Use this as part of your Jesus Sunday School lessons to teach students about priorities.
Lesson: (Note: Always allow students enough time to think about and to give their answers to the questions before clarifying the teaching.)
Ask students, What are some rules you have in your house?
Are you ever allowed to break those rules?
What if one of the rules in your house is not you’re allowed to run in the house, but then a bad guy comes in your house – are you allowed to run away from the bad guy even if that means you have to run in the house?
Yes. Your parents don’t want you to run in the house usually because you might bump into something or fall and hurt yourself. But if someone is trying to get you, then they would want you to break the rule so that you could get away and be safe.
What if it was your bed time and you were supposed to be in bed, but then you heard your mom or dad fall down – are you allowed to get up and go see if they’re okay even though you’re supposed to be in bed?
Yes. Your parents usually want you to stay in bed when it’s bed time, but if they fall down and get hurt, they would like it if you came to help them.
So there are times when we’re allowed to break the rules if we’re trying to do something more important than follow the rules, like running away from a bad guy or making sure our parents are okay.
It’s the same way with God’s rules.
(Have students take turns reading Matthew 12:1-2, or read it yourself.)
Jesus’ disciples were hungry and were picking food out of the farm field and eating it. But the Pharisees said the disciples were breaking the rules because you weren’t supposed to be doing farm work on the Sabbath. God’s rule was that the Sabbath day was only for going to church and resting.
(Have students take turns reading Matthew 12:3-8, or read it yourself.)
Jesus said that sometimes there are special reasons why it’s okay to break God’s rules.
(Have students take turns reading Matthew 12:9-10, or read it yourself.)
One day, when Jesus went to church, he saw a man whose hand didn’t work right. The Pharisees said it was against the rules for Jesus to heal the man’s hand because it was the Sabbath day, and God’s rule was that you weren’t allowed to work on the Sabbath day. The Sabbath day was only supposed to be for going to church and resting.
But do you think God would want Jesus to heal the man’s hand, even if that meant breaking the rules and doing a little bit of work on the Sabbath?
Yes. God likes it when we help other people and God wanted Jesus to heal the man’s hand, even if that meant breaking the rule of the Sabbath.
(Have students take turns reading Matthew 12:11-12, or read it yourself.)
Jesus said it was okay to help the man because it was a good thing to do to help the man, even if that meant breaking the rule about not doing any work on the Sabbath. Jesus knew God would want Him to break the rules if He had a good enough reason, just like your parents would want you to break the rules in your house if you had a good enough reason.