Jesus said to [the Pharisees], "Haven't you ever read in the Scriptures what David did when he and his companions were hungry? He went into the house of God (during the days when Abiathar was high priest) and broke the law by eating the sacred loaves of bread that only the priests are allowed to eat. He also gave some to his companions."
Then Jesus said to them, "The Sabbath was made to meet the needs of people, and not people to meet the requirements of the Sabbath."
— Mark 2:25-27 NLT
Regarding the Sabbath, did God need a specific day to be honored, or did his human creations need a day to rest? Well, God doesn't "need" anything. It seems clear that the Sabbath was a day to remember and recognize the blessings and providence God had placed into the Israelites' lives. At the same time, we human creatures need to rest. Without rest, we make ourselves vulnerable to temptation due to fatigue and exhaustion. Without rest, we can cause damage to our own physical health. Most of all, without rest, we are tempted to forget the one from whom we've received all of our many blessings. Then we feel that everything depends on just us, and this feeling puts more pressure on us to perform. God gave the Sabbath as a gift to his human creations. So God didn't make the Sabbath for himself, but for people to have a day to rest from labor, to remember that God provides them every good and perfect gift, and to renew their bodies and their spirits. While many don't keep the literal Sabbath (the seventh day, or Saturday) as a religious observance, we would do well to remember this Sabbath principle as the rhythm of God's universe and take time to rest, remember, and refresh.
Forgive me, dear Father, for trying to cram too much into my short days. I confess that I am sometimes overly anxious to do too many things. I am honestly seeking your help so that I can live a more balanced and holy life. Help me as I seek to find the time of rest that you have created for me and my spiritual, physical, and emotional needs. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Colossians 2:16-17
- John 5:16-23
- Exodus 31:15-17
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.