Sabbath · Traditions

Jesus on the Sabbath – Part 8 – Serving on a Sabbath

jesus-the-grain-fieldRecently I penned a series of post on the Ten Commandments and as I was writing it, found that the Sabbath day was the only commandment not reapplied  to believers in the New Testament.

In writing that series of posts, I was reminded that the Sabbath day was one of the main irritants between the Lord Jesus and the Pharisees.

You know, since we looked at Matthew 12, it occurred to me that Jesus may have healed on the Sabbath at other times.  And my occurrence was accurate!

As a matter of fact, I found six more occurrences of the Lord healing on the Sabbath, for a total of seven healings on the Sabbath.  Golly, it seems the Lord sometimes chooses the Sabbath to heal on to get a point across.  sometimes it is simply out of love to the victim, that He does’t even consider the day He heals on

Lets stay in the book of Mark and consider Simon’s mother in law with some of the repercussions / implications that this has on our lives.

Mark 1:29-31

Mark 1:29–31

And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John.

Jesus left the synagogue and went to Simon’s (Peter) house right after a teaching time in a synagogue.

Did Jesus teach during this Sabbath? Definitely, since the passage prior to the one we are considering, in verse 21, teaches us this.

Mark 1:21

And they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath he entered the synagogue and was teaching.

Astonished at His teaching

Not only did He teach, He did a wee bit of disrupting.

Mark 1:22

And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.

Concerned over His miracles

This particular Sabbath, Jesus met a demoniac (in the synagogue!), rebuked him, exorcised him and brought great fame upon His name throughout the region.

Mark 1:27

“What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.”

Lets remember our context here.

On a Sabbath day, in a synagogue, filled with pious Jews.  Questions and concerns over authority.  Yet at this miracle, no mention of breaking the Sabbath from those faithful to the synagogue.


I checked the parallel passage in Luke and nothing there to link the miracle with breaking the Sabbath.

Let me suggest that this miracle on the Sabbath shook the people off balance.  Since it is relatively early in His ministry (Check out BLB Harmony of Gospels), those who would eventually become Christ’s antagonists had not organized yet, and were still in shock mode.  Often, in the gospels, the antagonists would scheme together, planning how to trip up this new miracle Worker.

At this point in the gospels, this may not have occurred.  The focused and concentrated hatred had not been formed at this time.  But give it time and it will become fully formed, and seek the life of the only Lifegiver.

Back to the passage under consideration – Simon’s mother in law and her fever

30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her.

Jesus healed the demoniac hours earlier.  Why could He not heal a simple fever?  Alas, He did, and without considering which day it was.  Remember, in this instance, it seems He simply healed His friends mother in law without using it to initiate a discussion with religious folk.  He wasn’t “on the attack”, as we discussed in the Matthew 12:1-8.  See previous post Jesus on the Sabbath- Part 1 – Rubbing Grain.

31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

Mark uses the word “immediately” continuously through his gospel.  His telling of the ministry of Christ is fast paced and relentless.  How long did it take to get from the synagogue to the house of Peter?  Not sure.  It appears they left the synagogue and ventured directly to the home.  If so, this miracle occurred within the time of Sabbath observance, along with the mother-in-laws serving of the Master and His disciples.

Okay, maybe she was a gentile and the Sabbath didn’t apply to her.  Not likely.

It is my understanding the Jewish households, in order to keep Sabbath, would hire gentiles within the area to enter their homes in order to do labor during the Sabbath.  Tasks might include such things as beginning a fire or cleaning a dish.

No work allowed for an observant Jew.  If the mother in law was an observant Jew, this service to the Master and His disciples was revolutionary.  If she was non-observant, her service simply showed evidence of His growing following

All heck is gonna break loose if this new Teacher continues to affect the population with His authority.  The implications were huge, and eventually the Jewish leadership will  figure it out.

His authority is still disrupting religious life.

If you are a religious person, you need to experience some disrupting.   He is the One who we need to follow.


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Thanks again for coming to visit. I hope you found something of interest in this post and would appreciate a comment, to begin a discussion.

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