Does Matthew 24:20 teach that we must celebrate the Sabbath?

There are some who believe that Matthew 24:20 shows we must follow the Sabbath.

We again have to look at the passage in context, Matthe 24:15-20

15 “Therefore when you see the ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION which was spoken of through Daniel the prophet, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand ), 16 then those who are in Judea must flee to the mountains. 17 “Whoever is on the housetop must not go down to getthe things out that are in his house. 18 “Whoever is in the field must not turn back to get his cloak.19 “But woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days ! 20″But pray that your flight will not be in the winter, or on a Sabbath.

First, we have to realize that no command to celebrate the Sabbath was given in this text. It was merely suggested they should pray they dont have to run in the winter or on a Sabbath.

Second, we have to realize this is for those in Judea, not other parts of the world (see verse 16). Third, this is only written in the book of Matthew, which was most likely written to a Jewish audience. The warning was given not to Christians, but to Jewish people who would find it hard to flee on a Sabbath – perhaps because they were not allowed to walk long distances on the Sabbath ( Exodus 16:29.) and because the city gates would be shut (Nehemiah 13:19-22) .

We do not know that Christians would be observing the Sabbath when the abomination of desolation was standing in the holy place, only that someone would be.

We know that Jewish people would have had difficulty fleeing if they had to do it on the Sabbath, and we know that some Jewish people were in the audience.

We also know anyone within the city would have difficulty getting out. If this occurred during the revolt of the Jews against the Romans in AD 66-70, as many believe, then yes, this was definitely not saying Christians would be observing the Sabbath, but Jews.

So no, this is not stating Christians must observe the Sabbath.

We can look at passage after passage dealing with this or that Mosaic Law, but if you have to do that, you are missing the point of what Christ has done for us. All you need to do is accept that Jesus has fulfilled the Law, that we have been released from the Law (Romans 7:4-6). We have been set free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2-3). The Law has been set aside (Hebrews 7:18). We are not under the Law (Gal 3:19-25; 5:18).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: