December 22, 2019 – John 1

Lesson Date: December 22, 2019

Focal Scripture Passage: John 1:1-5, 9-14, 26-34

AIM: To lead students to discover several identifying characteristics of Jesus Christ, and to thank Him for suffering rejection to save their souls.

 

Before class: Write the word “Rejection” on the marker board or chalkboard.  Have enough copies of the “Identifying Characteristics of Jesus Christ” study guide for your anticipated attendance.  Have some pens or pencils on hand for those who might need one.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Welcome everyone to class and thank them for coming.  Point out that it is nice to feel welcomed and accepted.  At Christmas time many people participate in family gatherings.  We want such gatherings to be warm, loving, and enjoyable.  One way we do that is by welcoming and greeting those who attend.

Direct the class’ attention to the word “Rejection” written on the board.  Ask: “Have you ever been rejected?”  Ask how rejection made them feel.

Ask: “If you go to a family gathering at Christmas do you expect to be welcomed and received or rejected and turned away?” (welcomed and received).  Ask: “Why will your family welcome you and not reject you?” (because they are your family who knows and loves you).

Point out the fact that the people we reject are often those we don’t recognize or know.  For example, if you receive a telephone call from an unknown 800 number you will probably not answer it, but you will answer a call from a loved one.  Similarly, you probably won’t open the door if a stranger knocks late at night, but you will open the door if a very close friend or family member knocks.

Tell the class in this lesson we will learn that Jesus was rejected by His own people because they didn’t know who He was.  We will also discover several identifying characteristics about Jesus Christ.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Remind the students that we are in a study of the New Testament book of 1 John, through which we are discovering “Tests of True Salvation.”
    • Direct their attention to the Tests of True Salvation
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (whether or not we love the world).
    • Ask if any volunteer would be willing to recite last week’s memory verse (1 John 2:15).
    • Tell them for today’s Christmas lesson we will direct our attention to the first chapter of the Gospel of John.
  2. Jesus Christ: Eternal, Word, God, Creator, Life, and Light.
    • Give everyone a copy of the “Identifying Characteristics of Jesus Christ” study guide. Offer pens or pencils to any who might need one.
    • Ask a volunteer to read John 1:1-5.
    • Ask: “Who is this verse referring to when it speaks of the Word?” (Jesus Christ).
    • Ask the class if they can find three identifying characteristics about Jesus in verse 1 (He is eternal, He is the Word, and He is God).
    • Ask them to write those three things on their study guide.
    • Explain that by calling Jesus the Word (Greek logos), the Bible reveals that He is the fullest expression of God’s will and wisdom (Eph. 1:23; Col. 2:9).
    • Stress the fact that verses 1 and 2 reveal that Jesus Christ is eternal and He is God.
    • Ask: “What does verse 3 tell us about Jesus Christ?” (He is the creator of everything).
    • Ask them to write that on their study guide.
    • Ask: “How many things were made apart from Christ’s creative work?” (none). Tell the class this verse alone refutes the ridiculous notion of evolution.
    • Ask the students if they can find three more identifying characteristics about Jesus Christ in verses 4-5 (He is the source of life, He is the light, and the sin-darkened world did not comprehend or understand Him).
    • Ask them to write those three things on their study guide.
    • Tell the class three of the identifying characteristics of Jesus Christ they have already discovered are repeated in verses 9-10.
    • Read John 1:9-10
    • Ask the class if they can find those three repeated characteristics in verses 9-10 (He is the light, He is the creator, and the sin-darkened world did not know or understand Him).
    • Summarize: When Jesus came the first time the world did not understand Him or recognize that He was God in human flesh.
  3. Jesus Christ: Rejected, Received, and Incarnate.
    • Ask the class to listen for three more identifying characteristics about Jesus as you read John 1:11-14.
    • Ask them to name what they found (Jesus was rejected by His people, He was received by others whom He made sons of God, and He lived among us as God in human flesh).
    • Ask them to write those three things on their study guide.
    • Ask: “If you went to your family Christmas gathering only to be turned away at the door, how would you feel?” (hurt, confused, disappointed).
    • Explain that Jesus came to His own people (the Jews) as their long-awaited Messiah and Savior, but they rejected Him (Isa. 53:3).
    • Ask: “According to verse 12, what must we do to become the sons of God (to be saved)?” (receive Jesus Christ and believe on His name). Those who receive Jesus and believe in Him are born of God (verse 13).
    • Tell the class the important truth from verse 14 is that God came to live in Human flesh so He could save us from our sin. Jesus Christ was God in flesh.
    • Summarize: Jesus Christ was rejected by many, received by some (to whom He gave eternal life), and He manifested God’s glory in human flesh.
  4. Jesus Christ: Unrecognized, Lamb of God, and Takes Away Sin.
    • Tell the class that verses 15 and following tell about the ministry of John the Baptist.
    • Ask them to listen for three more identifying characteristics about Jesus as you read John 1:26-29.
    • Ask them what identifying characteristic is found in verse 26 (Jesus was among the people but not recognized by them as their Savior).
    • Ask them to write that on their study guide.
    • Tell the students that John verbalized two more identifying characteristic in verse 29. Ask them what they are (Jesus is the Lamb of God and He takes away sin).
    • Ask everyone to write those words on their study guide.
    • Remind them that innocent and spotless lambs were used in the sacrifices to cover sin. Those Old Testament sacrifices were repeated over and over because the blood of sacrificial lambs did not have the power to take away sin, only cover it.
    • Since Jesus Christ is holy God, His blood can take away sin and its penalty.
    • Summarize: Most of the Jews did not recognize Jesus as their Savior, but He is in fact the Lamb of God who takes away our sin.
  5. Jesus Christ: Revealed by the Spirit, and the Son of God.
    • Ask the class to listen for the last two identifying characteristics of Jesus Christ as a volunteer reads John 1:30-34.
    • Ask them what characteristic is found in verse 32 (Jesus was revealed by the Spirit).
    • Ask them to write that on their study guide.
    • Ask them what characteristic is found in verse 34 (Jesus Christ is the Son of God).
    • Ask them to write that on their study guide.
    • Summarize: Jesus Christ was revealed to John the Baptist by the Holy Spirit, who enabled him to recognize that Jesus is the Son of God.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Remind the students that Jesus came to His own (the Jews), but they did not receive Him (verse 11).  Ask: “Why did most of the Jews reject Jesus Christ?” (because they didn’t know Him – they didn’t recognize that He was the Messiah they were waiting and longing for – verse 26).

Review the lesson by reading the identifying characteristics of Jesus Christ from the study guide.  The completed study guide should include the following:

Verses 1-2:

    1. Jesus is Eternal.
    2. He is the Word.
    3. He is God.

Verse 3:

    1. Jesus is the Creator (also verse 10).

Verses 4-5:

    1. He is the source of life.
    2. Christ is the light (also verse 9).
    3. He was not understood (known) by the darkness (also verse 10).

Verse 11:

    1. Christ was rejected by His own people.

Verses 12-13:

    1. He was received by some.

Verse 14:

    1. Jesus Christ is God in human flesh.

Verse 26:

    1. He was among the people but not recognized as their Savior.

Verse 29:

    1. Jesus is the Lamb of God.
    2. He takes away sin.

Verses 32:

    1. Christ was revealed by the Spirit.

Verse 34:

    1. Jesus Christ is the Son of God.

Tell the students that unfortunately, many of the ancient Jews did not recognize Jesus for who He was, so they rejected Him as their Savior.  We, on the other hand, have the benefit of knowing Christ’s identifying characteristics, such as those found in this chapter.  We have no excuse for not recognizing Jesus as the Savior and Son of God.

Tell the class that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners (1 Tim. 1:15).  Ask: “Have you received Him as you Savior, or have you rejected Him?”  Re-read John 1:11-12.  Stress the fact that there is no 3rd option – everyone on earth has either received Jesus or rejected Him.  Those who receive Him become the sons of God and receive everlasting life.

Ask: “Do you enjoy being rejected?” (no; rejection is a very hurtful, unpleasant thing).  Remind the class that Jesus came to save sinners, but most of the Jews – His own people whom He loved – rejected Him.  Ask everyone to imagine for a moment how much that must have hurt Jesus.

Encourage the students to thank Jesus for suffering rejection so He could save their souls.  Lead a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Tell everyone as they enjoy loving fellowship with their family and friends this Christmas, to try to remember that Jesus Christ was rejected by the people He loved the most.  He endured that rejection so He could save us.

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