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Only a true follower of Jesus, who by faith has accepted His holiness, can truly keep the Sabbath.  As the Jews drifted away from God’s plan, they lost sight of what the Sabbath was supposed to be.  Over the centuries, the Jewish leaders surrounded the Sabbath with laws and rules of behavior that made the day a burden to all who kept it.  

By the time of Jesus, keeping the Sabbath had been twisted to show the pride and selfishness of men who judged others rather than showing the love of God.  By adding burdens to the Sabbath, the rabbis made it seem that God had given laws that were impossible to obey.  People began to see God as a cruel dictator.  They could only assume that keeping the Sabbath made people cruel and critical.  Jesus came to share the truth about God and about the Sabbath.  He kept the Sabbath according to the Scriptures and ignored the rabbis’ laws and rules.  This set the stage for many future conflicts.

Jesus made it very clear.  ” ‘The Sabbath day was made to help people; they were not made to be ruled by the Sabbath day’ ” (Mark 2:27).  God’s mission in this world is to save humans.  So any work done on the Sabbath that is necessary to accomplish that goal does not break the Sabbath law.  Jesus’ final point ended the argument.  “I ~ the Son of man ~ am the Lord of the Sabbath.”  As the Judge, He declared that what the disciples had done was right and acceptable on His Sabbath day.  (Matthew 12:1).

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