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Mat 8:14 and the Sabbath

Matthew 8:14 was on a Sabbath Day

Someone has said that because Christ healed Peter’s mother on a Sabbath and she rose up to serve him, that means that she cooked on the Sabbath.

Of course to “minister” could have been as simple as offering them some wine or a glass of water, or a bit of food that had already been prepared on the preparation day; therefore this idea that she cooked on Sabbath is a tremendous stretch.

The scripture and its companion.

Mat 8:14 And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. 15And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them.

Mark 1:21 and they went into Capernaum; and straightway on the sabbath day he entered into the synagogue, and taught. . . . . Mark 1:29 And forthwith, when they were come out of the synagogue, they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30But Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick of a fever, and anon they tell him of her. 31And he came and took her by the hand, and lifted her up; and immediately the fever left her, and she ministered unto them.

Luk 4:31 And came down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee, and taught them on the sabbath days. . . . Luk 4:38 And he arose out of the synagogue, and entered into Simon’s house. And Simon’s wife’s mother was taken with a great fever; and they besought him for her. 39And he stood over her, and rebuked the fever; and it left her: and immediately she arose and ministered unto them.

We can see in all three versions that Peter’s mother was healed of a fever in the privacy of their home with a few disciples present. This was  AFTER he had finished teaching on the Sabbath; had walked to the house, had healed the lady, and she would have rested for a short space.  It is a gross assumption to say  that she had served them on the Sabbath day before the sun had set! 

The issue, is the jumping to a conclusion that “ministering” meant cooking, or a conclusion that with the healing late in the day, the sun had not set on that Sabbath when she began serving them.

Since Christ would not have permitted her “ministering” to him unlawfully; there are three issues: 1) Was it still Sabbath;  2) did she cook, 3) is cooking on Sabbath unlawful?

let me start by saying that Christ does not change and that he was the God of Israel who gave them the commandments in the first place. Since he does not change and he declared that not so much a punctuation point of the law would be done away; we must obey the same law that he gave to Israel.

Jesus Christ kept the law without compromise and fully in every point, for he gave it and he first received it from the Father.

Heb 13:8 Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever.

Mal 3:6 For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.

Now the commandment

Ex 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.

9Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

10But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:

We are not to do any work on the Sabbath or annual High Days. Except that we may perform acts of mercy; respond to major crisis; and do those things specifically commanded by God for the Sabbath and Holy Days.

We are not to require any other who is within our gates [under our authority, power or responsibility] to work, no not even our animals.

11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

The Sabbath day is a memorial of the physical creation, and as such is an acknowledgment of the Creator and our obligation to obey him in all things as our Creator Father. This day is HIS, the time belongs to HIM and is to be used as HE instructs. This is HIS time which we are to spend with HIM to learn of HIM.

This day was created for Adam and Eve and ALL their descendants; that is ALL humanity. Therefore it is a sin to cause or encourage others to break the Sabbath. It is also a prophecy of a spiritual creation in six thousand years followed by a one thousand years of rest in his presence.

To buy anything, including food and drink, on Sabbath or High Days; is to encourage others to work on Sabbath or Holy Days, it is to partake of, encourage and participate in the sins of others.  It is setting a bad example for others, it is a sin because buying is causing others to work, and it is the sin of hypocrisy by paying others to do work that we would not lift a finger to do on Sabbath or High Days ourselves!

If you would not take a job in a restaurant on Sabbath or High Day; then paying others to do so is hypocrisy: And if you would take such a Job, it is the sin of Sabbath or High Day breaking.

What then, of the actual act of cooking?

First cooking is either our own pleasure or it is work and in either case it is forbidden. We are not to work on Sabbath and neither are we to do our own pleasure.

Is 58:13 If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the LORD, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:

14Then shalt thou delight thyself in the LORD; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

It is because we take pleasure in our own ways and not in the things and commandments of God, that we are obviously under a curse in this latter day. And it is because of Sabbath pollution that Israel went into captivity and will do so again.

The law says: you shall not work nor cause others to work on Sabbath or High Days!

God commands through his prophets that we are not to do our own pleasures on HIS Sabbath and Holy Days. That should be enough, but now we come to cooking being specifically singled out.

Ex 16:23 And he said unto them, This is that which the LORD hath said, To morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the LORD: bake that which ye will bake to day, and seethe that ye will seethe; [on Friday in preparation for the Sabbath day]  and that which remaineth over lay up for you to be kept until the morning. 24And they laid it up till the morning, as Moses bade: and it did not stink, neither was there any worm therein.

Here God tells Moses very plainly that they are to seethe [simmer or boil] or to bake [as in any dry cooking] on Friday as a preparation day for the Sabbath. Not only would there be no manna given on the Sabbath, but raw manna left until the Sabbath could not be cooked.

25And Moses said, Eat that to day; for to day is a sabbath unto the LORD: to day ye shall not find it in the field. 26Six days ye shall gather it; but on the seventh day, which is the sabbath, in it there shall be none.And it came to pass, that on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man: and all the rulers of the congregation came and told Moses.

1 Cor 10 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 2And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 3And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 4And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

5But with many of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

6Now these things were our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.

And what happened? The people would not do as God had commanded, even as they try to grasp at any pathetic vain straw in the COG Groups today, in an attempt to do their own thing, instead of obeying their God, to this very day.

Exodus 16:27 And it came to pass, that there went out some of the people on the seventh day for to gather, and they found none. 28And the LORD said unto Moses, How long refuse ye to keep my commandments and my laws?

29See, for that the LORD hath given you the sabbath, therefore he giveth you on the sixth day the bread of two days; abide ye every man in his place, let no man go out of his place on the seventh day. 30So the people rested on the seventh day.

Later first Israel and then Judah were sent into captivity for polluting the Sabbath.

Later some of Judah were repentant and allowed back into the land; and quickly fell back into sinfully buying food and goods on the Sabbath, so that Nehemiah had to take a stand for God and HIS Sabbath against the people; commanding them to commit themselves to refuse to buy anything on the Sabbath! 

Rather than STOP profaning the Sabbath and Holy days the COG Groups reject Nehemiah; claiming that that was just for his day!  What arrogant pride to reject the clear command of Almighty God to do their own pleasures.  This is not just for those folks in Nehemiah’s day!  It has been recorded and preserved for us today. 

2 Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:  17 That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 

God’s Word by Nehemiah

Neh 10:31 And if the people of the land bring ware or any victuals on the sabbath day to sell, that we would not buy it of them on the sabbath, or on the holy day:

Yet these people then quickly reverted to polluting the Sabbath once again.

Neh 13:15 In those days saw I in Judah some treading wine presses on the sabbath, and bringing in sheaves, and lading asses; as also wine, grapes, and figs, and all manner of burdens, which they brought into Jerusalem on the sabbath day: and I testified against them in the day wherein they sold victuals [FOOD] .

So Nehemiah corrected the Jews once again.

16There dwelt men of Tyre also therein, which brought fish, and all manner of ware, and sold on the sabbath unto the children of Judah, and in Jerusalem.

17Then I contended with the nobles of Judah, and said unto them, What evil thing is this that ye do, and profane the sabbath day? 18Did not your fathers thus, and did not our God bring all this evil upon us, and upon this city? yet ye bring more wrath upon Israel by profaning the Sabbath.

Nehemiah rebukes the people in very strong words reminding them that they had gone into captivity for polluting the Sabbath. Now surely those who went into captivity had many other sins as well; but the root sin was Sabbath pollution! That is cooking and buying FOOD on the Sabbath and Holy Days! 

Why? Because Sabbath pollution shows a root LACK OF RESPECT, for the Creator and his ways; and a desire to exalt our own pleasures over HIS commandments! 

The Sabbath is a test commandment in that it is based on pure obedience out of RESPECT for God and HIS commandments, because there is no natural explanation for that law. All of the other basic ten commandments have natural explanations and good reasons: The Sabbath is a matter of pure RESPECT for the desires of our Lord!

Compromising with and polluting the Sabbath is a symptom and a sign: of a lack of respect for God; a willingness to put our own pleasures BEFORE the will of our God!

It came to the point that Nehemiah had to FORCE the people to respect the Sabbath by locking the city gates on the Sabbath!

What a great shame! What a great shame, a disgrace and an execration; that the various groups of those calling themselves God’s people today, pollute God’s Holy Sabbath Day which is from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset; in the same fashion that was sternly rebuked by Nehemiah and by Almighty God throughout the scriptures!

19And it came to pass, that when the gates of Jerusalem began to be dark before the sabbath, I commanded that the gates should be shut, and charged that they should not be opened till after the sabbath: and some of my servants set I at the gates, that there should no burden be brought in on the sabbath day. 20So the merchants and sellers of all kind of ware lodged without Jerusalem once or twice.

21Then I testified against them, and said unto them, Why lodge ye about the wall? if ye do so again, I will lay hands on you. From that time forth came they no more on the sabbath. 22And I commanded the Levites that they should cleanse themselves, and that they should come and keep the gates [Of the city], to sanctify the sabbath day.

I echo the prayer of Nehemiah: Remember me, O my God, concerning this also, and spare me according to the greatness of thy mercy.

We are NOT to do any cooking or buying of food or drink, or any other work;  on a weekly Sabbath or a Holy day!  and we are NOT to do our own pleasures on GOD’S Sabbath, or on HIS Holy Days!

We are to make the things of GOD our pleasure on HIS time!


Ex 12:16 And in the first day there shall be an holy convocation, and in the seventh day there shall be an holy convocation to you; no manner of work shall be done in them, save that which every man must eat, that only may be done of you.

Ex 12 is a history of the coming out of Egypt; as they marched out of Egypt after burning what was leftover of the Passover that morning; Israel was in a unique “ox in a ditch” situation on that very first Feast of Unleavened Bread.

We are told not to build any doctrine in one scripture and yet men have taken this ONE scripture and used it to not only justify cooking on the High days of ULB; but on ALL High Days!

This statement about preparing food is NEVER again repeated for these ULB High Days and is NEVER applied to ANY other High Day! Indeed, on subsequent High Days the command not to work is doubled, making these Annual High Days even more special. The command for the High Days is to do NO SERVILE [work or any kind] Work [labour}, a double emphasis!

The very first Feast of Unleavened Bread was a special situation, just like the very first Passover was a unique occasion; BOTH requiring unique instructions. Later, Christ and his disciples and indeed the Jews went out of their homes on Passover night, and they used Passover as a PREPARATION DAY for the Feast of ULB High Day!

They prepared on Passover, and did not work including cooking on the High Day of ULB.

Mark 15:42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.

Luk 23:53 And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. 54And that day [Passover] was the preparation [day for the Holy Day], and the sabbath drew on.

John 19:30  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. 31The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation [Passover was a preparation day for the Holy Day of ULB] , that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,

Since that first Holy day of being driven out of Egypt and after the next Holy Day of the Exodus as they had just crossed the sea; were very special true “Ox in the ditch” situations, they were permitted to prepare food on those two special High Day occasions; however food preparation was forbidden on all subsequent Holy Days!  Including subsequent High Days of the Feast of Unleavened bread as is plainly shown by the scriptures.

In conclusion;

To say that someone “ministered” to Christ on the Sabbath, is an assumption; since the sun could have already set, and serving has nothing to do with cooking.

This is nothing more than a shallow attempt to justify polluting the Sabbath by claiming something that is just NOT there.

Ministering is serving yes, she was most likely serving them AFTER the sun had set; and could easily have served their needs completely and entirely WITHOUT cooking. For all we know, all they needed was a little water!

To pollute the Sabbath based on a personal assumption, is indicative of a desire to justify doing what one wants to do, contrary to the scriptures; and it reveals that the person does NOT want to please God, but to seek their own pleasures on God’s time.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever; the scriptures are filled with admonitions to keep the Sabbath Holy and condemnations for polluting it.

We are clearly told NOT to buy food and drink, or to work, or to do our own pleasures on God’s Sabbaths and Holy Days.

As Israel went into captivity for their lack of respect for the laws of God and for polluting the Sabbath and doing their own thing; WE are also at the very point of going into captivity for the same reasons. We have the record of the past for our instruction, we are supposed to have God’s spirit: WE ARE SUPPOSED TO KNOW BETTER!

Please do study the word Sabbath in the Major Prophets; to learn of the great anger of God against those who pollute his Sabbaths; and of the great blessings that come from faithfully and zealously keeping God’s Holy Sabbath Day!

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