Today, we read about Jesus talking about the Sabbath. It is a passage that the children have never read or heard before.
We first talked about what Sabbath is. The boys haven’t heard that word before, and Evan jokes it sounds like cabbage. We explain that Sabbath is a day of rest.
Sabbath is introduced in the Old Testament, most prominently in the Ten Commandments. The fourth commandment is about the Sabbath.
“Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work …. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.” —Ex. 20:8-11
So Sabbath started from the very beginning of creation. We were made on the sixth day, and on the seventh day, we all rested. For us, we didn’t even do anything, and we rested. It is, because God did all of the work. And here we find the meaning of rest. That even before we do any work, we rest in God, because we know that he has done all the work for us.
The Jews took Sabbath very seriously, as they should, but then they started to forget the true meaning of Sabbath! It has become a law to judge other people. As we read in the Sermon on the Mount, God’s Kingdom is not about what we see, but our hearts. The law was made so we love God and love other people, but the Jews (and we) twisted it to dislike and judge others! Jesus is getting back at the heart of the law, and the stubborn hearts do not accept Jesus’s words. How frustrating for the creator of the law!
At the end of our time, the boys prayed to God to help us make good laws. This wasn’t the point of the passage, but for today, this is what the boys got out of this passage. We need make good laws that help people, and not oppress people. However, as we see in the passage, even good laws can be misinterpreted and misused. That’s why we need to learn and understand the heart of the law and know the character of the person who made the law. That is why we are studying God and Jesus’s character, and why we are remind ourselves what the heart of the law is: To do good. It is to love God with all of our heart, and to love our neighbors as ourselves.