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  • Writer's pictureMatt Beaney

#924. Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath (20/10/23)

This week, as we continue our series, ‘Luke - Exploring who Jesus is,’ we are considering what the Sabbath means for Christians. Today, let’s review some of what we've discussed and make two final points of application.

Jesus answered them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath… Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” (Luke 6:3-5, 9)

Lesson: Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath - He is the God who gave us the Law - and so we should listen to Him on all aspects of Christian living.

You can listen to this devotional at:

Jesus, in stating that He is the 'Lord of the Sabbath' – the Lord who wrote the Ten Commandments – He is telling these religious teachers, and us, that His interpretation of the Sabbath is correct, and He has the right to teach us how to observe it. Will we listen to Jesus for all matters, including the Sabbath? So, as we conclude this week of reflections on the Sabbath, let's recap some of the things that Jesus, I believe, wants us to understand:

i. What is the Sabbath? The Sabbath was God's command to rest and worship on the last day of each week.

ii. Do Christians have a Sabbath? The Christian Sabbath is our rest in Christ.

iii. Is Sunday significant for Christians? Meeting on 'The Lord's Day' is a commendable practice, but it's not a legal requirement. It's a tradition worth promoting and protecting, but meeting on other days is permissible for various reasons.

iv. Should we have a day of rest? God has designed us to adopt a 1-in-6 approach to our week if possible. Ideally, we would share 'The Lord's Day' (Sunday) because this has been the common practice of Christians throughout the ages, and a shared day promotes community, unlike an individual day of rest, which is better than nothing.


Finally, here are two things that, I believe, the Lord would want us to emphasise regarding the Sabbath:

i. Use our time for doing good and saving. Jesus, in defending His approach to the Sabbath, said,

"I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” (Luke 6:9).

Whatever view we hold on the Sabbath, it's crucial that we remain flexible and allow our time to be used for doing good and saving others. Mercy and love should mark every day, including our day of rest.

ii. Rest in Christ. Most importantly, I believe that the Christian Sabbath is primarily about resting in Christ, both now and eternally. We find rest in His salvation and loving care with a view to the eternal rest that the Sabbath signifies.



1. Notices

It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.

2. Icebreaker How has God been speaking to you from His Word this week and how has this helped you?

3. Study and pray together

This week we continued in our Luke series looking at Luke 6:1-11.

Please read Luke 6:1-11.

At the end of chapter 5, Jesus gave a parable about 'new cloth', 'new wine' and 'new wineskins'. This parable was given to teach that we are in a new era - a New Covenant. In this era - after the death and resurrection of Jesus - we have to learn to handle the Old Testament and The Sabbath in a new way.

In essence, for Christians, rather than keeping a day holy, we understand that the Sabbath was pointing our our rest in Christ. The author to the Hebrews writes:

‘Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it…Now we who have believed enter that rest…There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God; for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from their works, just as God did from his.’ (Hebrews 4:1,3, 9-10)

Discussion and prayer

  • What were the religious leaders so upset about?

  • What do these two Sabbath day accounts teach us about what it was permissible to do on the Sabbath?

  • What was meant by Jesus' words: “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."?

  • How are Christians to rest in Christ (See Hebrews 4:1)?

  • How are we to 'do good' and 'save life' (See v.9)?

  • How would a true keeping of the Sabbath help to glorify Jesus in our community?

  • Do you have any encouraging stories of how you've been serving, investing and inviting?

  • Let's pray for ourselves and our community together. Let's pray for the particular people that God is putting on your heart. Lets pray for the Holy Spirit to empower and direct us in how to Serve, invest and invite.

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