Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our Gospel for this week shows us Jesus with his disciples on a Sabbath. They draw attention by picking a bit of grain to eat. This was considered by some to be the work of harvest, forbidden on the Sabbath. Jesus’ answer is that the day of rest is made for the good of humans. It is not a day of suffering, but of rest.
This theme of a rest from suffering extends throughout the Scripture. It is telling that the Old Testament speaks of rest from work, rest from slavery, and rest from the torment of sin all in one breath. In God’s eyes, the Sabbath is a sign of the relief we find in Christ, who rescues us from sin.
Here, then, is the bottom line of our passage in Mark. Jesus comes to give us rest from sin. We are no longer bound to it. We have Jesus, the bread of life, who feeds us with his riches, each and every day. The Sabbath is made for man. It has a Lord, the Son of Man, caring for his people. This is rest indeed.
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