Mark 2:23-28 ESV – One Sabbath he was going through the grainfields, and as they made their way, his disciples began to pluck heads of grain. And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?” And he said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath.”
So Jesus and His disciples are taking a stroll through a grain field and pick some heads of grain to eat. The Pharisees instantly accuse them of breaking the Sabbath. Why? Because in the Law it states that you should not harvest on the Sabbath, so of course picking a few heads of grain constitutes “harvesting” in their books. Jesus and His disciples were breaking the law!!!
Or so they thought. Jesus refutes them quickly and simply: King David ate the showbread from the temple. Then comes the big one. Jesus shows that not only are the Pharisees wrong, but they’ve completely missed the point of the Sabbath rest – it was made FOR US.
The Pharisees had turned a gift from God – a day of rest – into a burden.
What Jesus is saying is that God wants us to rest. When we get to Heaven, we will rest eternally with Him. (Not that Heaven will be a giant nap, but whatever work we do will be fulfilling, restful work). More than that, God created a Sabbath so that we would rest here and now. Even when life seems overwhelming, God wants us to rest in Him.
I think it gets too easy to assume that going to church once a week fulfills your Sabbath. I know for a fact that sometimes packing your whole family into a car to get to church and then home is anything but restful. When was the last time you stopped and told yourself to take a day, maybe even just an hour, and rest in the Lord?
Rest now, knowing that God wants the best for you.
2 Corinthians 4:17 ESV – For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,