Debates about the Sabbath

Article excerpt

LUKE 6:1-5

WHILE Jesus was going through a field of grain on a Sabbath, His disciples were picking the heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands, and eating them. Some Pharisees said, "Why are you doing what is unlawful on the sabbath?" Jesus said to them in reply, "Have you not read what David did when he and those who were with him were hungry? How he went into the house of God, took the bread of offering, which only the priests could lawfully eat, ate of it, and shared it with his companions." Then He said to them, "The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath."


The Sabbath is connected with the Hebrew root word SBT which means to rest or to cease. At the original Sabbath, after "God was finished with the work He had been doing" in creation, "He rested on the seventh day from all the work He had undertaken" (Gn 2:2). The observance of the sSabbath later became one of the Ten Commandments, in memory of God's rest (Ex 20:8-11). The motif of God's and Israel's ceasing from work is related to being "refreshed." Thus, the Sabbath has become "a delight" (Is 58:13).

The Sabbath is also linked with the motif of remembrance and commemoration. …