The things God tells us to do are usually for our own good. Or that’s how they start off anyway. Take the Sabbath for instance. It is an operational instruction given to the user by the manufacturer;
If left running 24 hours a day for 7 days consecutively without cool down period, human may become unreasonable and prone to verbal profanity and harmful sociopathic behaviour!!!
The thing is, we often take what is a necessary and sound ideal and turn it into a dogma so binding, that the very thing placed there to give our lives joy and balance becomes, in itself, a stressful and destructive burden.
Jesus rightly attempts to bring us back on track. What is important about the Sabbath is recreation in its literal meaning.
Taking time to rest in God’s blessings and countenance and to re coup and be restored to full capacity. For the man healed in this story, Jesus gives him the first true Sabbath he had ever experienced.
And that’s the thing about the Sabbath. Like most of God’s instructions, it is a gift, not a burden.
Rev. Michael Duke
Kingston Uniting Church