2017 Confirmation Week 3: Who is Jesus? 1.29.17

What We're Talking about

WHO IS JESUS?

Christian tradition and scripture proclaims Jesus as the son of God, fully human and fully divine, of the same nature as God. Scripture tells us that Jesus was there in the beginning with God and was God and through him all creation came into existence. After coming to live as a human Jesus dies for us on the cross, purifying all of humankind from their sin.

WHY WAS JESUS FULLY HUMAN & FULLY DIVINE?

Jesus was fully human so that he could relate to our struggle and show us an example of how to live our lives. If he was only divine, we could not relate to him. Jesus was fully divine so that he could be the perfect sacrifice, if Jesus was not fully divine then he could not be without sin and reconcile us to God. So how was he fully human and fully divine? This has been a part of Christian conversation and debate for centuries. Councils of church leaders were called together to debate this point and finally what they decided is they could not describe exactly how Jesus was both fully human and fully divine. In scripture we see verses that talk about Jesus in both terms.

For example Jesus is worshiped (Matthew 2:2, 11, 14:13) and yet he also worships (John 17). Jesus was called God (John 20:28, Hebrews 1:8) and he was called man (Mark 15:39, John 19:5). Jesus was sinless (1 Peter 2:22, Hebrews 4:15) and he was tempted (Matthew 4:1).

One of the things the church has argued is that when we try to describe or define how Jesus is divine & human it is easy to find ourselves favoring one side more than the other. The church labeled this dual nature of Christ, separate yet act as a unit, as the Hypostatic Union.

JESUS IS A RELATABLE FRIEND

The fact that Jesus was human is great because it means that he can relate to us, that he has felt our struggle to live in this world. But because he is divine, he also will never leave us nor forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6). In scripture we see that Jesus lived in a human body, he experienced human emotions, and he experienced day to day life as a human (he got tired, he ate, he slept, he worshiped, he prayed, etc.).

In Matthew, Jesus' story is written in such as way that it is meant to parallel the experience of Israel. He is taken into Egypt and then led out, he is baptized (Israel passed through the red sea), he is shown favor by God (Israel was God's chosen people), and he was tested in the wilderness for 40 days (Israel was tested for 40 years). All of this was intentionally written in this order to convey the relatability of Jesus and how we can approach Jesus in a personal way.

SO WHY DID JESUS COME?

He came to reveal God, who is beyond human comprehension. He came as the human face of God. He came to redeem humankind through His faithful life and saving death. He died for the sins of the world.

SO WHO DO YOU SAY THAT JESUS IS?

There are a lot of religions that have a place for Jesus within their theology. Jews believe him to be a prophetic figure and rabbi. Muslims believe that Jesus was a prophet, and performed miracles, healed the sick, and rose people from the dead (something even Muhammad didn't do). Humanistic Buddhism thinks of Jesus as a teacher. Where all of these religions fall short though is that they do not believe that Jesus was the son of God, fully human and fully divine. That is the biggest difference between the major religions and Christianity. We believe Jesus was a wonderful teacher as well but we take it a step further and claim Jesus' divinity.

Homework this Week

Weekly Scripture to Memorize:

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”  

- Romans 15:13

Journaling:

1.       Look at the titles of Jesus in your student book pg. 35.  Mark or highlight the ones you have heard of.

2.       Which ones have you never heard?  Look up 5 of the ones you haven’t heard by looking at the Scripture reference.  Write these names in your journal and say what you learned about Jesus from these 5 names.

3.       Listen to some Christian music on K-Love, watch a Christian video on YouTube.  Then journal on what you learned or felt like when you were listening or watching.

 

Read John Chapters 6-8.

Write down in your journal one thing you learned from These Chapters.

The Journey Continues next week

Lesson 4: Who is the Holy Spirit? Write In your journal one question you would like to ask about the Holy Spirit next week in class.

Family Homework:

As a family, Watch the movie, The Gospel of John.  You can rent from a library or you can go to www.youtube.com and type Gospel of John in the search and watch online. Have your Bibles out and open to the Gospel of John and read along.

Spend time this week discussing ways you showed the love of Jesus to someone at home, work, school or neighborhood.  Were there times this week you didn’t show the love of Jesus?  If you didn’t, why not?  Was it due to time or doubt?  How can you as a family encourage each other to be more like Christ in your own home, neighborhood, work or school?