NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR JANUARY 24, 2021 : TOPIC – CALLED AS INTERCESSOR
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
DATE:, January 24, 2021
TOPIC: CALLED AS INTERCESSOR
DEVOTIONAL READING: 1 Timothy 2:1-7a
BACKGROUND/LESSON SCRIPTURE: John 17:14-24
“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message. John 17:20
Objectives: By the end of the lesson,class members should be able to:
Identify the place of prayer in fulfilling the will of God;
Discuss the importance of praying for others;
Cultivate the lifestyle of an intercessor, like Jesus Christ.
John Knox was a Scottish clergyman and leader of the Protestant Reformation who brought reformation to the church in the Scotland. He was later imprisoned in the late 1540’s for supporting the Protestant Reformation in Scotland. He was a man who believed in God and the potency of prayer that the effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. During his imprisonment, he chose to respond to God’s call as recorded in Ezekiel 22:30 thus: I looked for man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.” He was indeed an intercessor with a daily intercession, “Lord, give me Scotland, or I die. “The Queen of Scotland made a great remark about John Knox’s intercessory lifestyle and the impact it made. Her confession was: “I fear the prayers of John Knox more than all the armies of England.”
The ministry of intercession is one of the heartbeats of God, even though it is not popular. He is constantly searching and calling men and women to stand in the gap for others in families, churches and the nation at large. Today’s lesson examines the importance of the ministry of intercession, focusing on Jesus Christ as our perfect model in all things. Particularly, He earnestly prayed for His disciples and future followers.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED
A. Jesus’ Prayer for the Disciples John 17:14-19
The last few verses of chapter 16 of the gospel of John has the record of Jesus’ promise to go to the Father and His words of assurance to His disciples that their mourning will turn to Joy. Like one who gives account of his stewardship to his master, He categorically stated in verse 14 how He delivered His Father’s message but unfortunately, the world hated them because they do not belong to the world, like He does not belong to the world. According to verse 15, His prayer was not for His Father to take them out of the world but for divine protection from the Evil One (the Devil) because they also do not belong to the world. He also prayed for sanctification by the truth because His Word is truth. Like a servant giving report to his master, Jesus declared in verse 18, ” As you sent me into the world, I have sent them into the world.” Thereafter, for their sake, He sanctified Himself so that they too will be sanctified. This prayer is commonly known as the priestly prayer.
Since the time of John the Baptist, God’s prayer for the disciples who would continue with the ministry, after His ascension. It should be noted that the ‘world’ as used in the passage means anything that symbolises hostility to the spread of God’s Word among humankind. Jesus did not pray for His Father to take away His disciples from the world until the divine mandate of reaching the entire world with the Gospel is achieved. Rather, He prayed that they will be made holy with the truth as they live it. Christians should also know that we have a message to preach to the entire world, which we have received from Jesus, according to His claim in verse 18. More importantly, Christians have been called to the ministry of intercession without which God’s purpose for the church may not be fulfilled.
1. In the days of Jesus, some people hated God’s message. Why is it that some people still hate the same message today?
2. Discuss the implication of Jesus’ prayer in verse 19 to believers.
B. Intercession for the Unsaved John 17:20-24
The earthly ministry of Jesus, through which the Father was glorified, was purpose-driven . This was achieved not only through His teaching and preaching of the Word but also through His earnest intercessory prayers to the Father for future followers, “…I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message,” (v. 20). His prayers is in segments. He prayed:
For unity, the type that exists between Him and His Father (v. 21).
That the disciples will be in them (Jesus and God) so that the world may believe that He was sent by God.
That they will be given to Him so that they will be with Him.
That He (Jesus) will take back the glory that was His from all eternity. The idea of giving glory to His Father has to do with God making real to the world the loving unity shown by Jesus’ disciples (John 13:35; 15:22-23). Jesus further affirmed that He has given the disciples the same glory He had received for the sake of unity of the spirit. The reason for His declaration was for the world to know that He is from God and that God loves them as He (Jesus) loves Him(God).
From our passage, verse 21 and 22 explain the reason for Jesus’ intercession for those who would believe in Him. The kind of unity Jesus interceded for before the Father is an inclusive and relational one. This indeed is a standard and a foundation for the Father. It seems today’s church has lost the essential ingredient of unity of the spirit. There is high level of segregation between churches and denominations and in the process, we have lost Jesus’ mandate of reaching and interceding for lost souls. Christians should be reminded that Jesus’ desire for the church is to be one fold. For this, He lived, ministered, interceded, died, was raised and live forever.
1. What does Jesus’ model of prayer teach Christians about the ways we should pray for others?
2. Discuss the place of intercession in soul winning.
FELLOWSHIP AND MINISTRY BUILDING ACTIVITY
Encourage class members to prayerfully choose a prayer partner and make a list of the Unsaved people they know and begin to pray for them.
Let them identify some steps that will promote unity among Christians.
Christians should cultivate the habit of praying for the salvation of the unsaved
God expects us to stand in the gap for others.
God’s Word and His Spirit should guide our prayers.
Though we are in the world but we are not of the world.
Believers should endeavour to promote unity wherever they find themselves.
Pray for our nation and leaders.