‘First Love’ Life – Lesson 5
Jesus is Worthy
“Anyone who loves his father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” (Matthew 10:37-39)
Jesus’ words in Matthew can seem harsh at first. They are difficult to understand, but not harsh. He only speaks the truth in love. He is telling us the truth that if we love other people or things more than we love Him, that is an indicator that we don’t understand His love for us. We haven’t fully embraced all that He is. Or, more accurately, WHO He is. If our lives are being transformed in ways that identify us as belonging to Him we are proving His worthiness in our lives. Rather than dissecting what that means exactly (the depths are not reachable!), I suggest we pray earnestly for deeper love for God, as Paul prayed often.
A. Write out Philippians 1:9-11 and make it the focus of your prayer as you begin this study today:
In Revelation 2, when Jesus invites us back to our first love, He tells us to ‘remember.’ “Remember the height from which you have fallen (Rev. 2:5).” The height of God’s love was fully revealed through the cross of Christ. For the next several days, we are going to take the time to ‘remember’ that demonstration of complete love. Again, ask God to make your love for Him abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight as you meditate on His Word.
B. Hopefully you’ve taken the time to become familiar with a gospel. You’ve seen Jesus do miracles. You’ve witnessed His compassion and deep concern for the poor, the sick, the suffering and the lost; for those marginalized by society. When you study a gospel looking at the heart of Jesus, you can’t help but grow in your love for Him. Now, looking at how He chose to die gives us even more insight into Who He is. We will pick up at the last week of Jesus physical life on earth. Describe the situation from John 11:45-57:
- Why did Jesus withdraw?
- Why were people looking for him in the temple area?
- Powerful men (Pharisees, Sanhedrin) were plotting to arrest and kill Jesus. These were the religious leaders of the Jews given power by the Roman government. Why did they want to kill Jesus (v.48)?
- Caiphas (the high priest) believed that if they got rid of Jesus (one man) the Romans wouldn’t kill them all (v. 49-50). His ‘prophecy’ had much deeper significance than he realized, didn’t it? Share your thoughts on this:
Life Points . . .
Meditate on the sovereignty of God’s plan even as it is carried out at the hands of evil men. What does this fact reveal to you about God?
A. Jesus leaves the desert and heads toward Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover and to become the true sacrificial lamb. He goes to the home of Lazarus (whom Jesus raised from the dead, see John 11:38-44), Mary and Martha. Read John 12:1-10. Describe this scene:
- What did Mary do?
- Why did Judas object?
- What do you learn about Jesus from His response in verse 7?
- Why did the crowd show up?
- What did the chief priests plan to do now? Why?
B. Read John 12:12-19. If you are new to studying the Bible, some of these details may seem confusing to you. Don’t get discouraged. Even Jesus’ disciples were confused! Just learn what you can at this point. We could study the life of Jesus our whole lives and never fully conceive all that is there. For those of you who are seasoned students, dig deeper! Take time to cross reference, to study the background, etc., to gain new insight.
- What happened the next day?
- The King entered the city on a young donkey. What does this reveal to you about our King?
- What could the Pharisees not control?
Life Points . . .
- Mary’s love for Jesus compelled her to ignore the cultural norms and to give generously to Her King. How does her story affect you?
- The testimony of Jesus could not be silenced. People knew that the authorities were looking for Jesus to arrest Him, and they knew that being associated with Him was dangerous. At this point, they came anyway. Why do you think they did that?
- Why do we hesitate so much when it comes to talking about Jesus with people who don’t know Him yet?
- Do you want to love Him like Mary does? Talk to Him about that. What will you offer Him that will cost you?
DAY THREE AND FOUR
A. We are continuing to look deeply into the last week of Jesus’ earthly life. Pray for more insight and knowledge so your love will abound. You are going to be reading heavy words from the heart of God. Take a moment and prepare your heart. Simply ask the Holy Spirit to reveal His truth to you. Remember, Jesus prayed that your knowledge of Him would increase so that you will be One with Him (John 17:26, Lesson One). He is answering that prayer!
We are devoting two days of study to this passage because it is so crucial and cannot be rushed. Slowly read John 12:20-33 aloud.
Read verses 23-26 again. Write out verse 23 in the space provided:
- What is Jesus saying?
- In verse 24, Jesus immediately starts explaining the miracle of death. Is this what you would expect a King to talk about when it comes to glory?
- What principle does He explain?
B. Write out verse 25:
- Jesus says what He means. He says it directly. He is very matter of fact. We want Him to expound, to give us a three-point outline and directions on how, don’t we? In verse 26 He does tell us what those who love Him will do. What does He say?
- How will the Father respond to this relationship?
C. Read John 12:27-33. We know that Jesus is now referring to the fulfillment of why He came; the full extent of His love and glory of the Father. His heart is troubled. Do you find that interesting? Do you ever think about Jesus’ heart being troubled? Share your thoughts:
- What was Jesus committed to?
- Jesus was preparing to die. The Father speaks out. What does He say?
- “Now is the time,” “this is the hour,” “the hour has come,” “for this very reason.” In verse 31-32 Jesus reveals the reason. What is it?
- We know that Jesus died for our sins (which is huge!), but do you ever think about the fact that He died to endure the judgment of the whole world?
- How did Jesus word this in John 3:15-16?
- What is accomplished through this judgment according to John 12:31?
D. When He is (was) raised on the cross (v. 32), what will (did) that accomplish?
- How was Christ able to accomplish this according to 2 Corinthians 5:21?
- Hebrews 7:25-27:
- 1 Peter 1:18-19:
- 1 Corinthians 6:19-20:
- 1 Corinthians 7:23:
Life Points . . .
End your time of study today by simply meditating on the verses above. We will end the week study tomorrow with some specific life points.
The tension in writing a five day format study is that we cover too much territory too quickly in order to fill up the pages of study. How tragic it would be to rush the words Jesus is speaking to us in order to fill lines on a page. Remember, our goal is to know Him and to live in intimacy with Him. So, take some time with these life points. Review days 1-4. Read John 12:1-33 again.
Life Points . . .
- We can’t begin to imagine the wrath of God’s judgment that Jesus endured on the cross for us, so we may live or the price He paid. This was the glory He came to fulfill. What new insights have you gained from your study?
- How is Jesus worthy of your first, highest love?
- When you picture the King riding in on a worthless donkey and predicting His own death to unknown men and women, how does your view of Him expand?
- In light of what you’ve studied this week, kneel before God and simply ask, “Father, do I love my life here more than I love You? Show me.” If you sense conviction in your spirit, simply repent. Remember what that means? Agree with Him that you haven’t valued Him in a way that is worthy, and ask Him to change the way you think…which will change the way you live.
- Sometimes it’s helpful to write out a prayer expressing your thoughts and what you are learning. Take some time to do that now.
“This is a journey not a performance and this is not about the destination as much as it is about the company you keep. It is quite an intricate process…this transformation. The battle is largely in and for your mind. Lies are often like slivers in the mind that have to work their way out over time.” —William P. Young
About the author
I've been a Bible Study teacher for years! I LOVE God's word and am thrilled when others fall in love with it too. However, I've noticed that too many of us stop at the 'information' part of study and don't take the time for the 'transformational' power of lingering with the Living Word. I hope you will journey with me as we listen to what the Spirit in us longs to teach us as we pay attention to His Voice. May God richly bless you with deep roots in Him.View all articles by: Grace Cabalka
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