Stylos is the blog of Jeff Riddle, a Reformed Baptist Pastor in North Garden, Virginia. The title "Stylos" is the Greek word for pillar. In 1 Timothy 3:15 Paul urges his readers to consider "how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar (stylos) and ground of the truth."
Image (left side): Decorative urn with title for the book of Acts in Codex Alexandrinus.
What do we glean from the two Sabbaths in Luke
1.Jesus did not
teach the abrogation of or doing away with the moral law of God, including the
Notice that Jesus did not in any way shape or form
do away with the Sabbath.In v. 6, in
particular, even after his confrontation with judgmental Pharisees, observe how
Jesus is back in the synagogue on the Sabbath.This tells us that there are still Ten Commandments in the moral law of
God.God has ordained that in his
universe one day in seven in to be given over to rest in him and worship of
him.It has been this way since the
creation.Human beings function best
when one day in seven is given over to the God and the things of God.The Sabbath is designed to give glory to God
and blessing to man.We ignore this
aspect of God’s law to our peril.
There’s a bluegrass song by Ricky Skaggs called “A Simple Life” where the chorus says, “A simple life is the life for me, a man
and a wife and a family, and the Lord up above he knows I’m trying to live a
simple life in a difficult time.”One of
the verses says, “I work six days and I rest for one, ‘cause the old rat race
ain’t never been won.” That song gets it right.
taught the centrality of Biblical
obedience to the law of God, including the fourth commandment.
The problem with the Pharisees was that in their
zeal to keep the law they went beyond what was written and introduced
extra-biblical, man-made rules. The danger is that we can do the same.There is a warning against that in this
3.Jesus taught the
positive rather than the negative aspects of obedience to God’s law, including
the keeping of the sabbath (see especially v. 9).
Perhaps the best evaluative question to ask is not,
“What must I avoid that is wrong?” but “What may I do that is right and
pleasing to God?”
With regard to the Sabbath, we can hardly improve
on the wisdom of the Puritan fathers who in the catechism ask, “How is the Sabbath
to be sanctified?” and answer:
The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all
that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on
other days, and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of
God’s worship, except so much as is taken up in the works of necessity and
Notice, by the way, that the two exceptions:necessity and mercy derive from our
passage.To eat is a necessity and so it
is lawful to eat on the Sabbath and to do anything else that is necessary for
life and well being.To help another
human being or creature as an act of mercy is likewise lawful on the Sabbath.
himself to be equal with God.
We see this in the declaration of v. 5:“And he said unto them, That the Son of man
is Lord also of the sabbath.”Who
created the world including the Sabbath as a creation ordinance?The God of the Bible.So what is Jesus saying when he declares that
he is Lord also of the Sabbath?He is
declaring himself to be equal in essence, power, and glory with the Father.He is the one who made men’s hands, and he
is the one who can restore them when they are twisted and withered (vv. 6-10).He is the one who made men’s hearts and men’s
lives, and he can restore them when they are twisted and withered.
There are only two responses to that.Either we believe and obey or we react with
an irrational fury, a madness that drives us even further from him (v. 11).How will you respond?