September 2, 2018 – John 1:1-18

Lesson Date: September 2, 2018

Focal Scripture Passage: John 1:1-18

AIM: To lead students to discover the identity and mission of Jesus Christ and how people responded to Him, and to encourage them to respond to Him in faith.

 

Before class: Read the Introduction to John and the notes on John 1:1-18 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Ask the students if they have ever seen the TV program, “Undercover Boss.”  If so, ask them what the show is about.

Explain that on “Undercover Boss” the CEO of a large company – who is normally secluded in his corporate office – goes undercover as an ordinary employee of his own company.  The CEO wears a disguise and assumes another name to try to blend in with the other employees and see how the company and employees are actually functioning.  The disguised CEO then receives training and supervision from one of his own employees and tries to do the duties that the other ordinary workers do.  In some cases the employee doing the training is careless, disrespectful, abusive, and even violates company policy.

Ask: “Is the CEO still the CEO, even while he is masquerading as a new employee?” (yes).  Ask: “Does he still have the same authority to hire, fire, promote, and demote as he did when he was in his corporate office?” (yes).  Ask: “Would the employees treat him differently if they knew he was their boss?” (definitely).  Ask: “Why don’t they know he is the boss?” (they don’t recognize him because he looks just like the rest of the employees).

Tell the class today’s lesson is about God coming in human flesh and living among His people.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Introduction to John.
    • Tell the class today we begin a six-month study of the Gospel of John.
    • Be sure everyone has a copy of the Sunday School Member Quarterly.
    • Briefly introduce the Gospel of John using the following outline:
      • The book was written by the Apostle John. He was the son of Zebedee and brother of James.  He was part of the “inner circle” of Jesus’ disciples (Peter, James, and John).
      • John was one of the youngest disciples and the only one to escape martyrdom, although as an old man he was exiled to the Island of Patmos (Rev. 1:9).
      • He lived until the end of the First Century and wrote his gospel in d. 85-90.
      • John also wrote the letters of 1, 2, and 3 John, as well as the book of Revelation.
    • Tell the students John clearly stated the purpose of his gospel near the end of the book.
    • Read John 20:31.
    • Ask: “Why did John write this book?” (so his readers would believe that Jesus is the Christ and receive eternal life through Him).
    • Tell them that’s why John wrote the book and why we are studying it.
  2. Who is Jesus Christ?
    • Tell the class today’s lesson is built around three questions. The first question is “Who is Jesus Christ?”
    • Ask a volunteer to read John 1:1-5.
    • Explain that John began his gospel by calling Jesus Christ “the Word.” The Greek word is logos, which means an idea, statement, expression, or message.
    • Ask: “What do verses 1-2 tell us about Jesus Christ?” (He has always existed, He has always been in perfect union with God, and He is God).
    • Stress the fact that Jesus Christ IS
    • Ask: “What does verse 3 tell us about Jesus Christ?” (He is the Creator who made everything in the universe).
    • Ask: “Can that statement be reconciled with the theory of evolution?” (absolutely not: if evolution is true then verse 3 is a lie; if verse 3 is true then evolution is a lie).
    • Ask: “What does verse 4 tell us about Jesus Christ?” (He is the source of life and light).
    • Tell the class that Jesus Christ is the Creator and instigator of all physical life. He is also the source of light (Gen. 1:3).
    • Explain the there can be no physical life without physical light; in the same way there can be no spiritual life without the spiritual light Jesus Christ provides.
    • Read John 1:6-8.
    • Tell the students those verses are about John the Baptist (not to be confused with the John who wrote this book).
    • Ask: “What was John’s mission?” (to bear witness of Jesus Christ so people could believe in him and be saved).
    • Ask a volunteer to read John 1:9-10.
    • Ask: “What does verse 9 tell us about Jesus Christ?” (He is the true Light, the ultimate revelation of God to men).
    • Ask: “What does verse 10 tell us about Jesus Christ?” (He made the world and He came to live in the world He made).
    • Summarize: Remind the students that our first question is “Who is Jesus Christ?” Ask them to summarize the things they have discovered in verses 1-10 about who Jesus Christ is (He has always existed, He is God, He created everything, and He is the source of life and light).
  3. What Did Jesus Christ Come to Do?
    • Tell the class the second question is “What did Jesus Christ Come to Do?”
    • Ask them to listen for answers to that question as you read John 1:11-18.
    • Ask: “What does verse 12 tell us Jesus Christ came to do?” (give those who believe in Him the right to be children of God).
    • Ask: “What does verse 14 tell us Jesus Christ came to do?” (live in human flesh to reveal the glory, grace, and truth of God).
    • Ask: “What does verse 17 tell us Jesus Christ came to do?” (bring grace and truth).
    • Ask: “What does verse 18 tell us Jesus Christ came to do?” (declare – unwrap and reveal – God to man).
    • To expand on this, ask volunteers to look up and read Colossians 2:9 and John 14:9.
    • Summarize: Remind the students that our second question is “What did Jesus Christ Come to Do?” Ask them to summarize the things they have discovered in verses 11-18 about what Jesus Christ came to do (save sinners and reveal God’s glory and grace to mankind).
  4. How Did People Respond to Jesus Christ?
    • Tell the class our third question is “How did People Respond to Jesus Christ?”
    • Ask the students to silently re-read verses 5, 10, 11, and 12.
    • Explain that verse 5 tells us Jesus Christ, the true Light, came to live in our sin-darkened world.
    • Ask: “What does verse 5 say about how people responded to Jesus Christ?” (they didn’t comprehend who He was or accept Him for who He is).
    • Ask: “What does verse 10 say about how people responded to Jesus Christ?” (they didn’t know who He was).
    • Explain that in verse 11 the words “his own” refer specifically to the Jewish people among whom Jesus was born, but they also speak of the entire human race.
    • Ask: “What does verse 11 say about how people responded to Jesus Christ?” (they didn’t receive Him).
    • Ask: “What does verse 12 say about how people responded to Jesus Christ?” (some believed in Him and received Him).
    • Ask: “What does verse 12 say happened as a result of their belief and faith?” (they became children of God).
    • Read John 1:13.
    • Tell the class this verse makes it clear that salvation (the new birth) is the work of God, not man. Ultimately, people are not saved by their fleshly heredity or lineage, their human desire, or their will.  They are saved by the work of God in their lives.
    • Summarize: Remind the students that our third question is “How did People Respond to Jesus Christ?” Ask: “What are the different ways people responded to Jesus Christ?” (some didn’t recognize Him, some rejected Him, but some received Him).

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Ask: “Who is Jesus Christ?” (He is the eternal Creator God who came to live in human flesh).  Ask: “What did Jesus Christ come to earth to do?” (reveal God’s glory and save sinners).  Ask: “How did people respond to Jesus Christ when He came?” (some rejected Him but others received Him).

Write the words “Reject” and “Receive” on the marker board or chalkboard.  Tell the class John 1 reveals that everyone who saw Jesus in the flesh either rejected Him or received Him.  Ask: “What happened to those who received Jesus?” (they became children of God).  Ask: “What about those who did not receive Him?” (they did not become children of God).  Tell the class the same is still true today.

Tell the students Jesus Christ is the pivotal personality in all human history.  Everyone on earth has either rejected Jesus Christ and remains in their sin-darkened state, or else they have received Jesus Christ and become children of God.  There is no middle ground – everyone is on one side or the other.

Ask: “What about you?  Have you received Jesus Christ as your Savior?  Have you realized you are a sinner and cannot save yourself?  Do you understand that Jesus can forgive your sin and make you a child of God?”  Tell the students that Jesus Christ can save them, but they must personally believe in Him and receive Him (John 1:12).

Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes.  Encourage any who want to receive Jesus Christ to confess their sins to God and place their faith in Him right now.  Tell those who already know Jesus Christ to thank Him for bringing light to our sin-darkened world so we could become children of God.  Voice a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Ask the students to memorize John 1:1 & 1:14.  Encourage them to follow the Daily Bible Reading Guide found on pages 4-5 of their Sunday School Member Quarterly.  Urge them to tell someone this week what they have learned about Jesus Christ.

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