- To understand who Jesus is and the amazing life he lived
WHO IS JESUS?
13 When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” 16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus’ identity was hotly debated in his day, and still is to this day! This study will focus on who Jesus is and the amazing life he lived.
Q. Who do you say Jesus is?
JESUS WAS BOTH HUMAN AND DIVINE
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcomea] it.
1 JOHN 1:1-4
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touched—this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. 2 The life appeared; we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. 3 We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. 4 We write this to make oura] joy complete.
- John is speaking of Jesus as “the Word.” Jesus was with God in the beginning, but more than that—he “was God.” All of creation was accomplished through him, and he brought the light of God into the darkness. Jesus spoke the very words of God.
- Jesus was also fully human! He could be heard, seen, and touched. His followers walked with him, and their message was about all they experienced in his very human life.
Note: Jesus’ teaching and his miracles speak to his divinity (Matthew 4:23-25).
JESUS WAS EXPECTED
1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah,a] the Son of God,b] 2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way”c]—
3 “a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”d]
4 And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5 The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River. 6 John wore clothing made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7 And this was his message: “After me comes the one more powerful than I, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. 8 I baptize you withe] water, but he will baptize you withf] the Holy Spirit.”
- Many scriptures written long before the time of Christ looked forward to his coming (Isaiah 40:3 is referenced here). God’s people had expected and looked forward to a messiah for many generations!
- John’s God-given role was to prepare the way for Jesus. Imagine hearing the teaching of John—the Messiah was about to arrive!
Q. After generations of waiting, how might it have felt to know that the Messiah was about to arrive?
JESUS WAS A REVOLUTIONARY TEACHER
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”
28 When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, 29 because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
- Jesus’ teachings set him apart, and those who heard him were often amazed! He taught unlike anyone else because he taught with authority. Let’s look at some of what he taught:
- His teaching on purity (Matthew 5:27-30)
- His teaching on loving your enemies (Matt 5:43-45)
- His teaching on the love of money (Matt 6:24)
Q. How are Jesus’ teachings still revolutionary for our world today?
JESUS DREW ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE TO HIMSELF
4 Now he had to go through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.a])
- According to the prejudices of his day, Jesus shouldn’t even have been in Samaria, and he certainly shouldn’t have been talking to a Samaritan woman! Jesus loved those who many considered unlovable, and he drew people of all kinds to himself.
- Jesus welcomed and spent his time with children,
lepers, and social outcasts such as the Samaritans and tax collectors. He was often ridiculed for the time he spent with “sinners.” Jesus drew all kinds of people to himself, and he is drawing you!
Q. How do you feel about the idea that Jesus is drawing you to himself?
JESUS LOVED BEYOND MEASURE
JOHN 13:1-5, 34-35
13 It was just before the Passover Festival. Jesus knew that the hour had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.
2 The evening meal was in progress, and the devil had already prompted Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, to betray Jesus. 3 Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; 4 so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. 5 After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.”
- Washing feet was a humble act of service, a dirty job reserved for lowly household servants. Jesus humbled himself greatly by doing this for his disciples.
- Jesus taught us a new standard of love through his actions and called us to that same love.
Q. How is this kind of love different than what we see in the world around us?
JESUS CALLED PEOPLE TO FOLLOW HIM
18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him. 21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
- Jesus called people to follow him, to walk with him, to learn from him, and to imitate his life. His calling is no different for people today.
- Jesus’ life and teachings inspired people to leave everything else behind and follow him.
Q. What changes do you think you can make in your life in order to follow Jesus?
JESUS GAVE PEOPLE A NEW START
3 Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. 2 He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” 3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.a]” 4 “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” 5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spiritb] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘Youc] must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”d]
- Jesus gives us an opportunity to start a new life.
Q. What do you think it means to be born again?
Q. What does that involve?
Q. Have you ever had a born-again experience like the Bible describes? Q. What would it require of you to have a new start?
What strikes you the most about the life of Jesus and who he is?
Going back to Jesus’ question in Matthew 16, who do you say Jesus is? Do you believe
Note: Encourage the person you are studying with to read the Sermon on the Mount in its entirety.
Matthew 5-7 Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount
John 3:14-17 Jesus came to save the world through his death
John 3:14-17 Jesus came to save the world through his death
1 Thessalonians 4:16-18 Jesus will come back for his followers
Hebrews 4:14-16 Jesus was tempted as we are
Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus offers rest for the weary and burdened
John 7:37-38 Jesus offers to quench our spiritual thirst
Colossians 1:15-20 Jesus was and is supreme in every way