When I was growing up in rural Massachusetts, it was hard to find a gas station open on Sunday. Trucks, other than for milk transport and emergency fuel needs, were not allowed on the highways on Sunday. All team sports were played Monday through Saturday. The pharmacy was the only store open in town on Sunday and then only for half a day. Sundays were considered, by most people, a day of rest. It makes you wonder, “exactly how old is Pastor Bob?” No, wait a minute, I hope it makes you wonder “why is Sunday no longer different from the other six days in the week?” I know of no statistical research on the topic but would venture to guess that it has more to do with how Christians view their obligation to set aside Sundays as a day of rest, than it has to do with the influence of other religions on our culture.
It seems that the culture we live in has turned Sunday from a day of rest to a day of work.
The Pharisees were upset that Jesus disciples were picking grain as they walked along on the Sabbath day of rest (Saturday). Can you imagine how upset the Pharisees would be at our Sabbath keeping today? But it appears, from the correction Jesus gives them in verses 27 and 28, that they were not any more on track with the meaning of the Sabbath than our culture is today.
What did Jesus mean when He said that “the Sabbath was made for man and not man for the Sabbath?” What does the fourth of the Ten Commandments say about keeping the Sabbath?
After the resurrection, the disciples shifted the “day of rest” from last day of the week (Saturday) to the first day (Sunday), which in the New Testament is called the Lord’s Day. What do the disciples seem to be engaged in and what do the New Testament epistles call Christians to do on the Lord’s Day?
On Sunday, we’ll look at what the Sabbath is, what it is not and what it means to us as Christians today.