If Jesus broke the Sabbath then He sinned and there is no Savior. Yet some scriptures are quoted to back up the assumption that He broke the Sabbath.
One of them is a story from the Bible that most people who have been to church, or Sunday School, would have heard…
John 5:5-18 “And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. … 8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up your bed, and walk. 9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the Sabbath. … 15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole. 16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the Sabbath day. 17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. 18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.”
Verse 18 says that Jesus ‘broke the Sabbath’ – is this true? The Greek is different.
Does it say Jesus broke the Sabbath?
No. According to an online Greek/English Interlinear translation ‘broke’ is translated as ‘loosed.’
Another Greek Interlinear says that Jesus ‘untied’ the Sabbath.
Loosed? Untied? From what. Perhaps the answer is in another place.
“And he said unto them, Full well ye reject the commandment of God, that ye may keep your own tradition.” KJV
There are 613 Sabbath commandments. Whether all of these were in effect in Jesus’ day is not clear but He confronted them on the subject of washing pots, and handwashing before eating.
Now in holding to the tradition of the elders, the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat until they wash their hands ceremonially.
Berean Study Bible
You have disregarded the commandment of God to keep the tradition of men.”
Some examples of the Sabbath commandments can be found here…
There are more in the Code of Jewish Law.
Could it be that Jesus ‘loosed the Sabbath’ from the traditions of Judaism?
What is Judaism?
The history of the Jews and Judaism can be divided into five periods: (1) ancient Israel before Judaism, from the beginnings to 586 BCE; (2) the beginning of Judaism in the 6th and 5th centuries BCE.
Later periods are not relevant to the time of Christ.
A common belief is that Judaism is the Law of Moses. (The written law was the Law of God, not Moses.)
Back to Judaism.
American rabbinical scholar Stephen S Wise has said, “The Jews’ return form Babylon marked the end of Hebrew-ism and the beginning of Judaism.”
In their defence I need to add that the beginning of Pharisaism was to prevent the breaking of the law which had led Judah into captivity. However, the rules designed to prevent people breaking the law became a hedge around the law.
In Jesus’ time these traditions are more than likely what he meant about rejecting the commands of God for the traditions of men.
Some of the rabbis admit that Judaism is not based on Scriptures but on the so-called Oral Law.
It is a huge subject, and one which I had to research thoroughly to accurately portray the background of the Apostle John Series, and the companion novellas.
As far as I can see, Jesus loosed or untied the Sabbath from the traditions of men.