“Shabbat” is the seventh day when God rested after making all of creation. A day of rest, which is a Saturday according to Jewish customs. For the Jews Shabbat started on Friday evening at 6pm and ended on Saturday evening at 6pm. This episode draws the viewer towards the importance of Shabbat and connects it with the healing of Mary Magdalene, from whom Jesus removed seven evil spirits.
The religious and political situation is drawn out very prominently. The way in which the people are struggling to pay taxes, especially highlighting Simon Peter’s meagre earnings which are complicated by his tax troubles and because of which he ends up breaking the Shabbat rules. In the midst of all this, I liked the reminder that Peter is given by his wife saying “you are answerable to God not me, but next time you are answerable to both of us.” This is very practical because as a married couple we generally think we are answerable only to our spouses, and we tend to forget that marriage is a tri-covenant and one is responsible and answerable to both; ones spouse and God.
There is a scene where Nicodemus inquires about the healing of Mary Magdalene is classic because he thinks that he was the one who healed Mary but when Mary reveals that the source of the healing is someone else, he is surprised. Nicodemus becomes curious and is eager to meet the mysterious healer.
Shabbat dinner is shown as a meal time where it is to be shared by family and friends alike. The entire episode not only draws out the importance of this meal but also gives a glimpse of Shabbat celebrations in the lives of Nicodemus, Mary Magdalene, Simon Peter and Matthew the tax collector and their loved ones. And what if you don’t have any person to be called as your loved one? Well if you will have a pet, he can be your loved one!
- It is for the viewer to decide if the situation during those days was so bad that the parents of the tax collector (who were devout Jews), disowned their son because he was serving the Roman Emperor and burdening his own people with taxes?
- Did Simon Peter break the Shabbat rules if he worked on Shabbat? Do you find this scene difficult to digest/understand? If you work on a Sunday, are you breaking the rule? Do you think that it is a sin to work on a rest day?
Do leave your thoughts and comments below.