Day 5

Lord of the Sabbath

from the John reading plan


John 5:1-47, Exodus 20:8-11, Luke 6:5, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

BY Guest Writer

Text: John 5:1-47, Exodus 20:8-11, Luke 6:5, 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

I’ll never forget the day I sat down to study my Bible and discovered my toddler had beaten me to the pages. Scribble marks adorned two chapters in Luke—big loopy scribbles in permanent blue ink. “Oh, no!” reverberated within. This was my favorite Bible, the one I spent time with daily over a hot cup of coffee. I was learning to do inductive study with this Bible and marking key words with care. I’d cringe if I had to erase a bit of colored pencil, knowing it wouldn’t be clean. But this was more than a smudged word. Two entire pages had been ruined.

I sat my little girl on my lap to explain gently that she couldn’t color in mommy’s Bible. She’d meant no harm, of course, but this was a teachable moment. She simply couldn’t go around taking pen to paper in books around the house.

But in that moment the Lord graciously spoke to my heart. My daughter hadn’t taken a pen to any other books, only this book. She was modeling what she’d seen.   

“Sweetie, were you ‘studying’ like Mommy?”

She smiled, nodding her head big.

It became my teachable moment. Instead of focusing on “the rules” or my own angst over the pages, I could see the bigger picture. God had been moving in my little girl’s heart, drawing her to His Word. She wanted to interact with it in the only way she knew how. Lifting my focus helped me to see God at work, which changed everything.

It’s often easy to miss God’s hand at work, just as many did when Jesus walked the earth. I’m astounded when I read of the man Jesus healed by the pool of Bethesda, because of the scene afterward. People had seen this man laying around for thirty-eight years, and suddenly he was walking. Yet, no one said, “Wow! What happened? How were you cured?” No one praised God that he’d been delivered from decades of infirmity. Instead, the healed man is chastised for carrying his pallet on the Sabbath. And the Jewish leaders want to know, not who cured him, but who had the audacity to tell him to pick up his pallet and walk with it (John 5:12).  

Jesus, the Son of God, was there among them. A miracle had been done in their midst. Yet, focusing on the rules of the Sabbath, they missed the Lord of the Sabbath.  

How often do we do the same? How often are we so focused on one side of a circumstance that we miss God’s purposes altogether?

Jesus is the Author of life. And He brings not only life, but light, grace, and glory into that which seems dead, dark, and overwhelming (Acts 3:15; 2 Corinthians 4:6). We’re told to walk by faith and not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7) because when our eyes are faith-filled, we see the divine. We see God.

Jesus is always working, in every facet of our lives and the lives of those around us. Let’s pray to keep our eyes fixed on Him, so we can behold every moment.

SRT-John16-Instagram5s

Kim Cash Tate is the author of several books, including Though I Stumble (2016) and Cling:  Choosing a Lifestyle of Intimacy with God (2017). A former practicing attorney, she has a passion for studying and teaching the Word of God. Kim lives in St. Louis with her husband and their two young adult children.

Post Comments (89)

89 thoughts on "Lord of the Sabbath"

  1. J says:

    I was working a lot during this holiday season – so much so, that I felt it blew right on by and frankly, that I missed it. I felt I often tried to force moments, force relaxation, and force joy and mindful worship and reflection on Christmas in particular, because I knew I didn’t have an extended window to celebrate. Finances are overwhelming and my family’s definition of a celebration has changed considerably from years past as a result. So I focused hard that day, or tried, but I felt rushed – an extension of how I also feel at work and how I tend to work myself up into regularly otherwise, getting so hyped up in the loud surroundings and other voices that I am inwardly screaming for the stillness and the sacred. That chaos makes me think of the man from today’s passage – feeling like he was lost in the crowd of people getting healed all around him, resigning himself to the chaos, and not allowing room for the sacred.

    Oh how things change when we sit in awe before the throne and wait for the Lord. When we EXPECT to hear from Him. When we hand over our mess and allow Him to heal us, heal our circumstances, release expectations of what holidays, our health, and our lives should be. He far exceeds anything we ever dared dream when we do. But it’s getting there, to that small little quiet place of kneeling. Praying that I allow myself to sit in the uncomfortable expectancy and vulnerability that comes with our waiting for healing, waiting for Jesus, today.

    1. Kassidy says:

      Wow thank you J for your insight! It was really powerful for me as I’m a college student preparing for a very busy spring semester. I know it will be a semester of chaos and exhaustion unless I truly take time to rest in Christ and wait expectantly for Him. Thank you for the wonderful reminder!

      1. J says:

        Praying for you tonight, Kassidy! That you would find calm in the Lord as you wait and see what wonderful new things He has planned for you this semester! Wishing you grace, joy, and peace, and courage to wait!

    2. Amy says:

      This encouraged me so much.

  2. awork says:

    Oh, may I not miss You, Lord!

    1. Colleen says:

      I feel the same way!! It’s so easy to be distracted and blind!!

  3. Carol says:

    Lord show me, and I will pay attention

  4. Darla says:

    I feel very selfish after reading these wonderful post.
    Could I please ask for prayers? I need to find peace. I read Gods word and pray but still feel distant from him. I struggle looking for something to complete me in this world…….namely a man. I was saved many years ago but have always felt this way. Thank you:)

    1. J says:

      I will of course pray for you, Darla. I understand so well what you are feeling. I think it is safe to say a lot of us do. Certainly don’t feel selfish – this community of women are some of the kindest I have found, and we are all willing to support an pray for one another!

      Praying that our Good, Good Father and Sovereign and Mighty Lord will work wonders in and through your life today, Darla. That He will speak to you in ways that are special and specific to your heart, that resonate deeply with you, and that allow you to soak in His truth and His incredible promises. May He give you the strength not to turn to the right or to the left, seeking solace or completion in anything or anyone else but Him, today – and may He surround you with a community of others who are pursuing His heart that can strengthen you, counsel you, and lift you up. I am praying that the Lord uses your many gifts and talents to be a shining and radiant light to others today. May dear Darla feel so loved and cherished by you, Father. Fill her with Your stillness and bring her heart peace and courage. In Your Mighty Name I pray, Jesus. Amen.

      Have a wonderful day, Darla! Know you aren’t walking this journey alone.

      1. Darla says:

        Thank you.

    2. Debbie says:

      Praying, isn’t it funny how we want what we want , not what He sees we need. God’s timing is prefect, His plan for you and me is always right ,even if it is difficult and not our plan. Peace to you and your sorrowing heart.

    3. Nads says:

      Darla,

      I agree with J’s comments and prayer for you…I echo it. I pray that you will find joy and patience as you live in communion with Christ and His will for you.

      I do ALSO pray that He will give you the delights of your heart in a beautiful man who will lift you even closer to Christ. I pray for this man’s own journey on his way to you, as you both live the pre-marriage lives you are meant to!

      I pray also for those of us who DO have a man and look to him for too MUCH of our “completeness”, shrinking our thirst for Jesus, our Living Water.

      1. Darla says:

        Thank you.

    4. Lizzy says:

      Just prayed for you Darla! I am single woman struggling with the desire to be married, so I can very much relate to the feeling that I need a man to make me happy. Please pray for me as well!

      1. Darla says:

        Lizzy l will pray for you and thank you.

  5. churchmouse says:

    The man at the pool at Bethesda thought he needed a man to put him in the pool for healing. He learned, after 38 years of suffering, that all he really needed was an encounter with Jesus. Lord, help me today to look around and see You wherever I am, whatever I’m doing. Let me encounter You in the ordinary moments. You will make them extraordinary. Thank You in advance.

    1. Heather (MNmomma) says:

      joining you in prayer this morning!

    2. Tina says:

      Churchmouse, Amen… joining you in your prayer….Every minute , every second is a blessing because if we just look to Him, we will see His goodness and mercy, grace and love everywhere… in the small, in the big…His hand of goodness and blessing is there… Amen.
      Sending love and hugs across the ocean dear sister…
      Happy a Blessed New year. Xxx

    3. Taylor says:

      I tend to make it very hard, but it is quite simple.. ALL I need is Jesus

  6. Kelsie says:

    Lord, I pray that you continue to work in me, for the job is never done. Open my eyes so I can see the good works you are doing around me. Focus my attention, so I can learn from your point of view. Let my actions be my testimony.

    1. Heather (MNmomma) says:

      AMEN!!!

  7. Lindsey says:

    Wow, this spoke to me on so many levels this morning, including the “mom” moments of seeing only one side of a situation without taking a step back to look at the big picture. What is really going on here besides what I choose to see? How many times have I overlooked Christ at one of His teachable moments to me because I’ve been focused on some other minor detail? Oh how I need you, Lord, to help me focus on what you want me to see in all situations. Help me to see you.

    1. Susan says:

      Yes! My exact thought and prayer as well! Needed to hear this again with fresh ears and heart eyes!

    2. Megan C says:

      Absolutely! As a mom of a 2yo & 4yo, this is something I struggle with daily!

    3. Jennifer says:

      My good friend sent me this article yesterday. It is an interesting take on the “Screwtape Letters” by C.S. Lewis from a motherhood perspective. It is a good read for moments where we can only see one side of a situation!
      http://foreverymom.com/faith/dear-mama-satan-screwtape-letter-kelsey-shade/

  8. Tina says:

    Jesus is always working, in every facet of our lives and the lives of those around us…..What truth… some we see clearly in the workings out and logistics of life and some arrive at our door in a ‘ parable’ sort of way….
    My christmas tree story, is a clear and tangible truth of Jesus working….always, even in the little things…

    This year has been an expensive year, not much saved for rainy days to the point where I worried to even buy the traditional Christmas tree that would bring the family, one and all together to dress and decorate… Every year we buy a new decoration that represents rhat year, and if you asked my boys, they would proably be able to tell you which year, or perhaps the year such and such happened..
    It always has been a lovely christmas eve evening…full of laughter, and joy and love and hugs and ‘remember this ones’
    This year I was struggling to justify paying money I didnt have, to buy a tree that we would take down five days later… I did pray on how best to tell my children or even to ask them to buy the tree but I was worried they would think I was struggling financially and reprimand me for not coming to them.. Anyway, my youngest calked christmas eve to say he was on his way home and was threr anything I needed. I said ‘the tree…’..He said okay. Feeling relief I praised God and sat down to have a tea.. then I got a text to go and meet him at the farm to pick it up…as his car was too small… the farm was closed but I was greeted with ‘.. there are two left and the lady says we can have one…’ I could see the trees but my thinking was they will be straggly as they were the last…but I was wrong the one we chose, I am almost in tears as I remember, was the most beautiful tree I have ever seen, one that would not shed its pins and absolutely the right height…I looked at the lady in the window giving the thumbs up, and the words merry Christmas being mimed.. what a gift for me and my family… we got to spend our time together following the old tradition in love and joy and hope and peace of heart…
    Just as an aside, the price tag on that tree was £50…
    Absolutely what a gift and for sure, He is indeed Lord of the Sabbath…

    I know the tree has to come down today but holding off until Sunday….its too beautiful..and I like the reminder that miracles, healings, blessings come and are given at anytime…

    Thank you lord God for everything …everything, for being in the lesser and the most…nothing is impossible for you, no matter the day…you bless and you bless and you bless…thank you lord God, thank you..
    Hugs to all, as I think on my blessings and remem you,…xxx

    1. Abi Wells says:

      Thanks for sharing this Tina – God moving in the little things and the big, in the things that mean a lot to us and the things that are less thought of. Praying that you would continue to know His provision & peace this year and stand in the truth that God is always working.
      A x

    2. Libby says:

      Merry Christmas Tina! I love your posts!

      1. Kim says:

        Thank you Tina, indeed He blessed in even the small things! He knows the desires of our hearts!

    3. Laurie says:

      Lovely story. He even gives us the desires of our hearts.

    4. Bethany says:

      Oh, how I loved reading this today! I would bet you loved this tree just a little more – just knowing your Heavenly Father loves you so much that He provided your Christmas tree! What a beautiful gift!

    5. Heather (MNmomma) says:

      So very awesome Tina! Love and hugs – and continued blessings!

    6. Michele says:

      Oh that is so awesome!! I love how God works! Thank you for sharing, Tina. <3

    7. Ashley says:

      Thank you for sharing ❤️

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