Today I preached on the Sabbath. Following is my sermon outline. I may do another post that more clearly says what I found to be a true Sabbath. We’ll see. 🙂

How do we fulfill the Sabbath?

Date preached: 08/26/07, Sebewaing
RCL Proper 16C
Text: Luke 13:10-17 and Isaiah 58
Subject: How do we fulfill the Sabbath?
Complement: In moderation between legalism and neglect.
Exegetical Idea: The Sabbath was far from what it should have been.
Homiletic Idea: The Sabbath is misunderstood and misused and should be correctly used.
Purpose: Hearers will lose legalistic tendencies and honor the Sabbath.
Type: Deductive, Expository


  • Come now is the time to worship
  • Praise ye the Lord
  • O for a thousand tongues
  • Better is one day
  • O worship the king


  • The family of God

Read Luke 13:10-17

I. What a Sabbath is:

A. A Gift

1 From God to his children

a.) God blessed children with a day of rest

b.) A day that no one could make anyone else work

c.) Mark Buchanan says in The Rest of God: Restoring Your Soul by Restoring the Sabbath,

d.) “God gave us the gift of the Sabbath – not just as a day, but as an orientation, a way of seeing and knowing.”

e.) I learned to join them, the cats in their cradles of sunlight. I curled up or sprawled out beside them and catnapped too. It had a unique power to replenish. Fifteen, twenty minutes later, a shadow like a cool, dry hand edged up my flesh and nudged me awake. I stirred, set up, and went about the rest of my day freshly aware. That image comes to mind when I think of Sabbath; a patch of sunlight falling through a window on a winter’s day. It’s a small yet ample chunk of space, a narrow yet full segment of time. In it, you can lie down and rest. From it, you can rise up and go—stronger, lighter, ready to work again with vigor and a clear mind. It is room enough, time enough, in which to relinquish all encumbrances, to act as though their existence has nothing whatsoever to do with your won. It is an invitation, at one and the same time, to empty yourself and fill yourself.” (Quote found on Biblical Parenting Blog)

2 An outpouring of His love

B. A Commandment

1 Exodus 20:8-11 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant, nor your animals, nor the alien within your gates. For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

a.) Commandment

b.) That shows God’s love for us.

2 Leviticus 16:31 It is a sabbath of rest, and you must deny yourselves; it is a lasting ordinance.

a.) deny yourselves

b.) fast

c.) focus on God

3 Numbers 15:32-41 Look up and read

a.) Man stoned because of

i. Disobedience
ii. Rebellion

b.) Man was a reminder to other to take Sabbath seriously

C. Not a burden

1 A time to be unburdened

a.) Exodus 35:3 says, “Do not light a fire in any of your dwellings on the Sabbath day.”

i. God’s intent is to allow us to be free to rejoice and rest on the Sabbath,
ii. unburdened by routine work.

2 A time of rest and relaxation

a.) Mark Buchanan: what we’ve really lost is “the rest of God-the rest God bestows and, with it, that part of himself we can know only through stillness.”

II. The Problem of the Sabbath
(what it can become):

A. Legalistic (Luke)

1 Luke 13 tells of the Jewish nation’s sin in legalism

a.) They sought God

b.) They set up hundreds of rules

i. Afraid they would do wrong without them
ii. Wanted fool-proof way to avoid sin

c.) They don’t understand God’s distance

d.) They think themselves more righteous for following every letter of the law

e.) They think they want God’s way, but they are going the way of human nature.

f.) Too immature – trying to be extra mature.

i. Illustration: teenager thinking they are grown up.
ii. Princess thinking she is a teenager.

g.) The law became a burden.

B. Ignored (Isaiah 58:1-7) Read

1 Isaiah 58 God tells of the Jewish nation’s sin

a.) They sought God

b.) Continued Evil

c.) They don’t understand God’s absence

d.) They think themselves righteous

e.) They want their own way, not God’s

f.) Big Babies!!!

i. Illustration:
ii. A child saying: We want
iii. Give it to us
iv. Do what we say

C. Legalistic Ignoring

1 Isaiah also tells of legalistic ignoring

a.) Vs. 4 “Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife, and in striking each other with wicked fists. You cannot fast as you do today and expect your voice to be heard on high.”

i. They fought
ii. instead of focusing on God

b.) Vs. 5 They would wear sackcloth and ashes

i. Not an OT law
ii. Should be done to show humility
iii. They were putting on an act
iv. They really ignored God in their fakeness

c.) Vs 6 Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?

i. They did not loose chains
ii. Set oppresses free
iii. Or break yokes

d.) Vs 7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter– when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?

i. Did not share
ii. Did not shelter
iii. Did not clothe
iv. Did not care

III. What a Sabbath Should Be:

A. God’s example

1 Genesis 2:2-3 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

2 Exodus 20:11 For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

a.) If God can complete work in 6 days and rest, so can we.

b.) His work is greater

c.) Who are we to say we can’t afford a day off?

B. In Luke

1 Day of healing

2 Day of blessing others – use examples from today’s prayer requests.

3 Day of worship

C. In Isaiah

1 A day of fasting

a.) I don’t mean literal

b.) I mean a fast from our desires

i. Seek God’s desires
ii. Fulfill God’s desires

2 Day of worship that glorifies God not yourself

3 Day to loose chains of injustice, set oppressed free (vs. 6)

a.) Day to share food with hungry

b.) Provide shelter

c.) Provide clothing

4 Day to focus on others!!!

D. Other general points:

1 A time of Community-illustrated by Luke

2 A time to glorify God (Psalm 103:1-8 Read)

a.) Vs 6 – tells them to worship for saving them from oppression.

IV. Conclusion

A. Isaiah 58: 8-14 God tells us the result of our obedience to honoring the Sabbath

1 Light will rise in darkness

2 Night like noonday

3 Lord’s guidance

4 Needs satisfied

5 Strength

6 Spring will not go dry

7 Honor the past

8 Joy in the Lord

9 Rise to the heights of the land

10 Feast on your inheritance


  • We have come into this house