And he said to them, “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” Luke 6:5
Where does Jesus fit in the priorities of your life? Is he in first place or is he more of an afterthought?
Honestly, depending on the circumstances, I sometimes squeeze him in wherever. It’s the wrong thing to do because I find that when he’s in first place, I experience peace.
Today I read the story about Jesus and his disciples, who were caught picking grain on the Sabbath by religious leaders (Luke 6:1-5). The last line of the passage took on new meaning for me. Knowing that Jesus is lord of the Sabbath is a game changer.
What does it mean exactly? To know, we have to dig deeply into the words lord and Sabbath.
The original Greek meanings are as follows:*
Lord is kyrios (pronounced koo-re-ohs) and Sabbath is sabbaton (pronounced sahb-baht-own).
Lord means one who exercises supernatural authority over mankind — Lord, Ruler, One who commands.
Sabbath is a period of seven days, a week.
Many Christians observe a “Sabbath day,” a day of worship and rest from work. We gather with other believers to sing, pray, serve, and learn about God. We rest from work after the pattern of God’s creation of the world.
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation. Genesis 2:1-3
The Sabbath was a holy day for Jews and the Pharisees strictly observed it. Many activities were forbidden and when Jesus and his followers picked the grain, the Pharisees considered it a form of work. Basically, Jesus was snacking.
I love how he fired back at his harassers with scripture. Read Luke 6:1-5 for the full picture. Jesus put these legalists in their place.
1 Colossians 1:15 -17 tells us: Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through him God created everything in the heavenly realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can’t see — such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through him and for him. He existed before anything else, and he holds all creation together.
The leaders really didn’t understand to whom they were speaking. I get it. Sometimes I forget too.
Jesus is Lord. He’s the One who commands. He’s Lord of the Sabbath. This means he is Lord over the whole week.
What’s the significance for us? When we plan our days according to the commands of our commander, we put them in proper order. Jesus hammered a fundamental principle into the minds of his followers. He challenged them to align their thinking and behavior with God’s ultimate standard.
He said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” John 13:34
If we filter all we do and say through this principle, we will literally change the world.
How can you align your weekly plans with Jesus’ command?
*Louw, Johannes P, and Eugene A Nida. Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains. United Bible Societies, 1988.