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What did Jesus say about Keeping the Sabbath

What did Jesus say about keeping the Sabbath

Jesus’ teachings on keeping the Sabbath are illustrated through several interactions and statements He made, recorded in the Gospels. Here are three significant passages that highlight His perspective on the Sabbath:

  1. Mark 2:23-28 – Jesus and His disciples were going through the grainfields on the Sabbath, and the disciples began to pluck heads of grain. The Pharisees questioned Jesus about what they deemed to be unlawful Sabbath activity. Jesus responded by referring to an incident involving David (from the Old Testament), emphasizing the principle that “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” and declaring, “So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath” .
  2. Luke 6:1-5 – Similar to the account in Mark, this passage recounts Jesus’ disciples plucking and eating heads of grain on the Sabbath, which drew criticism from the Pharisees. Jesus again cited the Old Testament example of David and affirmed, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath,” highlighting His authority over the Sabbath and its intended purpose to serve man’s needs .
  3. Luke 13:10-17 – On another Sabbath, Jesus healed a woman who had been crippled for eighteen years. This healing on the Sabbath led to criticism from the synagogue ruler. Jesus rebuked the hypocritical stance of His critics, emphasizing mercy and the appropriateness of doing good on the Sabbath, thus underscoring the Sabbath’s purpose of benevolence and care .

Three Main Takeaways:

  1. The Purpose of the Sabbath: Jesus taught that the Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, not to impose burdensome restrictions on them. It is a day for doing good and meeting human needs.
  2. The Lordship of Jesus Over the Sabbath: Jesus declared Himself as “lord of the Sabbath,” asserting His authority to interpret and fulfill the true meaning of the Sabbath. This emphasizes that He has the authority to define what is appropriate Sabbath conduct.
  3. The Primacy of Mercy: Through His actions and teachings, Jesus highlighted that mercy and compassion take precedence over strict legalistic interpretations of the Sabbath laws. The wellbeing of individuals is a higher priority than ritual observance.


  • Greg Gaines

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