"You have to work hard to offend Christians. By nature, Christians are the most forgiving, understanding, and thoughtful group of people I've ever dealt with. They never assume the worst. They appreciate the importance of having different perspectives. They're slow to anger, quick to forgive, and almost never make rash judgments or act in anything less than a spirit of total love . . . No, wait--I'm thinking of Labrador retrievers!" David Learn, 1998

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Who is This Man? (2nd of 12) JESUS: SON OF MARY

                                JESUS: SON OF MARY
"Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas?"
                          Jesus' neighbors in Nazareth

Note: We're going to be jumping around the Bible, but hang on--it will be worth the ride! You can use the Table of Contents in the front of whatever version of the Bible you prefer--or use one of the online translations at Online Parallel Bible. We will be linking to New International Version.

     As we start our study of Jesus Christ, also called Jesus of Nazareth, we are going to look at his humanity. Was he fully human? Did he develop as we do, feel as we do, respond as we do? As you read these verses, try to avoid adding anything you already know or think you know about him. Also, for now, set aside references in the passages to angels, prophecy, wise men, anything supernatural. Just limit your answers to what these verses say, looking for clues suggesting that Jesus Christ was a real human being.

From the following passages, what words or phrases indicate Jesus was fully human?  

1. Was he born? Born to a specific woman? In a specific town? At a specific time in history? We will read about his birth from two accounts, one written by a tax collector named Matthew and the other by a doctor named Luke. For now, just look for facts like his mother's name and the place and time of his birth.
     a. Matthew 1:18 (Matthew chapter 1, verse 18)
     b. Luke 2:1-7 
     c. Luke 2:21
     d. Matthew 1:24
     e. Matthew 1:25
     f. Matthew 2:1

2. What responses (one or more) are displayed in the following verses? Which of these are emotional responses and which are physical behaviors?
     a. John 4:6; Mark 4:38
     b. Luke 4:1-2; Luke 24:41-43
     c. John 11:35
     d. Mark 3:5
     e. Mark 8:12
     f.  Matthew 26:37
     g. Mark 10:21a 

3. Find phrases in the following verses which indicate something about the humanity of Jesus. Which of these indications are physical and which developmental (or other).
     a. Luke 2:52
     b. Hebrews 2:14a ("a" refers to the first part of the verse)
     c. Hebrews 2:17a
     d. Hebrews 10:5b

4. Was he tempted to do wrong?
     a. Luke 4:2
     b. Hebrews 4:14-15 (Read both verses; then look for the answer to the specific question above in verse15)

5. Did he die? What evidences for this are given in
     a. Matthew 27:33-50 (esp. v. 50)
     b. Mark 15:22-37 (esp. v. 37)
     c. Luke 23:46 (esp. v. 46)
     d. John 19:17-35 (esp. vs.30 and 34)
     e. I Cor. 15:3-4

BONUS QUESTION: If he was not born in Nazareth, why is he known as Jesus of Nazareth? Read Luke 2:4 and Luke 2:39 to figure out your answer.

Just from this first lesson, what can we conclude about Jesus? Who is this man? We will be building up from this foundation.

(To be continued January 16.)

Today I'm thankful for godly role models.

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