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Jun 23, 2019

Who Is The Sabbath For?

Who Is The Sabbath For?

Speaker: James Gallaher

Series: Sabbath

Category: Sunday Morning

Our perspective of Sabbath will determine our provision. Be expecting and looking for what God desires to give into our lives.

John 5:2, 5-17 The Healing at Bethesda

Mark 2:27 Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.”

Pastor James gave a surprise party to his son and wife on the same night, telling each of them it was a party for the other person. They arrived, his wife to be surprised first. Then it was especially awkward for the son's surprise a little later as his friends showed up with gifts that he was not expecting showing that it is hard to be in a position to receive when you show up in a position to give.

Compare that to observing Sabbath in the Church. We sometimes treat Sabbath like it's our gift to God rather than His gift to us. Then we miss the purpose of Sabbath. When our perspective is wrong, then we can miss what God wants to give us. Some of us have a tradition of Sabbath as a “holy obligation” implying that our participation satisfies some payment that was owed. 

God’s first gift to us is rest. God took care of everything so that Adam could rest. Rest is not an obligation. It’s a gift but it’s hard to receive a gift that I’m still trying to earn or feel obligated to do or obligated to pay for. Our perspective will determine our provision. If we change our perspective seeing Sabbath as God’s gift to us, then we will be expecting and looking for what He desires to give into our lives and then experience the great joy of what God has for us. 

Most encounters with Jesus and the Sabbath have to do with Him offering healing to someone. On this day set aside, Jesus would come in and give provision in lives. Have we missed out on some spiritual or emotional healing because we don’t come in and rest in the presence of God? 

John 5:2 Now there is in Jerusalem by the sheep gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew Bethesda having five porticoes. John 5:5-6 A man was there who had been ill for 38 years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been a long time in that condition, He said to him, “Do you wish to get well?” Are we thankful that Jesus shows up in the pitiful state of our lives? Jesus pursues us like He pursued the crippled man and shows up with power and authority. He has not forgotten us. He knows our condition.

Jesus wanted to know if the crippled man's desire was to be made well. Do you want to be made well? The man's answer shows that he is only thinking one possible solution to his condition (there is no one to put me in the pool). 

Isaiah 55:8 For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” declares the Lord.

Psalm 50:21 These things you have done and I kept silence; You thought that I was just like you . . .

Jesus could have provided the crippled man a friend. Like the man, at times we can get locked into a solution and yet Jesus says He knows what we need! It’s not about our ability. Jesus provided a gift apart from what we can do on our own. Does God offer something that we refuse? Do we want to experience real Sabbath in our lives?

Psalm 34:18 God is near to the brokenhearted . . . Matthew 11:38 Come to Me all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. I Peter 5:7 Casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you. Psalm 55:22 Cast your burden upon the Lord and He will sustain you; Matthew 11:30 My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

God doesn’t say try harder. “God helps those who help themselves” is not in the Bible. There is no indication that this man knew who Jesus was and yet Jesus extended the gift to him. The man could have stayed stuck in his understanding and not received healing. As believers we can stay stuck in our understanding thinking we have to try harder or understand better. God asks if we want rest, not if we deserve it.

John 5:9 The man got up and walked. His understanding was not the premise for the gift, but the willingness to receive. There is something that takes place in the heart of a believer when action begins to come forth. You don’t have to understand it but take an action toward the promise.

John 5:9-10 Immediately the man became well and picked up his pallet and began to walk. Now it was a Sabbath on that day. So, the Jews were saying to the man who was cured, “It is the Sabbath, and it is not permissible for you to carry your pallet.”

The enemy will use whatever means necessary to steal our freedom and rob us of the gift we’ve been given. People who are not experiencing the blessing will always try to talk us out of ours. We don’t need those people in our life. Don’t let them tell you that you don’t deserve it or didn't earn it. Find people who will build the blessing, establish God’s principles, get us to trust more, to believe more, claim more of what God has promised for us.

John 5:14 Afterward Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “Behold, you have become well; do not sin anymore, so that nothing worse happens to you."

1) Don’t let the religious people or structures keep us from pursing God’s presence. This 38-year crippled man gets up and goes to the temple. He was found at the temple even though he wasn’t welcome but freedom will always afford you opportunities that you didn’t have before.  

Galatians 5:1 It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery.

Be a trust fund kid. We didn’t earn our freedom but our Father in heaven paid for it and we can go back to the throne anytime we need more. We can receive from Him whether we deserve it or not. Our Father gives good gifts to us. Don’t let others take your freedom. Walk in freedom!

2) Jesus found him. Illness is not always attached to our sin even though there are things that we do that can bring burdens in our lives. Jesus knew that this man had a besetting sin and pointed to it. We can also walk with these besetting sins that we have no victory over. Some things can only be broken through worship. It is time to put aside our effort and come to the one who has the gift for us.

Jesus found him in the temple. Jesus knows that where there is blessing that trouble is soon to follow. John 16:33 These things I have spoken to you, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you have tribulation but take courage; I have overcome the world. If we choose to rest and Sabbath then something is gonna try to steal our rest. But - Jesus has overcome. Are we gonna rest? The enemy is seeking whom He will devour because He doesn’t want us to experience what God has for us. 

Mark 2:27 Jesus said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.” Let the Holy Spirit be our helper! Trust Him! Stop treating the gift as a burden. God’s promise of Sabbath is not connected to my faithfulness. It’s connected to His faithfulness and that never fails. James 4:2 You do not have because you do not ask.

Do you trust God with the rest that He offers?

What desire of your heart do you want to be made well? Have you asked for it? 

What are you lacking? Comfort? Healing? Rest? Provision? Are we afraid to ask for it, thinking we need to earn it?

How have you learned to rest in the presence of God?