This lesson helps the youth understand the Sabbath and how they can remember it and honor God.
- 30 minutes
- Bibles or cell phones to look up the scriptures
- The set of questions about the man made well on a handout (See below, “What did Jesus do on the Sabbath?”)
- Pencils or pens
What is Sabbath?
Anyone willing to share what they think Sabbath means?
Read a Definition
Let’s talk Bible history so we can have some context for the discussion
of what Sabbath can mean for you
Sabbath observance was one of the things that was required by religious leaders for the Hebrews in the Old Testament and New Testament to belong to the Jewish Community. The practice originates in the 10 commandments which were given by God to Moses.
Read Exodus 20: 8 – 11
“Remember” the Sabbath
What should we remember from the first creation story in Genesis?
God created everything and rested on the 7th day
In the New Testament gospels what should we remember?
What Jesus has done for us
Important! If we stop remembering the Sabbath once a week what will happen?
God defined when the Sabbath occurred as being on the 7th day.
The Jews, like the Hebrews in the Old Testament and New Testament observe Sabbath from Friday night until Saturday night.
Christians most often observe the Sabbath on Sunday.
Remember the Sabbath “and keep it holy”
How do we keep it holy?
By worshiping, giving thanks, telling bible stories, and spending time resting and reflecting on God. Giving God space to be in our lives.
Why choose a day?
Typically, Christians choose Sunday as the Sabbath
Picking a day of the week marks a Day of community for the church. Family time. A day to gather and remember. It helps us focus on what’s most important. Honoring God by placing God first and “resting with God”. A day to grow stronger spiritually.
What did Jesus do on the Sabbath?
For 5 minutes, break into small groups of 3 – 4 or stay in one group if you only have a few at youth group. Have one person from each group read John 5: 5 – 15 aloud and then answer the questions you hand out.
Give each group a pencil or pen to record their groups answers.
On the paper you hand out have the following questions:
What did Jesus do on the Sabbath in this scripture that made the Jews angry?
What was Jesus response in verse 15?
Now imagine you are the man that was made well and answer these questions:
A man asks you to take up your mat and walk. When he tells you that, what do you think?
You stand up and can walk. How do you react?
When the Jews accuse you of working on the Sabbath by carrying your mat, what do you think about them and what they said?
Where should I go now that I’m made well? Why?
Bring the groups back together and have them share their answers.
The Hebrews had created a lot of rules and interpretations around the fourth commandment which included 39 types of actions forbidden on the Sabbath. Authorities always want to tell us what is not allowed and the religious leaders provided what they thought. But, it’s about what God wants. God sent Jesus to teach us and help us understand what God wants.
Can we do good things, like Jesus did on Sunday, our day of observance and rest?
Read Matthew 12: 1 – 8
Jesus says “For the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath”
Read Matthew 12: 9 – 13.
Jesus heals on the Sabbath and says “ So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath”
Merciful actions honor the Sabbath.
Work or Rest
Do people sometimes judge whether another person is observing the Sabbath?
What does God say about judging others?
If your Mom or Dad is a health care worker, and they work on Sunday, is that honoring the Sabbath?
What do you think Jesus would do if you went to the emergency room for help on Sunday and it was closed until Monday because it was the Sabbath?
God invites us to rest like God rested on the 7th day. God wants us to rest, to refresh and renew, both physically and spiritually. To refresh we spend time with God.
We live in a world where it is easy to fill our Sabbath day with activities like playing sports, homework, social media, a part time job….
Is this honoring the Sabbath?
Could you fix a meal for your mom so she can rest on the Sabbath?
Can you help someone who needs help and is hurting on the Sabbath and that action honor the Sabbath?
Youth Group Discussion Questions:
When is your Sabbath day?
Do you believe it’s important to remember the Sabbath and keep it holy? Why?
Have you looked at all the things you do on your Sabbath day? Make a list of how you typically spend your time on the Sabbath.
What could you change about your Sabbath day to make it a day that creates space for remembering what God and Jesus have done for you, giving thanks, keeping it Holy, and resting your body and mind?