April 7, 2019

Lord of the Sabbath

Passage: Luke 6:1-11
Service Type:


  • A legalistic Christianity leads to a joyless and judgmental life
    • There will be a great ache and a void
    • You may start to judge and criticise others
    • It is all about trying to please God by yourselves and always failing
  • The pharisees were legalistic
    • They couldn't accept that Jesus did not fit in with their laws and rules
    • They criticised about fasting - Jesus gave them a wonderful answer
    • They criticised about prayer - this was a misunderstanding
    • The criticism was based on the fact that Jesus would not fit into their box
  • Chapter 6
    • We will see a similar contrast
    • Look at v1-11: two Sabbath day scenarios
    • The Sabbath is for the blessing of men
    • Jesus was unpopular because He spoke the truth
  • Looking at:
    • The positive use of the Lord's day
    • Have we fallen into the trap of legalism?
  • Overview:
    • The great danger of legalism
    • Jesus' approach to the Sabbath
    • Keeping the Lord's day

The great danger of legalism

  • Jesus was caught up in many Sabbath Day controversies
    • The Sabbath was so important to the Jews
    • Part of the reason they were sent into exile was because they failed to keep the Sabbath
    • There was punishment for breaking the Sabbath law
  • God said to work for 6 days and rest on the Sabbath
    • The Jews interpreted this law in their own way
    • They went to extremes - examples
      • 24 chapters in the Talmud
  • Jesus always kept the Sabbath
    • He always rested and worshiped
    • He didn't break the Sabbath
    • He fulfilled the law
  • The Sabbath for many Jews was not a day of joy and liberty but an oppressive day
    • The pharisees had made it a day of oppression
    • Jesus pronounced woes upon the pharisees
    • Jesus offered an easy joke and a light burden
  • Legalism takes you away from God and is damming
    • What about us?
    • Consider the Galatians - explanation
    • Continue in the Spirit and faith - not the works of the law
    • We are accepted in the beloved solely because of Jesus
  • Celebrating the Sabbath
    • Switching off from the world
    • Not doing chores
    • To be free of inhibition to worship
    • English Puritanism
    • Helpful things vs unhelpful things
    • We need to avoid extremes
    • Fictional Example - legalism can lead to judgmentalism
    • Col 2:16
    • Personal Example
    • A day of resting from our labours and a day of refreshment

Jesus' approach to the Sabbath

  • He was always found in the synagogue
  • He was not bound by the laws of men
    • He does not quote the laws
    • He speaks about the spirit of the law and the heart of God
    • He speaks about David - He speaks about mercy and not sacrifice
  • "The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath" (v5)
    • Jesus teaches them about the Sabbath

Keeping the Lord's day

  • v6-11
  • The pharisees only came to criticise
    • They were full of rage (v11)
    • They were not keeping the Sabbath day
    • They were not honouring God
    • They were not loving God or their neighbour
  • Jesus' response:
    • He taught
    • He healed
    • He did good
  • Our response:
    • Works of kindness and necessity
    • Let us be full of worship for our God
    • The Sabbath was given for our rest
  • There is a difference between the Jewish Sabbath and the Lord's Day
    • There are transferable principles
    • It is part of the Ten Commandments
    • There should always be one day of rest
    • You need to work this out for yourself and seek to please God

Closing Remarks