NBC Sunday School Manual For September 17, 2023 :Topic – JESUS GIVES GOD GLORY.
SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR YOUR PREPARATION
NBC SUNDAY SCHOOL OUTLINE
Theme for the Month:
“LOVE COMPLETES, LAW FALLS SHORT”
DATE: SUNDAY, 17TH SEPTEMBER, 2023.
TOPIC: JESUS GIVES GOD GLORY.
Devotional Reading: Psalm 119:113-128.
Background Scripture: John 7:15-24.
Lesson Scripture: John 7:15-24.
“Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; therefore, there is nothing false about him.” John 7:18.
By the end of the lesson, class members should be able to:
● Explain what the Feast of Tabernacles meant to the Jews.
● Discuss the people’s accusation against Jesus and His response to them.
● Say what they would do when they are challenged for speaking the truth.
Festivals are like centenaries and anniversaries. They are events people, organisations, institutions and families celebrate to commemorate special milestones or memories. Festivals take place in all cultures all over the globe. They are expressive ways to remember and celebrate glorious heritage, culture, tradition and special happenings. Some organisations and institutions celebrate their Founder’s Day just like some couples and individuals celebrate their wedding anniversary and other important events. Some countries like Nigeria also celebrate special events like Independence Day every October 1st in remembrance of freedom from the colonialists. The Israelites celebrated different festivals like the Passover in remembrance of their departure from Egypt. The Feast of Tabernacles was another great Festival the Israelites celebrated. It is also known as the Feast of Booths. It was celebrated in remembrance of the forty years pilgrimage in the desert where they dwelt in tents. The celebration generally lasted seven days, from the fifteenth day to the twenty-second day of the seventh month of the Jews called Tishrei. was an annual event, which was celebrated at the end of the year when the harvest season was over. Every Jewish male child was expected to participate in it (Exodus 23:14-17; Deuteronomy 16:16). They were also expected to live in booths made of boughs of trees and branches of palm trees throughout the seven days of the celebration.
Today’s lesson centres on Jesus’ teaching at the festival of Tabernacle at the temple courts, the people’s charges against Him and His response. He had healed a man on the Sabbath day during one of His visit and announced to the rulers that He is the Son of God (John 5:18) for which they planned to kill Him. His ministry was already drawing to a close and He further presented His claim that He was sent from God. He said to them, “Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; therefore, there is nothing false about him” (John 7:18). This statement was His reaffirmation that He was sent from God and so, there is no falsehood in Him.
THE LESSON EXPLAINED…
A. JESUS ASCRIBES GLORY TO GOD:
The Feast of Tabernacle was one of the festivals the Israelites celebrated with high esteem. It was celebrated once in a year for seven days. It was usually characterised by the erection of huts made of branches of trees, the gathering of different plants and a prayer of thanksgiving to God. It was in commemoration of the 40 years journey of the Israelites in the wilderness. Jesus’ ministry was centred in Galilee because the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem had planned to arrest and kill Him (John 7:1). Although Jesus initially declined going to Jerusalem because His time has not yet come (vv. 2-6), His brothers persuaded Him to attend the feast so that His works in Galilee will be seen by His disciples. No sooner had He entered the temple courts than He began to teach. The Jews who had issues with His true identity were really surprised (v.12). They asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught”? Jesus’ response was amazing. He acknowledged the fact that His teaching is from God, His Father who sent Him. He said, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from comes from God or whether I speak on my own (vv 16-17). He emphasised that anyone who speaks on their own apart from His Father, does so because of personal gains and glory. In contrast, anyone who acknowledges the glory of His Father is a truthful person.
The Jews recognised that Jesus was speaking the truth about His Father, thus they said, “…without having studied” meaning that Jesus has not studied under a recognised Rabbi as a disciple. They did not know that His Father from whom He came, had been His Teacher (John 4:34). Even though He came from His Father and was speaking the truth, He demonstrated humility. He rejected the suggestion from His brothers to show Himself publicly because His time has not yet come to make public show of Himself, as the Son of God (v.6). Jesus attributed glory to God from whom He came and had been His “Rabbi”. There are two important lessons in this passage: Jesus’ humility and giving glory to God. He did not speak of His own for personal glory. He humbly stated that His teaching came from the Father who sent Him (v.16), and as such, there was nothing deceitful about Him. In fact, no one is qualified to ascribe glory himself for whatever reasons otherwise; such a person will be regarded as a liar. Therefore, Christians should avoid the temptation to take credit for whatever God is doing through them. We should remember that we are only stewards sent by God to do His will.
1. Discuss what could have made the people to say, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?”
2. Explain what Jesus meant by saying that His teachings came from God.
B. JESUS JUSTIFIES HIS HEALING ON THE SABBATH:
The Jews rated themselves high because they possessed the Mosaic Law. They hold on to it so strongly that to them, nothing else can be more important. However, they themselves were not faithful in keeping these laws (Romans 2:17). If they truly understood the law of Moses and practiced it appropriately, their accusations against Jesus would have been justified. Out of hypocrisy, they accused and sought to kill Jesus for healing a man who had been sick for thirtyeighty years, on the Sabbath day (John 5:5-18). Jesus confronted them of the plot to kill Him and the crowd became angry and accused Jesus of being possessed by a demon. Jesus confronted them again with the issue of circumcision, which they believe must be done even on Sabbath day. He explained to them that circumcision was not even originally from Moses but from the patriarchs (Genesis 17:9-14) and if they see no fault in circumcising a child on the Sabbath, then healing on a Sabbath day should also be permitted. This implies that the law of the Sabbath can be set aside for deeds of mercy like healing. It should be noted that Jesus did not condemn the regulations of the Sabbath, He only showed the Jews the true meaning of Sabbath. He was emphatic in verse 24 and said to them, “Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly”
Jesus’ admonition in verse 24 not to judge by mere appearance but with the right judgment is applicable to all believers in Christ Jesus. Before we criticise and blame people for their actions, we should ensure we understand the law and interpret it correctly otherwise, we will be guilty of misjudging people like the Pharisees and the teachers of the law.
1. According to the passage, what exactly was Jesus’ offence that made the people conclude that He was demon possessed?
2. What lessons do verse 24 teaches believers?
Fellowship and Ministry Building Activity:
● Let a class member share with the class how he was wrongly accused and criticised. The lessons learnt and how he was able to overcome it.
Take Home: Write down some lessons you are taking home from today’s lesson?
● Based on today’s lesson, make a commitment to speak the truth always, no matter the pressure to do otherwise.
Happy Sunday in Advance.
Remain Inspired & Be Lifted!