What Would Jesus Do on the Sabbath?

By: Bill Bratt

Email: info@icogsfg.org

When a Christian keeps the Sabbath, the question always comes up, what can you do and what can you not do on the Sabbath? Let’s take a look at some scriptures and see what Jesus did on the Sabbath.

Jesus attended Synagogue and Healed on the Sabbath

Matthew 12:9-13: "Now when Jesus had departed from there, He went into their synagogue. {10} And behold, there was a man who had a withered hand. And they asked Him, saying, "Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?"; that they might accuse Him. . . .{13} Then He said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." And he stretched it out, and it was restored as whole as the other."

In essence, Jesus went to Church and He visited the sick. Jesus healed on the Sabbath. There are seven (7) healings recorded in the New Testament of Jesus Healing on the Sabbath. (Request our free article: "Jesus Performed Seven Sabbath Miracles".)

Following Jesus’ example, we can go to church and keep the Sabbath. We may not be able to heal people as Jesus did on the Sabbath BUT we can pray for their healing and we can visit the sick.

Jesus Taught on the Sabbath

Mark 1:21: Jesus and His disciples "went into Capernaum; and straightway on the Sabbath day Jesus entered into the synagogue, and taught."
On the Sabbath Jesus taught God's way of life to others. The greatest evangelism that we can do is to teach our children and grandchildren God's way of life.

We are faced with a question in the Church today of: Where are our Children?
Many have quit attending Church and are not keeping the Sabbath. What can we do? We can set the right example, encourage them and pray for them.

Jesus kept God’s Law

Matthew 12:1: "At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. And His disciples were hungry, and began to pluck heads of grain and to eat."
Obviously, Jesus and His disciples harvested a small handful of grain and ate on the Sabbath. This was permitted by God Law (Leviticus 23:22, Deuteronomy 23:24-25, Hebrews 4:15 ). Humorously we can conclude that we can eat on the Sabbath.

Do Good on the Sabbath

Matthew 12:11-12: Jesus "said to them, "What man is there among you who has one sheep, and if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not lay hold of it and lift it out? {12} "Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.""
It is lawful to do good and help an animal or a man on the Sabbath. Luke 6:9: "Jesus said to them, "I will ask you one thing: Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy?"

Jesus is saying that we can do good on the Sabbath and to save a life. We then could visit someone who is sick and prepare a meal for them.

You can Feed your Animals on the Sabbath

Luke 13:14-16: "The ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; . . . {15} The Lord then answered him and said, "Hypocrite! Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? {16} "So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound; think of it; for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?"

Jesus is saying that you can water and feed your animals on the Sabbath. Jesus is also saying that the Sabbath healing that He did pictures freedom from the bonds of Satan.

You can Walk on the Sabbath

John 5:5-9: "Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. {6} When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to be made well?" {7} The sick man answered Him, "Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me." {8} Jesus said to him, "Rise, take up your bed and walk." {9} And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath."

The bed that Jesus is talking about is not a big wood bed, but more like a bed roll or like a sleeping bag. There is nothing wrong in carrying light loads and walking on the Sabbath.

Pray that your flight is not on the Sabbath

Matthew 24:20: "Pray you that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath Day." This verse is from Jesus’ Olivet Prophecy of the future ‘end time’ events. Notice that the Sabbath is to be considered in the ‘end time’. From this verse we can see that we should not make long trips on the Sabbath.

Circumcision on the Sabbath

John 7:23: Jesus said: "If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath?"

Jesus did not say that there was anything wrong with circumcising on the Sabbath. Jesus was circumcised on the eight day (Luke 2:21). Some parents want to follow this eighth day practice and it appears that there is nothing wrong with having your newborn baby boy circumcised on the Sabbath.

In conclusion: What Would Jesus Do? This is a good question to ask but to know the answer, you have to read the Bible, especially the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and see what Jesus said and did. As we live our lives as Christians we need to follow in the footsteps of Jesus and follow His example (1 Peter 2:21). Jesus kept the seventh day (Saturday) Sabbath. Don’t you think that you should follow His example and keep the seventh day Sabbath also?