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Sabbath Reflections February 6, 2007

Posted by larrylaz in Random Musings.


Thanks again for getting the ball rolling on the Sabbath musings. I think in addition to the word you quoted which speaks of Jesus being our Sabbath rest, the words that come to my mind are from Mark 2:27, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” I’ve often heard people say that the observance of the Sabbath is the only of the ten commandments that is not affirmed in the New Testament. But this verse in Mark seems to make clear that though the Sabbath may not be commanded, it is affirmed as good and right by Jesus. The Sabbath was made for man, to edify us and strengthen us, and therefore we do damage to ourselves when we do not consider its value in our lives.

Growing up with many Orthodox Jews, I have seen firsthand the attitude about the Sabbath that Jesus came to oppose. Today orthodox Jews do not drive cars, do not spend money, do not use electricity, so as not to violate Sabbath commandments. As Paul wrote in Romans 10, it seems that they have a zeal for God, but their zeal is lacking knowledge. How is driving to synagogue a violation of Sabbath rest? Wouldn’t it be more physically stressful to walk a few miles to Temple and back than to get in the car for five minutes?

But that really isn’t the root of the issue. No one reading this blog is tempted not to drive or use electricity on the Sabbath. But I think the words of Jesus in Mark 2:27 establish that there is value in remembering the Sabbath. While the lack of clear teaching in the New Testament suggests that how we observe the Sabbath is an issue of Christian freedom, I think it is important to evaluate the heart behind our Sabbath observance.

If Jesus said to come to Him in order that we might find rest for our souls (Matthew 11:28), then going to church for an hour and a half on Sunday morning followed by 10 hours of watching the NFL on TV seems to be striving against that rest. At the end of my Sabbath (which is Monday), I want my soul to be refreshed in Jesus. But often Christians use this precious gift from God to distract themselves from God with other forms of entertainment and amusement.

Again, we are called to freedom in Christ. It is not sinful to watch a football game on Sunday. But our lives are all so busy, that without a day set apart to fix our gaze upon Christ without interruption, it is very hard to fight the fight of faith without burning out. So I give thanks to God for establishing the Sabbath, and while different people may celebrate it differently, I would heartily recommend that people make a diligent effort to set aside one day of the week to retreat from the cares and concerns of this life to draw near to the Savior in uninterrupted fellowship. I know that will look different for those with kids, but I trust Joe can offer some counsel on how to still preserve the Sabbath with the constant busyness of a family.

Those are some random musings, brother. And as you often say, I do mean random. If anything needs further explanation, let me know.




1. Erin - February 6, 2007

This is Joe on Erin’s computer. I just wanted to give an Amen to that post brother! That was well said.

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