NBC Sunday School Manual For December 18, 2022 :Topic – John Prepares The Way
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SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON (NBC)
Sunday, December 18, 2022
TOPIC: JOHN PREPARES THE WAY
Devotional Reading: John 1:29-42
Background Scripture: Luke 3:1-20; John 1
Lesson Scripture: Luke 3:2b-6; Luke 15-18
He went into all the country around Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Luke 3:3
Objectives: By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
I. Describe the ministry of John the Baptist and how he fulfilled it.
II. Discuss how the ministry of John the Baptist helped to usher in the ministry of Jesus Christ.
III. Make commitment to fulfil and be faithful to their ministries as they serve in the body of Christ.
There is a common saying that “All animals are equal but some are more equal than others.” For example, whenever the President of any nation or other important dignitaries plan to visit another country, state, an establishment or community, adequate preparation is made for his safe arrival. Security operatives, ministers, press crew and other government officials usually go ahead to prepare the place for him. In the 70s, whenever an important dignitary is being expected to commission a project or any other assignment, both Primary and Secondary students are made to line up on both sides of the road waving the Nigerian flag as a mark of honour. Shortly before the arrival, there are usually fleet of cars with loud siren to announce his arrival. Meanwhile, other officials would have gotten to the venue ahead of him to ascertain the level of preparedness and perhaps the safety of the place. These officials are not the expected visitor, they are only there to prepare the place for the actual visitor.
Today’s lesson is a continuation of last week. It is a narration of how John the Baptist came to prepare the way for the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. He is not the Messiah, which he clearly stated, but He is the voice in the wilderness, sent ahead by God to prepare the way for the coming Messiah. He was in the wilderness when the Word of came to him. John was born purposely to be a forerunner of Jesus Christ. Later, Jesus testified that John was the greatest man who ever lived (Luke 7:28). He was born around 7 BC to Zechariah, a priest, and Elizabeth, his wife at their very old age.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED
A. John’s Message of Repentance.Luke 3:2b-6
John lived in the wilderness of Jordan. While he was there, the word of the Lord came to him. So he went about preaching about repentance, forgiveness of sin, baptism and the nearness of the kingdom of God.. Long before he was born, his birth had been prophesied and described by prophet Isaiah as a voice crying in the wilderness (Isaiah 40:3). According to verses 4 -7, John’s task while he was in the wilderness is described as:
▪︎A voice of one calling in the desert saying, ‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.” John declared the message of repentance and forgiveness of sin to the people of ready to accept the coming Messiah.
▪︎ He made the heart of people He said that every valley shall be filled, the mountains and hills made level, and the crooked roads shall be made smooth. In other words, he was commissioned to correct the misconception about the coming Messiah. Contrary to the view of the Jews that the Messiah would free them from the Roman government, John made them to know that the coming Messiah would bring salvation to the people both the Jews and Gentile.
▪︎ All human kind will see God’s salvation. God’s original plan of salvation for all humanity be made known to all.
John the Baptist started his public preaching ministry during a critical Roman Empire in the fifteen year of Tiberius Caesar. There was desecration of the priesthood office which made the political and religious leaders and followers corrupt and godless. In fact, the period marked the peak of lawlessness and insecurity. However, it was the same time God decided to implement the final part of His redemptive plan of salvation for all humankind. John was commissioned to prepare the way for the coming Messiah who came for the redemption of His people. The focus of his message was repentance as basis for receiving forgiveness of sin. John’s message of repentance and forgiveness is also relevant in our contemporary time especially now that wickedness and corruption are on the increase.
1. How should Christians present the message of the gospel to make it more effective for the purpose of spiritual transformation? .
2. Discuss the relationship between repentance and forgiveness.
B. A Humble Forerunner. Luke 3:15-18
John’s ministry witnessed a turnaround in Israel as he addressed each category of people within the social system who approached him. His preaching was effective as it brought the hope of the coming Messiah alive. Of course, the people were already awaiting the Messiah and so, they began to speculate if John was the long-awaited Christ, (the Messiah). However, John did not acclaim he was the Messiah but he turned the people’s attention to Jesus, the Messiah for whom he was the forerunner. According to verse 16, he said to them, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to unite. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire.” By this declaration, he made the people to know that every unrepentant sinner will be judged and punished when the Messiah comes. Nevertheless, he urged them to change their ways.
John the Baptist was truly a humble forerunner who revealed Jesus Christ as the Messiah and the One who will come to save the world. He gave a true picture of Jesus’ personality and ministry to the world. He acknowledged Jesus’ ministry as more superior than his such that he claimed he was unqualified to untie His sandals.
Do you think people accepted the testimony of John the Baptist about Jesus Christ? Give possible reasons. John the Baptist did not attract attention to himself like some preachers of today. Discuss the secret of his humility and how it can help God’s servant in this generation.
Commitment: Make a commitment to be faithful in the ministry God has called you to do in your church.
1. Pray that God will open your eyes to see the reason He created you.
2. Pray for the grace and boldness to preach the Gospel to people around you.
3. Pray that God grant you the spirit of humility so that you can fulfill His plan for you.
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
Let the class members identify some of the attributes of John the Baptist. They are to pick a partner with whom they will pray for all Christian leaders for humility and self-less service.
Take Home: Write down three lessons you are taking home from today’s lesson.