In this week’s teaching, we revisited John 5:1-18, but this week we unpacked a new meaning: the centrality of Sabbath to a Jesus-centered life. This passage reveals how rest is the path to the healing we are looking for.
We struggle as a culture to understand the Sabbath concept of rest and its connection to healing. Sabbath isn’t inactivity, it is going to war with the lies that displace Jesus as the center of our lives. Jesus’ example of healing on the Sabbath helps to deepen our understanding of what Sabbath is and how we are to respond.
Read this from the Bible together:
8 Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” 9 And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.
Now that day was the Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to take up your bed.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.’” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take up your bed and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had withdrawn, as there was a crowd in the place. 14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you are well! Sin no more, that nothing worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. 16 And this was why the Jews were persecuting Jesus, because he was doing these things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is working until now, and I am working.”
12 And the Lord said to Moses, 13 “You are to speak to the people of Israel and say, ‘Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you.
12 “‘Observe the Sabbath day, to keep it holy, as the Lord your God commanded you. 13 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 14 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God…15 You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. Therefore the Lord your God commanded you to keep the Sabbath day.
Some key statements and questions put forward that are important for us to talk about…
“But Jesus answered them, my Father is working until now, and I am working.” Why did Jesus say he was healing on the Sabbath? Why is it important that we allow the Sabbath to define the work we do instead of the other way around? (In other words, why does Jesus say he doesn’t work to rest, but rests in doing God’s work?)
“Above all you shall keep my Sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I, the Lord, sanctify you.” How does the idea of keeping the Sabbath sanctify us? How does resting from our work help change us to become more like Jesus?
Have you struggled to connect with God? Does the idea of dedicating a day to celebrate God intimidate or confuse you?
Is there part of your heart that simply doesn’t believe that God will take care of your needs if you take a day for rest? Why do you think that is?
Sabbath offers us healing from addiction to activity through the finished work of Jesus. Have you said “Yes, I want to center my life on Jesus?” How can we help you take steps towards reorienting your priorities if you want that to be true of you?