Saturday, February 7, 2015

Lesson - Who People Thought Jesus Was

VERSES:   Matthew 16:13-20

MEMORY VERSE:   Matthew 16:16  "And Simon Peter answered and said, "Thou art the Christ, the Son of the Living God."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Since we have finished learning the books of the New Testament and have reviewed them many times, we will begin learning the 39 books of the Old Testament. There are songs to help with memorization on this blog. (See The Books Of The Old Testament and The Books Of The New Testament - March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3.)

PRAYER:   Pray that we will never speak evil of good and good of evil. May we always study and know the difference between both.

SPECIAL SONG:    No, Not One   (see June - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #6.  Click on orange circle for tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Bible map of Caesarea Philippi; Draw five men's pictures (John, the baptizer, Elijah, Jeremiah, A Prophet, Jesus) on the white board or blackboard before class. As you tell the lesson, write each man's name under his picture (you do NOT need to be an artist! Stick men will do). When you reach the part of the lesson where Peter says the memory verse (see above), erase the other men's pictures, leaving Jesus alone.

  • Jesus was very popular during the past lessons we have studied. He was constantly healing the sick, diseased, lame, maimed, blind, and dumb (Matthew 15:29-31), He was performing miracles which included feeding the great crowds at least twice, and He taught the people by speaking to them in parables and by direct commands. Most of the things Jesus did pleased the vast crowds of people, but there was a very important group of people who were not pleased. These were the unhappy, fault-finding, mocking, and vain Pharisees and Sadducees, who were the more important Jews because they sat on powerful councils. 
  • Occasionally, these groups of Jews would try to trick Jesus into doing something that they wanted Him to do like show them signs (Matthew 16:1). Sometimes, they were angry that Jesus said He was from heaven, as we learned in our lesson last time (see February - Lesson - Jesus Is The Bread Of Life). 
  • Even the lower class of Jews were amazed at His teachings (Matthew 13:53-58), especially when Jesus taught in His hometown of Nazareth because the Jews there knew Jesus' earthly family--Joseph, Mary, His brothers, James, Joses, Simon, and Judas, and His sisters. The Jews could not understand how Jesus had learned all the things He was teaching.
  • At times, Jesus would say things that were true directly to the Pharisees and Sadducees. They did not like Jesus' truth. Jesus did not want His disciples to be influenced by the Pharisees and Sadducees who were hypocrites and did not do as they said themselves, but wanted everyone else to do what they said. 
  • When Jesus traveled to Casarea Philippi, He asked His disciples, "Who do people say that I am?" They said that some people thought He was John the baptizer, some thought He was Elijah, and others thought He was Jeremiah or one of the prophets. Then, Jesus wanted to know who His disciples thought He was. Simon Peter spoke first. He said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus blessed Peter for saying that statement and said that he was Peter and upon this rock, or the statement Peter just said, Jesus would build His church and nothing would prevail against it. Jesus also said that He would give the keys of the kingdom to Peter. Then Jesus told His disciples not to tell anyone that He was Jesus the Christ. 
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Did you know Jesus had brothers and sisters? Read Matthew 13:55-56.
  • Did you know that the name "Peter" means "rock?" The Greek word used for this kind of rock is "petra." When Jesus says that He is going to build His church upon this "Rock," Jesus uses another Greek word for rock. This kind of rock is "Petros." They mean different things. This is important to know because some people say that Jesus built His church on Peter and that is not what this verse is talking about. Jesus built His church upon Peter's statement that Jesus was the Son of the Living God.
  • Notice that Jesus did NOT say that He would build His CHURCHES, but simply His church. Not a multiplicity of churches and denominations, but one church--His church
ACTIVITY:   Who Do Men Say That I Am?
Materials needed:  Any light colored 12" x 12" construction paper (I used turquoise), scissors, crayons.
  1. Hand out paper.
  2. Fold paper down 5 inches.
  3. Do not unfold.
  4. Fold the paper in thirds. 
  5. Unfold.
  6. Cut out the top rectangles that are opposite each other, cutting only the top folded-down paper, not the bottom paper. 
  7. Cut four strips on top section of paper.
  8. Write one name, "John, the baptizer," "Elijah," "Jeremiah," and "One of the other prophets", on each strip at top. These are the disciples' suggestions.

  9. Write "but Peter said, "You are the CHRIST, the SON of the LIVING GOD." inthe bottom section across the three sections.
  10. Close the bottom flaps.
  11. Write "Jesus asked His disciples, 'Who do men say that I am?" and "Matthew 16:13-20" across both flaps.
  12. Color.
  13. The intent of this project is to fold down all of the suggestions towards the back of the paper, so they cannot be seen from the front view. Closing the front flaps, read the title. Then, as the suggestions of who the men thought Jesus was are said aloud, each suggestion is held up. For example, 
  14. One by one the names are read, i.e. John the baptizer, Elijah, Jeremiah, and one of the other prophets, and are folded back down so they cannot be seen. In the end, the front flaps are opened with Peter's correct response.
  15. Fold back up and take home.