Want to learn more about The Wonder of Jesus? Use these Bible Studies for personal devotion, group Bible studies, or teaching a church class. Below are links to the lessons in this 13-part series.
When a potential client first tells me his story, I
often feel like I am looking at a purse being dumped out on my desk.
There are so many facts to consider, but just a few of them have any
relevance to the client’s legal claim. My job is to sift through the
facts, and focus on which ones are legally important. Often, clients
want to focus on facts that are important to them, but have little to
do with winning the case. This week we look at what I consider to be
the most important fact in the world: Who was Jesus? If you want to
win in this life and the life hereafter, there is no more important
fact upon which to focus. So, let’s jump right into our study of the
Bible and do that right now!
In my limited exposure to history and world religions,
the claims about Jesus seem unique. Judaism is either waiting for a
Messiah or has lost interest in the subject. Islam’s highest claim
for someone who once lived on earth is “prophet.” The “god-king”
claims of many earthly rulers never seemed to extend beyond their
life here. People expected that the next ruler would occupy the same
spot as “god-king.” Jesus makes unique claims which are backed by the
Old Testament – a book accepted by Jews, Muslims and Christians.
Let’s plunge right into our Bible study see what the Bible has to say
about the Deity of Jesus!
A friend sent me a video clip from an Oprah television
show in which Oprah argued vigorously that there are many different
paths to truth and heaven. She is not alone. This is the philosophy
of the day – everyone has an equally valid opinion. The one exception
would be if you did not agree. In that case your opinion would not be
a valid “path.” The Bible does not accept the “diverse opinions are
equally right” theory. Rather, it teaches that you are either right
or wrong. There is no neutral ground. One subject on which you are
either right or wrong is the subject of this week’s lesson: the
humanity of Jesus. The Bible claims that Jesus is fully human and
(as we studied last week) fully God. Let’s dive into our study this
week of the human “side” of Jesus!
Most of my e-mails these days end with the closing
“Blessings.” Exactly what would you think this means? My thought is
to have God bless the person to whom I’m writing. But, that does not
answer the question: “What is a blessing?” What am I wishing on the
other person? When I looked at the Greek word translated “blessed,” I
found that it meant (according to Strong’s) “happy,” “fortunate,” and
“well off.” Would you like to be blessed? This week we turn our
attention to the wisdom of what Jesus was trying to teach us. Let’s
start with His teaching on how to be happy!
Last week we studied Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount and the
kind of attitude it teaches that we should have if we want to be
happy. Attitudes result in actions. This week we look at the kinds
of actions which Jesus displayed towards us. Are these the same we
should display towards others? Are these the natural out-working of
the Sermon on the Mount? Let’s dive into our lesson and find out!
Do you ever wish that God would sit down with
you and explain exactly what He thinks you should and should
not do? No need to be in doubt. Now you can know! I’ve had
those thoughts many times. Sometimes Jesus’ teachings are
confusing. On the other hand, I know myself well enough
that sometimes I like a little ambiguity. That way I can do
what I want and still hold on to my self-deception that I’m
doing God’s will. This week we look at some sayings of Jesus
that, if we understand them correctly, challenge us to a
very high level of obedience and a very high level of trust.
Let’s dive into our lesson and learn more!
Have you ever had a spiritual leader who had an
approach that did not fit your style? Did some new worship ideas make
you uncomfortable? Our lesson this week is about some of Jesus’
conduct which was quite puzzling. It made a lot of people angry. When
we get angry about the actions of our spiritual leaders, how can we
know who is truly doing God’s will? How can we know when we need to
speak out and when we need to just keep quiet? Let’s jump into our
study and see what answers we can find in the Bible!
Serious Christians view life as a progression. They
steadily (or maybe unsteadily) make progress towards holiness. Their
desire is to become more trusting, more obedient, more of a true
servant of God. Whenever I’ve thought about this or read about it, I
always considered it a walk. No one told me that I should be
jogging, or worse, sprinting towards holiness. In my case sprinting
would be a bad idea because I’m constantly seeking to find the right
direction. I hate to go backwards, fast. It reminds me of the days
when we owned a motorhome. It averaged about 6.6 miles to the
gallon. When we were lost, my solution was to drive until I found
the answer. My wise wife wanted me to pull over, shut off the engine
and figure out where we were. She could not stand paying for 6.6
miles to the gallon going the wrong way! This week our lesson is
about the “intensity” of Jesus’ walk. Let’s dive into our study of
the Bible and find out what that means!
When I first started driving a car, I was concerned
about how to stay in my own lane. This was important because 99% of
the roads in my area only had two lanes. People in the adjacent lane
would be driving towards me at a high rate of speed! I came up with
the theoretical idea that I should line up the hood ornament with the
dividing line on the road. (This can only work from the passenger-side seat or the back seat – which is no doubt where I was when
working out this great theory.) Any experienced driver knows this is
foolishness. Experienced drivers automatically “know” when they are
in their own lane. Driving is like the Christian life, except a whole
lot of people seem to be off in the weeds or at least on the wrong
side of the road. One area in which people seem to get “off in the
weeds” has to do with Jesus’ love. It seems they have one of two
extremes. Either they cannot trust Him to love them, or they know
Jesus so little that they are shocked to hear that He is also the
Judge in a final judgment in which the penalty is eternal death. This
week we look at Jesus’ attitude of love. Let’s see if we can get the
feel for the right side of the road!
If you read these lessons regularly, you know that I
always consider the logic of the Bible text. If I were in the sandals
of those listening to Jesus, how would I react? What is logically the
message from God? One message which I have historically had a very
difficult time with is the logic of salvation. Why does the death of
my God give me eternal life? Why does it satisfy the death penalty
imposed on me for my sin? The logic of American justice is completely
contrary. When I was in law school, I was taught the old saying “It
is better to let 1,000 guilty people go free than to execute one
innocent person.” Why would God have a plan in which the Innocent One
is tortured and killed? How does this logically “add up” as payment
for my guilt? Let’s dive in and see what we can find in the Bible!
Have you ever had some really good news that was pretty
bad news for someone else? If you were in their presence, how did you
react? If you have emotional intelligence, you were probably
restrained about your good news and said something comforting to the
other person about their bad news. This week our study is about the
resurrection of Jesus. This was excellent news for us and terrible
news for Satan and his angels. In this case we don’t have to be
polite or show emotional intelligence. We can just cheer loudly.
Why? Because Satan’s goal was to kill you and keep you dead. Now
that Jesus has been resurrected, we know that if we accept Him we
will be resurrected to be with Him eternally. Let’s dive in to find
out more about our really good news and the fight to keep it a
Have you ever had someone ask you, “What have you done
for me lately?” Our studies for the last two weeks have been the
death and resurrection of Jesus. How glorious was Jesus’ triumph over
death! But, that was over 2,000 years ago. Is that the end of the
story? What, if anything, is Jesus doing now? If He is doing
something, is He doing it for you and me? Let’s plunge into our study
of the Bible and find out!
What is next for the believer? Last week we learned how
we can have confidence in our salvation. What does salvation do for
us? We are not going to dwell on this point, but salvation lets us
avoid hell. The edge of the “Great Dismal Swamp” is not too far from
where I work and the swamp is currently on fire. Smoke blankets
everything. The whole area smells like wood burning or a barbeque.
Coming inside from the smoke and turning my thoughts to the future
for believers reminded me of that we are avoiding hell. What is the
positive side of things? What will heaven be like? That is worthy of
extended discussion. Let’s dive into the Bible and find out!