NBC Sunday School Manual For September 10, 2023 :Topic – DOING GOOD THINGS AT ALL TIMES.
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR YOUR PREPARATION
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE
Theme for the Month: “LOVE COMPLETES, LAW FALLS SHORT”
DATE: SUNDAY, 10TH SEPTEMBER, 2023.
TOPIC: DOING GOOD THINGS AT ALL TIMES.
Devotional Reading: Hebrews 4:1-10.
Background Scripture: Luke 14:1-6.
Lesson Scripture: Luke 14:1-6.
“Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the Law, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?’ But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way.” Luke 14:3.
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
● Identify reasons Jesus always had problems with the Pharisees.
● Discuss why Jesus healed the sick man on the Sabbath day.
● Resolve to respond to any criticism they might get on account of standing up for what they believe is right.
There are different methods of teaching like lecture, question and answer, group discussion, dialogue and so on. Among all, the dialogue method had proven more effective because of the opportunity it provides for critical thinking and exchange of ideas among people. Jesus used the question and answer (dialogue) method in some of His teachings. For example, In John Chapter 4, Jesus used question and answer method in His conversation with the Samaritan woman by Jacob’s well. In today’s text, the same method is used as the basis of His exhortation to the Pharisee, where He was invited to a dinner.
Jesus employed this method to help the Pharisees understand the proper interpretation of the law. Their understanding was that the law does not permit any kind of deeds on Sabbath, including healing. To them, it was like doing the right thing at the wrong time. Unfortunately, the Pharisees could not cope with Jesus’ explanation and the value He placed on human life above all other things, not even the Sabbath can stop the premium Jesus placed on a life. Jesus was not deterred by their accusation of contravening the law of the Sabbath but went ahead and healed the man.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED…
A. JESUS HEALS A MAN WITH DROPSY:
It was a common practice in the days of Jesus to invite guests to partake of the meal on the Sabbath. According to verse 1, a prominent Pharisee invited Jesus to his house on the Sabbath day to eat. Interestingly, Jesus accepted the invitation. While He was at the table, there was a man in front of Him who was suffering from dropsy. Dropsy was a disease with a swelling of the legs and arms believed by the Jews to be God’s judgment against sin. Meanwhile, Jesus was being watched closely if He would violate the law by healing a sick man on the Sabbath day (v. 1). Apparently, Jesus knew what they were thinking in their hearts and He asked a question, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not”? (v. 3). He asked a similar questions in Luke after healing a man with shrivelled hand on the Sabbath day (Luke 6:9). Unfortunately, the people could not give an answer to Jesus’ question. They remained silent. He held the man and healed him before He sent him away. Jesus’ action before the murmuring Pharisees and the teachers of the law emphasises His mission to seek and save the lost, but they did not understand. The people were blindfolded by their strict adherence to the law and their self-acclaimed righteousness. Jesus used the opportunity to teach this man and several other people about His power to heal and His superiority over the Sabbath.
Jesus was usually accused of an offence each time He was invited to a meal by the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. Rather than enjoy the moment of fellowship, learning, and warm hospitality, such times were characterised by hostility and accusation. They watched carefully to see Him violate the law of the Sabbath for which they could bring charges against Him. However, Jesus defeated them by asking whether it was lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not. If the Pharisees had responded positively to Jesus’ question, they would have been accused of being negligent in the enforcement of the law, but even without their consent, Jesus healed the man and sent him away. There are some hypocritical worshippers in our churches today who constantly attack and criticise the leadership of the church for various reasons. However, Christians should always ask the Holy Spirit to give them wisdom to do the right thing and relate with such people correctly without confrontation, just like Jesus did in the passage.
1. What should be the attitude of a pastor towards members who are constantly in conflict with him or always setting traps for him?
2. Why were the Pharisees and the teachers of the law not able to answer Jesus’ questions in verse 3?
B. JESUS’ PERTINENT QUESTION:
Even though Jesus healed the dropsy man and sent him away, to heal on a Sabbath was unforgivable by the Pharisees and teachers of the law. Jesus justified His action by asking them a pertinent question in verse 5. He said, “If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?” Again, there was no direct response from the Pharisees (v.6). They knew that Jesus was familiar with their practice of pulling out their ox or any other animal from the ditch on the Sabbath, which they classified as emergency. Invariably, if the Pharisees believe in removing an animal from the ditch on the Sabbath, then what prevents one from healing a sick person on the Sabbath day? In Jesus’ view, because human beings are more valuable than animals, they have the right to receive healing on the Sabbath day. Certainly, the Pharisees would have realised Jesus’ interpretation that the Sabbath was instituted for human’s ultimate good and not the order way round. This implies that deeds of mercy and love are quite acceptable on the Sabbath day; hence Jesus healed the man. Apostle John said that because Jesus healed on the Sabbath day, the Jewish leaders, “were persecuting him…and were seeking all the more to kill him” (John 5:16, 18; Luke 6:11). The testimony is that throughout Jesus’ ministry on earth, He did not allow traditions to interfere with compassion for the needy, especially on the Sabbath.
1. Why were the Pharisees more concerned about saving their animals than showing compassion to humans on the Sabbath?
2. Discuss what might have been in the mind of the Pharisees and why they were not able to give an answer to Jesus’ question?
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
● Class members should identify some laws in the Church that sometimes hinder the show of love to the needy.
Take Home: Write down some lessons you are taking home from today’s lesson?
● Based on today’s lesson, make a commitment toward your relationship with others to show love to the needy around you.
Happy Sunday in Advance.
Remain Inspired & Be Lifted!