What do you value and how do you show it?
Mary valued the worship of Jesus and showed that value by what she was willing to give in order to honor him.
A challenging question for us to answer is, “What would I be willing to give away for Jesus?” Of course we can pontificate about all of the amazing ways that we would sacrifice for the Lord with great joy. Well then…why not give something up for him?
Judas talked a big game, but we know he was just about greedy gain. He didn’t want to give up anything for the Lord. Instead, he gave up the Lord for a few measly pieces of silver. And he ended up giving up his life and his joy.
What would you give away for Jesus?
Is there a difference between being raised from the dead and being resurrected?
Well, if you are resurrected, you have to be raised from the dead. However, if you are raised from the dead, you haven’t necessarily been resurrected.
Take our buddy, Lazarus, for example. This week we are studying the moment in his life, or death, when Jesus raises him from the dead. Absolutely incredible! Imagine being there at that moment to see Lazarus come out of the grave all wrapped up in grave clothes. He was certainly raised from the dead.
But Lazarus would die again. Man…to have go through that twice. On the other hand, when Jesus was resurrected on that first Easter morning all those years ago, he would never see death again. He was raised for eternity.
For us, we have a promise that we will be resurrected with Jesus. So when that happens, we have the great promise that we will not see death again. This is great news!
When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead a couple of things were happening. First, Jesus was again showing us something true about his identity and work. He is the resurrection and the life. This moves us into the second thing that we see. In the raising of Lazarus we see a glimpse of the glory that is to come. We can trust that Jesus is the resurrection because we see him show that power and glory in the raising of Lazarus.
We see that resurrection power in a far greater degree in Jesus’ own resurrection. And we await that power to be applied to us on that great day. Study well this week with the resurrection in view.
Jesus is omnipotent.
He is all powerful over everything.
This is good news for us today. In light of the current events both in our nation and around the world, it is a great comfort to know that Jesus alone is powerful enough to do what needs to be done.
This week we watch as Jesus demonstrates his power over sickness, shame, and even death. Praise God that we have such a strong savior.
This week’s lesson will test your abilities to stay on task.
Inevitably, teaching this text in a setting where discussion is encouraged will lead to questions about spiritual warfare, demon possession, and any number of other heeby jeeby issues.
We affirm that there is a spiritual realm and that demons are real, active, and strong. However, we must think about these spiritual matters by following a pretty simple guideline.
Give the study of demons as much attention as the Bible gives to them.
When you read the gospels and you see Jesus engage the demonic forces, you don’t see them stick around very much. You don’t read that Jesus plays around with them. You don’t have any indication that Jesus spends much time with them at all.
As you teach the lesson this week, your job is going to be to stay on track in order to get your class to see and understand the main point of the text. Jesus has all authority, including authority over the spiritual realm. This is yet another sign that he is God.
No matter where your conversation goes, and no matter what questions may be asked, your task is to get back the truth that Jesus is God. As God, he has authority over all of creation. He shows this authority in his interaction with these demons. By radically transforming this guy’s life through the casting out of these demons, Jesus shows that he is the all-authoritative God who has deep compassion for his people.
Beneath the video you will see a document that I used when I taught on demons on a Sunday night a few months back. It doesn’t contain everything that I said, but it is my rough teaching outline. You might be able to glean some thoughts about demonology from it.
God is good…
All the time.
All the time…
God is good.
Have you ever heard that call and response? I wonder what would need to happen for you to chime in on that one. What blessing…what miracle would need to occur in your life for you to yell out, “God is good…”
This week we are thinking about a great miracle. A paralytic man gets healed.
“All the time…” Go ahead and say it.
But what is interesting about this lesson is that Jesus seems to be more concerned with the miracle of forgiveness than he is with the miracle of healing the man’s legs. Now he certainly heals the man’s legs and even does so as a sign that that he can forgive sins. However, Jesus’ first priority, and the greater miracle, is to make a man right with God.
When you think of your own salvation and the forgiveness granted to you through the death and resurrection of Jesus, are you compelled to yell out, “God is good.”
Because if you are, I just might yell back, “All the time!”