Did Jesus break the Sabbath?


John 5:18

ESV - 18 This was why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

Clarify Share Report Asked March 05 2015 Mini Anonymous

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Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
Jesus did not break the Sabbath. In addition to being the divine Son of God, He was a truly human, fully-observant Jew who perfectly kept the Law that God had given to Israel in the Old Testament in its entirety (which no one else -- before or since -- could do).

When Jesus' opponents accused him of breaking the Sabbath (or any other provisions of the Law), they were doing so on the basis of added human traditions, or excessively legalistic readings of the Law, that had built up in the centuries since the giving of the Law, and that went beyond what the Law had required or intended.

These added traditions or interpretations often had the intent and effect of consolidating the priestly classes' own power as the "definitive" source as to the meaning of the Law, and also of hindering the pursuit of obedience to the Law by the common people, who accepted the priests' interpretation as authoritative.

These traditions could work also against the clear intent of provisions of the Law that were designed to aid others (such as the case of avoiding the responsibility of caring for an aged parent by giving the parent's support money as an offering to the religious authorities (Mark 7:9-13)).

Meanwhile, the religious authorities themselves were not consistent in their application of activities that were permitted or forbidden on the Sabbath (John 7:22-24); or hypocritically did not comply with the same requirements that they imposed on others (Matthew 12:10-12).

Jesus rebuked and condemned the religious authorities for these practices in the strongest possible terms on multiple occasions in the Gospels (for example, Matthew 23:13-36).

August 17 2015 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Image41 Ezekiel Kimosop
The Question goes: Did Jesus break the Sabbath?

Jesus indeed did not break the Sabbath. He simply fulfilled and demonstrated in its true practice that the Sabbath was intended to serve man and not to subjugate him.

Mark 2:24 says "And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?". Jesus answered them in Mark 2:27-28 saying, "The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath: 28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath." 

Perhaps the most captivating discourse between Jesus and the Pharisees is recorded in Matthew 12 where the Pharisees first took on Jesus on the basis of his alleged legal violations of the Sabbath, laying claim to spiritual authority to interpret the religious law (Matthew 12:1-3). 

Jesus proved their ignorance of true religion and asserted his Lordship of the Sabbath as God the Son (Matthew 12:8). The Greek word "Kurios" in Matthew 12:8 [which literally translates: for the son of man is lord even of the Sabbath] can also be rendered master, suggesting that Jesus had pre-eminence over the sacred law of the Sabbath and that the object of all Sabbatical ordinances was to glorify him. 

Matthew Henry supposes that Christ had the key to the true meaning of the Sabbath saying “that law, as all the rest, is put into the hand of Christ, to be altered, enforced, or dispensed with, as he sees good.” The Sabbath was certainly intended to glorify God and, as God the Son, Jesus had power over all religious decrees as well as discretions to their interpretation and practice. 

Instead, the Pharisees had used the law as a tool of subjugation over the people, denying the grace and love by which God would minister to his people. The Pharisees had a penchant for finding fault rather than exhorting the people into love and faithfulness. They simply lacked the capacity to perceive the spiritual dispensation that Christ had ushered in. It is no wonder that Jesus made a total rejection of their religious system which had a dangerous and regrettable effect of leading people away from God (Matthew 18:6).

They spoke the law but lacked its grace because the law was not intended to be a burden to the people of God but a source of joy and fulfillment. They rejected the prophetic direction to which the Law pointed which was Christ the Messiah. 

Notice the lesson in yet another sharp rebuke on the Pharisees by Jesus when he lamented “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.” (Matthew 23:23, KJV). This verse demonstrates the triviality and clumsiness with which the Pharisees interpreted the religious law to the point of irrelevancy. 

Jesus was concerned that they had neglected the weightier matters of the law which are judgment mercy and faith. First, they judged the people by the letter but without the spirit of the law. 

Secondly, they did not manifest mercy where it was required, hiding behind the tenets of law when their hearts were evil and vindictive. 

Thirdly, the Pharisees failed to lead the people into a living faith with God. They failed to uphold the standard of faith that the law required of the people but lived in hypocrisy. Jesus laments of them in Matthew 23:28, saying “Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.”

We can therefore conclude that the Pharisees broke the spirit of the law and Jesus came to place the observance of Sabbath within its correct religious perspective that had hitherto been lost to the religious legalism of the Pharisees and the Teachers of the Law. Jesus was and is the Master of the true Sabbath which is the spiritual rest that those in Christ have entered (Hebrews 4:3-11).

January 15 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

In brief we are told in the Bible that Jesus did no sin (II Cor. 5:21, I Peter 2:22, etc.). What is the BIBLE definition of sin? SIN is the transgression of the Law of God (called the Law of Moses by the Jews) (see I John 3:4). Had Jesus broken the Sabbath He would have transgressed God's Law -- which is SIN and His death on the cross would be utterly and totally MEANINGLESS.
No, He never broke a one of the 8 different Sabbaths God gave to mankind.

May 02 2016 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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