It was Saturday morning and Bill Peterson was getting ready to take a group of kids to the McDonald Farm for a tour. Most of the kids he was taking were city kids who had never been to a farm. He knew John would be busy but he also knew that he loved showing off his farm and telling corny farm jokes.
By 10:00 the kids had all arrived and Bill was ready to head to the farm. Unfortunately, it seemed the only song the kids knew how to sing was Old McDonald Had A Farm. Twenty minutes later, he pulled in to the farm yard. As the kids were unloading themselves, Bill went looking for John but was having trouble finding him.
After searching for nearly half an hour through the yard, the house and the barn, Bill finally found John laying back on a tractor snoring. “Hey, John.” Bill called out but John kept right on snoring.
“Hey, John.” Bill called again this time loudly but John still didn't respond. Finally Bill walked over to him and started shaking him while calling out his name.
Startled, John woke up with a scream. “It's me, Bill Peterson” Bill said trying to calm John down, I'm here with the kids for the farm tour.” “What?!” John stuttered, “Go away and leave me alone.” “But you said you would take the kids on a tour.” Bill reminded him. “And I will.” John snapped, “But this is Friday. Now let me finish my little nap.” and with those words he started snoring again.
“JOHN!” Bill yelled out. “I said let me finish my nap this is... is..” John started to say but then all the kids walked in. “What are all those people doing in my bedroom?” John asked instead. “First.” Bill stated firmly, “This is Saturday. Second this isn't your bedroom it's the barn and your sitting on a tractor and third these kids are the ones you promised to give a tour to.”
Without a word, John slowly got off his tractor. “Have you been getting enough rest?” Bill asked him as he got down. “Of course I am” John said, “Why do you ask?” “When we got here,” Bill replied, “You were snoring up a storm.” “Snoring” John laughed, “Now that’s a good one. Only Pigs snore.”
“What time do you get up in the morning?” Bill asked. “I’d say I’ve been getting up about 2:00.” John answered, “After all there is lots to do out in the fields.” “And what time have you been going to bed?” Bill asked next. “Oh. I’d say about midnight.” John replied. “Midnight!” Bill exclaimed in disbelief. “Well,” John said in defense “There’s all the clean up and chores to do.”
“No wonder. You’re not getting enough rest.” Bill stated. “Now wait a minute.” Bill protested, “I get plenty of....” Bill never finished his sentence,. He laid back in a hay bail and started snoring again. “Oh, well.” Bill said shaking his head, “I guess I'll have to give the tour myself. I just hope I remember enough from last year's tour.”
Do you ever get hungry and go looking for food? What do you do if you're not at home? At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. - Matthew 12:1 (ESV) They were hungry, they were not at home, God provided for them through an old testament law - If you go into your neighbor's vineyard, you may eat your fill of grapes, as many as you wish, but you shall not put any in your bag. If you go into your neighbor's standing grain, you may pluck the ears with your hand, but you shall not put a sickle to your neighbor's standing grain. - Deuteronomy 23:24-25 (ESV) But wait, it was the Sabbath. Let's pick up the story in Mark.
And the Pharisees were saying to him, "Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?" And he said to them, "Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, in the time of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?" And he said to them, "The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is lord even of the Sabbath." Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, "Come here." And he said to them, "Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?" But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
Mark 2:24-3:5 (ESV)
Do we really understand the Sabbath? The Pharisees claimed it was unlawful for the Disciples to pick and eat Jesus said otherwise. After reminding them of what David did, He told them that the Sabbath was made for man and then he taught them a lesson by healing a man.
Part of the reason the Pharisees got worked up was because of the 4th commandment. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, you, or your son, or your daughter, your male servant, or your female servant, or your livestock, or the sojourner who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy. - Exodus 20:8-11 (ESV)
So, what is a sabbath? From the commandment we can learn that it took place on the seventh day, we can learn that it was to be remembered, we can learn that it was to be kept holy and that it was a day to cease from work or in other words to take a rest. We also can learn from other versus that God was serious in that he commanded the death penalty for breaking this command.
Rest is something that we all need.
- We need Physical rest - The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. - Mark 6:30-31 (ESV)
- We need spiritual rest - Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. - Matthew 11:28-29 (ESV)
Here's Something To Ponder
- Are you getting enough physical rest?
- Are you getting enough spiritual rest?