Christianity, Unconditional Love, and Absolute Tolerance: Sabbath Day (Matt. 12)

For any of those who have followed this series, you may wonder if I will ever see any hint of an ‘Anything Goes’ gospel.  Well, this chapter may bring a little balance.  The relevant part to this study involves Christ and His disciples violating some of the culture of Sabbath Day observance of the time.

On the Sabbath, some of Christ’s disciples plucked some corn and ate it.  And later, Christ healed a man on the Sabbath.  In both cases, He was accused by the Pharisees of violating the Sabbath.  Christ provides some justification for the actions, and when the Pharisees plot to use these actions to destroy Him, He departs from them.

While Christ does show that religious people can be over-zealous, and in such cases as these, we should cut people some slack, I do not think this shows an anything goes attitude.  While Christ does allow for some practical living, and doing good on the Sabbath, I do not think this suggests that Christ would support any behavior whatsoever on the Sabbath.

For me, this suggests a balance between keeping the commandments, yet not being so over-zealous that you forget the purpose of the commandment.  It also suggests that cultural practice can go well beyond the intended purpose.

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