Topic: The Ten Commandments: I-IV
Series: The Simpsons, The Super Mario Bros. Super Show, MGM, Digimon, GI Joe, Baby Looney Tunes, Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, The Smurfs
Episodes: The Ten Commandments of Bart, Homer Vs. Lisa Vs. The 8th Commandment, The Joy Of Sect, Bart The Lover, (The Simpsons), The Ten Koopmandments (The Super Mario Bros. Super Show), Good Will To Men (MGM), The Dancing Digimon (Digimon), Lasers In The Night (GI Joe), Who Said That? (Baby Looney Tunes), To Bleep Or Not To Bleep (Tiny Toon Adventures), La La Law (Animaniacs), All Work And No Smurf (Smurfs)
What do the Ten Commandments mean to you?
Let's look at The Ten Commandments and then we will start the overall lesson.
The Ten Commandments (ISV)
Exo 20:1 Then God spoke all these words:
Exo 20:2 "I am the LORD your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
Exo 20:3 You are to have no other gods besides me.
Exo 20:4 "You are not to make for yourselves an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above, or on earth below, or in the water under the earth.
Exo 20:5 You are not to bow down to them in worship or serve them; because I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the iniquity of the parents, to the third and fourth generations of those who hate me,
Exo 20:6 but showing gracious love to the thousandth generation of those who love me and keep my commandments.
Exo 20:7 "You are not to misuse the name of the LORD your God, because the LORD will not leave the one who misuses his name unpunished.
Exo 20:8 "Remember to keep the Sabbath day holy.
Exo 20:9 Six days you are to labor and do all your work,
Exo 20:10 but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God. You are not to do any work, neither you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your livestock, nor the alien who is within your gates,
Exo 20:11 because the LORD made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them, in six days, then he rested on the seventh day. Therefore, the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
Exo 20:12 "Honor your father and your mother so that you may live long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
Exo 20:13 "You are not to murder.
Exo 20:14 "You are not to commit adultery.
Exo 20:15 "You are not to steal.
Exo 20:16 "You are not to testify falsely against your neighbor.
Exo 20:17 "You are not to covet your neighbor's house. You are not to covet your neighbor's wife, or his male or female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor."
Exo 20:18 All the people experienced the thunder and lightning, the sound of the ram's horn, and the smoking mountain. And as the people experienced it, they trembled and stood at a distance.
Exo 20:19 They told Moses, "You speak to us and we will listen, but don't let God speak with us, or we may die.
Exo 20:20 Moses told the people, "Don't be afraid, for God has come to test you, so that you may fear him in order that you don't sin."
Exo 20:21 Then the people stood at a distance, and Moses approached the thick cloud where God was.
The fact is that these commandments are the Laws of God handed down to Moses on Mt. Sinai, but are much more than that. These seem like just ethical rules of conduct until we understand that there is only One God, not many and one way and not many. There is no wiggle room for our human idea of interpretation and what we think God meant. In this session's cartoons, we see a group of situations where these commandments are used in interesting ways. We will discuss if cartoons do justice to these commandments. When we get to the literal commandments, we are going to look at each commandment individually and show cartoon clips about them and see what a cartoon take on them looks like. We will then extract the spiritual truth of the cartoons on the pro and con side--most will show characters breaking these commandments.
But first, a song:
What do you hear?
This song is a Simpsons style take on this subject and is in the perspective of Bart Simpson. We hear where his mind is about conduct and we find that he thinks that being disrespectful and doing as you feel like without thinking about others is best. However, Bart also in Commandment # 7, says that if you follow him that you won't make it to Heaven at all and Hell would be your home; then says that Hell is effectively not very bad.
10: Thou Shalt Shake Your Big Rear End.
9: Thou Shalt Always Make Rhymes.
8: Thou Shalt Procrastinate (You must always be late).
7: Thou Shalt Be Wild 'cause you'll never get to Heaven.
6: Thou Shalt Dance Like Lunatics.
5: Thou Shalt Be Alive.
4: Thou Shalt Slam The Door.
3: Thou Shalt Question Authority
2: Thou Shalt Do Exactly What You Want To Do
1: Thou Shalt Have Fun.
Personally, I can see that 5 of these commandments aren't too terrible because there is a likely place for #'s 10, 9, 6, 5, and 1 (however in the context of this study, they are not good a lot of times because life isn't always a game or a big party). The rest of the commandments seem to tell people to be disrespectful to others or not caring about feelings or consequences--even wanting some really bad consequences.
Cartoon Clips And Show:
Clip # 1: The Super Mario Bros. Super Show: The Ten Koopmandments
What do you see in this clip?
In this clip, we see that King Koopa made himself a Pharaoh and set up laws. These 10 commandments of the Koopa are an intentional funny royal mockery of the real thing and I might add hilarious. As cartoon parodies go, I think that it's very cool, but in real life the real commandments are no joke (unlike this wonderful send-up). In this clip, we see a parody of the 1st, 2nd, and 6th commandments. However, I find it fascinating that these rules are to not admit plumbers (Mario's and Luigi's profession), commanding the Mushroom people to be robbed blind, and denying the favorite food of the Mushroom People, which is pasta. Incidentally, pasta is also the Mario Bros. favorite food as well. Most notably, by banning plumbers, King Koopa is trying to ban a savior from coming into their world--the Koopa regimes are always vulnerable to plumbers like the Marios. King Koopa wants these rules to never let him be reminded of the Mario Bros. These rules actually break the 1st commandment (Thou shalt have no other gods before me) because King Koopa doesn't care about anyone but himself and therefore worships himself, the 8th commandment (Thou shalt not steal) because the Mushroom People are forced to give up their gold coins and have nothing, and Jesus' commandment ( Love thy neighbor as thyself) because if you don't really care about your subjects and are selfish, it's not love, but hate. In the real world, this regime would not be accepting of Jesus, the true Savior.
Clip # 2: MGM: Good Will To Men
What do you see in this cartoon short?
This cartoon is known as a war protest cartoon and shows the Hanna-Barbara take on the subject. In this cartoon, we see that it covers mostly the 6th commandment (Thou shalt not kill), but it also shows a glimpse of the 8th Commandment (Thou shalt not steal) and really shows Jesus' commandment (Love Thy Neighbor As Thyself)
Clip # 3: The Simpsons: Homer Vs. Lisa Vs. The 8th Commandment
What did you see in this clip?
In this clip, we see that Moses comes down from Sinai literally, and reads three of the Ten Commandments (In no particular order): the 2nd commandment (Thou shalt not build any graven images), the 7th commandment (Thou shalt not commit adultery), and the 8th (Thou shalt not steal).
Clip # 4--This is also from Homer Vs. Lisa Vs. The 8th Commandment.
What do you see in this clip?
In this clip, we see that the Sunday School teacher is talking about Hell and Bart is enthusiastic because he thinks it would be possibly fun eventually and then the teacher tries to correct him; in doing so, she actually quotes a little scripture albeit paraphrased.
This is found in Isaiah 14: 9-11 (NIV)
9 The realm of the dead below is all astir to meet you at your coming; it rouses the spirits of the departed to greet you-- all those who were leaders in the world; it makes them rise from their thrones-- all those who were kings over the nations.
10 They will all respond, they will say to you, "You also have become weak, as we are; you have become like us."
11 All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps; maggots are spread out beneath you and worms cover you.
This clip also shows a close up of the Ten Commandments and the teacher says to live by these to avoid Hell. This is only partly right because of the fact that we as Christians live in a covenant with God of salvation by grace and faith in Jesus Christ who died for us and rose again instead of just salvation by works and good deeds.
This is a wonderful opening, however, do you see anything interesting within the music, the cartoon short and the three other clips as a whole?
There are a couple of glaring points of symmetry; every one of the cartoons has three commandments in them, every one of them has a commandment about stealing (the 8th commandment), however granted, in the case of The Ten Koopmandments the commandment to steal (in King Koopa's commandments it is his 1st commandment--which might show where his mind ultimately is). So, for the most part, cartoons skirt the topic of the Ten Commandments. Our music selection was an outright parody. Why do you think this is so? Cartoons may only dabble in The Ten Commandments and make fun of them as a whole, but individually, cartoons hit the topics very well--this is to the point of being able to learn and glean much information about God's decrees.
As a pastor and teacher that has been archiving cartoons for 19 years and have built up a decent amount of knowledge about cartoons over the years, it's a pleasure to bring these commandments to life with some of these clips from cartoons that you might have seen before, but didn't think about at the time. Therefore, we are going to take a tour of The Ten Commandments and Jesus' added comments and added command of Love thy neighbor as thyself
Bible Study Of The Commandments And Clips:
Before we really get started, here are a few things to get the most out of this lesson.
Note # 1: All commandments are quoted from the KJV(unless otherwise noted); supporting scriptures are quoted from the ISV (unless otherwise noted).
Note # 2: Not all characters in these cartoons literally commit the actual sinful deed, but in their hearts they do and therefore commit sin nonetheless according to God's laws. Most of these characters commit definite wanton acts of sin and are guilty of such sins as the commandments speak against.
Note # 3: Some of these toon characters have a brush with death or serious injury when they do what they do. In a lot of cases in real life death or injury doesn't happen, but then a lot of times it does. When we sin, repentance is absolutely necessary. God does have the right to chastise and even take away the life of the sinner when commandments are broken. Repent when you commit sin. If we are honest, the need for repentance and forgiveness is great for every day and for everyone.
Note # 4: The individual commandments will be in their own sections of the lesson and be titled with a paraphrase of the commandment. These will be titled like any heading of a chapter or book and will be in capital letters on the first word of each word (like titles should be). This is important especially with the 1st Commandment titled "No Other Gods" because we are talking about idolatry; normally, the word "Gods" would be "gods", as we are talking about something else than the True God.
Now, we will talk about the individual commandments.
1st Commandment: No Other Gods.
In Exodus 20: 1-3, God first reminds Israel about bringing them out of Egypt and then speaks the commandment.
1: And God spake all these words, saying,
2: I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
3: Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
Cartoon Clip: The Simpsons: The Joy Of Sect
What did you see in this clip?
In this clip, we see that Mr. Burns is trying to be a god. In doing so, he is attempting to get people to worship him and not the real God. We also see that the word "God" punishes him by fire. I am sure this is what Mr. Burns would deserve, but have a chance to repent of, however in real life, Mr. Burns might have been killed and God would have been right to do so if so desired or wanted to allow it.
Let's put this in another way to make it easier to show what I am talking about.
Cartoon Clip: Digimon: The Dancing Digimon
What we are getting at is that worshiping an idol is really worshiping oneself and will not allow a relationship to develop with the One True God very well until removed from your life.
2nd Commandment: This is found in Exodus 20: 4-6
Exo 20:4 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
Exo 20:5 Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
Exo 20:6 And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Cartoon Clip: GI Joe: Lasers In The Night
What do you see in this clip?
This one's easy. Cobra Commander has it in mind to engrave his own image on the moon's surface. In my opinion, this is the ultimate in graven images. Cobra thinks by pulling this off, he will be remembered as "undefeatable". In the GI Joe series, Cobra Commander has one of the more self-absorbed personalities that a villain can have and it shows here. Cobra Commander desires to be worshiped in the realest sense of the word.
The reason this commandment is given is to prevent worshiping our own work or someone else's and thereby taking our eyes off of the real God who can actually help us and give us our needs and redemption. Commandments 1 and 2 are closely related.
To help this scripture out we are going to show a couple of supporting scripture passages.
The Bible States in Leviticus 26: 1, Deuteronomy 4: 15- 20
Lev 26: 1 "'Do not make idols or set up an image or a sacred stone for yourselves, and do not place a carved stone in your land to bow down before it. I am the LORD your God.
Deuteronomy 4: 15-20
15 You saw no form of any kind the day the LORD spoke to you at Horeb out of the fire. Therefore watch yourselves very carefully,
16 so that you do not become corrupt and make for yourselves an idol, an image of any shape, whether formed like a man or a woman,
17 or like any animal on earth or any bird that flies in the air,
18 or like any creature that moves along the ground or any fish in the waters below.
19 And when you look up to the sky and see the sun, the moon and the stars--all the heavenly array--do not be enticed into bowing down to them and worshiping things the LORD your God has apportioned to all the nations under heaven.
20 But as for you, the LORD took you and brought you out of the iron-smelting furnace, out of Egypt, to be the people of his inheritance, as you now are.
God brought them out of bondage so His people would be free, not to be trapped into thinking that a human- made thing can help them, or for that matter even the sun or moon which is God's creation, but not Him.
3rd Commandment: This is found in Exodus 20: 7 7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
This 3rd commandment is more generally known as swearing. What does this mean to you? Do you have a problem with a "potty mouth" as people call it?
First, with this commandment, I will show that swearing is a bad habit that is learned from somewhere; this could be a parent/guardian, a neighbor, friend, general relative or even a total stranger.
We will now see a cartoon called 'Who Said That?' from Baby Looney Tunes
Bible Study: Proverbs 3: 11-12; 13:24; 22: 6; 23: 13- 16; 29: 17
Pro 3:11 My son, do not reject the LORD's discipline, and do not despise his correction, Pro 3:12 because the LORD corrects the person he loves, just as a father corrects the son he delights in.
Pro 13:24 Whoever does not discipline his son hates him, but whoever loves him is diligent to correct him.
Pro 22:6 Train a child in the way appropriate for him, and when he becomes older, he will not turn from it.
Pro 23:13 Don't withhold discipline from a child; if you punish him with a rod, he won't die.
Pro 23:14 Punish him with a rod, and you will rescue his soul from Sheol.
Pro 23:15 My son, if your heart is wise, my own heart will greatly rejoice.
Pro 23:16 My innermost being will be glad when your lips speak what is right.
Pro 29:17 Correct your son and he will comfort you; he will also delight your soul.
If a person doesn't listen to someone like Granny, then this habit follows through his/her life. This habit can become a way of life and interfere with even God-given desires.
We will now see a Tiny Toon Adventures episode called 'To Bleep Or Not To Bleep.'
Foulmouth looks OK now, even though Buster picked up the habit (which means he wasn't listening to his own teaching). but is he? If we aren't careful, we can teach others the same way of garbage.
It appears that Buster ended up influenced by Foulmouth even though he was trying to be a positive influence. This is unfortunately the case all too often. As we help one another we have to be ready.
Even if Foulmouth isn't careful the habit can return. He can turn into someone like Homer from our next clips.
We will now see a series of clips from The Simpsons episode 'Bart The Lover'
What do you see in this clip?
First, we see Homer fussing and cussing about a piece of wood that he is not able to cut right; we then see that his potty mouth influences one of Ned Flanders' sons (Todd). Ned isn't helpful in this clip. Do you see why? Ned punishes Todd with "No Bible Stories". This is actually a terrible punishment in my opinion as this is precisely what his son probably needs to get him back on track.
Reverend Lovejoy in this clip doesn't help either as he is vague and is just as bad as Homer with swearing.
What do you see in this clip?
We see Homer is still fussing and cussing about his wood and then he and Ned have a talk about the curses and swears and a deal is struck--No swearing from Homer and Ned shaves his mustache. Homer (under his breath can be heard still calling Flanders a bad name like "Admiral Butthead". As you can see at this time, Homer has no intention of slowing down the curses.
What do you see in this clip?
Homer and Marge have an argument and at the end of it, Homer doesn't think he can quit because he thinks God made him like that. Marge is somewhat good here and convinces Homer he can with the help of a "Swear Jar".
I find it interesting though that Marge lays down some ground rules that provide minimal slack for Homer (a few places or situations that he can use swears).
Do you think this is wise?
Although God doesn't like swears, I can see some logic behind this; quitting a bad habit is hard and we sometimes need to be weaned from them. I don't totally agree with Marge, but as long as this is effective enough to rid Homer of this problem eventually, it's worth doing because it is better than nothing.
What do you see in this clip?
We see that the next day is a very bad day for Homer, who puts in too much money in the offering plate at church, then doesn't knock over all the pins in his bowling game, then sees Ned doing too well in their bet together (Homer is envious and mad because Ned is doing well), then forgets the door of the doghouse he is building, then he gets stung by a swarm of hornets. One thing about a bad habit, the Devil will try to attack a good plan to stop this kind of sin trap.
What do you see in this clip?
We see now that Homer is able to hold his tongue enough to not actually say these bad words, but you can tell he still is inside. This is an improvement, but for the habit to be totally broken, there is work to be done. The family sees that Homer is trying very hard to stop and rewards him for his efforts with a six pack of beer inside a new doghouse (both were bought with the Swear Jar funds).
Unfortunately, Homer has a huge potty mouth, but he seems to learn somewhat of a lesson. Normally though, any lesson that Homer learns doesn't last long.
Bible Study: Proverbs 4:23-27, Ecclesiastes 7: 21-22, Matthew 12: 33-37, Colossians 3:8
Pro 4:23 Above everything else guard your heart, because from it flow the springs of life.
Pro 4:24 Never talk deceptively and don't keep company with people whose speech is corrupt.
Pro 4:25 Let your eyes look directly ahead; fix your gaze straight in front of you.
Pro 4:26 Carefully measure the paths for your feet, and all your ways will be established.
Pro 4:27 Do not turn to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.
Ecc 7:21 Don't listen to everything that is spoken-- you may hear your servant cursing you,
Ecc 7:22 since you also know how often you have cursed others.
Mat 12:33 "Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree rotten and its fruit rotten, because a tree is known by its fruit.
Mat 12:34 You children of serpents! How can you say anything good when you are evil? The mouth speaks about what overflows from the heart.
Mat 12:35 A good person brings good things out of a good treasure house, and an evil person brings evil things out of an evil treasure house.
Mat 12:36 I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give an account for every thoughtless word they have uttered,
Mat 12:37 because by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned."
Col 3:8 But now you must also get rid of anger, wrath, malice, slander, obscene speech, and all such sins.
To end this section on swearing, we will see a clip from an Animaniacs episode called 'LA LA Law.'
This cartoon clip right here says it all; swearing is not nice and we would be well served to avoid it.
We also have to remember one more thing, in my opinion, if we say a word that is not a swear or a bad word (but it means the same thing to us) then it is probably equally bad for us spiritually because God reads our true heart. Also, we also need to understand that saying God's name without praying to Him or actually talking about Him is also considered taking His name in vain. So many people use expressions like "Oh God" and the like as just an expression of surprise disgust etc. and aren't really praying. We all have to watch this because it's still breaking this 3rd commandment. Swearing and taking God's name in vain is a slippery slope of crassness, filth and futility, not to mention if you curse the wrong thing then God could allow it to go through and all involved (sending and receiving) could be left with nothing or worse; this would be a tragedy that otherwise could be avoided if it happened.
What have we learned?
We need to understand that this habit is one of the most addictive sins because it intertwines with our emotions very tightly and we all have these. We need to pray to God about this slippery slope and be accountable to God and then our peers to break a bad habit such as this.
Commandment # 4: Sabbath Day
What does the Sabbath Day mean to you?
Most people will say that this means a day of rest, which is true. However, this rest day goes a little deeper than just rest as you will see.
Commandment # 4 is found in Exodus 20: 8-11
Exo 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Exo 20:9 Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:
Exo 20:10 But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates:
Exo 20:11 For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
We are told to rest one day of our week and this means the last day of the week.
We are to remember to take Sabbath or rest; when we do, it is a holy day to honor God.
Sometimes, people don't follow this command and this could be the result. Look at the cartoon below We will now see a Smurfs episode called 'All Work And No Smurf.'
What do you see in the cartoon?
The cartoon here begins innocently with the Smurflings just wanting to play with some of the adult Smurfs. Not one of these adults have time to be with the kids and the Smurflings wish that the grown-ups would give them some attention. Papa Smurf overhears and gives everyone a day off and asks that some of the Smurfs play with the kids.
Unfortunately, Brainy wants everyone to "Work their tails off". Soon, all of the Smurfs are obsessed with work and turn into their respective trade specialties literally.
Isn't this kind of what happens when we in real life become workaholics?
I believe this to be the case. I think this cartoon says things really clear that work shouldn't and mustn't be everything; we can forget what's really important like God, our health, and of course, others' needs.
I am going to give some scripture passages here that will prove the point and hit home that Sabbath rest is essential to good health both spiritual, physical and emotional (all around really).
Genesis 2: 1-3
Gen 2:1 With this the heavens and the earth were completed, including all of their vast array.
Gen 2:2 By the seventh day God had completed the work he had been doing, so on the seventh day he stopped working on everything that he had done.
Gen 2:3 Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God stopped working on everything that he had been creating.
Even God believes that rest is essential and took a rest on the 7th day. Now, by definition, God doesn't need a rest so why would he take one?
The answer lies in Mark 2: 23-28
Mar 2:23 Jesus happened to be going through the grain fields on a Sabbath. As they made their way, his disciples began picking the heads of grain.
Mar 2:24 The Pharisees asked him, "Look! Why are they doing what is not lawful on Sabbath days?"
Mar 2:25 He asked them, "Haven't you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry and in need?
Mar 2:26 How was it that he went into the House of God during the lifetime of Abiathar the high priest and ate the Bread of the Presence, which was not lawful for anyone but the priests to eat, and gave some of it to his companions?"
Mar 2:27 Then he told them, "The Sabbath was made for people, not people for the Sabbath.
Mar 2:28 Therefore, the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath."
In short, The Sabbath rest that God observed was an example to us to do likewise in order to slow down and reflect. I am sure during the very first Sabbath, that God reflected on what He had done and saw that it was very good.
So what is proper to do on our Sabbath? The answers are in a few passages. The first thing that we can do is heal and rescue. Now, we will look at Matthew 12: 1-14.
Mat 12:1 At that time Jesus walked through the grain fields on a Sabbath. His disciples became hungry and began picking heads of grain to eat.
Mat 12:2 When the Pharisees saw this, they told him, "Look! Your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath!"
Mat 12:3 But he told them, "Haven't you read what David did when he and his companions were hungry?
Mat 12:4 How is it that he went into the house of God and ate the Bread of the Presence, which was not lawful for him and his companions to eat but was reserved for the priests?
Mat 12:5 Or haven't you read in the Law that on every Sabbath the priests in the Temple violate the Sabbath and yet are innocent?
Mat 12:6 But I tell you, something greater than the Temple is here!
Mat 12:7 If you had known what 'I want mercy and not sacrifice' means, you would not have condemned the innocent,
Mat 12:8 for the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath."
A Man with a Withered Hand
Mat 12:9 Moving on from there, Jesus went into their synagogue.
Mat 12:10 Suddenly a man with a paralyzed hand appeared. The people asked Jesus if it was lawful to heal on Sabbath days, intending to accuse him of doing something wrong.
Mat 12:11 But he asked them, "Is there a man among you who, if he had one sheep and it fell into a ditch on the Sabbath, wouldn't take hold of it and pull it out?
Mat 12:12 How much more is a human being worth than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on Sabbath days."
Mat 12:13 Then he told the man, "Hold out your hand." He held it out and it became normal, as healthy as his other hand.
Mat 12:14 The Pharisees, however, went out and plotted against Jesus to kill him.
Next, we will look at John 5: 1-17
Joh 5:1 Later on, there was another festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
Joh 5:2 Near the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem is a pool called Bethesda in Hebrew. It has five colonnades,
Joh 5:3 and under these a large number of sick people were lying--blind, lame, or paralyzed-- waiting for the movement of the water.
Joh 5:4 At certain times an angel of the Lord would go down into the pool and stir up the water, and whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was healed of whatever disease he had.
Joh 5:5 One particular man was there who had been ill for 38 years.
Joh 5:6 When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"
Joh 5:7 The sick man answered him, "Sir, I don't have anyone to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up. While I'm trying to get there, someone else steps down ahead of me."
Joh 5:8 Jesus told him, "Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!"
Joh 5:9 The man immediately became well, and he picked up his mat and started walking. Now that day was a Sabbath.
Joh 5:10 So the Jews told the man who had been healed, "It is the Sabbath, and it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.
Joh 5:11 But he answered them, "The man who made me well told me, 'Pick up your mat and walk.' "
Joh 5:12 They asked him, "Who is the man who told you, 'Pick it up and walk' ?"
Joh 5:13 But the one who had been healed did not know who it was, because Jesus had slipped away from the crowd in that place.
Joh 5:14 Later on, Jesus found him in the Temple and told him, "See, you have become well. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you."
Joh 5:15 The man went off and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
Joh 5:16 So the Jews began persecuting Jesus, because he kept doing such things on the Sabbath.
Joh 5:17 But Jesus answered them, "My Father has been working until now, and I, too, am working."
Jesus cut this guy a break and healed him even though he had been sinful (probably still was). It looks to me that this man's sickness could have been caused by a bad lifestyle and habits etc. We don't really know and we also don't know if the man stayed well (may not have learned his lesson)
The second thing we can do is assemble together and this is usually to worship God, encourage each other and fellowship (be together to visit in general)
Heb 10:24 And let us continue to consider how to motivate one another to love and good deeds,
Heb 10:25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another even more as you see the day of the Lord coming nearer.
Last, but not least we can help the needy.
James 1: 27
Jas 1:27 A religion that is pure and stainless according to God the Father is this: to take care of orphans and widows who are suffering, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
And now, the Don'ts.
One of these is found in Exodus 31: 12-18.
Exo 31:12 The LORD told Moses,
Exo 31:13 "You are to speak to the Israelis: 'You are to surely observe my Sabbaths because it's a sign between me and you from generation to generation, so you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.
Exo 31:14 You are to observe the Sabbath, because it's holy for you. Whoever profanes it shall surely die; indeed, whoever does work on it is to be cut off from among his people.
Exo 31:15 Work may be done for six days, but the seventh day is a Sabbath of complete rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does work on the Sabbath shall surely die.
Exo 31:16 The Israelis shall keep the Sabbath to make the Sabbath observance a perpetual covenant from generation to generation.
Exo 31:17 It is a sign forever between me and the Israelis, for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, but on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.'"
Exo 31:18 When he finished speaking with Moses on Mount Sinai, he gave him the two Tablets of the Testimony, tablets of stone written by the finger of God.
Definition of work: What is defined as work?
As we have discussed already though, Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath, so the spirit of the law is that work that is not of God and then secondly not restful is a violation of this 4th Commandment and must be avoided. In the old covenant of Levitical law, God made sure that working on a Sabbath was unnecessary because he provided for example double portions of Manna from Heaven for the Israelites so they wouldn't need to. God provided clothes in the desert that didn't wear out (especially shoes) to make things tons easier. No wonder God was hard on them for their lack of trust and faith. We can literally die for not taking our Sabbath rest too. It is unlikely with God's mercy the way it is under the new covenant that being struck down dead will happen for us breaking this law, but as I have stated before in this set of lessons, God has the option if He so chooses. It appears that God a lot of times let's nature take its course and the breaker of this commandment dies of fatigue and disease because there is literally no rest for the weary if you break this rule.
Giving For Attention:
People need to remember that helping the needy can have a con side if done improperly. On a Sabbath Day, this is not how to remember and keep it holy.
Look at this for the stern warning on how not to follow James 1: 27.
Mat 6:1 "Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of people in order to be noticed by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.
Mat 6:2 So whenever you give to the poor, don't blow a trumpet before you like the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets so that they will be praised by people. I tell you with certainty, they have their full reward!
Mat 6:3 But when you give to the poor, don't let your left hand know what your right hand is doing,
Mat 6:4 so that your giving may be done in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you."
This big Don't is an easy trap and must be avoided.
Matthew 6: 25-34
Mat 6:25 "That's why I'm telling you to stop worrying about your life--what you will eat or what you will drink--or about your body--what you will wear. Life is more than food, isn't it, and the body more than clothing?
Mat 6:26 Look at the birds in the sky. They don't plant or harvest or gather food into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. You are more valuable than they are, aren't you?
Mat 6:27 Can any of you add a single hour to the length of your life by worrying?
Mat 6:28 And why do you worry about clothes? Consider the lilies in the field and how they grow. They don't work or spin yarn,
Mat 6:29 but I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was clothed like one of them.
Mat 6:30 Now if that is the way God clothes the grass in the field, which is alive today and thrown into an oven tomorrow, won't he clothe you much better--you who have little faith?
Mat 6:31 "So don't ever worry by saying, 'What are we going to eat?' or 'What are we going to drink?' or 'What are we going to wear?'
Mat 6:32 because it is the gentiles who are eager for all those things. Surely your heavenly Father knows that you need all of them!
Mat 6:33 But first be concerned about God's kingdom and his righteousness, and all of these things will be provided for you as well.
Mat 6:34 So never worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
Worriers do not rest. Worry is one of the most useless forms of work and does nothing but tire a body out. Worry violates the 4th Commandment.
Last, but not least, is Idle Talk:
Sabbath rest is not for practicing polluted speech (gossip and other forms of uncontrolled talk). It will make any good you do worthless in God's sight because idle words defeat the purpose of those deeds--God and people will see a double standard.
Jas 1:26 If anyone thinks that he is religious and does not bridle his tongue, but instead deceives himself, his religion is worthless.
When we break the 4th Commandment by not keeping the Sabbath, God is not pleased and we certainly aren't going to be friends to ourselves either.