Jesus profanes the Sabbath yet blameless

Many Sabbath denominations claim that Jesus followed the Sabbath completely. Did He?

Jesus the Grain Field

Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. Mark 2:23.

John 5:16-18 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath. But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.” Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God.

Jesus healed a man on a Sabbath and the Jews became furious because He broke the Sabbath law. Now, listen to what Jesus responds and how John narrates the event. Jesus declares that He have been working on Sabbath just as His Father has been working on Sabbath. When John narrates the event, he wrote that Jesus broke the Sabbath.

Doing God’s work profanes the Sabbath!

People can sometimes say, doing good on a Sabbath does not break the Sabbath law. Does it?

Exod 31:14-15 ‘You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.

The law clearly says doing any work profanes the Sabbath and must be put to death.

Matt 12:5 “Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?

Jesus Himself declares that even the priests doing the work of God in the Temple profane the Sabbath. Hence, doing “any work”, including “good works”, and “healing” profanes the Sabbath.

How can Christ be perfect yet profane the Sabbath?

Deut 27:26 ‘Cursed is the one who does not confirm all the words of this law.’ “And all the people shall say, ‘Amen!’

Gal 3:10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse; for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them.”

Jas 2:10 For whoever shall keep the whole law, and yet stumble in one point, he is guilty of all.

Apostate Paul and even James quote an old testament law that requires all to follow every law completely. But, Jesus taught they both were wrong. You can break a commandment of God to receive mercy or be merciful.

Matt 12:3-8 But He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God and ate the showbread which was not lawful for him to eat, nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless? Yet I say to you that in this place there is One greater than the temple. But if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.”

1Sam 15:22 So Samuel said: “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed than the fat of rams.

Sacrifice is compared to obedience, which means, “to obey” is better than sacrifice. But, God desires mercy and not sacrifice (or obedience which is better than sacrifice). The below comic will help you understand better.

Obedience is more than sacrifices. But, I desire mercy not sacrifice.

Obedience is more than sacrifices. But, I desire mercy not sacrifice.

Jesus also explains further by mixing another law and showing how being merciful is what God desires than following Sabbath.

Deut 22:4 “You shall not see your brother’s donkey or his ox fall down along the road, and hide yourself from them; you shall surely help him lift them up again.

Luke 14:3-6 And Jesus, answering, spoke to the lawyers and Pharisees, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?” But they kept silent. And He took him and healed him, and let him go. Then He answered them, saying, “Which of you, having a donkey or an ox that has fallen into a pit, will not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” And they could not answer Him regarding these things.

A donkey or an ox fell into a pit, the law commands to help the donkey. But the law fails to say if it is okay to do the same on a Sabbath. The Pharisees do help the donkey on Sabbath. Here Christ is using the same law to show how that law of being merciful to an animal supersedes the other law of keeping the Sabbath holy.

Matt 23:23 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.

Christ is teaching that the scribes and Pharisees neglected the weightier matters of the law like, justice, mercy and faith but focused on lighter matters like Sabbath and ritual laws. Christ is not saying to reject the lighter matters of the law, but rather not to neglect, which means, if there is a situation where you can’t keep two laws (as you saw earlier in the comic), you must obey the weightier matter of the law. The same is with Sabbath.

Jesus profanes the Sabbath yet blameless

John 8:29 “And He who sent Me is with Me. The Father has not left Me alone, for I always do those things that please Him.

Jesus always did what pleases the Father.

Heb 4:14 Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

Matt 12:5 “Or have you not read in the law that on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath, and are blameless?

We have a High Priest and who profane the Sabbath and yet He is blameless. Hence, do not believe anyone who says, Jesus followed the Sabbath completely.


This doesn’t mean Gentiles must now follow the Sabbath and do only good on Sabbath. Gentiles were never given the law nor were they under it anytime. This blog is simply to show that Jesus Christ did not follow the Sabbath completely as many Sabbath denominations claim.

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3 years ago

Thanks for sharing. I was blessed by this exposition. God bless you!

Christian A. Brooks.
3 years ago

In view of your disclaimer, how do you interpret Isaiah 66:22-23; Acts 13:42-44, and Hebrews 4:4, 7-11?

3 years ago

This confirms what the scriptures teach. The Holy Spirit will guide is into all truth. They became legalistic regarding the sabbath instead of remaining and walking in Love (i.e., mercy) Amen

Last edited 3 years ago by Noah
6 months ago

So just to be sure are you claiming that the sabbath is not about following Gods way as He rested on à particular day to perhaps show us what do in Jesus every day but on the day He sanctified. I know we should do this every day and He wants us to do it everyday but you and I know He knows how humans are that’s why he summarized it to the 10 anyway. But, just making sure your saying that our rest is in Christ which I believe both parties believe those who keep the sabbath day and who don’t, can you give your thoughts on how Jesus gave us the Ten Commandments and how the 4th one is remember “the” sabbath day and keep it holy etc what do you have to say about that. Just curious because I love the conversation about this topic and am always open as I’ve done my research as well.