IN its issue of October 25, the Christian Work has notes on the International S. S. lesson for November 4, the title of which is, “Jesus Lord of the Sabbath.” These notes are by “Rev. Joseph Newton Hallock,” the editor of the paper in which they appear.
The lesson recounts the circumstances of the plucking of the ears of corn on the Sabbath by the disciples and of the charge of Sabbath-breaking brought against them by the Pharisees; also the healing of the withered hand on the following Sabbath.
Mr. Hallock comments upon the first even, namely, the plucking of the ears of corn, and then says:—
Our Lord had silenced his accusers once, but on the following Sunday they were at the synagogue watching him again with malicious hearts, hoping that perchance they might pervert even his works of gracious healing into a just cause of accusation. When they saw the man with the withered hand they were exultant, for they were sure that Christ would heal him, and thus, in their estimation, break the Sabbath. First they had attacked the man who had carried his bed upon the Sabbath, then they had accused the disciples, and now with evil malevolence they were about to pounce upon Christ himself, and accuse the Lord of the Sabbath of breaking it.
It is concerning this that we inquire, Is it ignorance or dishonesty—which? That the Pharisees did not accuse Christ of breaking the Sabbath on Sunday need not be asserted. Sunday was to the Jews just what Monday is to most people now—namely, the first of the six working days. Moreover, the Pharisees did not resort to the synagogue to watch Christ on Sunday, for he was not at the synagogue on that day. Sunday was not the day when the Jews resorted to the synagogue. The Sabbath, the seventh day of the week, the day just before Sunday, was the day upon which the people resorted to the synagogue and upon which the Pharisees watched Jesus to see whether he would heal “on the Sabbath day.”
Only the words of Holy Writ can adequately describe this confounding of the holy and the profane, this effort to make Sunday and Sabbath synonymous: “There is a conspiracy of her prophets in the midst thereof, like a roaring lion ravening the prey: they have devoured souls; they have taken the treasure and precious things; the have made her many widows; in the midst thereof. Her priests have violated my law, and have profaned mine holy things: they have put no difference between the holy and profane, neither have they shewed difference between the unclean and the clean, and have hid their eyes from my Sabbaths, and I am profaned among them.” Ezekiel 22:25, 26.