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  • East Martin CRC

Commanded Rest

Updated: Mar 26, 2020

Matthew 12:1-8

Verse 8 "For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.”

Most Christian homes of days gone by had "Sunday rules." Maybe yours still does. There were groups in Jesus day that had very strict Sabbath rules. The Pharisees were a sect of the Jewish religious leadership whose legalistic teaching, went as far as adding many oral laws to the original law given to Moses from God. These extra laws included laws for Sabbath trying to make the day more holy but missing the point of what God meant the day to be for. For the Jews, Sabbath was on what we call Saturday but after Jesus rose from the dead His followers started meeting on Sunday.

On this day Jesus and His disciples were taking a Sabbath stroll through a field when the disciples, being hungry, took advantage of the grain in front of them. Interestingly enough they are being followed, or maybe we should say spied on, by the Pharisees. It is clear who they are trying to discredit by whom they address - Jesus.

Jesus often answered a question with a question and this time is no different. He asks them if they know about David and the special bread that was an offering to God and only to be eaten by the priests after it had been displayed in front of the Lord for a full week. (To read about David and the special bread see 1 Samuel 21:1-6.) You see David and his men had been given the bread out of mercy for their hunger. This is exactly what the disciples were doing by breaking off the grains to eat. But see the truth of the matter was that the Pharisees had developed a skewed sense of what the Sabbath was about. It was about covenant, a covenant with God. God was telling us in the 4th commandment to rest. He wanted us to take a day off and enjoy Him.

Jesus was pointing out the real reason He was on earth but they missed it. What was more important, the Temple where God was said to reside or God Himself? Of course the answer is to be with God Himself and that is exactly what the disciples were enjoying - time with the God-Man. God had established the Sabbath which meant He was Master of the Sabbath.

Making it personal

Have you ever given much thought to what is and isn't required by God on the Sabbath? What are some things you need to change to make it a day focused on Him? What kind of focus does He require of you?

Making it personal kids

What are some of your family's rules for Sunday? What are some things that you can do on Sunday to make it special? Do you spend extra time with God Sunday?

Closing prayer

Father, thank You for the gift of a day of resting and spending special time with You. Please help us use all of our days the way You want us to. In Jesus' name, amen.

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