SABBATH-FEST (Pass Interference-Offense)

Posted on February 2, 2022 by Catey Stover in Freedom Fighters

“At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to Him, “Look, Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!”

Matthew 12:1-2 (NKJV)


So, picking up where I left off from the last SABBATH-FEST Freedom Fighter, remember my struggle with a way out from the death penalty for violating the fourth commandment, “Remember the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy”? Jokingly, I turned to the Red Letters and found something Jeus had said in Marks Gospel (Mark 2:27-28) and kinda said maybe the conversation ends there, just because I couldn’t find the “football clause” BUT I did find something in Matthews Gospel that has Jesus defending the actions of His Disciples to those wacky Talmud-translating Pharisees.


The 12th chapter of Matthews Gospel starts off with straight up Sabbath controversy. The disciples of Jesus are being pointed out because their doing a by-nature thing called “eating while hungry”. Jesus fires back with something that we can find in 1 Samuel 21 and then has to remind them that “in the Law” the priests in the Temple break the Sabbath, and are innocent (still doesn’t say football, but I’m hopeful).  Even though those wacky Pharisees may have their 39 different categories of work not permitted on Sabbath, Jesus hits them with this from Hosea 6:6, “For I desire mercy and not sacrifice”, and then tells them that they condemn the guiltless. Guess this makes it okay to rest in Deuteronomy 23:25 again.


Just a little humorous sidenote here, if we were a bunch of Sabbath obeying Christians to the 39th degree, Baptist churches throughout America would be guilty of violating Sabbath rest on a Sunday with their pot-luck dinners because cooking and baking is on the list. So is boiling water and grinding coffee, there goes Sunday morning Dunkin’ out da window. Don’t tie your shoes either, it’s on the list. Do you have a fireplace? Guess what, you gonna be cold because burning so much as a toothpick is gonna get you stoned! Now operating a car isn’t on the list…but if you wanna be ridiculous about it, make it number 40.


“So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound–think of it–for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?” — Luke 13:16


In Luke’s Gospel account, chapter 13, Jesus will be confronted by a ruler of a synagogue, who really isn’t too down with what Jesus is about let alone this moment where He decides to heal a woman with an infirmity on the Sabbath day. Even my boy, Matt Henry, comments on how this guy has a got himself a pretend zeal for the Sabbath and that Jesus calls him out on it. Why not deliver this woman on a day that YHVH, Himself, made set apart so we can rest in His glory?


In his comments to me from last week, fellow Freedom Fighter writer, Neil Fichthorn would ask me to ponder this, “Do you want hospitals to be closed on Sunday, or at least, we as Christians, will not use them on Sundays?” Well, the short answer is no and the longer is if Jesus is in the church or the ER and asks “Do you want to made well?” who in their right mind is gonna say no just because it’s the Sabbath?


I like how Alistair Begg puts it in his book, Pathway To Freedom, “On the Lords Day, we are to cease from the work that has been our focus on the other six days. In other words, the ordinary routines of life are to be suspended, not as an occasion for laziness but in order that we might ponder Gods works, participate with His people in worship, and pursue opportunities to do good to others.”


So, as I go over to pick up the proverbial yellow flag that ref’s use for penalties during football games, allow me to say that if you’re setting apart a Sunday, Lord’s Day or a Sabbath to give yourself a break from what binds you to the world, then be blessed in it. Ain’t no shame in doing something God honoring on any of the other six either. Bottom line, enjoy what God has provided on a day that you’ve set apart to be something other than burdened by the weight of the world you live in.


The one thing I’ve taken away from all this in depth look at God’s Sabbath is that, yeah, He created stuff for six solid days then rested on the seventh but when He got to that day of rest nothing in Scripture said He stopped being God. Guess that means you don’t get to stop being His child, and in that may you find His rest. Amen?


Written by Chris Hughes: Chris is a husband, a father, has an education in Biblical doctrine and is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy. He has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008. You can e-mail at

Think About This: “Once we have come to a deep conviction about the wonderful provision that God has made for us in this day, then we are in the position to think properly about what it means to keep the Lord’s Day. – Alistair Begg

The Daily Bible Reading: Exodus 29-30; Matthew 22:1-22| You can download our 2022 Daily Bible Reading Plan by clicking here. 

This Week’s Verse to Memorize: For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, 5 so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.” Romans 12:4-5

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