12/6/14 “Sabbath Rest : Don’t Miss The Point” – Pastor Shane Idleman




Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath

Matthew 12 At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!”

3 But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? 6 Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. 7 But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

Lets Begin at the Beginning: “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work, you or your son or your daughter your male or your female servant or your cattle or your sojourner who stays with you,” (Exodus 20:8-10, NASB).

  • The purpose was to worship God and rest from work. Just because you go to church on Saturday doesn’t mean you’re resting.  


Does the Bible allow Christians to worship on Sunday?

The Christian Apologetics & Research Ministry: http://carm.org/religious-movements/seventh-day-adventism/does-bible-allow-christians-worship-sunday

First of all, of the 10 commandments listed in Exodus 20:1-17, only 9 of them were restated in the New Testament. (Six in Matt. 19:18, murder, adultery, stealing, false witness, honor parents, and worshiping God; Rom. 13:9, coveting. Worshiping God properly covers the first three commandments). The one that was not reaffirmed was the one about the Sabbath. Instead, Jesus said that He is the Lord of the Sabbath (Matt. 12:8). [He offers true rest.]

In creation, God rested on the seventh day. But, since God is all powerful, He doesn’t get tired. He doesn’t need to take a break and rest. So, why does it say that He rested? The reason is simple: Mark 2:27 says, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” In other words, God established the Sabbath as a rest for His people, not because He needed a break, but because we are mortal and need a time of rest, of focus on God. In this, our spirits and bodies are both renewed.

The OT system of Law required keeping the Sabbath as part of the overall moral, legal, and sacrificial system by which the Jewish people satisfied God’s requirements for behavior, government, and forgiveness of sins. The Sabbath was part of the Law in that sense. In order to “remain” in favor with God, you had to also keep the Sabbath. If it was not kept, then the person was in sin and would often be punished (Ezek. 18:4; Rom. 6:23;Deut. 13:1-9; Num. 35:31; Lev. 20:2, etc.).

But with Jesus’ atonement, we no longer are required to keep the Law as a means for our justification. The requirements of the Law were fulfilled in Christ.  We now have rest from the Law.  We now have “Sabbath”, continually.

  • So the DAY we worship is not the factor; whether or not we worship is. BUT – we shouldn’t minimize the Sabbath either.

Are those who worship on Sunday misled? Think this through, especially in light of the persecuted church throughout the world – what about the underground church in China with their Tuesday services that run all night, or what about Christians in Iraq that meet early on Monday when no expects it – are all these groups misled and out of God’s will? No…

DON’T MISS THE POINT! Worship is an ongoing lifestyle with a day set aside. Many focus on the day and miss the heart of God – rest, worship, recharge.


Scriptural support:

  1. “One man regards one day above another, another regards every day alike. Let each man be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord…” (Rom. 14:5-6).

Continues: 10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 11 For it is written: “As I live, says the Lord, Every knee shall bow to Me, And every tongue shall confess to God.”12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. 13 Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.

  • Ironically, those who hold to this are often the most arrogant, judgmental people I know. They aren’t filled with the Spirit anymore than a cow is filled with concrete.

How can your truly rest with a judgmental, critical heart? You can’t…

  1. “Therefore let no one act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath day—things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.” ( 2:16-17).

A Sabbath is weekly; festivals are spread out. No one is to judge in regard to this. The Sabbath is defined as a shadow created by Jesus – He is our Sabbath.  

  1. “And on the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul began talking to them, intending to depart the next day, and he prolonged his message until midnight,” (Acts 20:7).
  2. “Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I directed the churches of Galatia, so do you also. On the first day of every week let each one of you put aside and save, as he may prosper, that no collections be made when I come,”  (1 Cor. 16:1-2).

DON’T MISS THE POINT! God desires mercy over sacrifice.

  • KEY: 7 But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

Cross referencing Hosea 6:6, Jesus illustrates that people in need who pluck grain to eat on the sabbath are guiltless, as are those in need of healing . . . Pharisees miss the Spirit behind the Law.

Healing on the Sabbath

12:9 Now when He had departed from there, He went into their synagogue. 10 And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?”—that they might accuse Him.

  • Its amazing how far prideful, religious people can drift away from God: The pride of your heart has deceived you…” Obadiah 1:3
  • Anytime we live by “have to” instead of “want to”, we need a heart check.
  • Anytime we allow judging to overshadow mercy, we need a heart check.


11 Then He said to them, “What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? 12 Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.”

  • They looked out for their best interest on the Sabbath: if their property or income was in jeopardy, they took action, but then they judged those who ate or who were healed.

Ironically, we do the same thing – we have the tendency to minimize our sins and magnify those of others.


13 Then He said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other. 14 Then the Pharisees went out and plotted against Him, how they might destroy Him. 15 But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew from there. And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all. 16 Yet He warned them not to make Him known, 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: 18 “Behold! My Servant whom I have chosen, My Beloved in whom My soul is well pleased! I will put My Spirit upon Him, And He will declare justice to the Gentiles. 19 He will not quarrel nor cry out, Nor will anyone hear His voice in the streets. 20 A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory; 21 And in His name Gentiles will trust.”

  • A bruised reed He will not break, And smoking flax He will not quench, Till He sends forth justice to victory…His justice will triumph; just the sound of His name will signal hope.


  • Spirit-empowerment is lacking in the church – “Lord, break us…humble us. Remove things that are hindering our relationship with You.”