In Luke 6:1-11, Luke recounts the hostile encounter between Jesus and the Pharisees, and points us to something very significant about our hearts and about the Lord's Day. Over 150 years ago, J.C. Ryle said, "Our Sundays and how we use them is one of the most sure signs of our spiritual condition." How do you use your Sunday? How do you use your Lord's Day? What's at the heart of your Lord's Day? Well, Luke is telling us something that not only reveals something to us about the hearts of the Pharisees and what was the heart of their experience of the Sabbath, but it forces us to look at our own hearts and ask us how we use the Lord's Day.

Last week, we started looking at this passage and saw the Pharisees false approach to the Sabbath. Today, I want you to notice two more things in these verses.

II. How Jesus Observed the Sabbath

Jesus does three things in this passage that are a good example to us for how to keep the Lord's Day.

The first thing you'll see is in verse 6: "On another Sabbath, He entered the synagogue and was teaching." This was Jesus' normal pattern. On the Sabbath Day, where is Jesus? He's in corporate worship with the people of God. That's where we ought to be every Lord's Day, in corporate worship with the people of God. When we do that, we're just following Jesus' example.

Secondly, Jesus makes it clear that the Sabbath Day is a day when it is lawful to do things that have to be done - "deeds of necessity" our Confession calls them. If you'll look back in verse 1 - "On the Sabbath, while He was going through the grainfields, His disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain, rubbing them in their hands." They needed to eat. They were out traveling, doing the work of the Lord. The only way that they could get the food they needed was to do what they did. It was an act of necessity and it was perfectly appropriate according to the Lord Jesus Christ. So the Sabbath Day is a day of rest, but it's also, as Jesus makes clear, a day of worship (verse 6), and a day in which you do the deeds of necessity (verse 1).

It is also, however, a day in which we do deeds of mercy, and you see this in verses 8ff. Jesus is in the synagogue teaching; there's a man there with a withered hand; He calls the man up and He heals the man. It's an act of mercy. If God has shown us mercy, and if we worship God, how do you worship God best? When you act like He does. So is it appropriate to do deeds of mercy on His day? Yes! Jesus makes it clear.

This is how Jesus used the Lord's Day: worship, deeds of necessity, and deeds of mercy. And He provides us an example of how to use our Lord's Day. J.C. Ryle, a century and a half ago, said, "It is only a few steps down from no Sabbath to no God." In other words, our use of the Lord's Day is an index of our spiritual health. Is your Lord's Day caught up with worship and deeds of necessity and mercy and rest, or is it caught up with something else? Jesus' example is instructive to us.

III. Who is Lord of the Sabbath?

But there's one last thing that I want you to see here, and it's the most important thing. It is the lord of the Lord's Day. Because in verse 5, you see the rest of the story in the first incident. I told you about Jesus responding to the Pharisees by telling them about David and Ahimelech and the showbread, but I didn't tell you the second thing that Jesus said to the Pharisees. First, Jesus had asked, "Do you remember the story of David?"

What I say doesn't go on the Sabbath, doesn't go on the Sabbath." And, you see, that's the fundamental question. Who the lord of the Lord's Day is makes all the difference as to whether you're actually keeping the Lord's Day. If the lord of your Lord's Day is the Lord, then it's a glorious day. But if the lord of your Lord's Day is you or someone or anything else, then it's going to be a miserable day.

And, you see, that's the real key to your Lord's Day. Do you want to enjoy the Lord's Day? The only way to enjoy the Lord's Day is to enjoy the Lord of the Lord's Day. That's the whole key to enjoying the Lord's Day. If you don't enjoy the lord of the Lord's Day, the Lord's Day is going to be miserable! If you want to be somewhere else, you're not going to enjoy the Lord's Day. The Lord's Day is my favorite day of the week. I get up as early as I can; I stay awake as late as I can. It's my favorite day of the week. Is that how you feel about the Lord's Day?

You see, it's real easy for us to look back at those Pharisees and say, "Oh, you nit-picky hypocrites...you legalists!" But, my friends, our hearts can be just as wrong about the Lord's Day as theirs were if we don't worship the lord of the Lord's Day and enjoy Him more than we enjoy the pursuit of our own agendas and our own pleasures.