The Pharisees had a “to-the-death” ownership-obsession with the Sabbath. Christ’s free-wheeling use of it continually enraged them. It didn’t matter that Jesus said God made the Sabbath for man, not vice-versa. That is, as a day of liberating rest, not of regimented idleness identified by some 600 rules Mark 2:27.
Nor did it matter that they “worked” on the Sabbath to care for their animals. Which logically meant they couldn’t complain of his “work” using the Sabbath to heal a woman Satan had beleaguered for 18 years! Luke 13:10-17.
However, Christ’s Identity as the One Who Came From Heaven meant he could use the Sabbath as he pleased. The Pharisees had no authority over the day. He made the same point about conversion to Nicodemus in John 3. Jesus, not Nicodemus, determined how we entered the spiritual life. He made the same point to the Samaritan woman about religious authority in history. The Jews, not the Samaritans, had been chosen by God to bear his message to humanity John 4:22.
So here we are, in a society of religious turmoil, each persuasion trumpeting its own version as true. I stand where Stacey Hall stood years ago when among men arguing about religion. He held up his New Testament and said, “Whenever you’re willing to follow God’s final authority, you’ll find me ready to talk about religious matters.” End Part III