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Why is Jesus so special?

Study the Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke or John to do an in-depth Gospel study.

Rationale

God’s ultimate revelation of himself is Jesus. In John 1:1-18 Jesus is called the Word of God, the one who was with God and is God, who has become flesh so that in him the Father might be revealed to us. To know God, we need to look at Jesus and it is in the Gospels that Jesus is set before us. So, a deep understanding of the Gospels, gained only by actually reading them, is mandatory to students coming to really see God. Jesus is the centre of the Bible. The Old Testament points to him and he both fulfills it and is the key to understanding it, and the New Testament flows from it, with the end of age being Jesus enthroned as the Lord of all.

Key concepts

  • Who is Jesus?
  • The Trinity
  • Meeting God
  • He died for us
  • The Resurrection – fact or fiction?
  • He enables us to live for Him and love Him
  • Jesus shows us how to live
  • If you want to know what God is like – look at Jesus.  If you want to know how we as humans should live – look at Jesus
  • The Second Coming

Scripture references

Choose one gospel to read/work through with the students:

  • Matthew has more of the teaching of Jesus
  • Mark is short and concise with lot of miracles (action)
  • Luke is the most thorough, more contextualisation before and after Jesus’ earthly ministry
  • John contains lot of private conversations and is more reflective

Resources

Sample Program: Who is God?

http://www.whoisjesus-really.com/

Why is the Resurrection important? - discusses the place of the resurrection in Christianity

Alister McGrath on the Resurrection of Jesus - discusses the historical reliability of the resurrection

Gary Habermas website dedicated to the resurrection of Jesus - wide range of resources in a variety of formats, including text and videos by a major Christian apologist

YouVersion – full length videos of Jesus and of The Gospels

YouTube 

 

The One Minute Apologist on the Resurrection of Jesus

 

Soren Kierkegaard: Parable of the King and the maiden

Matthias Media: Historical Jesus, by John Dickson

Matthias Media: The Essential Jesus, John Dickson  

The Gospel of Matthew: a DVD with characters using NIV word for word Nest Entertainment

Books

Basic Christianity by John Stott

The Jesus I never knew by Phillip Yancey

CEP publication - Mistaken Identity

Ideas/Strategies for Lessons

Read/work through one of the gospels in full – then bring all 4 accounts together at the end to piece together the full story of the arrest, crucifixion and resurrection.
View a movie of a gospel – pause regularly to discuss.
Let students read and act out loud in the classroom – allocate different groups to create short plays of different sections of the gospel
Focus on the Resurrection - what is the evidence, the arguments for and against? Have the students choose sides and debate it, or perhaps have them debate the the teacher
Do character studies, research work, represent it digitally on the key powerbrokers, e.g. Herod, Pharisees, John the Baptist, the disciples, Mary Magdalene, Mary & Joseph, etc.
Compare events in the gospel to modern day scenarios – how would Jesus respond to scenarios today, e.g. turn the other cheek on the playground or how would Jesus respond to Asylum seekers (link to Good Samaritan), the woman at the well in Samaria
Create quizzes for the rest of the class, then whole class tries to do all the quizzes to find the team that knows the life of Jesus the best
Create twitter feed as one of the groupies following Jesus, then show them the Youtube clip “Follow Jesus on Twitter"
Create finger puppet animations re-enacting the stories, creating sound effects, props, background scenery, etc.
Conduct historical research on traditions of the day, e.g. crucifixion

Explore Jesus as agent of change. http://www.7culturalmountains.org/apps/articles/default.asp?blogid=4347&view=post&articleid=76023