Theme of the Week: Rest-Work Balance
Bible Verse: “On the day the LORD gives you relief from your suffering and turmoil and from the harsh labor forced on you, you will take up this taunt against the king of Babylon: How the oppressor has come to an end! How his fury has ended!” Isaiah 14:3-4 ESV
Scripture Reading: Mark 2:23-28
I get why people don’t think the Sabbath applies anymore. Jesus got in a lot of trouble with the religious leaders of his day for violating their Sabbath rules (Matthew 12:8). Paul wrote, “Don’t let anyone judge you in regard to food and drink or in the matter of a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day” (Colossians 2:16).
Is Sabbath a command we no longer have to obey?
If you look carefully at Mark 2, Jesus teaches that Sabbath was always meant to serve us, not the other way around. The Pharisees missed the spirit and intention of the law. Jesus emphasizes that Sabbath is intended as a gift for our benefit. It’s not meant as a burden; it’s meant to help us.
What about Paul? The issues in Colossians are complicated, but it’s reasonable to assume that, as Douglas Moo says, “the observance of a Sabbath day is no longer a requirement of God’s people in the new realm.”1
Again, it’s not an obligation, but it’s a gift that we can receive, and a pattern that goes back to the beginning of time. Don’t treat it like a burden. Receive it as a blessing.
1 Douglas J. Moo, The Letters to the Colossians and to Philemon (The Pillar New Testament Commentary (PNTC)) (Grand Rapids, MI: William B. Eerdmans Pub. Co., 2008), 222.
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