A daily break to celebrate our salvation in Yeshua (Jesus) and our abundant life through the Torah

What Did Jesus Say About the Sabbath?

GrainOften we hear that Jesus taught against the Sabbath as a day of rest.  After all, he healed on the Sabbath, he defended his disciples for picking grain on the Sabbath.  Every time the Pharisees challenged him about the rules of the Sabbath, he set them straight that “The Sabbath is made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” (Mark 2:27)

I heard those teachings; I read the Pharisees’ criticism of his actions on the Sabbath and Jesus’ responses defending himself and his disciples.  I was convinced that the Sabbath and all its rules had been done away with when Jesus came and taught us the New Covenant.

Then I read the original instructions for the Sabbath in the “Old Testament.”  With that understanding, I re-read Jesus’ conversations with the Pharisees.   I found that none of the Pharisees’ complaints about Jesus’ behavior on the Sabbath were actually in the Bible’s instructions.  They had added their own directives onto God’s.   I realized that Jesus’ responses to them were disputing their own teachings, but actually upheld the original instructions for the Sabbath.  The debate was never about whether to keep the Sabbath, but rather about how to keep it.

So, what was Jesus saying about the Sabbath?  To solve the riddle, we must first refer to God’s original instructions regarding the Sabbath, then review the basis for the teaching of the Pharisees.  With that context, we can more clearly see what the rabbis’ complaints were and also understand Jesus’ responses.

God’s Instructions for the Sabbath

The most concise instructions are in Leviticus 23:3:

“There are six days when you may work, but the seventh day is a day of sabbath rest, a day of sacred assembly.  You are not to do any work; wherever you live, it is a sabbath to the Lord.”

These instructions are repeated, specified and illustrated over and over throughout the Old Testament and include:

While other instructions for keeping the Sabbath can be inferred from scripture, these are the most straightforward and foundational components.

The Rabbis’ Instructions for the Sabbath

In their quest to ensure Jewish people were keeping all of God’s instruction written by Moses in Exodus through Deuteronomy (the Torah), the Rabbis, Priests and Torah Teachers constructed very specific rules regarding how to keep the Bible’s instructions.  In addition, they believed that God gave Moses additional instructions that were never written down, referred to as “Oral Torah.”  After the destruction of Jerusalem and the second temple and the exiling of the Jews  in 70 CE, both of these sets of rules were put to paper to help preserve the teachings, as well as to delineate how to keep those that include the temple, since there was no longer a temple.  This writing is called the Talmud.

In Jesus’ day (before 70 CE), these would have still been oral teachings, not included in the available Hebrew scrolls (what is called today the Old Testament).  In the New Testament (also not available in Jesus’ day), these Oral Torah instructions are referred to as “traditions.”  Jesus repeatedly reprimands the Pharisees for “letting go of the commands of God and holding on to human traditions.” (Mark 7:8More references to human traditions.

In the case of the Sabbath, Oral Torah spells out 39 categories of activity prohibited on the Sabbath.  To their credit, the Rabbis’ hearts were to keep God’s commands and teach others to do the same.  While their basis and insights in establishing the 39 categories is commendable, it significantly added to God’s original instruction.  Ironically, it was this type of teaching that increased the Jews’ struggle to keep the law; and these are the exact teachings that Jesus was referring to when he said in Matthew 11:28-30:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

The word “yoke” in Jesus’ day did call to mind beasts of burden being bound together with a crossbar.  However, it was also figurative of a rabbi’s interpretation of God’s instructions.  Often an experienced beast would be yoked with an inexperienced one in order to train and guide the younger one.  This was a picture of how the rabbis and Torah teachers taught the people.  Each teacher had their own “yoke” of interpretation, loosely similar to what we think of as denominations.  This is why Paul, a Torah observant Jew, says in Acts 15:10:

“Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?”

He’s speaking of the rabbinical yoke that added the Oral Torah and human traditions to God’s instructions.  Compared to that, Jesus’ yoke of God’s pure instruction with no man-made additions was easy and light.

That context sheds a lot of light on Jesus’ responses to the Pharisees’ complaints about the Sabbath.  With that, I looked into the five conversations recorded between Jesus and the other rabbis on the topic of the Sabbath.

Jesus’ Responses to the Pharisees

  1. Picking Heads of Grain (Matt. 12:1-8, Mark 2:23-28, Luke 6:1-5)

What did Jesus do?

“At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them.”

What was the Pharisees’ complaint?

“When the Pharisees saw this, they said to him, ‘Look!  Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath.’”

One of the 39 categories of activity the Oral Torah prohibits on the Sabbath is “winnowing.”  This would include separating chaff from grain as the disciples would’ve done to eat the heads of grain.

How did Jesus respond?

“He answered, ‘Haven’t you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of God, and he and his companions ate the consecrated bread—which was not lawful for them to do, but only for the priests. 5 Or haven’t you read in the Law that the priests on Sabbath duty in the temple desecrate the Sabbath and yet are innocent? 6 I tell you that something greater than the temple is here. 7 If you had known what these words mean, ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the innocent.8 For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.’”

Jesus really had a way with words, didn’t he?  He speaks volumes in these four statements.  The most obvious point he’s making is that the people from the Hebrew scriptures (Old Testament) that the Pharisees esteem (David and the Priests) went a lot further than winnowing when they were hungry.  They ate the holy Bread of Presence that was to be constantly in the Holy Place of the Temple and eaten only by the Priests when it was replaced every Sabbath (Leviticus 4:7-9).  Yet God did not consider them violating the Sabbath or the Bread of Presence.

Winnowing in order to eat when you’re hungry is not violating God’s Sabbath instructions.  And neither the Sabbath nor the Holy Place is meant to deprive us of sustenance.  Jesus was drawing the line between God’s instruction and what the Rabbis had added to them.   (Furthermore beyond just keeping the Sabbath, Jesus infers that he is greater than the temple or the Holy Place, and in fact declares himself God by saying he is “Lord of the Sabbath.”)

This account shows Jesus upholding the Sabbath, yet exposing that what the rabbis had added was not Biblical.

  1. Healing a Man’s Body (John 7:21-24)

What did Jesus do?

Healed a man on the Sabbath.

What was the Pharisees’ complaint?

Healing on the Sabbath.

How did Jesus respond?

21 Jesus said to them, ‘I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. 22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. 23 Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? 24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.’”

Jesus is pointing out the hypocrisy of the Pharisee’s own rules.  God had instructed the Israelites to circumcise newborn boys on their eighth day.  If the eighth day fell on a Sabbath, they went ahead with the circumcision in order to keep the commandment.  Circumcision set the Israelites apart from every other race.  Keeping this and other commandments on the Sabbath was the right thing to do—Jesus agreed with that.  He was using the same logic to explain why healing was also perfectly acceptable on the Sabbath  —  a day for setting ourselves apart for God, a day when God desires to bless us.

  1. Restoring a Shriveled Hand (Matthew 12:9-14, Mark 3:1-6, Luke 6:6-11, John 7:21-24)

What was the Pharisees’ complaint?

”Going on from that place, he went into their synagogue, 10 and a man with a shriveled hand was there. Looking for a reason to bring charges against Jesus, they asked him, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?’”

How did Jesus respond?

11 He said to them, ‘If any of you has a sheep and it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will you not take hold of it and lift it out? 12 How much more valuable is a person than a sheep! Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.’”

Jesus does not tell them that the Sabbath has been done away with.  Again, he draws the line between God’s instruction and what they’ve added.

Neither healing nor saving a life on the Sabbath are prohibited in God’s original instructions for the exact reason Jesus gives the Pharisees.  The Sabbath is not intended to deprive us of life and leave us to suffer.  It is intended as a blessing that brings life.  The Pharisees had added such oppressive rules to the original instructions, that they left no room for common sense in cases of life-giving acts of goodness on the Sabbath.  This is what Jesus is teaching against.

What did Jesus do?

13 Then he said to the man, ‘Stretch out your hand.’ So he stretched it out and it was completely restored, just as sound as the other. 14 But the Pharisees went out and plotted how they might kill Jesus.”

If healing on the Sabbath was against God’s instructions, the Pharisees would have been able to arrest Jesus right there.  However, they could not arrest him based on Pharisaical law, because it was not God’s law.  Here, again, we see Jesus has kept the Sabbath as instructed by God.

  1. Healing the Crippled Woman (Luke 13:10-17)

What did Jesus do?

“On a Sabbath Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues, 11 and a woman was there who had been crippled by a spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her forward and said to her, ‘Woman, you are set free from your infirmity.’ 13 Then he put his hands on her, and immediately she straightened up and praised God.”

What was the rabbis’ complaint?

14 Indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, the synagogue leader said to the people, ‘There are six days for work. So come and be healed on those days, not on the Sabbath.’”

One of the 39 rabbinic categories of activity prohibited on the Sabbath is “grinding,” another is “mixing.”  In Jesus’ day doctors and rabbis were often required to grind, mix or prepare medications for those who were ill.  Therefore healing or remedying illness was prohibited except in life or death situations.

How did Jesus respond?

15 The Lord answered him, ‘You hypocrites! Doesn’t each of you on the Sabbath untie your ox or donkey from the stall and lead it out to give it water? 16 Then should not this woman, a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?’  17 When he said this, all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.”

Jesus uses the rabbis’ own rules to answer their complaint.  While not included in the list of 39 categories of prohibited activity, the Talmud describes the law of “Tza’ar ba’alei chayim,” meaning to prevent the suffering of animals.  Feeding and watering your donkey on the Sabbath was permitted on this basis.  Again, we see the rabbis’ additional laws oppressing the people instead of bringing them life, as the Sabbath was meant to do.  His opponents were humiliated because Jesus’ logic exposed the flaws in their own system, and once again proved that he was keeping the Sabbath according to God’s instructions and intent.

  1. Healing at the Pool of Bethesda (John 5:1-18)

What did Jesus do?

2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. 6 When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, ‘Do you want to get well?’ 7’Sir,’ the invalid replied, ‘I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.’   Then Jesus said to him, ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.’ 9 At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.  The day on which this took place was a Sabbath.”

What were the rabbis’ complaints?

“The Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, ‘It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.’  11 But he replied, ‘The man who made me well said to me, “Pick up your mat and walk.”’  12 So they asked him, ‘Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?’  13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.  14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, ‘See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.’ 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.  16 So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him.”

Again, we see the Jewish leaders more interested in why this man is breaking their laws than the fact that he was healed.  We’ve explored their complaint with healing in general, but this time Jesus specifically tells the healed man, “Pick up your mat and walk,” something blatantly against the law of the Sabbath.  Or is it?  Nowhere in the Hebrew scriptures does it instruct us not to carry something on the Sabbath.  Again, this is a law from the rabbinical 39 categories of activities prohibited on the Sabbath:  carrying or moving an object beyond a certain distance.

Was Jesus telling this man to deliberately profane or ignore the Sabbath in order to demonstrate that the Sabbath was no longer valid?  No, he was making a distinction between God’s instructions and the rabbis’.  Picking up a mat and walking is perfectly within the observance of the Sabbath.  Conversely, he was freeing the man from both his physical and spiritual bondage, because that is the intention of the Sabbath (“made for man.”)

How did Jesus respond?

17 In his defense Jesus said to them, ‘My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.’ 18 For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.”

Jesus was breaking the Rabbinical Sabbath laws, not God’s.  The type of work He does is setting people free from sin, from bondage in all its forms, bringing truth, understanding and life.  This is God’s work every day, and especially on the Sabbath.  Indeed, while God rested on the seventh day of creation as an example of how life on earth would be ordered, He Himself does not rest on the Sabbath.  If He were to rest, all life as we know it would self-destruct.  “He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (Col. 1:17)  This is why Jesus identifies himself as the Son of God in his response.  He is doing the work of God on the Sabbath from a position of authority equal to God, while God asks man to set aside our work on the Sabbath and receive His life versus focusing on our own.  Jesus uses this case to explain his identity and authority in God.

In each of these conversations, the debate is not about whether to keep the Sabbath, but how.  Jesus upholds the original instructions of the Sabbath, and breaks down the rabbinical teaching – usually by pointing out their own hypocrisy and contradiction.  They can’t even abide by their own rules — nor should they have to.  They had made the Sabbath much more difficult than it really was.

The Sabbath Gives Life, Not Takes It Away

The original instructions of the Sabbath lead us not into hunger, neglect of ourselves and others, prolonged illness or condemnation as the rabbinic law did, but just the opposite:  joy, healing, building up ourselves and others, intimacy with God and abundant life.  I can attest to this in my own observance of the Sabbath.

Jesus came that “we might have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10).  Yet, he also said,

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.  For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.  Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.  For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.”  Matthew 5:17-20

The Sabbath is just one example of how God’s law brings abundant life.  Instead of a day of don’ts and can’ts that the scribes and Pharisees had made it, Jesus showed us the true meaning and intent of the Sabbath — a day to sit at his feet and receive his life, not depriving ourselves or others, but planning ahead to take a day in which we put away our own pursuits and pursue only God.

In all his comments regarding the Sabbath, Jesus was dividing truth from deception, separating God’s instructions from man’s.  This is what we are required to do today:  Read the instructions for ourselves and follow God’s leading instead of man’s.

Remember, the Pharisees were trying to catch Jesus in sin, so they could arrest him.  Despite all of their scheming, testing and confronting him specifically about the Sabbath, they never found him at fault according to God’s instruction.  All that he disputed about the Sabbath were the rabbinical teachings.  If he had actually violated the instructions for the Sabbath, they would have been able to arrest him.  They ended up arresting him on false charges, because Jesus kept the Sabbath as it was intended (and in fact all of the Old Testament’s instructions) and taught his followers to do likewise.  (Mark 14:55-59).

If we call ourselves followers of Jesus, should we not follow his example of keeping the Sabbath holy?  In fact the Bible promises blessings to Gentiles who do:

“And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to minister to him, to love the name of the Lord, and to be his servants, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who hold fast to my covenant—these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer.”   Isaiah 56:6-7

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27 responses

  1. Luis Hernandez

    Beautiful compilation of verses

    Thanks for sharing. Both Christians and gentiles seem to become disconnected with the Mitzvah of Shabbat. Ha’Shem leads all who hear his voice.

    May 28, 2022 at 5:30 pm

  2. michael popilek

    what if i atten services on saturday .i have spent every saturday gambling on horse or sports betting. i am so afraid i might not follow .the rules for the rest of the day . will God punish me. please pray for me i want to be close to Yeshua.i am a catholic . but want to be messianic .but scared. i might not make it.

    March 12, 2021 at 7:31 pm

    • Michael, remember Rom. 8:39 “Neither powers above nor powers below, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God which comes to us through the Messiah Yeshua, our Lord.” He will love you no matter what.
      There is no performance grid or “not making it.” That is a Catholic notion. None of us could ever make it, that’s why Yeshua died, so that our lives and our salvation do not have to be performance based. Consider obeying the commands and instructions as worship to God. We do not do them to make it into heaven or to be saved or to even gain the favor of God; we do them only because we love God and want to give our lives back to him in a way that he desires. Don’t let your sin, or the possibility of sinning, stop you from obeying and pursuing God as far as you are capable. Not being able to follow all the rules without faltering is the lie the enemy uses to keep you from even trying. To the contrary – God will reward you as you pursue his instructions to whatever degree you are capable. Obeying his instruction is what will give you the strength to overcome in other parts of your life. When you falter, don’t let the enemy beat you up over it. Ask for forgiveness and new revelation, trust that God still loves you, and continue pursuing and obeying him. I have prayed for you that you would understand how much God loves you, and that he would replace the strongholds with a desire for him, which he has already begun to do. Begin this Sabbath with all that you can do.

      March 18, 2021 at 7:05 am

  3. Beverly

    question if I may? If in different parts of the world there are different calendar’s, how do we know what the true “7th” day is? If people work in health care for example, a 24/7 work week, how can anyone abide to one specific day for the Sabbath? I don’t see that the bible teaches a “specific” “7th” day but just a “7th” day. Am I missing something?

    April 29, 2020 at 8:15 am

    • Hello Beverly, There are differing views on how to calculate the 7th day. If you think about it in the context of the first time the commandment was given (put in writing) in the wilderness, everyone was to practice it together. Obviously if someone needed care or help (such as healthcare) they would be tended to no matter what day it was, just as Yeshua healed on the Sabbath. However, if everyone is keeping the Sabbath on the same day, it is very possible for anyone to abide to that specific day as a Sabbath.

      We are not in a world that keeps Yehovah’s commandments, and most of our cultures are increasingly built on 24/7 business/work (with the exception of many in Israel). However Yehovah does not change his commandments to adapt to man’s cultures. What he commanded is what he intends, and for many of us it is not out of reach if we strive for it as our goal (even as a longer-term plan). When Yeshua rules from Jerusalem, there will be a Sabbath Day that the whole world will be expected to abide by – that is where we’re headed. In our current world, we are to do all we can to keep the Sabbath and help others to do the same (meaning not engaging in activities that require others to break Sabbath).

      The fact that references in the Bible to the 7th day can be calculated and understood in a number of ways adds to our inability to keep it as one unified body. I recommend that you study it out and do as Yehovah is leading you, but have grace with yourself and others, since we will not know the complete truth until Yeshua comes to teach us Torah (Isaiah 2:3 – “Many peoples will come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the temple of the God of Jacob. He will teach us his ways, so that we may walk in his paths.’ The law will go out from Zion, the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.”)

      Most of all, remember that the Sabbath was given to us as a blessing! We get to have a Sabbath, unless we follow the world’s ways. “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27) The sabbath was meant to serve us, not be a burden. “The Son of Man is the Lord of the Sabbath. (Matt. 12:8)” He is our provider and our joy on that day, blessing us, covering us, healing us, renewing us. It is important to follow in the way he is leading you to keep it, but most of all settle on a day and do everything you can not to miss this blessing and the life Yeshua wants to bring you on that day.

      May 14, 2020 at 6:48 am

  4. Linda

    All this is true because in order for Jesus to be the perfect sacrifice, he had to be completely following the Law. But when Jesus went to the cross, died, rose again, and then ascended to the Father; He sent the Holy Spirit and a New Covenant was put in place. That is the purpose of the New Testament to show where the Old ended and the New Covenant began. The New Testament teaches the Church how to walk in the Spirit after receiving the New Birth.

    February 9, 2018 at 3:34 pm

    • True, Jesus did follow the law perfectly, however the only laws that ended with his death are the laws of the temple and priesthood, not the entire law. This is why there is now no need for a temple or a priesthood until he returns. The New Covenant is described in Jeremiah 31:31-34 and tells us that when we are under the New Covenant, no one will need to teach his neighbor about the Lord, because everyone will already know him (vs. 34). This is how we know the New Covenant has not fully come yet. But when it does come the law will be written on our hearts (vs. 33). The New Covenant does not negate the law, it relocates it to our hearts. The coming of the Holy Spirit is our deposit guaranteeing that the rest of the covenant is coming (Eph. 1:13-14).

      February 11, 2018 at 10:16 pm

  5. Tjones

    What you wrote help me understand the Sabbath little bit better, now the Sabbath doesn’t seem so much of a burden but a day of rejuvenance.

    September 27, 2017 at 11:06 pm

    • Yes, it’s not so much the “resting” (doing nothing) on the Sabbath that is rejuvenating, but that when we obey God’s instructions and draw near to him on the day he’s requested, we are rejuvenated by his presence. Usually by Friday I am so excited that it’s almost time for the Sabbath, and on Saturday I wake up energized for what the day will hold. God always shows up and answers prayer and shares new revelation with me. Even a bad week always ends well. My best sleep is always Saturday night, after I’ve spent the day with the Lord and my mind is centered on him again. Week after week, your mind and body begin to learn the pattern, and it becomes deeply seeded in your spirit.

      May God bless you as you pursue his instructions for this special day!

      October 2, 2017 at 7:09 am

  6. Maja B

    I think this is so good! Have been thinking about the Sabbath quite a lot lately. My question is, what do you think about how to
    keeping the Sabbath if someone like I work now and then on the Sabbath, taking care of older people…

    May 5, 2017 at 12:26 am

    • Start now with what you can do – the Sabbaths you have off, or any time between Friday night and Saturday night you have off – and pray for YHVH to show you the way or make a way that you can observe the whole Sabbath. Be looking for any possible way to get more of your Sabbaths off. I found that after I practiced the Sabbath for awhile, I could stay in that mindset (submitting all to YHVH and not striving to accomplish or do more) when I could not take the whole Sabbath off. I know it will grow on you, and you will eventually do everything you can to save that time for YHVH.
      Blessings to you, Christi

      May 11, 2017 at 10:27 pm

  7. David Lango

    Beautiful! Thank you very much!

    April 25, 2017 at 7:35 pm

  8. Venessa Hofmann

    I stumbled upon your website today while doing a bit of a study on the “counting of the Omer” and have been greatly encouraged and blessed! I have been walking with the Lord for 30 years now, Born into a gentile family, converted to judaism at the age of 19 then became born again , with my husband 1 4 years later, and now messianic.

    I see my whole life as one that has been mapped out by God. I thank Him for the days of growing up in a christian church, going to sunday school etc etc. When I studied for my conversion to judaism, the thing that really baffled me was the fact that there is only 1 bible, 1 God, 1 Jesus, yet the living out of one’s life between christian and jew was so different. I could not understand why…why the celebrating of christmas, easter, sunday worship. But the day I was born again, God gave me a supernatural understanding of His plan and purpose for Israel, the church and the one new man.

    I just want to add something that God has shown me regarding the sabbath and that is: the sabbath is like an island in our week….one day to enjoy what God had originally intended in the Garden of Eden….communing with Him, no worries, no pressures…just pure rest with Him and in Him. So having this 1 day in our week, it also points forward to what we will have again when Yeshua returns….that commune with Him , being in His Presence. There is something very special about this day….God gave it to us as a gift for a reason. We look back to see where we , as creation, fell from {in the garden} and we look forward to where we will be with Yeshua again on His return.
    One other notable point is the fact the the sabbath day was instituted BY GOD long before Abraham, Isaac and Jacob , before the Jewish people were created as a people..hence it is NOT a Jewish day, it is GOD’S day given to all creation to enjoy.
    shabbat shalom!

    April 22, 2017 at 10:10 pm

    • Amen, Venessa! Thanks for sharing your story and insights.

      April 25, 2017 at 7:17 am

  9. butchywutchy

    If you follow jesus, follow him. If you follow Yahshua, follow him. How long will ye be double-minded. YAHshua glorifies The Father. The transliteration of Yahshua is Joshua, not jesus. The Holy Spirit of YAH doesn’t respond to just any ole name. “There is no other name under heaven given to men whereby we must be saved than Yahshua”.
    There is a difference between goats and sheep, wheat and tares, Yahshua and jesus.

    April 6, 2017 at 6:25 pm

    • Michael

      The Spirit responded to me when I called our Jesus name.

      I was an addict for many, many years (of of the worst kind)… As I was high and bawling my eyes out from the addiction and pain, I cried out “Jesus”… Instantly an overwhelming force exited from my stomach through my mouth (a demon) and then three huge breaths of life giving air rushed into my body.
      Instantly I could think straight again, feel my body, and control my behavior.

      After this happened, I NEVER had a desire or urge to use drugs or alcohol again. My 12 year daily addiction to hard drugs was healed, instantly.

      March 30, 2022 at 5:12 pm

      • Praise, YHVH, Michael! Thank you for sharing your story.

        April 11, 2022 at 12:25 pm

  10. David Lango

    Beautiful. This article about the Sabbath is well organized and clear. Thank you very much for your effort. The Sabbath is a sign between God and His people (I certainly want to be one of those!).

    I am very blessed, healthy, want for nothing, and I am very thankful to love and be loved. I never request anything in prayer beside forgiveness and wisdom; praise be to God.

    I read the comments following this wonderful article as well. I was inspired to say another prayer for my younger brother, who married a Jehovah Witness, and left off from keeping the Sabbath. (God bless you Bob Singleton)

    I would like to share something else about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, the begotten Son of God. Jesus indeed did not change the Sabbath Day to Sunday, but rather corrected us in how to keep the Sabbath Day holy. Jesus was Jewish, and kept Passover, not Easter.

    That said, I pray that your faith be strengthened and not shaken, as I help expand our knowledge of the truth.

    In the first chapter of Job we see that there are many Sons of God.

    Almighty God, the Creator of all things, good and evil, Who always was, is the only One with no beginning. The Ancient of Days created those Sons of God from spirit. He also made flesh and blood men; male and female humans, on the 6th Day of Creation. Let ‘us’ is plural, indicating how vast the spirit world must be, that surrounds our temporary 3 dimensional existence.

    It is only my opinion, that Genesis does not repeat itself, so I am seeking out other knowledgeable believers like yourself, that the spirit of God may guide us all to know truth, as I seek to understand more about the mysteries of the world around us.

    The Sons of God He created from spirit, and their legions of angels ministering to Creation, logically predates everything we are able to detect in our universe, by reason of our Creator having no beginning. As in what did God do before He created angels? And then… what did God do before ‘that’?

    I would love to get feedback on this notion I have, that Genesis provides for an unspecified amount of time from the 6th Day of Creation, and that the pyramids were already built before the debut of Adam in the second chapter.

    Genesis is very brief in detail, so why would it repeat itself one whit? When God said “Let there be Light”, it must be a dimension intangible to us; as I don’t think that separation of Day and Night is talking about sunshine! (at least different from what is described in the 4th Day of Creation)

    So the generations of each kind after it’s own kind populating the Earth in my mind, has Atlantis already a sea power, by the time Adam was fashioned from the dust of the Earth, rain replaced the mist, etc.

    I may be wrong, but I don’t think I am. Allow me to further sound off my conjecture, I beg pardon, but this next part I feel very strongly about…

    Note that there were certain disobedient Sons of God in Genesis chapter 6. It’s my opinion that this is where the advanced technology to build ships, machine rock, and build pyramids, comes from. It may have been no problem for Noah to build the Ark. All that advanced technology was washed away in the flood.

    With that, I am ready to make my point about Jesus, who is a Son of God. The disobedient Sons of God, who incarnated themselves into flesh and blood, to take wives of the daughters of the sons of men, angered our Creator.

    Almighty God would never mimic the sins of the disobedient Sons of God, to incarnate Himself into human form. God surreptitiously and elegantly made a Jewish virgin pregnant. Everything but the one true God has a beginning. Jesus got his start as flesh and blood, just like you and I. Jesus is the only ‘begotten’ Son of God.

    Jesus replaced animal sacrifices, and has gone to prepare a place for us. Jesus is now spirit since God raised him from the dead. Jesus is the first of the First Fruits.

    God is making a family.

    My biggest hope is to find some help confronting the polytheistic Trinity Doctrine. To me it’s very upsetting to hear believersa announce that Jesus is God in the flesh. To me that is pure blasphemy.

    I pray that you understand, and I look forward to hearing back from you.

    God bless us all with wisdom, in the name of His only begotten Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, amen.

    October 14, 2016 at 8:18 am

    • Wow, David, you bring up some interesting points to ponder. I’m not sure I can be of much help having never considered or researched some of these topics. However maybe some of our readers can weigh in. Meanwhile, I will give this some thought. Thank you for sharing your perspective.

      October 16, 2016 at 10:53 pm

  11. Bob Singleton

    Yes, Jesus always kept the Sabbath but more to the point, so did Paul. Paul was the one that was specifically sent to the gentiles and yet when the Jews left and he was only speaking to gentiles he continued on the following Sabbath. read Acts 13:42-44 when the Jews left and Paul had only gentiles to speak to, he could have spoken on the next day, which was Sunday but he did not do that. They came together the following Sabbath.

    I am not concerned with any day of worship. What I am concerned with is that there are many who want to make a new form of an Old Covenant. The rules they make, whether they find them in the Bible or not, make demands that oppose the freedom we have. I will refuse the words of either group if they make a dogma out of their words. In Galatians Paul pronounced a very specific curse on anyone that would preach a ‘works’ gospel.

    March 2, 2015 at 8:22 pm

  12. Bob Singleton

    I am a Christian but I observed the Sabbath and Holy Days for 25 years. We did not do it according to Messianic ways but simply by our best understanding as we read about it in the Bible. So we were very different but still keeping those days, along with clean foods, etc. Now we are back to Sunday worship but that’s another story.
    I have seen this.
    The issues of obedience to God are based on one primary thing. None of us do it well enough. None of us. That is why Jesus came. It’s not that the law is not good enough but we have all failed to keep it effectively. So God gives us space and grace to do things differently.
    Typical Christians all have their own way of conducting their services but… so do the Jews.
    The Sunday keeping Christians should know that they are creating their own tradition.
    Messianic Jews should know the same thing.
    When Israel rejected their Messiah, the Lord removed all the essential things for their worship. They lost the altar, the temple, the sacrificial system, the priesthood. No longer did Jews have a legitimate way of worship… and that’s okay because Jesus is still our savior. The way Messianic Jews worship is fine… it really is, but it is a tradition of men, just as much as any other. We/they have been left with no choice. Let me ask, when you eat the lamb do you make sure none of it’s bones were broken? or that it had no blemishes? You see, the whole system has fallen apart – but again, that’s alright because we have failed in that system anyway and our savior has paid the penalty. We are loved and blessed. As the scripture says, there is a righteousness apart from the law.
    I kept the memory of the Passover alive last year and will again this year. I will simply make some unleavened bread – I can do it in ten minutes, and have a glass of wine – all with a few friends. The actual lamb that was once sacrificed was a precursor to Jesus. His sacrifice and his blood covenant is confirmed in the bread and wine.
    I bless you in your Messianic traditions but they are your traditions, nothing distinctly ordained by God.

    I will honor you and will listen attentively to any comments you might care to make.
    Bob Singleton

    March 1, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    • Thanks for your comments, Bob. It sounds like you’ve been around this block a lot longer than I have. I agree with you that the feasts are a remembrance of our historic and current coming out of bondage and Yeshua’s first coming and a rehearsal of his second, not an exact science that we can replicate perfectly. And, as you know, the Sabbath is more than a day off to focus on God, but a mindset that begins to permeate all of your life in how you relate to God. The exact instruction of all these were the Pharisees’ concern. My goal in writing this was just to show that the Bible passages Christian sometimes understand as Yeshua denouncing the Sabbath, actually show him upholding it. I don’t think the fact that we can’t do these things perfectly as God intended, and that we didn’t keep them continuously since they were commanded should stop us from experiencing them as much as we reasonably can. Learning, practicing/rehearsing and keeping what I can has compounded my understanding of Yeshua’s ministry, God’s love and my devotion and commitment to both. I don’t disagree with you regarding methods of worship – I don’t think God intends for all of our worship services or observances to look exactly alike. He is the author of creative expression and made us each as a different facet of his body. My goal is to encourage Christians to pursue knowledge of and experience God through his commandments and the ancients ways – as well as his Son, not making them mutually exclusive as I did for so long. Thanks again for your insightful thoughts and sharing your experience.

      March 2, 2015 at 4:15 pm

  13. jay c

    A very thorough analysis. There is a great deal of instruction in the apostolic writings that is misunderstood because Christians aren’t aware of the real source of conflict between Jesus & the Pharisees, Paul & the “Judaizers”. Neither of them were ever opposed to keeping God’s Law, only to overloading people with extra requirements that God never intended and to requiring perfect obedience before one could be considered “saved”.

    February 5, 2015 at 10:13 am

  14. Don

    Your article is so true, thanks for writing it out so plainly.
    I would like to add that without the Sabbath being on the seventh day there are only nine commandments, God made it a special point to spell out that we were to work for six days followed by the seventh of rest just like Him at creation. To my way of thinking when God changes the days of creation then we can change the day of rest. Until then it is His Word we must obey.

    January 28, 2015 at 10:39 pm

    • Don, you are right, it is the 4th Commandment, which sums up all of the instructions regarding the sanctity of specific times YHVH has given us (See this “10 Commandments” post on the subject.) Many well meaning people adhere to only 9 Commandments. In my study of what was meant by the seventh day, I could never find anywhere that YHVH or Yeshua changed the Sabbath to Sunday — that’s when I had to rethink things. Thanks for your comment.

      January 29, 2015 at 6:45 am

      • solomon Ekakitie Pleasure

        Thank so much God has use this your article to help me

        June 21, 2020 at 5:58 am

      • Praise YHVH! May he continue to open his truths to you.

        June 23, 2020 at 6:14 am

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