Ryan and Elna Mitchell
Lesson 31 – The Promised Child
Today Zach read prophecies concerning the Promised Child: Genesis 3:15, 12:3, Isaiah 7:14, 9:6-7, 52:13-35; Micah 5:2, Malachi 3:1. We have a promises chart – and as we read about Jesus, we’ll add the Scriptures where these were fulfilled.
Lesson 32 – John the Baptist, and Gabriel announcing Jesus’ birth
What a joy to be in the New Testament! Today we started seeing the promises regarding teh Promised Child fulfilled!
Lesson 33 – Jesus’ birth.
Best Christmas ever! Zach told the story of Jesus birth at a special Christmas eve meeting. I would encourage you to read the story again yourself! One thing I appreciate more now, it the lineage of Christ. We’ve been going through the whole Old Testament, repeatedly asking, “Is THIS the promised child?” It wasn’t Noah, it wasn’t Abraham, Isaac, Jacob… It wasn’t Saul or David… Jesus is the Promised Child!
Lesson 35 – The ministry of John the baptist and Jesus’ baptism. God spoke and declared who Jesus is – the beloved Son of God!
Lesson 36 – The temptation of Jesus. Matthew 4:1-22
How wonderful to see again that Jesus is God! He never followed ‘Satan’s talk’ – But when Jesus gave the instruction, “Be gone!” Satan had no choice but to obey the sovereign Lord and leave.
Lesson 37 – Mark 1:1-17
Jesus calls disciples and starts his earthly ministry. We read how Jesus has power over illness and evil spirits. Our village friends live in a culture seeped with fear. Fear of spirits, fear of each other, fear of facing consequences of some ‘wrong’ they did without even knowing, fear of someone else’s ‘bad thinking’ toward them… We need not fear anybody but the Lord.
Lesson 38 – Mark 2:1-12
Instead of immediately healing the lame man, Jesus first addressed the man’s bigger problem and said, “Your sins are forgiven.” The only reason Jesus could say that, is because He is God. Later in the chapter, Jesus said, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:17) This is indeed good news!
Lesson 39 – Nicodemus asks the most important question. John 3:1-36
How do we obtain salvation? Today’s lesson started with a drama – 11 people giving reasons why they should be allowed in God’s kingdom. “I go to church. I am rich. I do many good things. I did bad things, but I am sorry. I have a certificate from the literacy class. I am a white missionary. I am a community leader and I help many people. I came and listened to all Zach’s lessons.” NONE of these things are the way to salvation. Jesus gave Nicodemus the answer: We need to be born again. We need to look to Jesus in faith. (John 3:14-15)
Lesson 41 – The parable of the sower
The perfect seed is the Word of God. In Isaiah 55:11 we read, “…so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.”
Zach explained the different responses to the Gospel. Please pray with us that the Holy Spirit would work in the heart of the people of Mawerero – that they would be soft, humble soil…
Lesson 42 – Two stories about Jesus
- Jesus calms a storm – Mark 4:35-41
Nature is not God. We must fear the Lord, not nature. God is the Creator. He is in control of it all. In an animistic culture, this is a huge challenge to entirely change their world view.
- Jesus drives out demons – Mark 5:1-20
These demons were powerful. But Jesus is ALL powerful! Another important point that Zach addressed, is that the spirits of ancestors do not remain on earth. When we die, our spirits return to God for judgment (Ecc 12:7).
Lesson 43 – Jesus feeds the 5000
Today’s lesson was a serious one. Many people stopped following Jesus when they realised He was not promising worldly goods. They wanted to be fed, they wanted miracles, they wanted a political leader to free them from Roman rule… Instead, we need to follow Jesus as Lord!
Lesson 44 – Good deeds and traditions cannot help you
Mark 7:1-23. External traditions, deeds, ‘customs’ do not have the ‘strength’ to cleanse your heart from sin. Zach illustrated this using a very dirty cup. He cleaned the cup on the outside only. Then he poured ‘good deeds’ (juice) into the cup. But no matter how many good deeds he poured in, the result was still muddy.
Lesson 45 – Money will not help you.
Today we read three stories in Scripture that showed how money will not help:
- Luke 12:13-21. In a village like ours where people live off the ground, inheritance of ground is a big concern. But land has no eternal value. No belongings have the power to give eternal life.
- Luke 16:19-31. Only one way exists to be saved: faith in Jesus Christ. Even if you are not rich on this earth, you can believe and be saved.
- Mark 10:13-27. Will you have faith like a child, or desire for worldly things like a rich man?
Lesson 46 – Only Jesus is able to save us.
Jesus used the death of Lazarus to display his power over death: “But when Jesus heard it He said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” John 11:4
Lesson 47 – Jesus’ betrayal
Heb 9:22 “…without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.” This is critical to understand. We started with the Old Testament so that people can see the pattern that blood is required as payment for sin.
We read how Judas betrayed Jesus. Jesus knew all along that this would happen (John 6:70-71). He knew but did not stop Judas – His plan was to die, to give his blood to buy back sinners. And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.”
Lesson 48 – Jesus’ trials
Mark 14:32-65; 15:1-5
On the last day, we will all receive a cup filled with wrath or grace. Jesus was given a cup of wrath to drink. He accepted this cup from God the Father, even though He did not deserve it. He was betrayed and deserted. But He did not return evil with evil – He willingly went to die on the cross to buy back many (Mark 14:24). He faced an unjust trial. But He did not revile in return (Isa 50:6).
Lesson 49 – The crucifixion
Today the people of Mawerero heard the story of the cross death of Jesus Christ. The curtain separating sinners from the holy God was torn in two – God opened the road for you to be with Him. He spilled his blood and drank the cup of God’s anger at sinners so that those who believe in Him can be saved. Why would you not choose to follow this road? Why would you trust in anything except Jesus?
Lesson 50 – The resurrection
The resurrection is essential to the Christian faith: “And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sin.” 1 Corinthians 15:17
Lord Jesus’ death on the cross was sufficient to pay for all sin. The resurrection shows that God’s wrath was indeed satisfied – it is done!
Lesson 51 – Jesus ascends to heaven, the great commission
Zach explained again what it means to repent and believe. Our good deeds are not able to save us, that is not their place. When you repent and turn from your sin, and place your faith in Jesus, and change in direction happens… you are now following a different road. Jesus will then help you to obey Him, and become more holy like Him (2 Peter 1:4-10) You will love Him and show your love and thankfulness through obedience. You will be like the good soil, bearing fruit in keeping with your faith.
Lesson 52 – Revelation 19-22
As believers, we have hope and we look forward to Jesus’ return. “Blessed are those who wash their robes, so that they may have the right to the tree of life and that they may enter the city by the gates.” Rev 22:14
“The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.” Rev 22:17