- Jesus came to show us what God is like. For four thousand years, God had revealed Himself to His people through miracles, visions, prophets and many other ways. But as marvelous as God’s revelations were, even the leaders of God’s people too often seemed oblivious to the nature and character of God. They wanted to do things their way. Can you imagine an attitude like that in the people of God? Even today?
- Mary’s song. Wouldn’t it have been enough for Mary to give birth to a baby whose coming was a miracle? How was Mary affected by the news that she was about to have a baby who was divine in every sense of the word? Do you think that her early childhood instruction in Biblical matters had anything to do with her breathless but confident acceptance of this blessing? In what ways was the kingdom Jesus was born to establish an “upside down kingdom”? How did Mary express the extraordinary characteristics of a divine rule that would offer salvation to all?
- Why Jesus heals. True or false: Jesus won many friends with His healing miracles. Wasn’t this the primary purpose for His work as a healer and restorer of life? Or was there another reason for His miracles of healing? According to Matthew, Jesus “warned” His followers not to make Him known. Why not? Based on his healing ministry alone, could not Jesus have established His throne as the ultimate source of power and success? What overwhelming objective did He choose instead?
- Clearing the temple. Jesus, Master of tenderness and caring, snapping a whip and shouting at the rabble rousers in the temple to cease their activities. How does this picture of Jesus fit others that show Him to be gentle and loving? Your lesson hints that such demonstrations to oppose God’s work are invitations to stern action to defend it. What do you think we can do these days to pull our church away from actions of unwarranted anger and guilt?
- The cross of Christ. Yes, the cross is a beautiful symbol of God’s love for us. But do you cringe at the very thought of the Master of the Universe, the Ultimate Expression of Love, suffering anguish and humiliation on the cruel cross while His enemies shout jeering insults? The Son of God, murdered for our sins, dying for us–what can we do to remember that Jesus, the One who died for our sins, our Substitute, loves us with everlasting love and looks to us to show those around us the depth and power of that love?