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Worship and Sunday

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Worship and Sunday (1) Explain how the events of Jesus and his disciples in the cornfield and the healing of the man with the withered arm show the differences in attitude between Jesus and the Pharisees over the observance of the Sabbath. What is the difference between the "Spirit" and the "Letter" of the law? The Sabbath, or Shabbat, is one of the oldest of Jewish traditions going back to the times of Moses. It is a weekly day of rest observed from sunset Friday until sunset Saturday. Two reasons for the Sabbath are that God rested on the seventh day of creation and it is the only festival to be mentioned in the 10 commandments, which were received by Moses during the Jewish Exodus. The Sabbath can therefore be linked to the two greatest events in Jewish history. A day of neither creation nor work it is to be spent in the family worship of God and reflection. Worship being to show religious admiration and honour of greatness. The law of no work was interpreted literally by the Pharisees, which means separate from others. ...read more.


The Pharisees then turned to Jesus and rebuked him for allowing his men to do so. Jesus then re-told a well-known tale about how when David and his men were hungry they ate bread that was only meant for the priests. He then concluded that, "The Sabbath was made for man and not man made for the Sabbath." He also added, "The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath. The aim of this was to express that human need is far more important than human rules. That God created the Sabbath for the good of the people that he loved and not the other way round. Also, as the Sabbath was created for earth, which the Son of Man had all authority over, whatever he said as God's true interpreter should be followed. The comparing of himself to the great king David may be questioned, but as Son of David and adopted son of Joseph he was a descendant of this great ruler. Also, David idolised throughout Israel so using him would have made it easier for Jesus to make his point. ...read more.


Jesus was angry, but felt sorry for them at the same time as they were so subborn and wrong. As no one answered his questions Jesus healed the man's hand. The Pharisees left the synagogue and met with some of Herod's party to plan Jesus' death. Here Jesus extends his argument about the Sabbath. He believes that by healing he is doing God's work and so honouring this day. Through this he is then bringing the kingdom of God closer. The Pharisees once again believe that no work should be done on the Sabbath. However they are contradicting themselves as by planning to kill someone they are creating work for themselves and others as well as destroying life on the most holy day of the week. Throughout the confrontations the attitudes of Jesus and the Pharisees can be based on one view, for Jesus the spirit of the law and for the Pharisees the letter. The Pharisees interpreted the commandment of keeping the Sabbath holy as a literal law. They were so concerned with not breaking it that they got caught up in following the laws rather than the meaning. ...read more.

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