I want to get very practical regarding the Sabbath. In the first part of John 5, Jesus has this exchange with a man who has some kind of disability. Note that John 5:4 is missing from many Bibles. This is because most of the earliest manuscripts we have of John do not include this verse, and it is unlikely that John actually wrote the words that are in verse 4. If your Bible does not have v.4 in the body of the text (mine does not), than you can find it in a footnote at the bottom or in the margin.
But the gist of what happens is that Jesus heals the man on the Sabbath - the Holy day of rest. He does this knowingly and willingly. There is a need in front of Jesus. He can't ignore it. So, he goes to work on his day off, so to speak.
I struggle with Sabbath days. I really love relaxing and taking time to relax, but there is so much to be done, and there is always some kind of crisis on the table. There is never a moment when there is no fire to put out, not emergency, no urgent need to tend to. Never.
The tension I feel over this causes more than a small amount angst. God created the Sabbath. He gave it to us. It's suppose to be a gift, a time to focus on God, to refresh our spiritual lives.
Yet, Jesus didn't always observe it. Sometimes, he gave it up for the need staring him in the face. Should we not do the same? How much is too much? If we adhere to Sabbath without flexibility, wouldn't that be a sin, too?
There is so much more to be said about John 5. The strange comment Jesus makes in v.14 makes you wonder 'what was the guy doing?' And AFTER the reprimand, the man 'reports' him. And the long response of defense Jesus gives from v. 19 on. Tons and tons of things to unpack there.
Hope you are enjoying the journey. Tomorrow, we eat!