Reviewing and renewing Biblical faith through story and study

Friday, February 06, 2015

Sabbath School Starter 2015 Q1L6

From the Sabbath School section
Because, Jesus!

Icebreaker 
Have you ever said the wrong thing at the wrong time? If it’s suitable for Sabbath school, tell that story.
What about the right thing? Have you ever had a word or phrase pop into mind right when you needed and witnessed your words make a difference? Tell that story.


Introduction
My 15 year old son Michael has a brain the size of a planet. Well, that’s the way it seems when he starts explaining some astronomical, gastronomical or otherwise complex process. My eyes glaze over and I regress to childhood, raising my hand and imploring, “But, WHY?” This usually leads to more pontification on his part and more glassy-eyed nodding on mine. Finally, when the inevitable last "WHY?” has been reached, Michael has developed a standard answer—an answer to all science questions that are beyond the understanding of poor-old-Dad. He stops talking. Looks at me for a long moment. Takes mercy and says, “Because, Science.”

Today’s discussion stems from the lesson this week about the fool, the wise and the difference between them. In our small groups we are going to explore these two categories that seem to lead to an unending list of proverbs. And, in the end, like my son, we will realise that God has given us a simple, two word, answer that makes sense of it all!

Because, Jesus!


Small Group Discussion
The following three group guides look very similar. But the discussions they will generate will be very unique. I will be breaking the class into three groups and then having them report back after 20 minutes of group time. You could choose to go through each as one group (if your class is small) but it will take a lot more time!

Group 1
Read Proverbs 15:1-9
What two types of people are discussed here?
What things can be seen in their actions that establish which camp they are in?
What makes the difference? What puts them in one group or the other?

Read John 3:1-21
What two types of people are discussed here?
What things can be seen in their actions that establish which camp they are in?
What makes the difference? What puts them in one group or the other?

Compare the two passages. What are the similarities? What are the differences?
Once you’ve finished this discussion, formulate a question which relies on these passages in which the answer is: “Because, Jesus!”

Q:

A: Because, Jesus!



Group 2
Read Proverbs 14:21-31
What two types of people are discussed here?
What things can be seen in their actions that establish which camp they are in?
What makes the difference? What puts them in one group or the other?

Read 2 Corinthians 5:14-21
What two types of people are discussed here?
What things can be seen in their actions that establish which camp they are in?
What makes the difference? What puts them in one group or the other?

Compare the two passages. What are the similarities? What are the differences?
Once you’ve finished this discussion, formulate a question which relies on these passages in which the answer is: “Because, Jesus!”

Q:

A: Because, Jesus!



Group 3
Read Proverbs 14:2-12
What two types of people are discussed here?
What things can be seen in their actions that establish which camp they are in?
What makes the difference? What puts them in one group or the other?

Read Galatians 5:16-26
What two types of people are discussed here?
What things can be seen in their actions that establish which camp they are in?
What makes the difference? What puts them in one group or the other?

Compare the two passages. What are the similarities? What are the differences?
Once you’ve finished this discussion, formulate a question which relies on these passages in which the answer is: “Because, Jesus!”

Q:

A: Because, Jesus!


Conclusion
The difference between a foolish life and a wise life can be quite difficult to explain. A thousand proverbs and a lifetime of stories can only begin to unravel the meaning of a well-lived life. And yet, you know one when you see it.
 
Any deeply honorable and wise person will explain the source of their peace comes from having a focus outside of themselves—a purpose, a people, a hero. For the follower of Jesus, there is joy because of all Jesus did for us in life and death and new life. This new life gives us purpose in our lives because of all Jesus promises to do in us and through us in the world.

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Hebrews 12:1-3

“A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—and how good is a timely word!” Proverbs 15:21

There is no timelier Word than Jesus!
He arrived right on time. The Word became flesh and lived among us. Then died for us.
He reconciled us with God. Now He sends His Spirit to make us like Him so that we too may become like our neighbors, sharing bread and drink, reconciling them with God through our love.

All of our outward “wise” living is not us at all, but Him living in and through us. We are His temple, His reconcilers, His hands and feet.

The title for the Sabbath School lesson this week was:
“What you get is not what you see”
“Because, Jesus!” is probably not the answer you expected this week. 
But it truly is the best answer you’ll ever find!