September 1, 2019 – Hebrews 1

Lesson Date: September 1, 2019

Focal Scripture Passage: Hebrews 1:1-14

AIM: To lead students to describe ways Jesus Christ is superior to prophets, angels, and creation; and to thank Him that He is superior and be prepared to tell others about Christ’s superiority.

 

Before class: Read the notes on Hebrews 1 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Write the word “Superior” on the marker board or chalkboard.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the class’ attention to the word “Superior” written on the board. Ask the students to define the word. Give a dictionary definition (higher in rank, status, quality, or importance).

Ask: “What makes one thing superior to another? For example, what makes one automobile superior to another?” (quality, features, workmanship, characteristics, durability). Tell the class you are going to read them some pairs of words and ask them to tell which one of each pair is superior to the other. Rolls Royce or Chevrolet? Subject or king? Master or servant? Righteous ruler or corrupt ruler? Painting or painter? Tell the class it is a basic fact of life that some things are superior to other things.

Be sure everyone present has a Sunday School Member Quarterly for the Fall quarter. Direct the students’ attention to the front cover of the quarterly and tell them the book of Hebrews is about “The Supremacy of Jesus Christ.” Ask: “If someone of another religion asked why you think Jesus is better than their so-called ‘god,’ how would you answer them? Would you have an answer for them?”

Tell the students in today’s lesson we are going to learn that Jesus Christ is superior to all other prophets, all supernatural beings, and even the earth and all of creation.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Introduce Hebrews.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (God can be trusted to keep His promises).
    • Briefly introduce the book of Hebrews, using the following outline:
      • We don’t know for certain the identity of the human writer of Hebrews, but God is the author.
      • Hebrews was written about AD 62-69, roughly 30-35 years after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
      • The book was written to Jewish Christians who were tempted to go back to the Jewish sacrificial system. Because of this, Hebrews quotes extensively from the Old Testament.
    • Tell the class we will study the book of Hebrews for three months.
  2. Christ is Superior to the Prophets.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Hebrews 1:1-3.
    • Ask: “How did God speak to His people in the past?” (through the prophets).
    • Hold up your Bible and tell the class that everything written in the Old Testament was delivered by God through prophets, kings, and other leaders.
      • God did not speak directly to the people.
      • God spoke through those prophets where He chose and when He chose – people couldn’t hear from Him any time they wanted.
    • Tell the students verse 2 gives us a biblical definition of “last days” – the time since Jesus came in the flesh. In other words, we are living in the last days.
    • Ask: “According to verse 2, how has God spoken in these last days?” (through His Son, Jesus Christ).
    • Ask the class to name the things verses 2 and 3 say about Jesus (He is the heir and owner of all things, He created everything, He completely reveals the Father, He holds everything together, He purged our sins, and He is now seated at the right hand of the Father).
    • Ask: “Can those things be said of any prophet?” (no).
    • Erase the board and write “Jesus Christ is Superior to All Prophets.”
    • Summarize: God spoke to His people through prophets for thousands of years, but the Bible it clear that Jesus Christ is superior to all prophets.
  3. Christ is Superior to Angels.
    • Enlist volunteers to look up Psalm 2:7; Psalm 45:6-7; Psalm 110:1; Psalm 102:25-27; and Psalm 104:4. Ask those volunteers to listen for quotations from their Old Testament verses throughout the rest of the lesson.
    • Ask the class to listen for who Jesus Christ is superior to, as you read Hebrews 1:4-9.
    • Ask: “Who do these verses say Jesus is superior to?” (angels).
    • Write “Jesus Christ is Superior to the Angels” on the board.
    • Ask: “What does verse 4 say is superior about Jesus?” (He has a better name than the angels).
    • Ask if any of the volunteers recognize their Old Testament verse quoted in verse 5 (it is quoted from Ps. 2:7). Ask the volunteer to read that verse.
    • Ask: “How does verse 5 say Jesus is superior to angels?” (He is the Son of God).
    • Tell the students verse 6 is actually quoted from Deuteronomy 32:43 and Psalm 97:7, but the translation process from Hebrew to Greek and then from Greek to English make it difficult to recognize.
    • Ask: “How does verse 6 prove that Jesus is superior to angels?” (angels worship Him).
    • Ask if any of the volunteers recognize their Old Testament verse quoted in verse 7 (it is quoted from Ps. 104:4). Ask the volunteer to read that verse.
    • Ask: “How does verse 7 show that Jesus is superior to angels?” (angels are God’s ministers – His servants).
    • Ask if any of the volunteers recognize their Old Testament verse quoted in verse 8 (it is quoted from Ps. 45:6). Ask the volunteer to read that verse.
    • Ask: “How does verse 8 say Jesus is superior to angels?” (He is the eternal, righteous king).
    • Ask if any of the volunteers recognize their Old Testament verse quoted in verse 9 (it is quoted from Ps. 45:7). Ask the volunteer to read that verse.
    • Ask: “In what way does verse 9 say Jesus is superior to angels?” (He is the Anointed One – the Messiah).
    • Summarize: Angels are magnificent and powerful creatures who serve Almighty God, but Jesus Christ is superior to all the angels.
  4. Christ is Superior to Creation.
    • Tell the class this chapter has already proven that Jesus Christ is superior to prophets and to angels, but the next verses tell us something else to which He is superior.
    • Read Hebrews 1:10-12.
    • Ask if any of the volunteers recognize their Old Testament verses quoted in those verses (they are quoted directly from Ps. 102:25-27).  Ask the volunteer to read those verses.
    • Ask: “What does verse 10 say Jesus did?” (He created the earth and the heavens).
    • Ask: “What do verses 11-12 say will one day happen to the created universe?” (they will grow old and Christ will change them).
    • Ask: “If Jesus is the eternal Creator and the creation will one day grow old and wear out, what does that reveal that He is superior to?” (all of creation).
    • Write “Jesus Christ is Superior to Creation” on the board.
    • Summarize: God’s creation is magnificent, but it will not last forever. Jesus Christ is superior to creation.
  5. Christ is Superior to Angels.
    • Read Hebrews 1:13-14.
    • Direct the students’ attention to the statements written on the board and tell them these verses again make it clear that Jesus Christ is superior to angels.
    • One volunteer remains with a verse from the Old Testament. Ask if he or she found their verse quoted in the verses you just read (yes, Ps. 110:1 is quoted in verse 13).  Ask the volunteer to read that verse.
    • Ask: “Did God ever make such a statement to an angel?” (no).
    • Tell the class Jesus Christ is Lord of all, while angels are merely His servants.
    • Note that verse 14 reveals God’s mission or purpose for his angels.
    • Ask: “What is that mission?” (they are sent to minister to those “who shall be heirs of salvation”). Their role is to minister to those who are saved or will be saved.
    • Summarize: Jesus is supreme while angels are merely His servants. Once again we see that Jesus Christ is superior to the angels.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Briefly review the lesson by reading the three statements written on the board.

Ask: “Do any people today worship prophets?” (yes; one example is Muslims, who worship their prophet Mohammed). Ask: “Does anyone today worship angels?” (yes; one example is Satanists, who worship the fallen angel Lucifer). Ask: “Do any people today worship the earth and creation?” (yes; some examples are witches, Native Americans, and environmental extremists).

Ask: “If you were to encounter any of those people today, what have your learned in this lesson that could help you tell them the truth about Jesus Christ?” (allow time for responses). Stress the fact that our opinions do not carry much weight, but the Word of God does. That’s why it is important for us to learn the Bible, memorize Bible verses, and learn where to find important truths in the Bible. For example, from now on we should remember that Hebrews 1 teaches about the superiority of Jesus Christ.

Tell the students the point of this lesson is that Jesus Christ is superior to prophets, angels, and to all of creation. This is a fitting introduction to our study of the book of Hebrews, which is about “The Supremacy of Jesus Christ.”

Encourage everyone to thank Jesus that He is our superior Savior and to remember the truths they have learned today so they can tell others about Him. Lead a closing prayer of thanks and commitment.

 

CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize Hebrews 1:1-2. Encourage them to look for opportunities to tell others about Christ’s superiority this week. Remind the students to do the daily Bible readings found on pages 4-5 of their Sunday School Member Quarterly.

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