Matthew 12:1-13

Talks for Growing Christians

The Lord Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath

Matthew 12:1-13

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Lesson Number 29

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Legalism always results in the loss of common sense.
  2. Legalism always results in the lack of compassion.

Practical Application

  1. Remember, people are more important than our pets.


  1. Who were the Pharisees?
  2. On what day of the week did the Lord perform many of His miracles? Why did He choose this day?
  3. Name three divisions of the Old Testament laws.
  4. Which of these laws apply today?
  5. What type of law was the Sabbath law?
  6. Do the Ten Commandments apply to Christians today?


  1. They were legalistic Jews who saw their own list of rules as more important than the Word of God.
  2. He performed many of His miracles on the Sabbath, to show the Pharisees their wrong interpretation of the Sabbath laws.
  3. There were moral, civil, and ceremonial laws.
  4. God’s moral laws are for all mankind; they never change. His civil and ceremonial laws were for the nation of Israel, and ended with the coming of Christ.
  5. The law regarding the Sabbath was a civil and ceremonial law, not a moral law.
  6. Nine of the Ten Commandments are moral laws. They are repeated in the New Testament and apply today. The Sabbath law was a ceremonial law and was not repeated in the New Testament; thus it is not binding for Christians today.


  1. Discuss why many Christians today fall into the trap of legalism. They let their adherence to rules take priority over their relationship with the Lord. Remember that legalism goes beyond the intent of God’s commands. Our Lord said, “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.”
  2. Review the division of the Old Testament laws into moral, civil, and ceremonial laws. Give examples of each. Understanding these divisions will help your understanding of the Old Testament. You can see why some Old Testament laws apply today while others do not. There is much controversy about the Ten Commandments today. Since nine of these ten are moral laws, they are God’s commands for all people in all ages.


  1. Our Lord is a God of compassion. In the Gospels we see again and again His tenderness and compassion toward those in need. Do you emulate this characteristic of our Lord? Be sure that you are not letting legalism override your compassion. Find a way to show compassion to someone this week.

Key Verses

  • “For the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Matthew 12:8
  • “I desire mercy and not sacrifice.” Matthew 12:7
  • “Of how much more value then is a man than a sheep? Therefore it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” Matthew 12:12

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