In this week’s passages on sabbath, we hear Jesus face the religious establishment’s legalism surrounding the day of rest. The religious leaders, who strictly observe the Old Testament laws, attack Jesus’ disciples for plucking grain heads to snack on — and then Jesus Himself for freeing a tormented woman from a crippling spirit. Jesus responds that He is the boss of the Sabbath, that He desires mercy, not sacrifice. He moves sabbath observance from a to-do list item burdened by rigid restrictions to a day of physical and soul rest in which we enjoy God’s good gifts and love those around us.
- How did I grow up viewing sabbath? How did my family rest?
- How do the opinions of the people in my life — my family, friends and coworkers — impact my view of rest today?
- Are these past and present views consistent with mercy and following God’s leading on what to do and not do on a day of rest?
- What would it look like in my life to shift my view and practice of the Sabbath to fit the heart of the Lord rather than those around me? What would look different? What would stay the same?
Pray: Jesus, You are Lord of the Sabbath, and I praise You. People in my life aren’t the boss of Your day. I’m not the boss of Your day. You are, and when You came to earth, You showed me the joy and freedom in the Sabbath. Forgive me for the times I’ve disrespected Your day or tried to follow rigid rules of that reek of legalism. Help me to choose what is restful and what brings joy on Your day. I love You.