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Friday, July 3, 2020

     “At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the sabbath; his disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, ‘Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the sabbath.’ He said to them, ‘Have you not read what David did, when he was hungry, and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the law how on the sabbath the priests in the temple profane the sabbath, and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would n...

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And there was a woman who had had a spirit of infirmity for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. And when Jesus saw her, he called her and said to her, ‘Woman, you are freed/untied (ἀπολέλυσαι) from your infirmity.’ And he laid his hands upon her, and immediately she was made straight, and she praised God. But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the sabbath, said to the people, ‘There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be healed, and not on the sabbath day.’ Then the Lord answered him, ‘You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie/loose (λύει) his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to water it? And oug...

Monday, October 30, 2017

And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, he has made alive together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us (ὑπεναντίον ἡμῖν). And he has taken it out of the way (ἦρκεν ἐκ τοῦ μέσου), having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance/body is of Christ (τὸ δὲ σῶμα τοῦ Χριστοῦ).” (Col 2: 13-17)

The “substance“ of the Old-Testament Law, that is to say, its whole point, was embodied in the human-divine Person of Jesus Chris...

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Six days you shall do your work, but on the seventh day you shall rest, so that your ox and your donkey may have relief, and the son of your bondmaid and the resident alien may be refreshed.” (Ex 23: 12)

Setting aside the disputed issues of the Sabbath-commandment and its status in Christianity (e.g., how or whether it relates to Sunday), I’d just like to reflect on its motivation, in its above-quoted version. We are commanded to rest, not primarily for our own sake, but out of consideration for our dependents, including animals. So, if we do not heed the commandment to rest, and are “on” non-stop, as many of us are (at least to some degree) in our 24/7 Internet-culture, we are over-burdening not only ourselves, but also others.

So let me take a break this weekend, and take time “off” as Go...

Saturday, May 21, 2016

“…The man (the one healed at the pool of Bethesda) went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had healed him. And this was why the Jews persecuted Jesus, because he did this on the sabbath. But Jesus answered them, ‘My Father is working still, and I am working.’ This was why the Jews sought all the more to kill him, because he not only broke the sabbath but also called God his own Father, making himself equal with God.” (Jn 5: 15-18)


Here, in yet another incident within the ongoing “Sabbath controversy” between Jesus and the Pharisees, our Lord makes a shocking statement: “My Father is working still (until now), and I am working.” Jesus is signalizing a change in His Father’s dealings with us, His people.


Previously, God had made His “rest” on the seventh day upon creation, as descr...

Saturday, July 25, 2015

“Now it happened that he went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went his disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. And the Pharisees said to him, ‘Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?’ But he said to them, ‘Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry…?’ And he said to them, ‘The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” (Mk 2:23-27)


The word Sabbath comes from the Hebrew “shabath,” meaning “to cease, desist, rest.” In the passage above I learn two things about the Sabbath: 1. In the Spirit of Christ, Who is “Lord of the Sabbath” (Mt 12:8), one has a new freedom to interpret and apply the law of the Sabbath; 2. A special time for “ceasing, desisting, resting” is a God-given gift, made for “man(kind),” for all of us...

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