As we finished up chapter 5 last week, I made the point that Jesus was hated by the religious leaders of Israel. We asked why and discovered Jesus had no intention of joining with them to perpetuate what had become a perversion of what God intended Judaism to be.
He made it clear that the religious system they represented was like an old, faded garment with a hole in it. They were like old wineskins that are worthless when it comes to containing new wine. Jesus had NOT come to place a patch on an old system nor pour the new work of God into the old skin of Judaism. He came to REPLACE it
Of course this was insulting, humiliating and infuriating to those who sat atop the religious system that soon would be put on the shelf, but Jesus did not allow that to deter the work He came to do. In Luke 6 we see the struggle continuing. This time centering on a Primary Law that was given as a gift from God, but which had become a point of bondage in the hands of The Rulers and Leaders of Israel
The Observance of The Sabbath Day
What is The Sabbath? It means to cease, desist and/or to rest.
When is The Sabbath? It is the 7th day of the week. It always has been, and it will always be.
Why a Sabbath? – It’s all about a cycle of work and rest.
Exodus 20:9-11 defines the cycle:
· Day 1-6 are for your work, your labor.
· Day 7 is for rest, and communion with God.
· VS11: points us to creation and the rhythm God established in His 6 days of work and rest on the 7th.
TRUTH POINT #1: The Sabbath Law given to Moses is simple and unencumbered. Do your work on days 1-6, reserve the 7th for rest and communion with God.
From the point of the giving of the Law to the day of this confrontation, the Law had become a monster with so many tentacles it required full-time lawyers to manage the system. The Talmud, a body of Hebrew and Aramaic literature, focused on interpretations of the law as well as wise sayings from rabbinical sources, contained 24 chapters of painstaking explanation of what keeping The Sabbath Holy looked like.
· Traveling more than 3,000 feet from your house was forbidden.
· An object tossed into the air could be caught by the same hand, but if by the other hand, was a violation of the Sabbath.
· If a person was holding food as the hour of the Sabbath began, they had to drop it because bringing the arm back, holding the food, was considered carrying a burden on the Sabbath.
· A tailor could not carry his needle, a scribe their pen, a student their books on the Sabbath
· Bathing was forbidden, lest the water spilled on the floor and thus washed it… constituting work.
· Of course sowing, plowing, reaping, threshing, winnowing, grinding, kneading, baking or even untying a knot was forbidden.
The Ordinances and Law of the Sabbath as
Laid Down in the Mishnah and the Jerusalem Talmud.
It is because of gross perversions like these that Jesus issued this stinging rebuke to religious leaders. Luke 11:46
TRUTH POINT #2: The rules and regulations of the Talmud were NOT the Law of God, but the burdensome legalism of man. See Matthew 11:28-30.
The Pharisee’s saw Jesus and the disciples walking through a grain field. The disciples were snapping off the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands and eating. ON THE SABBATH. The Pharisee’s asked: “Why are you doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath?”
Jesus and the disciples were NOT violating the Law of the Sabbath in any way, but they were NOT abiding by the legalism of religious traditions either.
The Pharisee’s saw it differently. To them:
· …plucking the grain = reaping.
· …rubbing it in their hands = threshing
· …dropping the husks = winnowing
· …eating the grain = food preparation.
Jesus doesn’t argue but points them to Scripture. 1 Samuel 21:1-6
The Law of Necessity and Mercy. Matthew 12:7; Hosea 6:6; Mark 2:27
TRUTH POINT #4: God is more concerned with Mercy than with religious sacrifice. His heart is to LOVE not to Legalism.
Jesus makes His point very clear. We have NOT violated the Law of The Sabbath, only your traditions.
If the words Jesus has spoken up to this point can be compared to gasoline, His next words are the match
5 And He said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”
Jesus refers to Himself as “The Son of Man”. From Daniel 7 we learn that this is a refence to the Messiah who holds equality with God.
Jesus is saying: you may think you are the authorities on The Sabbath… but I tell you that I am Lord of The Sabbath. I determine what is in keeping and what is in violation of The Sabbath.
TRUTH POINT #5: God has no regard for extra-Biblical rules created to govern external behaviors. His focus is on the heart that longs to walk humbly with Him.
See Colossians 2:16-17, 20-23
It is clear, God is not interested in strict adherence to legalistic rules and regulations that go beyond His commands. He is not a God of legalism, but of Mercy and Grace.
To be sure, if people turn away from His Mercy and Grace, a time of judgement and consequence will come. But right now He holds out the invitation to turn from sin, from any form of self-improvement, rule-following, regulation adherence or behavior management to receive His favor made available through the cross and resurrection of Jesus.
It is the only way to please Him.
It’s the only way to have right standing with God.
The Mission Church is committed to serving God by making disciples in the Des Moines area.
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