The Fourth Commandment
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy”
Question: Did Jesus obey the Fourth Commandment?
Answer: Yes. We read that it was his “custom” to go to the synagogue on Sabbath days. However, Jesus had a new way of looking at the Sabbath, as opposed to the old way practiced by the Pharisees. This group of Jews had taken this commandment to such an extreme, they feared doing even some normal kinds of activity on the Sabbath. Here is an example:
“And it came to pass, that [Jesus] went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn. And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful? And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David
did, when he had need, and was an hungered, he, and they that were with him? How he went into the house of God . . . and did eat the shewbread . . . and gave also to them which were with him? And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath.” (Mark 2)
Jesus taught that the Sabbath was meant to help us, not to prevent us from living a normal life. He felt that way about all the religious rituals of his time:
“Jesus’ history made a new calendar, which we call the Christian era; but he established no ritualistic worship. He knew that men can be baptized, partake of the Eucharist, support the clergy, observe the
Sabbath, make long prayers, and yet be sensual and sinful.” (S&H 20)
Practice: Do you find yourself upset by people not doing what you feel is right? Your opinion of right and wrong may change some day, so try to be merciful!
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(Excerpted from “First Lessons in Christian Science, Volume One: The Ten Commandments” Copyright 2001)
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