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Lesson for May 2nd, 2015

Christ as Lord of the Sabbath

Scripture Focus

Mark 1:21; 6:2; Luke 4:17-19, 31-37; 6:1-11; 13:10-16; 2 Corinthians 5:17


Jesus carefully observed the Sabbath while on the earth. Though Luke was a Gentile convert, he repeatedly showed how Christ honored the seventh day.

Materials Needed

Paper, pencils, Bibles, hymnbooks or religious songbooks

Connecting with the Scripture Topic

  1. 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?

  2. 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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?

  1. It was Christ’s “custom” to go to the synagogue on the Sabbath.
  2. Jesus participated in Sabbath worship services.
  3. The Bible passage Jesus read emphasized healing and restoration—two appropriate Sabbath activities.
  4. When Christ is uplifted on Sabbath, people are drawn to focus their eyes on Jesus (see v. 20).
  5. Some people found Sabbath-keeping to be a burden. Jesus preached that Sabbath was a day of freedom in God.
  6. Other…

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?

  1. Christ taught people on the Sabbath. It was a day to enlighten others spiritually.
  2. People with problems—including a man possessed by demons—came to church.
  3. Jesus did not hesitate to heal this man on the Sabbath day; such works were in harmony with the purpose of the Sabbath.
  4. The Sabbath was a day for “shutting down” the devil. Jesus told the demon to be quiet.
  5. People were astonished on the Sabbath at the authority, power, and teaching of Christ.
  6. Other…

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?

  1. There are manmade traditions about Sabbath-keeping that hold no authority with Jesus.
  2. In going to extremes to keep the letter of the law, people can miss the spirit of the law.
  3. The Sabbath command forbids us to do our regular “work” on this day, so we shouldn’t ignore the point of the fourth commandment.
  4. This is a perfect of example of how Jesus set aside the Sabbath in honor of keeping Sunday holy.
  5. Whatever Jesus did on the Sabbath is safe for us to do because Jesus is “the Lord of the Sabbath.”
  6. Other…

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?

  1. People with disabilities were welcomed to worship and hear Christ teach on the Sabbath.
  2. Some people’s focus on the Sabbath is to catch others breaking the law.
  3. The man with the withered hand did not ask to be healed on Sabbath. Christ reached out to him.
  4. Christ taught that Sabbath was a day to relieve suffering, do good, and heal others.
  5. Jesus “read” the thoughts of the religious leaders. This shows how important our motives are in true Sabbath-keeping.
  6. Other…

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

  1. 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?
  2. As a group, pray for God to guide your Sabbath activities in a way that honors the Lord, refreshes your spirit, and blesses others.

Next Week's Scripture Focus

Galatians 3:26-28; Luke 1:39-55; 2:36-38; 7:11-17, 36-50; 8:1-3; 18:1-8; Romans 10:17

More Sabbath School Resources

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