Wednesday, January 4, 2012

It’s All About Jesus

A discussion based lesson developed by Dr. Terry W. Dorsett

          Make a list of words that describe JESUS. Each word must begin with one of the letters of His name.
          Imagine for a moment that Jesus went to our school, would He be:
Popular or unpopular
What sport would He play?
What instrument would He play in the band?
What would be His favorite subject?
What would be His favorite music group?
What would be His favorite TV show?
Would He feel welcome in our church or youth group?
          It is hard to know the answer to these questions because the Bible tells us little about Jesus when He was growing up. But thinking about these things helps us remember that Jesus was a real person.
          Even when Jesus was alive, people did not always know who He was or what He was trying to accomplish. Jesus and His disciples talked about the issue of how people did not really understand who Jesus was.

Read Matthew 16:13-16 - When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; others, Elijah; still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” “But you,” He asked them, “who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God!”

Points to Ponder:
          Jesus asked His disciples who people thought He was.
          They said that some people thought Jesus was John the Baptist raised from the dead.
          They said that some people thought Jesus was a reincarnated from of one the famous prophets from the Old Testament.
          Sometimes people still think usual things like that about Jesus today.
          Jesus asked the disciples who THEY thought He was.
          Peter responded by saying that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.
          The word “Messiah” was a Hebrew word (שִׁיחַ). It literally meant “the anointed one” or “the chosen one.”
          When Jewish people used the word “Messiah” they were referring to the person who was chosen by God to save others from their sins.
          The word “Christ” means the same thing as the word Messiah. Christ comes from the Greek instead of the Hebrew.
          Messiah and Christ can be used interchangeably.
          In English we often refer to Jesus as the Savior.
          Savior is another word that means the same thing as Messiah or Christ.
          Using the word “savior” implies that the person being described saves others from something bad.
          What does Jesus save others from?
          Jesus saves us from the future consequences of sin, which is hell.
          Jesus also saves us from living a life full of painful mistakes if we will choose to follow His teachings.

John 3:16-17 - For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send His Son into the world that He might condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
          This verse says that Jesus saves EVERYONE who believes in Him.
          Everyone includes . . . . e v e r y o n e ! ! !
          This verse says that the condition for being saved is to “believe” in Jesus.
          To believe in Jesus means more than just thinking that He exists.
          It means believing in His teachings, His cause, His purpose.
          It means committing ourselves to follow those teachings and help Him accomplish His purpose.
          This verse implies that those who do not believe in Jesus will perish.
          The word that the Bible uses for perish means that something has become completely and totally useless, good for nothing but to be thrown away.
          Sometimes we feel useless and good for nothing. When we feel that way, we “perish” on the inside.
          People who believe in Jesus find purpose and value through their faith.
          Notice that this verse says that Jesus did not come to make people perish but to keep them from perishing.
          People already feel like they have no value, no purpose, and no reason to survive and Jesus has come to change that.
          Jesus saves us from those feelings of defeat and fills us with value, purpose and a reason for living, as well as giving us eternal life in heaven.
          An important question to ask ourselves is “Have we believed in Jesus yet?”
          If we have not yet believed in Jesus, we might consider sincerely praying this Prayer of Belief and Commitment:
          Jesus, I believe that You came to earth to save me from my sins. You proved that you loved me by dying on the cross for me. You proved that you have the power to change my life by rising again from the dead. I believe that by following your teachings I can find real purpose, meaning and value in my life. Right now I turn from my way of living and commit to follow your plans for my life. Help me to live like a Christian from this moment forward. Amen.