Confrontations over how not whether to keep the Sabbath

Where many people jump to wrong conclusions about Jesus and the Sabbath is in His confrontations with the scribes and Pharisees. Yet these confrontations were never over whether to keep the Sabbath—only over how it should be kept. There is a crucial difference between the two!

For example, Jesus boldly challenged the Jews concerning their interpretation of Sabbath observance by performing healings on the Sabbath (Mark 3:1-6; Luke 13:10-17; 14:1-6).

According to the Pharisees, rendering medical attention to someone, unless it were a matter of life and death, was prohibited on the Sabbath. And since none of these healings involved a life-and-death situation, they thought Jesus was breaking the Sabbath. But as the Savior, Jesus understood the purpose of the Sabbath, that it was a perfectly appropriate time to bring His message of healing, hope and redemption to humanity and to live that message through His actions.

To make His point, Jesus asked the Pharisees the question, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" (Mark 3:4). He exposed their hypocrisy in that they saw nothing wrong with working to rescue an animal that fell into a pit on the

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