Jesus Is Lord of the Sabbath (John 5:1-18)
Topic: John Scripture: John 5:1–5:18
First Scripture Reading: Exodus 20:1-17; Romans 13:8-10
Second Scripture Reading: Genesis 1:1 - 2:3
Sermon Text: John 5:1-18
As you prepare to work through the questions below, consider how Thomas Boston (1676-1732) explains the blessings of the Lord’s Day in his book, Human Nature in its Fourfold State:
The Sabbath, in the esteem of saints, is the queen of days; and they shall have an endless Sabbatism in the kingdom of heaven, so shall their garments always be white. They will have an eternal rest, with an uninterrupted joy; for heaven is not a resting place, where men may sleep out an eternity; there they rest not day or night, but their work is their rest, and continual recreation, and toil and weariness have no place there. They rest there in God, who is the center of their souls. Here they find the completion, or satisfaction, of all their desires, having the full enjoyment of God, and uninterrupted communion with him. This is the point to which, til the soul come, it will always be restless: but that point reached, it rests; for God is the last end, and the soul can go no further. It cannot understand, will, nor desire more; but in him it has what is commensurable to its boundless desires.
- Read John 5:1-18. What do you find surprising about this miracle and about the details in the passage? Why did the religious leaders take issue with what Jesus did?
- Read Genesis 2:1-3; Exodus 20:8-11; Exodus 31:12-18; and Hebrews 4:1-13. What are God’s reasons for establishing Sabbath rest for his people according to these passages?
- The following questions and answers are from the Westminster Shorter Catechism. Read the questions and consider the answers in light of your observance of the Lord’s Day. If you are in a group setting, discuss them together:
Q. 58. What is required in the fourth commandment? The fourth commandment requires the keeping holy to God such set times as he has appointed in his Word; expressly one whole day in seven, to be a holy Sabbath to himself.
Q. 59. Which day of the seven has God appointed to be the weekly Sabbath? From the beginning of the world to the resurrection of Christ, God appointed the seventh day of the week to be the weekly Sabbath; and the first day of the week ever since, to continue to the end of the world, which is the Christian Sabbath.
Q. 60. How is the Sabbath to be sanctified? The Sabbath is to be sanctified by a holy resting all that day, even from such worldly employments and recreations as are lawful on other days; and spending the whole time in the public and private exercises of God’s worship, except so much as is to be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy.
Q. 61. What is forbidden in the fourth commandment? The fourth commandment forbids the omission, or careless performance, of the duties required, and the profaning the day by idleness, or doing that which is in itself sinful, or by unnecessary thoughts, words, or works, about our worldly employments or recreations.
Q. 62. What are the reasons attached to the fourth commandment? The reasons attached to the fourth commandment are, God’s allowing us six days of the week for our own employments, his challenging a special propriety in the seventh, his own example, and his blessing the Sabbath day.