[CF Devotionals] 2019-05-07 Sabbath Lessons

Sabbath Lessons, Part 1

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About fourteen years ago, we moved to the “country,” and we enjoy living where our neighbors include farmers and lumber companies. On a recent Sunday, we had a potentially dangerous runaway roaming about the neighborhood, but he wasn’t interested in burglaries, shootings, rape, robberies or other gang activities. He didn’t even come from my longtime workplace, Juvenile Court. Actually, he was a fully-grown Bull, found munching on a neighbor’s front yard. This bull has a huge pasture of his own, and his owner actually keeps him more like a pet, than as livestock. I guess he was the literal embodiment of the “Grass is Greener” syndrome.

We automatically knew which friend owned that particular Bull, as he is a repeat offender, a.k.a.“Frequent Flyer.” So Richard texted our friend, so he could retrieve his “pet,” and I sent a text to try to warn the neighbor whom he was visiting. One thing that you don’t want to do, with a bull, is to surprise it. Richard also awaited the deputy that someone had called, to let him know that the owner had been notified, and the runaway was on his way home. This all put me in mind of Christ’s teaching about the Sabbath, reminding us to not let legalism stop us from helping people - which is one reason that we are here. In fact, Christ, Himself, used a farm animal to illustrate His principle:

In this passage, “they” refers to the legalistic Pharisees. Matthew (12:9-14, The New Testament for Everyone) recorded the scene as follows: 9 He left the place and went into their synagogue, 10 where there was a man with a withered hand.
They put the question to him: ‘Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath?’
(They asked this so that they could frame a charge against him.)
11 ‘Supposing one of you has just one sheep,’ replied Jesus, ‘and it falls into a ditch on the sabbath. You’ll grab it and haul it out, won’t you? 12 Well then, think how much more important a human being is than a sheep! So, you see, it is permitted to do good on the sabbath.’
13 Then he said to the man, ‘Stretch your hand out.’ He stretched it out, and it was restored to health, just like the other one. 14 But the Pharisees went off and plotted against him, with the intention of doing away with him

When I started this devotional, the original title was singular, “A Sabbath Lesson.” But it turns out that the neighborhood bull taught us two lessons. I will share the second one next week.

[email jan] Janice P. Moser


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All verses are from the New American Standard Version (NASB) unless otherwise noted.

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