We set aside a day for God

Obey all God’s commands. – Deuteronomy 5:32

Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
Mark 3:1-5

Genesis 2:2 states that God had completed all His work of creation, and rested on the seventh day.  Later in Deuteronomy 5:14 we read that God commanded the Israelites to take a day of rest.  By the time Jesus was here the Jewish leaders had confused this command.

To ensure that no one violated the Sabbath, they created an endless list of “thou shalts” and “thou shalt nots,” burdening the people with rules rather than freeing them to rest.  This was just another test for the people to follow the Mosaic law.  We read in Mark 3 about Jesus meeting a man with a deformed hand in the synagogue on the Sabbath.  This became more than a test of following the rules, it became a test of loyalty.

This was not the first Sabbath showdown between Jesus and the religious leaders.  He had already shattered their concept of Sabbath when he said, “The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of the people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath.  So the Son of Man is Lord, even over the Sabbath!” – Mark 2:27, 28.

Jesus saw a need, the man with the deformed hand.  He brought the situation to everyone’s attention.  Jesus asked, “Does the law permit good deeds on the Sabbath, or is it a day for doing evil?  Is this a day to save life or to destroy it?”  No one answered.  Jesus said, “Stretch out your hand.”  The man stretched out his hand; it was restored as full as the other.

Jesus healed the man’s hand, taking back the Sabbath and restoring God’s authority over how it’s spent.

Go to church.

Don’t do any housework.

Don’t go out to eat.

We make our own lists of Sunday rules don’t we?  That’s not what God had in mind when He gave us a day of rest.  Our bodies have limitations, and God established a day for us to rest from our work.  The Sabbath is designed to meet a particular human need.  The best way to keep the Sabbath is to meet human needs on that day.

How can you meet needs on the Sabbath?
Could you make a generous tip when dining out?
Could you tell someone the good news of Jesus?
Could you serve in your church, like taking a turn in KIDSrock?
How about not complaining while waiting in a long line at the checkout register?

Serving the Lord, obeying His commands, meeting people’s needs through the love of our Lord Jesus Christ; that is the best way to practice the Sabbath, and in turn is honoring God.