Don’t work on Sunday, it’s the Sabbath; we heard over and again. I began to wonder how it was that people could be angry with someone working on Sunday when my dad and the rest of us had to work on Sunday. Sunday is not a day of rest for the pastor. Then, there is the Biblical problem of calling Sunday the Sabbath, because it is not the seventh day of the week, it is the first. How does one reconcile the preacher having to work on the day that he is teaching others not to work on?
In John 7:23-24 Jesus said: If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses should not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made a man completely well on the Sabbath? Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” NKJV The religious leaders of Jesus day were very strict about keeping the Sabbath, that is the seventh day, a day of no work. They were the enforcers and they would land heavily on anyone who violated the Sabbath. They had developed a lengthy list of rules on what was and what wasn’t work on the Sabbath. How far you could walk, what you could carry, and a few other exceptions. Circumcision was considered an important work that could be done on the Sabbath, it was more important to circumcise a male child on the eighth day that it was to keep the Sabbath law.
Jesus makes the obvious connection; If circumcision is allowed, then shouldn't it be OK to heal the Sabbath? He then commands: “Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.” Look deeper, He says. Not just at the surface but at the need and at the results. Look deeper than religion and it’s forms, look at the needs of the people and how those needs can be met. Jesus had compassion on the man crippled for thirty eight years and healed him on the Sabbath, because any day is a good day to do good.