Beginning Jesus the Christ Chapter 15...
Exodus 16:16-31; 20:8-11; 23:12; 31:13-15
Isaiah 56:2; 58:13
Nehemiah 8:9-12; 13:15-22
As a young mother, my favorite day of the week was the Sabbath. I worked so hard keeping up the laundry, meals, and cleaning that I viewed the Sabbath as my reward. While this was part of the purpose of the Sabbath, the true purpose of the Sabbath is to rest from the world to allow total devotion to worshipping God. No, I don't think this means to remain in a church pew or on bended knee all day. When teaching this principle to my little Primary class a few weeks back, we talked a lot about Jesus' example of healing a man on the Sabbath.
"And, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days? that they might accuse him. And he said unto them, What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days," Matthew 12:12.
Those that were strict observers of the letter of the law without understanding the spirit of the law saw Jesus' healing on the Sabbath as breaking the law of Moses. Jesus taught the higher law of loving one's neighbor and doing well. The little children had a hard time grasping this idea until I used one of their fathers and one of their mothers as examples. The father, a stalwart believer, works as a paramedic. The mother, a counselor in the Primary and faithful member, worked as a nurse. I explained that people get sick on the Sabbath and need paramedics, ambulance drivers, nurses, doctors, etc. The children agreed that sometimes emergencies required these people and other to work on Sunday. Then we went on to discuss other activities that were not in keeping with the Sabbath such as sports, shopping, movies, and so forth. The children questioned the latter a bit but finally understood that these activities did not help them think about God.
I don't think it does anybody any good to hedge gospel truths to guard the feelings of others. How will we feel on the other side if Jesus chastises us for this practice then shows us people breaking commandments because we didn't accomplish our duty to teach true principles. Maybe that's what the Pharasees thought, too. Nevertheless, it is important to teach both sides of the issue. What is the law and how is it tempered by the greatest commandments according to Jesus own words?