Ellen G. White Writings

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From Heaven With Love, Page 188

have you not read in the law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are guiltless? I tell you, something greater than the temple is here.” “The Son of man is Lord of the Sabbath.” Luke 6:3, 4, RSV; Mark 2:27, 28; Matthew 12:5, 6, 8, RSV.

If it was right for David to satisfy his hunger by eating the bread set apart to a holy use, then it was right for the disciples to pluck grain on the Sabbath. Again, the priests in the temple performed greater labor on the Sabbath than on other days. The same labor in secular business would be sinful, but they were performing rites that pointed to the redeeming power of Christ, and their labor was in harmony with the Sabbath.

The object of God's work in this world is the redemption of man. Therefore that which is necessary to do on the Sabbath in the accomplishment of this work is in accord with the Sabbath law. Jesus then crowned His argument by declaring Himself the “Lord of the Sabbath”—One above all questions and all law. This infinite judge acquitted the disciples of blame, appealing to the very statutes they were accused of violating.

Jesus declared that in their blindness His enemies had mistaken the object of the Sabbath. He said, “If ye had known what this meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice, ye would not have condemned the guiltless.” Matthew 12:7. Their heartless rites could not supply the lack of that integrity and tender love which characterize the true worshiper of God.

Jesus Deliberately Heals on the Sabbath

Sacrifices were in themselves of no value. They were a means, not an end. Their object was to direct men to the Saviour, to bring them into harmony with God. It is the service of love that God values. When this is lacking, mere ceremony is an offence to Him. So with the Sabbath. When the mind was absorbed with wearisome rites, the object of the Sabbath was thwarted. Its mere outward observance was a mockery.

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