Lesson for May 2nd, 2015
Christ as Lord of the Sabbath
Jesus carefully observed the Sabbath while on the earth. Though Luke was a Gentile convert, he repeatedly showed how Christ honored the seventh day.
Paper, pencils, Bibles, hymnbooks or religious songbooks
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
Have you ever celebrated a new holiday with people from a different culture? Did you find anything strange about it? Were there any aspects you found enjoyable?
- Share your best-kept secret about how you’ve practiced Sabbath-keeping in a way that makes the day a real delight.
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
Some people have never celebrated God’s weekly holy day. Draw a picture of a chair with the acronym R-E-S-T on it. Then, on each leg of the chair, write four ways Sabbath is meaningful to you.
- Thought Questions
This lesson focuses on how Christ kept the Sabbath. Read Luke 4:16-22 and answer this question: What do we learn in this passage about how Jesus related to the Sabbath?
- It was Christ’s “custom” to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath.
- Jesus participated in Sabbath worship services.
- The Bible passage Jesus read emphasized healing and restoration—two appropriate Sabbath activities.
- When Christ is uplifted on Sabbath, people are drawn to focus their eyes on Jesus (see v. 20).
- Some people found Sabbath-keeping to be a burden. Jesus preached that Sabbath was a day of freedom in God.
Study Luke 4:31-37. Here Jesus heals a man possessed by a demon. What stands out in this story that teaches us about the Sabbath?
- Christ taught people on the Sabbath. It was a day to enlighten others spiritually.
- People with problems—including a man possessed by demons—came to church.
- Jesus did not hesitate to heal this man on the Sabbath day; such works were in harmony with the purpose of the Sabbath.
- The Sabbath was a day for “shutting down” the devil. Jesus told the demon to be quiet.
- People were astonished on the Sabbath at the authority, power, and teaching of Christ.
As a group, read Luke 6:1-5. From this story about Jesus and the Pharisees, what can we learn about Christ and the disciples?
- There are manmade traditions about Sabbath-keeping that hold no authority with Jesus.
- In going to extremes to keep the letter of the law, people can miss the spirit of the law.
- The Sabbath command forbids us to do our regular “work” on this day, so we shouldn’t ignore the point of the fourth commandment.
- This is a perfect of example of how Jesus set aside the Sabbath in honor of keeping Sunday holy.
- Whatever Jesus did on the Sabbath is safe for us to do because Jesus is “the Lord of the Sabbath.”
Now look at Luke 6:6-11, which describes another Sabbath experience of Jesus and leaders in conflict. What Sabbath lessons does this story teach us?
- People with disabilities were welcomed to worship and hear Christ teach on the Sabbath.
- Some people’s focus on the Sabbath is to catch others breaking the law.
- The man with the withered hand did not ask to be healed on Sabbath. Christ reached out to him.
- Christ taught that Sabbath was a day to relieve suffering, do good, and heal others.
- Jesus “read” the thoughts of the religious leaders. This shows how important our motives are in true Sabbath-keeping.
Applying the Message of Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to your group when your facilitator says time is up.
- Option 1: A work associate confesses that she hated keeping Sunday holy as a child because of a strict grandparent. She then asks, “Don’t you keep Saturday as the Sabbath? Do you have tons of rules that make the day boring?” How would you respond?
- Option 2: The pastor asks your group to help members see Sabbath as a day for “healing.” Brainstorm together and come up with at least a half-dozen ways your church can relieve suffering in your community on the Sabbath.
- Option 3: Find a hymn or religious song that speaks about the Sabbath. Rewrite one verse in a fresh and contemporary way that expresses your personal convictions about the Sabbath.
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- Reflect for a moment on how you experience Sabbath. Is it a day of healing and rest or a day of conflict and unrest? What one thing do you need to do to make Sabbath more special?
- As a group, pray for God to guide your Sabbath activities in a way that honors the Lord, refreshes your spirit, and blesses others.