JESUS! In Word and Song



“The Sabbath in Christ’s time was a veil upon the eyes of the people. It prevented them beholding any duty on that day further than the offering of the set form of sacrifice. But Jesus Christ came to show them of the Father.”1

And, it was to show them that He and the FATHER were One! The Messiah is divine—GOD Himself come down to man. As GOD of the Old Testament commanded a Sabbath (a one-day rest from the rigors of the world), so does GOD’s Son in the New.

“Jesus does not argue with His opponents about whether they understand the Sabbath legislation correctly. His interest is whether they understand who He is.”2

The debate between the Jewish religious leaders and JESUS about the Sabbath came to a head when the leaders realized He was making Himself out to be GOD.  “[T]he Jews never accused our Lord of blasphemy for saying that he was the Messiah, but for saying that He was the Son of God, because they did not believe that Messiah when He appeared was to be a Divine Person.”3

“This is why the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God” (John 5:18 ESV).

This verse begins a long discourse, in which our Lord formally defends himself from the charge of the Jews of laying claim to what He had no right to claim. (1.) He asserts His own Divine authority, commission, dignity, and equality with God His Father. (2.) He brings forward the evidence of His Divine commission, which the Jews ought to consider and receive. (3.) Finally, He tells the Jews plainly the reason of their unbelief, and charges home on their consciences their love of man’s praise more than God’s, and their inconsistency in pretending to honour Moses while they did not honour Christ. It is a discourse almost unrivalled in depth and majesty.4

And, does it not hang heavy on our consciences that we take GOD so lightly that we begrudge the command to think upon Him one day of each week?  

Is it going too far to say, that if our nation repented of its sin and returned to the old path of Sabbath observance, we would again become the leading nation of the world? But though the nation does not return, let us as individuals, and as a church, put this promise to the test and we shall find the Lord faithful.5  

“’If you turn back from doing your pleasure on my holy day, and call the Sabbath a delight, not seeking your own pleasure, then I will make you ride on the heights of the earth; for the mouth of the LORD has spoken’” (Isa 58:13-14 ESV).

To purchase song book
see BOOK in main menu


(16) The Jews Observed the Sabbath

            1. Charles Ellicott, “Commentary on Mark 2:27,” 1905, Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers, 10 February 2021

            2. R.C. Sproul, ed., The Reformation Study Bible (Orlando, FL: Ligonier Ministries, 2005) 1518.

            3. J.C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 2007) III:282.

            4. Ryle.

            5. C.E. Hunter, “Keeping the Lord’s Day Holy,” Chapel Library, February 10, 2021

            6. Philip Schaff, “Commentary on Mark 2:27,” 1879-90, Schaff’s Popular Commentary on the NT, 10 February 2021

            7. Charles Wesley, and John Darwall, “Rejoice the Lord is King,” 1744, Hymnary, 10 February 2021

            8. John 5:19-47.

            9. Matt 12:3-4.

            10. Matt 12:11.

            11. Albert Barnes, “Commentary on Isaiah 58:13,” 1870 Barnes’ Notes on the Whole Bible, 10 February 2021

            12. D. Lloyd, “Commentary on Ezekiel 20:12,” 1905-09, The Biblical Illustrator, 10 February 2021

            13. ESV Study Bible, English Standard Version (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2001, ESV Text Edition: 2011) 1342.

            14. Sinclair Ferguson, “Sabbath Rest,” 1 March 2004, Ligonier Ministries, 10 February 2021

            15. Alistair Begg, “The Gift of the Sabbath,” 18 July 1999, Truth for Life, The Bible-Teaching Ministry of Alistair Begg, 10 February 2021



The Sabbath rest is to remind myself that GOD rested after He ceased the work of creation, and JESUS rested after He ceased the work of redemption. These two facts should be the subjects I attend to on Sundays. But the “rest” the Hebrew’s writer speaks of is a daily rest.

“For the one who has entered His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His” (Heb 4:10 NASB).

Since I believe CHRIST JESUS has given what GOD requires from me, I enter into rest (ref#15, [Heb 4:10]). My experience of rest is ceasing from my own works of righteousness, and from the burdensome works of the law (ref#18, [Heb 4:10]).

Since CHRIST impresses the FATHER I don’t have to impress the FATHER. Resting in CHRIST is a state of happiness. My salvation does not depend on my continuing work of being righteous!

“Externally, that meant ceasing from his ordinary tasks in order to meet with God. Internally, it involved ceasing from all self-sufficiency in order to rest in God’s grace” Sinclair Ferguson (ref#193).

Yet, I need to keep myself abreast of situations that threaten my rest. Situations continually rise to steal what GOD freely gives me through CHRIST. Happiness disappears when I lose fellowship with my LORD and default back to trying in my own strength to be righteous.

Impress upon me that if I don’t rehearse the Gospel I will fall back into burdensome works and be void of rest. I know preaching the gospel to myself each day will equip me with more boldness to believe what GOD says. I’ll recognize and benefit more from His grace and be more willing to embrace His commands (ref#60, p52). By reveling in CHRIST I retain my fellowship with GOD and find my rest! As I rehearse the Gospel, “give me that rest without rest, the rest of ceaseless praise” The Valley of Vision (ref#76, p172).

“…we must praise God – in the morning and every night, not only on Sabbath days, but every day; it is that which the duty of every day requires. We must praise God, not only in public assemblies, but in secret, and in our families, showing forth, to ourselves and those about us, his lovingkindness and faithfulness” Matthew Henry (ref#18, [Ps 92:1-6]).