Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

Jesus Heals on the Sabbath

Matthew 12:1-14

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Jesus Forgives a Woman Taken in Adultery (John 8:1-11)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath. Mark 2:27-28

Opening Prayer

Remember The Sabbath Day (Exodus 20:8-11)
    How did Jesus summarize God's Laws for man?
      Matthew 22:35-40 = Love God and Love your neighbor - Two tables of 10 Commandments
    What is the third of God's moral commands dealing with keeping our relationship with Him?
      Exodus 20:8 = Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy
    What is the Sabbath day?
      Exodus 20:9-10a = The seventh day, after six days of work
    Sabbath (From Hebrew "shabath") means "to cease, desist". Why did God call it the Sabbath day?
      Exodus 20:10b = We are to cease / desist / stop working - every person & animal
    What if we can't get all of our work done in six days? Is it really possible to rest on the 7th day?
      Exodus 20:11 = God created everything within 6 days and gave Himself a rest on the 7th

Purposes of the Sabbath (Leviticus 23:3)
    What is an obvious purpose of observing the Sabbath?
      Leviticus 23:3a = "Sabbath of rest" - A day of physical rest and refreshing
    What is a more important purpose of observing the Sabbath?
      Leviticus 23:3b = "Sabbath to the Lord" - A day of spiritual rest and refreshing
    What does God promise if we remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy?
      Isaiah 58:13-14 = He will bless us and we will find our joy in the Lord

    How else does God promise to bless us through observing the Sabbath?
      Ezekiel 20:12 = He makes us holy - sanctifies us
    How does the Sabbath help us grow in our relationship with God?
      Ezekiel 20:20 = It is a constant sign, a reminder, that the Lord is our God
    How do we see this in the Deuteronomy record of the third commandment?
      Deuteronomy 5:15 = The Sabbath reminds God's people how He saved them

Sabbath Days (Exodus 16)
    Was the idea of resting on the seventh day one that God developed for the Israelites on Sinai?
      Genesis 2:1-3 = No, it began at the creation of the world - God rested on the 7th day
    How did the Jews define the beginning and the end of the Sabbath day?
      Genesis 1:31 (Lev. 23:32) = Days - evening until morning, Sabbath from Friday at sundown
    When is the first time we see the Sabbath rest formally observed? = Rest from gathering
      Exodus 16:14-15, 19-20, 23-26 = God provided manna daily except on the Sabbath

Sabbath Weeks, Months and Years (Leviticus 23, 25)
    How were the Israelites to celebrate God's providence through crops in a Sabbath of 7 weeks?
      Leviticus 23:10-11, 15-16, 21 = Seven weeks between First Fruits and Harvest Sabbath
    How were the Israelites to celebrate God in a Sabbath of 7 months? = Remember God's creation
      Leviticus 23:23-25 = Feast of Trumpets - Now Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year
    What other special remembrances did God command during this 7th month Sabbath?
      Leviticus 23:26-28, 32 = Day of Atonement - A day of purification - make people holy
      Leviticus 23:33-35 = Feast of Tabernacles - Remember how God saved through exodus

    How were the Israelites to celebrate God in a Sabbath of 7 years?
      Leviticus 25:1-4 = The land was to rest (sabbath) every 7th year
    What other 7th year observances were the Israelites to keep?
      Exodus 21:2 = Hebrew slaves were to be released on the 7th year (sabbath from slavery)
      Deuteronomy 15:1-2, 9 = Debts from fellow Hebrews were to be canceled
    How were the Israelites to especially celebrate a Sabbath every 7 Sabbath years?
      Leviticus 25:8-10 = All Sabbath year rests plus land returned to original owners

    What happened to the land of Israel during the Jews' exile to Babylon?
      2 Chronicles 36:20-21 (Jeremiah 25:11-12) = It enjoyed its sabbath rests for 70 years
    How would the Jews receive a Sabbath of rest after waiting years for the Messiah?
      Daniel 9:24-25 = 70 sevens from exile return to Christ (490 yrs); 7-7s to rebuild Jerusalem

Importance of the Sabbath (Exodus 31:14-17)
    How important was it for the Jews to keep the Sabbath day?
      Exodus 31:14-15 = Anyone who did work on the Sabbath was to be killed
    How long would the Jews have to keep the Sabbath?
      Exodus 31:16-17 = Forever - for the generations to come as a lasting covenant
    How did God punctuate the importance of this command?
      Exodus 31:18 = It was the last thing He told Moses on Mt. Sinai (the first trip up)
    Was it ever acceptable to do any work on the Sabbath?
      Exodus 34:21 = No, not even during the busiest times of the year

The Wages of Ignoring the Sabbath (Nehemiah 13:15-22)
    Were the curses of ignoring the Sabbath directed only at the individuals who didn't keep it?
      Ezekiel 20:23-24 = No, the whole nation would be punished
    How was this further reinforced in the last days before the Jews were exiled?
      Jeremiah 17:21-25a, 27 = Keep my Sabbath and I'll bless you, Disobey & be destroyed

    What did Nehemiah see after the Jews returned from exile that upset him?
      Nehemiah 13:15-17 = People went about their daily business on the Sabbath
    How did Nehemiah convince the Jews to stop working on the Sabbath?
      Nehemiah 13:18 = He warned that the destruction & exile had resulted from this
    How did he make sure a few unrighteous didn't spoil it for everyone else?
      Nehemiah 13:19-22 = He kept the city gates locked & guarded to stop merchants

Black and White Laws (Ezekiel 20:25)
    What did the Jews do to make sure God wouldn't punish them as severely again?
      Nehemiah 9:38; 10:29-31 = They made an oath and an honest effort to perfectly obey God
    What else did they do to make sure the law wasn't accidentally disobeyed?
      Nehemiah 8:7a, 7c-8 = They taught and explained the Law to the people
    "Oral Law" - Religious leaders attempted to make black & white limits for every situation
    What did Jesus have to say about these Oral Laws?
      Matthew 23:1-4, 13 = They add needless heavy loads and keep people from heaven
    Why did God allow this to happen?
      Ezekiel 20:25-26 = He let them get outrageous so the people would return to His love & truth

Working on the Sabbath
    Jews identified 39 works which were prohibited on the Sabbath by the Scripture
      Each of these father-works had many descendant-works defined by rabbis
    Examples: Father-Work Descendant Works
    Plowing Digging (dragging a chair might make a rut)
    (rubbing foot on pavement ok, not on dirt)
    Carrying a burden Wearing false teeth or extra clothing
    Walking on stilts (crutch or wooden leg okay)
    Tailor carrying needle, Scribe carrying pen
    Reaping Plucking a head of wheat
    Pulling out a gray hair (don't look in mirror)

Jesus "Works" On the Sabbath (Matthew 12)
    What is the first time we see Jesus "working" on the Sabbath? = Fever was likely malaria
      Mark 1:21-26, 30-31 = Capernaum, Cast out demon, Healed Peter's mom-in-law
    What response resulted from this Sabbath work?
      Mark 1:28, 32 = Word spread, People flocked after sunset (after Sabbath was over)

    What is the next Sabbath work we see from Jesus?
      John 5:1, 5, 8-9 = Lame man at pool of Bethesda (Jerusalem) cured
    What response resulted from this Sabbath work?
      John 5:10-11, 16 = Jews upset man was carrying mat, Mad at Jesus
    How did Jesus respond to their concern for the sanctity of the Sabbath?
      John 7:21-24 = Tried to make them think through the craziness of their criticism

    What upset the Jewish leaders in today's story?
      Matthew 12:1-2 = "Harvesting" grain on Sabbath
    How did Jesus attempt to guide them to a better understanding of the truth of the Sabbath?
      Matthew 12:3-8 = Referred to David eating consecrated bread & priests working on Sabbath
    Did this satisfy them?
      Matthew 12:9-10 = No, they held their position and tried to use it to trap Jesus
    How did Jesus respond to their rejection of the truth?
      Matthew 12:11-13 = He tried to explain again and followed through in action
    Did this satisfy them?
      Matthew 12:14 = No, it strengthened their resolve that they needed to stop this evil one

Did Jesus Observe the Sabbath? (Matthew 5:17-18)
    Did Jesus observe the Sabbath?
      Luke 4:16 = Yes, He went to worship in the synagogue every Sabbath
    Why don't we continue to observe the Sabbaths as the Jews did? Did Jesus abolish them?
      Matthew 5:17-18 = No, He fulfilled them
    How did this affect the requirements of God's old covenant with His people?
      Hebrews 9:15 = Jesus brought a new covenant that took affect after He died and rose
    What happened to God's laws under this new covenant?
      Hebrews 8:6-10 = They are written on our hearts and minds, we are His people
    Does this mean that we don't have to keep God's laws?
      Romans 8:3-4 = No, they have already been kept for us by Jesus, We live in His obedience

The Sabbath Rest for Christians (Hebrews 4:1-11)
    If Jesus fulfilled the Sabbath, does that mean that everyone automatically receives His Sabbath rest?
      Hebrews 4:1-2, 6 = Those who reject the gospel and faith in Christ do not enter his rest
    So is there still a Sabbath day of rest for those who have faith in Christ?
      Hebrews 4:7-9 = Yes, God set another Sabbath day of rest for us
    So when is that Sabbath day of rest?
      Hebrews 4:3-5, 10-11 = We are living in it, we are to enter His rest through faith

Christians and the Sabbath Day (Colossians 2:16-3:2)
    How are we to respond to those who insist that we keep the Sabbath as commanded at Sinai?
      Colossians 2:16-17 = Don't let them distract you, commands were a shadow of Christ
    Should we try to follow these commands anyway?
      Colossians 2:20-23 = No, although they appear to be right, they are human commands
    Should we work to correct our misguided brothers who believe certain days are more holy?
      Romans 14:5-6 (Galatians 4:10-11) = God did not command us to keep any day
    How are we then to treat such rules and regulations on how to relate to God?
      Colossians 3:1-2 = Don't focus on earthly commands, but on things above

Closing Prayer

Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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