Under another discussion thread, Leo, a Roman Catholic, made some comments about my posts and I wanted to share my answer as a summary of the Sabbath Rest posts.
Now let's talk about why Jesus healed on the Sabbath. He wanted to end the misapplication of Sabbath regulations at the expense of those who were suffering. He said that the Sabbath was made for man and not the other way around.
Jesus wanted to show that mercy always comes first. He said that it was always okay to do good, even on the Sabbath.
Here is my answer:
It is correct that Jesus wanted to teach these things, but that is not the only meaning. The sabbath was a day to rest from our labors for ourselves, but works of love are always appropriate. But how can we cease from working for ourselves, for our own salvation, until it is achieved? If we have to work to merit our salvation, then we are never working for only love and mercy, but for ourselves.
Jesus died to take our sin upon Himself and to declare us righteous by giving us His righteousness. Then we can by faith accept it, and then work by faith to show love for God first and then love and mercy for others.
First we must be free of sin by grace through faith, and only then can we do true works by faith, being made holy by the Spirit in us.