“Then 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 saw the travesty which had occurred because of inappropriate man made regulations which the religious leaders of the Jews had attached to God’s moral laws. Thus in Luke, chapter 6, Jesus demonstrated His contempt for the Pharisees and the unholy burden which they had placed upon the people.
The Sabbath was a day that God had set aside for His people in which they would worship Him. There was no actual law in the Old Testament which forbade the giving of medicine, healing, or showing acts of mercy on the Sabbath.
The word, Sabbath, transliterates a Hebrew word that refers to ceasing of activity or rest. It was instituted by God to benefit man by giving him a day to rest from his works and it was intended to be a blessing to him. But the Pharisees turned it into a burden, making men slaves to their multiple man-made restrictions.
In Mark’s Gospel, in chapter 5, verse 5, we see that this perversion of God’s intent for the Sabbath, angered Jesus. He was grieved because of the hardness of their hearts. Because of a rebellious attitude, like unto their ancestors in the Exodus wilderness journey, even though they could hear the voice of the Lord, they became more and more unyielding to the truth.
Rebellion will always keep people from understanding God’s will, as He has revealed in His Word. The Pharisees corrupted God’s commandment that was given to them. Good works were especially appropriate on the Sabbath. Deeds of love, mercy, worship, and works necessary for the saving of life and limb were permitted. To corrupt the Sabbath to forbid such works was a perversion of God’s design. Jesus reaffirmed that the Sabbath was made for man’s benefit and for His glory. Never was it intended to be a yoke of bondage to the people of God.