This week we conclude our sermon series entitled “It’s time to REST”. Preaching from Brian Dickson. Service led by Kuda Osoba.
In this final sermon of the series ‘It’s time to REST’, we are going to answer the question “should Christians today observe the Sabbath”. We will also discover what that actually means.
Do you believe those who make accusations?
The Pharisees were part of the religious rulers of the day. There always seemed to be a contingent that would follow Jesus and his disciples wherever they went, not because they were fans, but to check whether this new Rabbi who was causing quite a stir, was preaching heresy or doctrine that was acceptable according to the tradition of the Pharisees. In Matthew ch.12, they found an opportunity to accuse the disciples of acting unlawful.
- IF you were a passer-by, who would you believe – the accuser or the accused?
- Did the disciples act unlawfully?
Do Good – regardless of the pressure
Jesus and his disciples must have felt they were under relentless pressure, being followed by those who could be described as ‘not having the disciples’ best interests at heart’.
Those against God will often judge you for being righteous and doing good. Not satisfied with accusing the disciples of being unlawful, now the Pharisees accuse Jesus of breaking the Sabbath law in Matthew 12:10.
Consider – Have you felt under pressure for doing good or living a godly life? Has that pressure ever given rise to compromise?
Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath
As we go through life, as Christians we seek to honour and obey God, he takes the highest priority in our life, everything else should be subordinate.
God has instituted a day and made it holy. It is a day to rest and to cease from our works. The Sabbath was made for mankind, and God chose to link our day of rest to the day God rested from his work, at the end of the creation week.
A rest from work and a rest for the soul
God has deemed a day of rest to be important. In modern times and in the western world we are spoiled with opportunity to rest.
Physical rest is good and necessary, but there is also a rest that is perhaps the most important type of rest you could ever have. It is an eternal rest, and all are welcome to receive. Are you able to enter into this rest?
- Is Sunday the new sabbath day, and why do Christians treat Sunday as more special than Saturday?
- Discuss why the Pharisees made the charge of eating corn on the Sabbath day as being ‘unlawful’ (see Matthew 12:2 & Deut. 23:24)
- It is common to hear unbelievers make all sorts of baseless and accusatory claims against Christians and their faith, how should we respond, engage or ignore?
- In response to the charge of picking corn to eat as being unlawful, Jesus highlights an occasion referring to the Shewbread rather than about eating corn on the Sabbath, why was this the better response?
- In context of the passage, discuss what you think Jesus was telling the Pharisees in Mat 12:8, in response to their charge of unlawfulness.
- The Pharisees, seeking to trap Jesus asked him, ‘is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath’? Why did the Pharisees rage after witnessing a healing miracle, rather than believing and repenting, and what does this tell us about unbelievers when they say, ‘seeing is believing’?
- What does it mean to ‘enter into his rest’ and what would prevent you from achieving this? (read Hebrews 4:1-11)