Lesson 14

Jesus Christ and the Sabbath Day

“Lesson 14: Jesus Christ and the Sabbath Day,” Primary 7: New Testament (1997), 47–49


To help each child want to do things on the Sabbath day to honor and remember Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father.


  1. Prayerfully study John 5:2–16, Matthew 12:1–13, Luke 13:11–17, 14:1–6, Joseph Smith Translation, Mark 2:26–27, Genesis 2:1–3, Exodus 20:8–11, and Doctrine and Covenants 59:9–14. Then study the lesson and decide how you want to teach the children the scripture accounts (see “Preparing Your Lessons,” p. vi, and “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii).

  2. Additional reading: Mark 2:23–28, 3:1–6, and Luke 6:1–11.

  3. Select the discussion questions and enrichment activities that will involve the children and best help them achieve the purpose of the lesson.

  4. Materials needed: A Bible or a New Testament for each child.

Suggested Lesson Development

Invite a child to give the opening prayer.

Invite those children who would like to to tell how they showed love and served others during the week. Have them talk about their experiences.

Attention Activity

Ask the children to raise their hands when they think they know the answer to the following riddle:

  • It is mentioned several times in the scriptures.

  • Heavenly Father and Jesus say it is very important.

  • It is holy.

  • People who keep it holy show that they love Heavenly Father and Jesus.

  • It is one of seven.

  • It is different from the other six.

  • On it we worship Heavenly Father and rest from our labors.

  • It is a day of the week.

Answer: The Sabbath.

Scripture Accounts

Teach the accounts of Jesus’ healing on the Sabbath day from the scriptures listed in the “Preparation” section. (For suggested ways to teach the scripture account, see “Teaching from the Scriptures,” p. vii.)

As you teach these accounts, help the children understand that the Jews in Jesus’ time were not living the Sabbath as they had been commanded. They had made up strict rules that did not help them worship Heavenly Father. For example, a knot which could be untied with one hand was lawful to tie on the Sabbath, but if it required two hands to untie, it was not lawful. “To kindle or extinguish a fire on the Sabbath was [unlawful]. It was forbidden … to set a broken bone, or put back a dislocated joint. … One who was buried under ruins on the Sabbath, might be dug for and taken out, if alive, but, if dead, he was to be left where he was, till the Sabbath was over” (James E. Talmage, Jesus the Christ, pp. 215–16).

Jesus taught the Jews that these rules were wrong. He showed by his example that the Sabbath was a day to honor him and his Father by doing good and worthwhile things, such as helping people.

Discussion and Application Questions

Study the following questions and the scripture references as you prepare your lesson. Use the questions you feel will best help the children understand the scriptures and apply the principles in their lives. Reading the references with the children in class will help them gain insights into the scriptures.

  • What have we been commanded to do on the Sabbath day? (Exodus 20:8–11.) Why have we been commanded to do this? (Genesis 2:1–3.)

  • What did Jesus do on the Sabbath to cure the disabled man? (John 5:6, 8); the man with the withered hand? (Matthew 12:13); the infirm woman? (Luke 13:13); the man with dropsy? (Luke 14:4. Explain that dropsy is a disease which causes swelling of the body.) Would such activities be considered acceptable for the Sabbath today? Why?

  • Why did the disciples pick corn on the Sabbath? (Matthew 12:1.) What things are necessary to do each day, even on the Sabbath?

  • How did Jesus observe the Sabbath? How did the Jews observe it? (Help the children understand that Jesus used the Sabbath to help people and in so doing honored Heavenly Father.)

  • For what two reasons were the Jewish leaders angry with Jesus? (John 5:18.)

  • Who had made the laws concerning the Sabbath day from the beginning of the world? (Matthew 12:8; Genesis 2:1–3. Remind the children that Jesus Christ created the world under the direction of Heavenly Father.) How do you think Jesus felt when he saw how the Jews had changed the laws he had established?

  • How do you suppose the disabled man at the pool of Bethesda, the infirm woman, the man with the withered hand, and the man with dropsy felt when they were healed? (Luke 13:13.) How did Jesus honor his Father by doing these things on the Sabbath day?

  • What do you think Jesus meant when he said it was lawful to do well on the Sabbath day? (Matthew 12:12.) How do you know what is good to do on the Sabbath day? (Exodus 20:8–11; D&C 59:9–14.)

  • What things should we not do on the Sabbath? Discuss this statement from the First Presidency: “We should refrain from shopping on the Sabbath and participating in other commercial and sporting activities” (Ensign, Jan. 1993, p. 80).

Discuss this quotation from President Spencer W. Kimball: “The observance of the Sabbath is an indication of the measure of our love for our Heavenly Father” (The Teachings of Spencer W. Kimball, p. 218). Have the children discuss appropriate ways they can show their love for Heavenly Father on the Sabbath, such as attending church, reading the scriptures, writing in their journals, visiting relatives and the sick, enjoying uplifting music, worshiping, serving others, and participating in restful family-centered activities. If a questionable activity is mentioned, ask the children to decide if that activity would be a good way to show that they love and honor Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ or if it would be better to do it on another day.

Enrichment Activities

You may use one or more of the following activities any time during the lesson or as a review, summary, or challenge.

  1. Have the children study Doctrine and Covenants 59:9–23 and list some of the activities the Lord has commanded us to do on the Sabbath and the blessings he has promised us for keeping those commandments.

  2. Have the children name several activities they have seen people do on the Sabbath. Decide if these activities would be appropriate for the Sabbath by asking the following questions:

    Does it help me honor Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ?

    Is it in keeping with the commandments Heavenly Father has given us for the Sabbath?

    Is it restful?

    Is it of service to anyone?

    Challenge the children to make plans for keeping the Sabbath day holy.

  3. Discuss this statement from the First Presidency: “We urge all Latter-day Saints to set this holy day apart from activities of the world and consecrate themselves by entering into a spirit of worship, thanksgiving, service, and family-centered activities appropriate to the Sabbath. As Church members endeavor to make their Sabbath activities compatible with the intent and Spirit of the Lord, their lives will be filled with joy and peace” (Ensign, Jan. 1993, p. 80).

  4. Have the children write the words I will keep the Sabbath day holy on a piece of paper and decorate it with crayons or markers.



Bear your testimony of the value of keeping the Sabbath day holy by doing good and worthwhile things and of the blessings you have received as a result. Encourage the children to do things on the Sabbath that honor Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.

Suggested Home Reading

Suggest that the children study John 5:2–16 at home as a review of this lesson.

Invite a child to give the closing prayer.