Luke has been telling us about Jesus’ activities. He has told us of some of Jesus’ usual practices and of some extraordinary instances. He is going to tell us of activities that happened on one particular Sabbath. Luke shared with us earlier that Jesus’ normal practice on the Sabbath was to go to the synagogue and teach in whatever town He was in. In our story today we join Him and His disciples on the way, probably to the synagogue to do just that.
This is the third time we have come across this story in our readings. When we looked at Matthew’s account we looked in on it in person and focused on the events of the day. In Mark’s account we looked at the practice of the Sabbath and its history. In Luke’s telling I want to focus on the last verse: “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath” (verse 5).
As I typed exactly what is put down in my bible I had a question pop into my mind. Is Jesus saying He is Lord of the Sabbath or lord of the Sabbath? To me there is a distinction. That is why I always capitalize “he” when it refers to Jesus but not when it implies any other male. I’m wondering if He said it as lord to the Pharisees but meant it as Lord. Maybe the Pharisees simply heard it as lord because of their hard hearts.
In truth, Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath. He is its creator and has all authority over it. As part of the Godhead, Jesus was there when God rested on the seventh day. He was in unison with God when God declared it a holy day. Together the full Godhead established the priority of resting.
When Jesus left Heaven and came to live with us, He observed the Sabbath day EVERY week. He observed it as it was meant to be observed. He never broke the law through His actions but He also never let the law bind Him from “doing good” on the Sabbath. We will get another firsthand glimpse of that in tomorrow’s story. Jesus used the Sabbath as another opportunity to share God’s word with the people. He did the “work” of the teachers on this day as often as possible. He abstained from physical labor but was more than willing to indulge in spiritual tasks. Thus, He was both lord (organizer and overseer) and Lord (creator and master) of the day.
I believe Jesus left the capitol L off His reference, at that time, because it was not yet time for Him to fully reveal Himself. You remember what happened when He plainly answered the question of “are You the Christ” before the High Priest. It put the final “nail” in His death sentence.
It is also just as possible that Jesus did put the capitol L in His statement, but the Pharisees failed to comprehend the difference. They were looking for any reason to accuse Him and if they would have understood exactly what He was saying, they would have run screaming “Blaspheme” all the way to Jerusalem.
Father God, so many times You have “blinded” the eyes or “dulled” the ears of those observing Jesus’ activities. You did that throughout history too. Hardening Pharaoh’s heart or hiding the presence of the angelic army around Jerusalem or letting Jesus walk right through the middle of the crowd trying to throw Him off a cliff. You do these things to shape our history in such a way as to bring Your perfect plan into existence. With ALL the evidence played out right in front of the Pharisees, they never recognized, or accepted, the truth. The truth of Who Jesus was/is. They were blinded by their own ambitions and conceptions. You allowed them just enough truth at just the right time to do the required work of Your plan.
So many times have You turned my eyes to see something in a different way. I am in awe of how You show me new things in Your word. Why do You allow me these glimpses? It is certainly not something I have earned! I’m also fully convinced it is not because I’m some expert at sharing what You give me with a massive audience. I am thankful for the people that You do let me share with. I pray that Your message is what shines through, not my ramblings.
More than anything else God, thank You for letting me meet with You. I love climbing up in Your lap and letting You show me our scrapbook. Make me always childlike when I’m in Your lap. Don’t let me ever think I have all the answers, because I DON’T! You do. I trust You to share them with me when I’m old enough to understand. Thank You for bearing with my childish ways. I want to be childlike, not childish.