The Sabbath was the day Jesus healed two people in Jerusalem, as recorded in John’s gospel. Why did Jesus heal on the Sabbath? In the first miracle, Jesus chose a man crippled for 38 years from among other people with disabilities. He told him to pick up his mat and walk, which the man did with joy! However, the Jewish leaders were unimpressed because the miracle occurred on the Sabbath, so they sought to shut Jesus down (John 5:1-17). In the second miracle, Jesus puts mud on a blind man’s eyes near the temple, the highest point of Jerusalem. He tells the man to wash off the mud, requiring him to walk to the pool of Siloam, the lowest part of the city. When the man washed off the mud, he regained his sight. This miracle further angered the Jewish leaders, who plotted to trap and kill Jesus (John 9:1-43).
Both miracles provoked the Jewish religious leadership and required action from the participants. Why did Jesus heal on the Sabbath? Neither case was critical. Another day for a man who was crippled for 38 years and another day of darkness for a blind man is an inconvenience—but if Jesus had told them He would heal them the next day—the Sabbath would still have been one of joy while the Jewish leaders would have not been so upset.
Historically, the Jewish Sabbath was restrictive because of the many laws to keep the day holy from a human perspective. Jesus created the Sabbath and knew that holiness was more about making people whole and giving joy. His presence, power and point aimed to remind people of the gift of the Sabbath, revealing the character of God, and was worth challenging the leaders.
The Sabbath is God’s gift to all humanity, not just Adventists. If we are serious about our end-time message, we should share the joy of the Sabbath. That is why I will be creating video clips discussing the meaning of the Sabbath and share them on my social media pages throughout June. In fact, I might do it until the end of the year. Will you join me in creating a digital movement to spread the Sabbath gift, showing that the “Seventh-day” in our name really means something to us? And a tip—please reflect Jesus more than the Jewish leaders!
See sabbathgift.info/share/ for more information.