Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lent Day 6 – Mark 2:23-3:6

Jesus’ authority and Sabbath’s purpose. Today’s passage has two stories about the Sabbath. Not only was keeping Sabbath one of the big Ten Commandments (#4 for those keeping count), Sabbath also served as a marker of the Jewish people and way to remind them who their real provider was – God.
In the first story, Jesus probably offends the Pharisees by putting Himself on par with the great King David and reminds them of the purpose of the Sabbath. In the second story, Jesus almost goes out of his way to show His authority by healing on the Sabbath – He could have waited another day. Again this shows the purpose of the Sabbath – doing good and brining life. The Spiritual Formation Bible (which I highly recommend) notes, “If we constantly work, or ask others to work constantly on our behalf, then we become enslaved to our economy and our own efforts. We come to believe everything depends on what we can provide for ourselves. To keep a rhythm of Sabbath rest is to remember that God is the maker and giver of all good things; it tempers our everlasting itch to get ahead.”
Interesting, Jesus was angry and grieved with the hard heartedness He observed. The Pharisees and others have had enough. They begin plotting Jesus death.
Why don’t we observe the Sabbath? What keeps us from observing the Sabbath?
How might keeping the Sabbath disconnect us from the rat race? What are some ways you keep the Sabbath? How might life look different if you did keep a Sabbath rest?
How should Christians keep Sabbath rest? (When is the Sabbath?)
What are things you could stop doing to experience rest?
Why do you think Jesus was angry and grieved? What was the source of that anger and grief?

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