Sabbath rest. As a commandment, it’s one of the top 10. And as an invitation, it gives us a foretaste of our inheritance in the life to come.
“The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath!” (Matt 12:8). This declaration comes from Jesus on the occasion of his disciples failing to observe Jewish rules about Sabbath keeping. Not the only time there was tension around the doings of Jesus and his disciples on the Sabbath, it becomes the moment of a bewildering claim by which Jesus asserts his identity as Sovereign Lord and Creator! His opponents have inserted themselves into Jesus’ ministry as those in charge of enforcing Jewish Sabbath rules. Yet Jesus stands among them as the very Lord of the Sabbath. He remonstrates with them in relative small talk, stating that Israel’s leaders, didn’t keep their rules. Hadn’t they noticed?! And this, while the simply astounding claim to His dominion of the Sabbath passes them by undetected!
I’ll never forget driving from Massachusetts to Iowa to return my car to the college I was attending (in the mid-70’s), and then hopping on a plane to connect with four of my buddies in Montana to drive to our friend’s wedding in northwest Washington state. I had allotted three days to get to Iowa, including a stop for another friend’s wedding in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Then, an additional three days to camp and drive to the Pacific Northwest.
When I left home my mother cautioned me, “Stephen, I’m concerned that you haven’t left any time for an emergency.” I responded, “Don’t worry, mom, I’ll be fine.”