Summary: When Religion Loses Relationship Series: Encountering Jesus (through the Gospel of Luke) Brad Bailey – February 24, 2019

When Religion Loses Relationship

Series: Encountering Jesus (through the Gospel of Luke)

Brad Bailey – February 24, 2019

Text: Luke 6:1-11

Note: The following is not a transcript. I only read Scripture and main point. The rest serves as a source of prepared thought that I hope to share more naturally…and usually more briefly than all that is here. I have also included an unusually long set of notes that follow, in part because the issue of the Sabbath’s relevance to the church is a major topic that I did not address in this message but naturally arises for those engaged with this text.


I want to begin with a challenge today.

To realize your soul is looking for a deeper rest.

(I’m not suggesting a morning nap. I’m referring to your soul.)

Our souls are restless.

We have a high propensity for distractions.

But there is a rest that is deeper than merely who is in political office… or any political crisis of our day.

It is about the search for rest… for truly coming home to the place that we are accepted… where we belong… where we can know at the core of our nature… the security and significance.

…With that in mind…I want we may do well to consider a word that we can have a strange relationship with.


We can hear that word and feel something positive and negative.

One may have some sense that religion is to be respected…that they shouldn’t bash religion… but there is a lot that they may want to keep their distance from.

Even on a personal level…some describe themselves as “not religious but spiritual”… which may reflect trying to find some form of separation between the two…that may be hard to define…is nevertheless a reflection that there is something good and something bad trying to be distinguished.

And perhaps even many here today may feel that way. Wondering… Are we religious? Should we be religious?

The topic of “religion” involves more definition and clarity than we will try to engage today.

But as we continue in our journey… “Encountering Jesus” through the Gospel of Luke… we see that Jesus not only confronts the problem… but clarifies the issue.

• He is like the plumb line. A builder can try to measure what is true in any ways…but the plumb line settles what is truly aligned with the way things really are.

• Or when we are trying to know what pieces of material may not be straight…he is like the straight stick… that when laid next to the others… shows everything else in it’s true perspective.

With that in mind…this morning we encounter Jesus… as captured here in Luke 6:1-11.

In Luke 6:1-11 …we have two confrontations with the religious leaders related to how Jesus related to the Sabbath.

If you’re not familiar with what the Sabbath is all about…we’ll touch on that in a bit…but to help understand these incidents…the Sabbath simply means stop…as in stop from your labor…and rest in God as the Provider. And it was specifically set apart as the last day of the week…. Saturday.

?Luke 6:1-5 ?One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grain fields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. 2  Some of the Pharisees asked, "Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?" 3  Jesus answered them, "Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4  He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions." 5  Then Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."

Pause to consider this first incident. - Jesus’ disciples are hungry. They’ve been caring for people on the Sabbath Day… , they’re walking through a grain field, and as they walk through that grain field they just pick the heads of the grain and they eat. Now, this was not stealing. This was specifically allowed by the law. The law allowed those in need to pick the excess of grain in a field. So the Pharisees interestingly don't accuse them of stealing. But what the Pharisees do accuse them of doing is breaking the rules involving labor on the Sabbath Day.

Now you need to know there was no such law as that found in Moses’ law. This is their interpretation of how Moses’ law is to be applied in this particular situation, according to the teachings of the rabbi. And so what we have is the Pharisees’ interpretation of God's word set over against Jesus’ interpretation of God's word…and the Pharisees accusing the disciples of the Lord Jesus of being Sabbath breakers.

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