Pastor's Weekly Devotions

June 3, 2024

The Sabbath

The Pharisees accuse Jesus of working on the Sabbath. The disciples are hungry. They pluck heads of grain as they are walking through grain fields. The Pharisees do not see this as gleaning grain which is allowed. They accuse Jesus and his disciples of harvesting on the sabbath which is prohibited.

Jesus brings up David when he ate the bread of the presence in 1 Samuel chapter twenty-one. David was hungry. He ate bread dedicated to God. Then Jesus teaches the Pharisees with authority about the Sabbath. Jesus’ teaching shows his authority and his identity. 

Jesus shows his authority by his understanding of the Sabbath. “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”. The Sabbath is a gift from God. God commands a time of rest for our benefit. God sets an example by resting on the seventh day. God calls us to set aside time to rest and reflect on his Word. We do this by gathering in worship around the Word and Sacrament. We do this in family and individual devotion. This Sabbath rest enlivens us to face the challenges of living in a sin broken world. This is the gift of the Sabbath. We meet to encourage one another. We meet to unload the burden of our sin. Worshipping together is a blessing that we should not forsake.

Jesus shows his identity by defining the commandment of God. God gave the commandments to Moses. The people would find life in keeping the commandments. “Remember the Sabbath Day by keeping it holy”. Jesus as true God explains God’s purpose for the Sabbath. Man was not made for the Sabbath. We keep the Sabbath not because God needs our worship but because we need to worship God.  Instead of the Sabbath rest being a burden it is meant by God to be a blessing. Jesus shows us the intention of the commandment. He can do this because he is God incarnate.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.”   Luther in the Small Catechism tells us that we joyfully hear God’s Word. Joy comes from the fact that we are the chosen and redeemed children of God. What a privilege to gather around the Word and Sacrament ministry in weekly worship. Jesus died for our sins. We are forgiven and loved. The Lord is with us. Encourage each other as we gather to worship the one true God. The Sabbath day is a gift from God. 

Readings: Deuteronomy 5:12-15; Psalm 62; Colossians 2:13-17; Mark 2:23-3:6