The Life of Jesus-
April 2, 2017 Rex McMasters
Scripture: The book of Matthew
Lesson Goal: To prove that Jesus is the Messiah, Savior,
Servant, Son of God, and Eternal King.
Introduction: This lesson is a summary of what we have been studying for quite some time. So, how can you do a lesson about the life of Jesus when there are four complete gospels on it? The task is great and I pray I can do it justice because I want to make my Lord and Savior proud of me. So, here goes.
Question: If you compare the four gospels, why do you think each has a different perspective about Jesus?
In the book of Matthew, Matthew’s focus is on Jesus the King. Mark’s view is on Jesus the servant. Per Luke, Jesus is Savior and John sees Him as the Son of God.
Question: Who is Jesus to you personally?
As we look at Jesus’ birth and youth, we see that He is a descendant of David and Abraham. His birth did not go unnoticed, for both shepherds and astrologers (magi) came to worship Him. But after He was born, the Jews did not recognize Him because they envisioned a different kind of King (Matthew Chapter 1).
Question: Why was the birth of Jesus so miraculous?
Very little is known about Jesus’ childhood other than His family’s escape to Egypt (Matthew 2:14) and their return to Nazareth (Matthew 2:23, Luke 2:39), His increasing wisdom (Luke 2:40-52), visit to the temple in Jerusalem at age 12, and His obedience to His parents (Luke 2:14-51).
Question: What do you think Jesus was like as a child?
In each gospel, an underlying theme is about the “preparation of Jesus” (Matthew 3:1-4:11).
Question: What is meant by the “preparation of Jesus”?
Next, we must consider the message and ministry of Jesus. He began to preach and teach His message in Galilee. As He does, we see the first four disciples follow Him. These disciples were Peter, Andrew, James, and John; all being fishermen.
From Matthew 5:1-7:28, Jesus delivers “The Sermon on the Mount”. In this sermon, He gives the Beatitudes, talks about salt and light, teaches about the law, anger, divorce, vows, loving enemies, giving to the needy, money, judging, the Way to Heaven, fruit in people’s lives, and building on a solid foundation.
Question: Of all the many topics of the Sermon on the Mount, which touched your heart the most and explain why?
Then, the miracles that Jesus performed began. Here are just a few to discuss: Jesus healed a man with leprosy, a Roman soldier’s servant, a paralyzed man, a bleeding woman, and many, many blind and mute; He calmed a storm, sent demons into a herd of pigs, and restored a girl to life. Note in these miracles He healed physically and spiritually (Matthew-chapters 8 and 9).
Question: What miracles have you seen in your life? Do you have any doubt about who they came from?
Disciples are sent out and are reminded about how they will be persecuted as He was (Matthew Chapter 10).
Jesus taught about His kingdom. As He does this, He was doubted by John the Baptist. But, Jesus eased John’s doubt (Matthew 11:4-6).
Question: What was John the Baptist’s doubt?
To continue, Jesus heals a man’s hand and His disciples pick wheat on the Sabbath. This is the beginning of the religious leaders (scribes and Pharisees) doubting who Jesus says He is and this resulted in large crowds beginning to follow Him. But, the religious leaders accuse Him of getting His power from Satan, for many were saying, “Could this be the Son of David?’ Then they (leaders of religion) asked Jesus for a miraculous sign (Matthew 12:1-45).
Question: Why could Jesus do what He did on the Sabbath?
In Chapter 13 of Matthew, Jesus tells parables and their explanations. Parables included: the four soils, weeds, mustard seed, hidden treasure, pearl merchant, and the fishing net.
Question: Why did Jesus talk in parables?
There were different reactions to Jesus’ ministry. His own family, in Nazareth, refused to believe in Him, even though they were astonished by His wisdom and miracles (Matthew 13:53- 58). Herod (after having beheaded John the Baptist) thought Jesus was John the Baptist come back to life.
Others witnessed His miracles and believed. He fed 5,000, walked on water, and healed many more who touched Him. Then fed another 4,000 (Matthew-Chapters 14 and 15).
Question: Why did so many (mostly scribes and Pharisees) “never get it?”
Conflict continued between Jesus and the religious leaders. They confronted Him about divorce, bothersome children, and as earlier stated what He did on the Sabbaths (Matthew 19:1- 15).
Question: Why did those who opposed Him, oppose Him?
Many other topics were questioned by the religious leaders. They asked Him about paying taxes, the Resurrection, and the greatest commandment (Matthew 22:15-46).
Question: How did Jesus react?
Jesus issued warning to the people against the religious leaders and their examples. He condemned them and called them “hypocrites” (Matthew 23:1-36). On the Mount of Olives, Jesus taught about the future, His return, and to be watchful for His second coming. To this point, He has already predicted His death twice (Matthew chapter 24).
Question: What is a false teacher?
The leaders continue to plot against Jesus. Their ultimate motive is John 10:10. Jesus is betrayed by Judas, denied by His disciples, crucified, and He dies. Three days later, He rises from the dead and appears to His disciples showing that He, indeed, is King, Servant, Savior, and Son of God.
He is in control of life and death. Although a different Kingdom than was expected, the long-awaited King has brought in His Kingdom, for He reigns in our hearts until the day of His return when He will establish a new and perfect world (Matthew- Chapters 26-28). Before Jesus was crucified, He agonized in the Garden at Gethsemane.
Question: Can you relate to the agony Jesus felt? Have you ever had a “gut-wrenching” time of agony in your life? How did you react? Please answer these questions below.
Personal Testimony: As I sit here, finishing this lesson, I keep thinking how honored and blessed I am, that my shepherd on this earth, Mickey Brackin, has given me the honor and privilege of writing a lesson for the Life Focus Classes. Many other topics are covered in the book of Matthew that I did not discuss, but again, to talk about Jesus’ life in one lesson, to me, is monumental.
The writing of this lesson was only possible because of my Lord and Savior living in me. When first asked, I had a feeling of dread but, I knew I would grow in my knowledge of Jesus. And I have grown. It stretched me and I am thankful the Lord saw me through it as He always does. I (we) serve a God who makes
all things possible, so, I thank you Lord. This has given me a deeper hunger to know you more and more.
In summary, four gospels are witnesses to the life of Jesus, even though each writer saw Him differently. But, no matter how you look at Jesus, whether King, Savior, Servant, or Son of God, they all point to recognizing Jesus for Who He really is and worship Him for Who He is in our lives. And to be great in God’s kingdom, we must live by God’s standards right now. Finally, Jesus demonstrated His power, even over death, through His resurrection and gained, for us, access into Heaven. With all the evidences, He showed and shows as being God’s Son, we too, should accept Him as our Lord.