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Sunday School is a vital part of any ministry. In it one is able to experience a deeper knowledge of God’s Word. We here at “Word For Life Says” want to help you help others. Below you will find resources to help you prepare for your upcoming lessons. May God bless you!
February 8, 2015
“Serving Neighbors, Serving God”
PDF Lesson Print Out is now Located at the Bottom of the Lesson. Please Scroll Down, Click and Enjoy! Blessings.
(Please Note: All lesson verses and titles are based on International Sunday School Lesson/Uniform Series ©2010 by the Lesson Committee, but all content/commentary written within is original to wordforlifesays.com unless properly quoted/cited)
In a previous article I wrote: “Have a Warmer Heart than Usual” it reads:
“I live in a good distance from the church I attend which means lots of driving and observing time. Often times, on my way to church I look out my window and I stare. Some may think I’m being rude, but it’s the exact opposite. I look at that person sitting on the stoop or the one standing on the corner, and I wonder. I wonder about what they may have gone through that day. I wonder what it is that made that person look so sad. I wonder about the mom on the bus stop struggling to get stroller, baby, and bags onto the bus. I wonder.
How often have we really taken the time to see beyond the people to see the person, to really try to imagine you walking in the shoes of another? To see what’s going on inside the person without judging the outside? To show a tender heart instead of a wagging head, disapproving eyes and a simple tsk-tsk-tsk?
When it’s all said and done, “Mercy triumphs over judgment,” (James 2:13, NKJV). Thinking beyond oneself is going to win out hands down every single time. Why? Because, that’s what Christ did for us! He looked beyond Himself, beyond His own needs and hurts, and saw what the world needed. The world needed a Savior.
Even during His earthly ministry it has been noted in the Bible, “But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion,” (Mt. 9:36, NKJV). To the leper, “Then, Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched out His hand and touched him,” (Mk. 1:41, NKJV). To the mom who just lost her son, “When the Lord saw her, He had compassion on her,” (Luke 7:13, NKJV). To the world, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours be done,” (Luke 22:42, NKJV). To His enemies, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do,” (Luke 23:34, NKJV).
That’s how warm Jesus’ heart was toward people. He had a genuine concern to look at people from the inside out instead of the outside in. He saw the person beyond the people. So did the Good Samaritan. Despite the rejection and animosity he had faced down through the years at the hand of the Jews, this man needed his help. He was not going to let those years of bitterness or even indifference change his resolve to help the one that needed him now.
Paul taught the church in Ephesus to “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us . . .,” (Eph. 4:32-5:2, NKJV).
Imitators of God are concerned with the person on the inside. An imitator of God is warmed to the plight of the human in humanity, and sees them for who they are. They are someone that God is concerned enough about to allow His Son to die. Shouldn’t we then have that same compassion for one another? (© Word For Life Says).
Compassion, though it may seem in today’s world, does not have to be a lost art. We, if we follow the example of Jesus and of those who have gone on before us, can make a difference, not only in a life, but in the world, positively, for change. Through our service to our fellow man we are demonstrating the service of God’s love toward us; thereby serving God as well.
In light of all that Christ has done for us, we have a unique responsibility to show one another love through service. Think about the life of Christ. He said, “Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many,” (Mt. 20:28, KJV). Here is the King of all kings and the Lord of all lords, humbling Himself as a commoner and serving. His focus was never on receiving anything, yet to give it all. The pattern of the Church and those who would serve God should be so likeminded.
25) “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?
26) He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?
27) And he answering said, Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.
28) And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.
29) But he willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?”
It amazes me the lengths that individuals will go through to try to prove a point. Certain men would show up at different points: Pharisees, Herodians, Sadducees and scribes, “to catch him in his words,” (Mark 12:13). These questionings were not honest inquiries rather ways to try to catch Jesus in a trap; “that they might take hold of his words, that so they might deliver him unto the power and authority of the governor,” (Luke 20:20; read 9-19 for more).
The lawyer in today’s lesson was an expert in the religious law or the Law of Moses. His life revolved around the teachings thereof; he knew and possessed the expertise of the time; a very thorough knowledge of what was written and passed down from generation to generation amongst the people of God.
Here, he used his “knowledge” to try to trap Jesus in something he and the other Pharisees and scribes could eventually use against Him in their pursuit of His demise. We see a similar situation play out in Matthew 22:35 and Mark 12:28.
But Jesus turned the tables on him and asked him, “What is written in the law? how readest thou?” Obviously, Jesus knew of the man and who he was and being the expert that he is should be able to readily answer His question as well. It’s one thing to throw questions at another in an attempt to embarrass or discredit; it’s totally different to be put on the spot and have to answer for some theological debate for oneself. Jesus redirected the man’s question to let the law, which he is so familiarly acquainted with, speak for itself.
Note: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16). If there is any question regarding the word, refer back to the word. Jesus used God’s word a lot in many defenses.
What I like is Jesus didn’t initiate this. It was the pride and headiness of those who sought to disprove Him that caused them to pose these questions. Yet, at every turn Jesus, in His quiet and humble way, puts people in their place causing the opposite results in what they were hoping for.
The lawyer’s response was not unexpected. He answered with his recitation of a portion of the Shema. The Shema was a recitation of prayer spoken two times a day. Its instructions are very poignant and meant to solidify one’s relationship and that of his house with God (see Deuteronomy 6:4-7). Though we as Christians do not recite the Shema, it holds in it great principles on rearing a godly house and drawing one closer to God. Here, the lawyer answered, “Thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.”
Note: Because we love Him, everything within our inner being should be wholly and completely devoted to God: the emotions, mind, will and strength. This goes beyond lip service. God wants your inner man devoted to Him rather than surface professions of faith. Why do you think God so approved of David despite his many, many faults? He did so because David’s heart was for God. Act 13:22 says, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after mine own heart. . .” David worshiped God and was devoted to God from the heart. His inner man was tied to God.”
The second portion of his recitation came from Leviticus 19:18b where it states, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
Note: “Love” is a working of the inner man. “Love” is a fruit produced on the inside to affect lives on the outside. “Love” is the committing of oneself for the betterment of others. “Love” wants to close the gap of hindrances that prevent us from being in the relationships we were designed for. “Love” is selfless, patient and kind (see 1 Corinthians 13:4-7). “Love” is the greatest thing that any human can show to another (1 Corinthians 13:13).
Jesus supports his answer as being correct by stating, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” In Matthew 22:40 Jesus states, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” Everything is fulfilled in the following of these two commandments. We are not saved by our works but our works prove to whom we belong. “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone,” (James 2:17; read vss. 14-18).
“But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbor?” I don’t know why this man felt a need to justify himself but the answer that Jesus gives was most certainly not what he was looking for. When one is seeking to justify themselves, in my opinion they are trying to clear themselves from any wrongdoing. Being that this man was in fact a pro at the dealings of the Mosaic Law, he wants to be found, again in my opinion, “right” in his dealings with his fellow man.
Though his title of lawyer was not as we use it today in a court of law, let’s think about that court of law scene for a moment. People go to court to try and convict. Others are there to defend or justify; presenting an excuse to the judge/jury of why they should be cleared of any charges. Again, strictly my opinion, but to me this man was fishing to be exonerated of any wrong toward his fellow man.
30) “And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.
31) And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.
32) And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.
33) But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
34) And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”
To answer the lawyer’s question, Jesus, as He was known to do, told a very illustrative story instead of giving a simple verbal response. What He was about to pose would be thought provoking and should cause some to question whether or not they are truly serving in the love of God.
Many of us are very familiar with this story so I won’t bore you with the obvious. What I do what to point out is the “opposite” ingredient that plays into the mix of things in Jesus’ story. On the one hand we have not one, but two men who are considered righteous workers in the temple of God: the priest and the Levite. Both of these men have been ordained and appointed special positions and special tasks on behalf of the temple, the people and God.
On the other hand we have a despised reject of Jewish society, the Samaritan. One who most would have been considered a nobody, yet became the hero of Jesus’ story and also is definitive proof that no matter how others view you, you can still make an impact in this world for God (just my little side note there J).
Another “opposite” ingredient to look at is not who any of the men are; rather, their actions in coming across the beaten man. The two, the priest and the Levite, for whatever reason chose not to help or even come near to see about the battered man. Some say they wanted to remain ceremonially clean or the like. We just don’t know the exact cause for why they reacted the way they did but Jesus made it a point to tell the story like this so it is more than noteworthy to pay attention to.
To Jesus, their actions were not only opposite to the Samaritan’s, who showed compassion; but their actions were also opposite of what God was looking for. For by the time we reach the end of the story, not in today’s text, Jesus asked, “Which of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?” (Luke 10:36).
The lawyer to whom He presented the question answered, “He that shewed mercy on him,” (Luke 10:37a). Jesus followed with this very important instruction: “Go, and do thou likewise,” (Luke 10:37b), showing what kind of service God was looking for from His people.
We serve God not just in the confines of the church building or temple; we serve God when we reach out to our fellow man and become vessels for His mercy to work through.
This was a prime teaching opportunity to let them know how they treat people matters. Treat people as you yourself would want to be treated or how you think Jesus would treat them. If you have to, really ask yourself WWJD? Or What Would Jesus Do? “God is love,” (1 John 4:8), and those that belong to Him should operate in love also. Everybody wants to be loved and feel the concern of mercy and compassion this man showed, no matter their status in life.
Jesus was teaching that to live and serve as God’s people you will not only have to go against the status quo and cliques of society, but you will also have to fight against your own natural inclinations that don’t want to seek the good of those whom you usually don’t associate with or stretch beyond one’s comfort zone.
God’s people should know how to treat people in any situation or circumstance, whether the times are favorable or not. God’s people have to respond the same way Jesus did. Philippians 2:5 tells us, “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,” (KJV). The NLT says it like this, “You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.”
Loving people; serving them and treating them as one would want to be treated is a priority for living as God’s people and serving Him.
As was already stated in our introduction, we are to “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Therefore be imitators of God as dear children. And walk in love, as Christ also has loved us and given Himself for us . . .,” (Eph. 4:32-5:2, NKJV).
Imitators of God are concerned with the person on the inside. An imitator of God is warmed to the plight of the human in humanity, and sees them for who they are. They are someone that God is concerned enough about to allow His Son to die. Shouldn’t we then have that same compassion for one another?
In order to serve God we have to serve people also. The Good Samaritan became a great and enduring example through the ages of how through serving one’s fellow man we also serve God.
(Click here for PDF: Serving Neighbors, Serving God Sunday School Lesson, or simply click print button below. Enjoy!)
Below are activities to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
Word Search: Serving Neighbors, Serving God Word Search Answers: Serving Neighbors, Serving God Word Search Answers
Word Scramble: Serving Neighbors, Serving God Word Scramble Answers: Serving Neighbors, Serving God Word Scramble Answers
Draw the Scene: Serving Neighbors, Serving God Draw the Scene (Use this PDF link for accurate printing)
How Many Words?: Serving Neighbors, Serving God How Many Words (Use this PDF link for accurate printing)
Below are activities that you saw on a previous lesson: The Privilege of Serving. Since these subjects are so closely related we put them here again to give you even more resources for the lesson this week. Enjoy!
THE HAND CLAPPER:
In getting across the idea of “Serving,” I used crafts incorporating the hands since that’s what we use the most to serve and help others. Enjoy!
Here’s a craft I came up with called “The Hand Clapper”(below). It’s just like the hand clapper/noise makers you can buy, but this one can be made by you and your students. They will get a kick out of this!
card stock, hot glue, big craft sticks, buttons, crayons/markers for decorating, scripture cutout (below)
- Click here to:Print handprint (I used the 5×7 setting to get two to a page).
- Have students decorate/color as they like (it’s easier to do it before cutting it out). Mine is roughly done just for demonstrative purposes.
- Cut out handprints and lay them on top of each other.
- Using hot glue, glue buttons on the inside of the fingers (I found that 3 buttons for each hand was enough). Exercise caution when using hot glue or when letting students use it. You can use regular glue but I think hot glue works best and is faster at drying and letting the children play with their new toy immediately.
- Put a large craft stick in the middle of the two hands and hot glue.
- Cut out and attach the verse reference to your project: Serving Neighbors, Serving God Verse Cut Out (The picture above shows the verse cutout for The Privilege of Serving. If you are doing this project substitute it with the Serving One Another cutout instead).
- Shake and make some noise! Enjoy and have fun.
(This project can be done effectively with 2 or 3 handprints. The picture above is done with 3. It’s easier with two and uses less buttons and supplies and still gets a nice clicking sound. If you choose to use three handprints, you’ll need to use two crafts sticks for stability. You’ll also have to attach buttons on both sides of the middle handprint to get your clicking sound.)
LACE IT UP HANDPRINT:
Another craft idea, is to simply print out this Lace It Up Handprint (below) (on cardstock) that the students can decorate and lace with ribbon or yarn. Attach the verse reference to the finished product: Serving Neighbors, Serving God Verse Cut Out – PDF OF LACE IT UP HANDPRINT
Continuing with our hand theme, print out a handprint (on cardstock) to make a Hanprint Necklace (below); or let the child trace their hand print onto construction paper and cut out. Punch one hole in the top. Using ribbon or yarn and cut up straws, make this necklace for kids to wear and display “Serving Neighbors, Serving God.” (Guess what? I had some leftover beads from a previous project and added them. But this is not necessary. It works just fine with straws since beads can get pricey). Let them decorate it as they see fit. Enjoy! (Don’t forget to attach the verse to it to reinforce the lesson: Serving Neighbors, Serving God Verse Cut Out).
Below are more Activities/Links/Resources to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
“The Good Samaritan Bible Lesson” (Here you will find many, many activities to choose from including WWJD? activities, coloring pages, take home pages and more. Enjoy!)
“The Good Samaritan Activities” (Several to choose from)
“The Good Samaritan” (Several unique activities, printables and story illustrations for the telling of the lesson. Enjoy!)
“First Aide Bag” (A very original, cheap and easy craft your students can put together. I would suggest adding our bible verse from activities found above as a reminder of the lesson. Enjoy!”
“I Can Be a Service Star” (Sugardoodle.net)
“Marshmallow Sheep Memory Verse” from Mssscrafts (Jesus reminds us, “Whatever you do for one of these, you do for me,” Matthew 25:40 and this activity uses marshmallows to illustrate. YUM! Enjoy!)
Coloring Page “Helping Out At Home” (edupics.com)
“Even a Child is Known by his Doing” Coloring Page from blogspot.com
Other “Serving” Lesson Helps and Activities: