One sabbath while Jesus was going through the grainfields, his disciples plucked some heads of grain, rubbed them in their hands, and ate them. But some of the Pharisees said, “Why are you doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?” Jesus answered, “Have you not read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He entered the house of God and took and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and gave some to his companions?” Then he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the sabbath.”
On another sabbath he entered the synagogue and taught, and there was a man there whose right hand was withered. The scribes and the Pharisees watched him to see whether he would cure on the sabbath, so that they might find an accusation against him. Even though he knew what they were thinking, he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come and stand here.” He got up and stood there. Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to destroy it?” After looking around at all of them, he said to him, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was restored. But they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.
This is the first time I’ve grouped these stories together (although they’ve appear in all three gospels so far), and I think together their message is stronger. Individually, the stories just say “It’s okay to ____ on the Sabbath.” But together, I think the message becomes “It doesn’t really matter what you do on the Sabbath.”
Jesus doesn’t really treat the Sabbath differently than any other day. He heals, teaches, and prays every day of the week. Every day is the Holy Day for Jesus! And if every day is a Holy Day, we can’t afford to not do some things, or wait to do some things.
Imagine if we thought of Sunday the way Jesus thought of the Sabbath. If we worshiped and prayed every day, the only difference on Sunday would be where and with whom. (I just used “whom” correctly, yay me!) Maybe church would lose some of the wow factor, but we wouldn’t feel as awkward, self-conscious, or uncomfortable about worship as I know many of us do. We might be able to sing more passionately, “amen” more joyfully, listen more attentively, and pray more earnestly. If it was just another day of worship, maybe we would forget about the need to dress or look a specific way, which Paul specifically warned against. And maybe once we stopped worrying about how we looked to others, we might stop judging others on how they look. Let me tell you, nothing makes someone want to never come back to a church the way feeling like people disapprove of your clothing does. But our clothes SHOULDN’T EVEN MATTER! God doesn’t care what you wear, as long as you are with Him!
I think it’s hard to see church this way, as something … not special basically. But I think it’s even more difficult to see Monday-Saturday this way. Honestly, I struggle to even pray once a day, and I’m really telling myself that I need to worship God every day? Ha! But Jesus did. And I think we need to try and follow His example, however difficult that may be.