Jesus’ Sabbaths

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January 15, 2013 by Chris French

What did Jesus do with His Sabbath days? How did He spend them?

Scripture tells us about seven different Sabbath days Jesus observed during His three-year ministry. Of course there were many more than this, but these are the only ones recorded for us.

In Matthew 12.10 and Mark 2.23-32 Jesus heals a man with a withered hand

In Mark 1.21 and Luke 4.31-37 we find Him teaching in the Synagogue. This is going to be the most complete record we have of how Jesus spent a Sabbath day.  In Mark 1.23-25 Jesus casts a demon out of a man. In Mark 1.29-31 Jesus goes to Peter’s house to rest I would assume, but ends up healing Peter’s mother-in-law. Just hours later in Mark 1.32-34 Jesus heals and exorcised demons out of an entire city. All this happened on the same Sabbath day!

In Mark 6.2 and Luke 4.16 Jesus teaches and in Mark 6.5 later that day we find Him healing the sick.

In Luke 13.10-17 Jesus heals a woman who Satan had physically disabled

In Luke 14.1-24 Jesus heals a man of dropsy and teaches.

In John 5.1-18 He heals the 38-year-old man at the pool of Bethsaida from being lame.

The last Sabbath we’re told about that concerns Jesus’ activity is in John 9.1 where He uses His spit to make mud, puts it on a blind man’s eyes and tells him to go wash in the pool of Siloam.

The resounding conclusion from Scripture is that Jesus used His Sabbaths to heal and teach people. In short He brought redemption and freedom to them. When we start looking for activities that will help us do Sabbath well we need to make sure we’re doing it like Jesus! Set aside a day to look for ways you can bring redemption to people’s lives like this. I’m not sure I would plan anything specific for these days, but get out among the people and look for opportunities to help. Maybe you just walk around campus on the lookout for these opportunities.

Don’t overlook how many times Jesus taught on the Sabbath! It should be a time to dig deep into God’s Word. Gather up some questions and a call a couple of friends from our group and use that day to hash out everyone’s questions or thoughts. What a great way to spend the Sabbath!



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