TEXT: Isaiah 9:6-7; John 1:1-5,14; Hebrews 13:8
The students will be able to explain who Christ was, is, and that He always will be, using the Scriptures as their authority.
Jesus is included in the opening words of Genesis where we read, “In the beginning God created . . .” One reason we know this is because John 1:1-4 and 14 bear witness that Jesus has always been (existed), and that He had a hand in the creation of the universe. In John 17:5, Jesus refers to the glory He had with the Father before the world was. Jesus is called the Word. He is God, the son.
The life of Christ, as ordinarily understood, embraces the years our Lord spent on this earth, as described in the four Gospels. His full career spans the ages and invites reflection on its several aspects. Fundamental to the various “I AM” sayings of Jesus is His assertion of absolute existence. Therefore it is reasonable to think of Him as belonging to eternity. Scripture, in fact, affirms His preexistence, and does so in terms of fellowship with the Father.
By the incarnation, Christ was made in the likeness of man in order to reveal God to men in a way they could grasp, to become their Savior by ransoming them from their sins, and to deal sympathetically with their needs.
The present ministry of Christ is being carried on in Heaven, where He represents the saints before the Throne of God.
One purpose of the incarnation was not achieved during the earthly ministry of our Lord, but is reserved for His second coming. His kingly rule will then be introduced following His work as judge. After the Millennial Kingdom, Christ will enter with His people upon the blessedness of the eternal state which will be unmarred by the inroads of sin or death.
In a few days we will be commemorating the birth of Jesus. To the one who really understands what that means to the world, it is a special time of rejoicing as eternal salvation depends on that wonderful Gift of God (John 3:16). Our text brings out some other remarkable truths concerning Jesus, in that He existed prior to His birth (John 1:1-3), and that one day He will establish a Kingdom that will never end. See Isaiah 9:7.
- The Child spoken of by the Prophet Isaiah in our text was the earthly manifestation of the Second Person of the eternal Trinity, Jesus. How could the prophet know about the birth of this Child over 700 years before it came to pass? See 2 Peter 1:21.
Response: By reading the verse in 2 Peter, your students should conclude that the Holy Ghost revealed to Isaiah the events that he prophesied. You might wish to bring out to your class that Isaiah was not the only prophet who prophesied regarding the birth of Christ. There were over 60 prophecies concerning Christ’s birth, His life, and His resurrection. More than 12 prophets spoke these prophecies, and their predictions all meshed, even though they were said at different times.
- In the first verse of the Gospel of John, to what do you thing “In the beginning” refers? What part did Jesus actually have in the creation of the universe?
Response: “In the beginning” refers to the beginning of this world. Bring out in the discussion that before anything was formed, Jesus was there as part of the Godhead. Our text states that “without him was not any thing made that was made.”
- Explain in your own words the meaning of John 1:5.
Response: Give time for the students to give their explanations. In discussion point out the fact that the world as a whole did not recognize Him as the “Light of the world” at the time of His birth. The world still is in darkness because of the sins of the people.
- When Jesus said, “I am . . . the life,” what other attributes did He add to that statement in the following Scriptures?
Response: To doubting Thomas, the way and the truth; to Martha in her bereavement, the resurrection; to the multitudes He promised everlasting life. Guide your students’ thoughts to incorporate these attributes into their understanding of who Christ is. Help them realize that these promises were more than a code of teaching for the early disciples, but also a bright hope for our future.
- In our key verse, the statement is made that the Lord is, was, and is to come. We have explored Biblical references to the fact that He was with God at the time of Creation, thus establishing that He was. Name some ways that it can be proved that Christ is alive today.
Response: Your students should be able to come up with a number of suggestions. Their ideas will likely include the fact that He is still saving souls and transforming lives, He is still working miracles of healing, answering prayers in other details of daily living, etc.
- Having established that Christ is and was, on what can we base our belief that Christ will be in the future? Use Mark 16:19, Revelation 1:4-7, and any other Scriptures you can find to substantiate your answer.
Response: Your students should be able to see that Scriptures give clear evidence that Christ will be in the future. Mark tells us that He sits on the right hand of God. John received the revelation from Jesus Christ himself that He will come in the clouds and every eye shall see Him. If we believe in the veracity of the Scriptures, we are assured in our hearts that Christ is eternal.
- According to Romans 1:3-4 Jesus Christ “was made of the seed of David according to the flesh,” but was “declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness.” What stated truth in the verses mentioned gives additional proof of Christ’s being eternal?
Response: The truth is recounted that Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Jesus told His disciples that He had power to lay down His life and power to take it up again. See John 10:18. No other person in all of history could make and fulfill such a claim. Does this not prove His eternal nature? Whenever Jesus raised one from the dead, the people recognized that the power of Deity was being manifested. Does not the fact of Jesus’ resurrection demonstrate that He was the son of God while He ministered on earth and that He ever lives in Heaven above? Our Christian hope is: “Because I live, ye shall live also” (John 14:19)
- In our text (John 1:14) we read that the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us. Explain what this means to you.
Response: As your students give their answers, help them to realize the greatness of God’s love in sending Christ to this world, and bring out that our eternal salvation depended upon His coming.
- In reading our text we have learned the truths concerning Jesus prior to His birth, and of His presence with us today. What promise do we find regarding His coming Kingdom?
Response: Our text in Isaiah reveals that the lord will establish a Kingdom that will never end. In discussion, the knowledge can be brought out that this Kingdom shall be a time of peace as well as the right judgment and justice even forever.
- In knowing by the authority of God’s Word that Jesus Christ was, is, and always will be, how should we act or react to this knowledge? See Hebrews 1:10-14 and 2:1-4.
Response: Your students should come to grips with the fact that it is the responsibility of each one to worship and serve God when the knowledge of who Christ is comes across his pathway. The knowledge of this fact is not enough, but how one applies this knowledge to his life is what makes the difference.
- In what ways has the Lord been these things to you?
(c) The mighty God
(d) The everlasting Father
(e) The Prince of Peace
Response: Allow students to share their answers. Conclude the lesson by bringing out that He wants to be all of these in each life today.
Have a pretty bassinet or a picture of one to show things needed for a tiny baby. Show a wooden manger with straw and white cloth to portray Jesus’ humble birth. Bring out the point that He could have come with wealth but chose a humble birth.
Jesus is the Word. He has always been and will forever be. Help your students to learn and recite many of the names in the Bible that refer to Jesus. Both the Old Testament and the New Testament are full of them. Have a list made up before class and be sure to include the text where the names can be found. You can usually find a complete list at any Bible store or in a Thompson Bible. Here are a few examples to start with: Prophet (Deuteronomy 18:18), Cornerstone (Psalm 118:22), A Branch (Isaiah 4:2), Rock of Offence (Isaiah 8:14), Beloved Son (Matthew 3:17), Messiah (Matthew 11:3), Messenger (Matthew 21:37), Master (Luke 5:5), The Word (John 1:1), True Vine (John 15:1), King of kings (1 Timothy 6:15), Morning Star (Revelation 22:16).
Have your students help you make a time line of the life of Jesus. Include major events such as:
Talking to the priests in the Temple
Baptism by John
Sermon on the Mount
Five thousand fed
Raising of Lazarus
Ride into Jerusalem