb 10:25).
What we constantly see in the scriptures is not Jesus applauding those who keep the Sabbath. Instead, we observe his complete disdain. If Jesus was going to show the error of that false system, he must show the error of their Sabbath day structure.
The Sabbath day became a burden rather than a blessing. It was mentally stressful rather than mentally restful.
Let’s read the verses again.
Luke 6:1-2 One SABBATH Jesus was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful ON THE SABBATH?”
It was perfectly legal to pass through a field, take some grain, rub the husk off the grain, blow, and have a wheat or barley snack (Deu 23:25). It was illegal to use a sickle, but Jesus and his guys were going through fields having a snack. According to their Sabbath day rules, they were working by harvesting, winnowing, and preparing a meal.
Here’s the deal. What Jesus was doing was not really their problem. Jesus was their problem. The real question was why do you flagrantly disdain our religion in our faces? You know we’re here. We were not hiding behind a bush. Why do you continue to do this? Here is how Jesus replied.
Luke 6:3-5 Jesus answered them, “HAVE YOU NEVER READ what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is LAWFUL only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.”
Note the sarcasm. Jesus addressed the experts of the law and said, “Have you never read…”Of course they read it. The Pharisees were “professionals” when it came to the scriptures. That was an insult. Jesus was letting them know they had no real grasp of the scriptures. They were straining at gnats and swallowing camels.
They said the disciples were doing what was “unlawful.” Then what David did was unlawful. The story about David may not be familiar to you, but was to them. You can read the story in 1 Samuel 21. The short of it is David, before becoming king, was fleeing from King Saul’s attempts to kill David. David fled to the Tabernacle where Ahimelech served as priest. David lied about what he was doing which is important in understanding the entire thought. David asked for food, but the only food available was the consecrated bread of the Presence. This was twelve loaves of bread placed on the Table of Shewbread inside the Tabernacle as a symbol that God provided their sustenance. The Law said only the priests were to eat that bread. However, Abimelech, the priest, set a precedent of God by giving those loaves to David showing God is not concerned about petty things when it comes to the needs of people. Neither the priest nor David was reprimanded by God for David’s or Abimelech’s actions. In fact, David was blessed by God and made king showing God is far more concerned about mercy than legalism, ceremony, and judgment. If God gave David consecrated bread of the presence from the Holy Place then how could they question someone plucking grains of wheat for a snack on the Sabbath day? The day was meant to bless people. Mark said it this way.
Mark 2:27 Then he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.
The Sabbath was a day intended to bless people with God’s rest, goodness, love, joy, and mercy. It was at this point Jesus blew them away. Jesus didn’t say, “I’m so sorry we offended you.”
Luke 6:5 Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”
He didn’t say Sabbath day. Jesus said, “I’m in charge of the Sabbath, not you. If I’m who I say I am, then I’m the Son of Man. Instead of you correcting me about the Sabbath, I’m correcting you.” Again, as we’ve talked previously, the “Son of Man” is a Messianic title from Daniel 7:13 referencing the Messiah receiving his kingdom and coming in judgment on the clouds. Jesus was saying, “Don’t mess with me concerning your petty gnat-like issues.” This was a radical statement.
Billy Graham said, “Jesus tells us it is OK to help our ox out of the ditch on the Sabbath. But, if your ox gets in the ditch every Sabbath, you need to either get rid of the ox or fill up the ditch.” Billy’s context was going to church. The principle of the Sabbath is to rest in God. To make it a “day” is not biblical, but we all know we need to rest. I don’t know anyone mentally, physically, and especially spiritually healthy who will not take some time and rest in God.
Here’s the main thing I hear the Lord speaking to us. The Sabbath is a REST, but we allow the petty things of life to so upset and control us. It affects our relationships with people and with God. What petty issues are whacking you out and affecting your relationship with Jesus and his body? I’m not talking about only religious issues. All issues will eventually affect you concerning your worship. Most things that get to us are issues that don’t matter to a handful of grain and a snack. We allow these things to become so large. We strain at a gnat and swallow a camel bringing “Woes” upon ourselves. Can you enter the Sabbath – not Sabbath day? That won’t do you any good, but if you enter the Sabbath Rest where you rest in Jesus, I promise you things will change.
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