Lord of the Sabbath

Krista Williams

Day: 18 | Plan: Matthew

Today's Reading: Matthew 12

Matthew 12:8 (NIV) “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

The word “Sabbath” means rest. From the beginning, God gave us the Sabbath so that we would refrain from regular work and delight in Him. It was designed to be a day of worship and renewal.

However, the religious leaders of Jesus’ day had made the Sabbath a burden instead of a celebration because of the long list of regulations they had imposed on the people for generations.

For example, when Jesus’ disciples picked a little grain to eat, the Pharisees accused them of working on the Sabbath. They had not broken God’s law, only the Pharisees’ traditions.

Jesus used Scripture to show it wasn’t unlawful to do what was truly necessary on the Sabbath. He reminded them God desired mercy, not sacrifice (Matthew 12:7).

But they would have no part of giving or receiving God’s mercy, which was being extended through Jesus. Instead, their rejection erupted into hostility as they plotted to destroy Jesus because He showed compassion and healed a man on the Sabbath.

Their stubbornness reached a dangerous level when Jesus healed a demoniac, and they attributed the life-giving, healing, restoring, power of the Holy Spirit to the devil.

Their repeated refusal to believe in Jesus and their constant accusations against Him revealed their hearts were evil. With every careless word, they condemned themselves.

They kept their focus on man-made rules and being right, rather than loving Jesus and loving others. Too often this same thing happens in the Church today. We put our focus on the wrong things.

It is not about being right; it is about having a right relationship with Jesus.

When we become focused on rules, rituals and religious activities we miss the rest Jesus came to give us, and we rob others of His rest.

Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, the Giver of rest. Don’t miss it. Don’t waste it. He willingly welcomes everyone who is burdened by sin or with the pressures of life to come to Him and receive His rest.

Prayer: Lord, You are my resting place. Forgive me for the times when I allow other things to interrupt my rest in You. I want to experience Your true rest today, and as I do, I ask that You would help me extend Your compassion to others who need rest. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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More Moments:

When Jesus healed the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath, He said to the man,... Read More

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