Read Mark 2:23-28

PICTURE: Andreas Krappweis/www.sxc.hu

Mark tells us that Jesus enjoyed the Sabbath. We keep the gifts and ourselves holy by enjoying God's gifts to us. It is the special day when we receive what God loves to give to us.

Instead of telling these jealous and bitter religious leaders how they too were breaking their own Sabbath rules, Jesus reminded them of God's provision. King David and his men ate the bread put aside by the priest for sacred purposes. That demonstrated how God is concerned for us in our need. In the same way the Sabbath is given to us to help us experience God's care for us. And that's also what the Holy Bread was meant to signify.

The Pharisees had thought they had trapped Him, because He wasn't teaching His disciples to fast, like John the Baptist. He explained that God was throwing a party - God's own Son would be decorated in a completely new marriage outfit and toasted with the new wine of God's Kingdom. But they just didn't get it. And it seems they didn't want to. Because here they were at it again; this time out in the open air. This time they complained to Jesus that His disciples were working on the Sabbath. They had actually been seen picking corn or wheat as they walked through the grain fields.

No doubt you will have already noted that they hadn't waited until the next day to ask Jesus about it. No, it might have been the Sabbath but they had to get to work; what they said showed they were hard at work even though it was the Sabbath. And Jesus didn't say "You are too!" He didn’t play tit for tat. Instead, He explained how God looks after us in special ways, when we are in need. 

Mark tells us that Jesus enjoyed the Sabbath. We keep the gifts and ourselves holy by enjoying God's gifts to us. It is the special day when we receive what God loves to give to us. The day of rest is all part of the way our heavenly Father provides for all our needs. We can rely on God all the time; He is not just any old god but He is our Creator, the One who keeps on doing what needs to be done to make sure everything is set up just right, for us. That's why Jesus assumed our life is one long "Thankyou!" for the gifts our Heavenly Father sends us. The day of rest is ours to enjoy. And it is certainly not the day to pretend; it's not the day to fake doing nothing as if such pretending gives you extra points with God. The Pharisees certainly forgot that God sees everything. And rest is a positive gift, a special creation, which Jesus loved to share with His disciples and any others who rocked up. Now you've got it, enjoy it and explore the different ways you can enjoy it!

Again, Jesus' teaching is decidedly in confrontation with the teaching of the religious "fat controllers". It is as if Jesus said to them, "But you just don't get it. These people here are the ones with whom I delight to share my Sabbath."

Got a verse or a short passage you'd like us to look at? Just send an email to [email protected].