JESUS IS HONOURED
Scripture: Luke 19:29–38; John 4:23–24, 12:1–8
Memory verse: Luke 19:38
"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"
Draw three circles, one inside the other, on the chalkboard. Ask students what they do when they worship and praise Jesus. Allow responses, such as raising hands, bowing heads, and clapping. Write these actions in the outer circle. Explain that we do things to show our love for Jesus just as we do things to show our love for family and friends.
Next ask the students what they feel when they praise and worship God. Allow responses, such as joy, love, comfort, excitement, and peace. Write these feelings on the chalkboard in the middle circle.
Finally ask the students their reasons for worshipping God. Students may need some help answering this question. Encourage responses, such as “I worship God because He is great,” or “I worship God because I love Him.” Write these answers in the inner circle.
Emphasize to the students that God wants us to enter into the inner circle of praise and worship. Discuss with the students that singing, clapping, and raising our hands are not all that is involved in worship. True worship comes from our hearts. Worship happens when we believe God is worthy of praise and we respond accordingly.
Ask a student to read John 4:23–24. Explain that God wants us to worship with our actions, feelings, and beliefs. He wants us to worship from our hearts in sincerity. Point out that in this study they will find examples of all three levels of worship—actions, feelings, and beliefs.
Hearing God’s Word
Pretend your family invited guests to your home for dinner.
Ask: “What are some things you would do to make your guests feel special?” (Allow responses.)
If you had lived in Bible times, you would make plans to have your guests’ feet washed when they arrived.
The Custom of Washing Guests’ Feet
Washing guests’ feet was a common custom in Palestine. Most people walked everywhere wearing open sandals. The roads were dusty and the climate was hot and dry, so a guest’s feet were probably dusty and tired when he got to the host’s home.
Water was usually used to wash feet, but on special occasions certain perfumes were used instead. These perfumes were called oils.
(Ask the students to find John 12:1–8 in their Bibles.) In this passage of Scripture we find Jesus returning to Bethany.
Ask: “What important event did we study that took place in Bethany?” (Allow responses.)
Bethany was where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead. It had been only a short time since Lazarus was resurrected, and the family was probably eager to show Jesus their gratitude.
Mary Anoints Jesus’ Feet
While Jesus, Lazarus, and other guests were eating, Lazarus’ sister, Mary, took a pint of oil of nard and anointed the head and feet of Jesus. Then she wiped His feet with her hair.
Nard was oil made from a plant that grew mostly in India. Nard had to be imported, and that made it very expensive. The oil Mary poured over Jesus feet was worth about a year’s wages in those days.
Ask: “Why did Mary do this?” (Allow responses.)
Mary was showing her love in the best way she knew. Instead of using a towel, she wiped Jesus’ feet with her hair. This was a sign of complete humility and love for Jesus. Mary was not concerned with the cost of the perfume. She knew Jesus was worthy of her gift of love.
Judas Grumbles about the Waste
Judas was watching.
Ask: “What was his reaction? (Let the students read John 12: 4–6 and discuss Judas’ reaction.)
Judas’ reaction was true to his character. He wanted the money for himself, not the poor. How did Jesus respond to Judas’ criticism? (Ask a student to read John 12:7, 8.)
Ask: “What did Jesus mean?” (Allow discussion.)
Perfumed ointments were often used to anoint bodies for burial. Jesus would be crucified soon after this visit. His followers did not realise this.
Mary understood what Jesus meant when He talked about His future sufferings and crucifixion. Most of Jesus’ followers did not understand. They were too taken up with the idea of Jesus’ making himself a political king to understand Jesus’ kingdom is a spiritual one, not an earthly one.
Mary’s Example to Us
Mary is a great example for us! Many weak Christians look at the perfect example of Jesus and say, “I believe He is the Son of God.” Yet they do nothing to show their love for Him. Mary showed her love for Jesus. She gave Him the best she had.
Mary had one advantage we do not have: Jesus was there in His physical body. She could show her love to Him in the way she chose.
Ask: “How can we show Jesus how much we love Him today? Is it possible?” (Allow responses.)
We can show our love for Jesus by committing our actions, our hearts, our belongings, and our lives to Him. All of these are forms of worship to Him.
Jesus heads Toward Jerusalem
After spending time with Mary, Martha, and Lazarus in Bethany, Jesus and His disciples made their way toward Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover feast. On the way Jesus again showed His lordship when He arranged for transportation into Jerusalem. (Have the students look at Luke 19:30–35.)
Two things in this incident show Jesus power as God’s Son.
Ask: “Can you identify them?” (Allow responses.)
First, Jesus had foreknowledge that the donkey colt would be where He said it would be. Jesus has the ability to know what will happen in the future. The second thing is that He selected a colt that had never been ridden.
Ask: “What might happen if you tried to mount a horse that had never been ridden?”
There is a lot of work involved in training a horse to carry a rider. Untrained horses resist having someone on their backs. Jesus showed His power over nature by being able to ride this untrained colt.
The Disciples Honour Jesus
When the disciples brought the colt to Jesus, they placed their cloaks on the colt so Jesus could sit on them. In their own way, the disciples were showing their love and devotion to their Lord and Master
We do not always have to do great things to prove our love and devotion for Jesus. Even simple things like songs or prayers are pleasing to Him. A brief but sincere, “I love You, Jesus” is an act of worship.
As Jesus made His way down the Mount of Olives, a great crowd met Him. Many spread their cloaks on the roadway before Him. Others cut branches from trees and spread them on the road. Then they ran before Jesus, shouting the words of our memory verse for this lesson. (Recite the verse with the class.)
Worshipping for the Wrong Reasons
Most of the people who were shouting words of praise and honour to Jesus were doing so for the wrong reason. They thought Jesus had come to overthrow the hated Roman government and set up His own earthly kingdom. They knew Jesus had great power and authority. Many had seen and heard of miracles Jesus had performed. They hoped He would be able to break Rome’s control and bring freedom for them.
Did you know we can sometimes be guilty of giving honour and praise to Jesus for the wrong reason? Think about an example. Have you ever convinced someone to give you something or to do a favour for you by flattering the person? It is good to complement our friends, but our reasons for doing so may not always be good.
In a way, that is what was happening when Jesus came into Jerusalem. Hundreds of people were honouring Him in the hope that He would set up an earthly kingdom and overthrow the Romans.
Jesus had not come to overthrow Rome and set up an earthly kingdom. His kingdom is in people’s hearts. So even though Jesus is pleased with praise, His heart was saddened by it that day. He knew many of the people did not understand His purpose on earth.
Accepting God’s Word
To be meaningful and pleasing to God, our praise and worship must be sincere and for the right reasons. Jesus wants us to honour Him for who He is, not what He can do. We cannot make Him do things for us by worshipping Him. Our worship ought to be like that of Mary. She was willing to give everything she had to show her love; not because of what she could get from Jesus, but because she knew He is God’s Son and is worthy of worship and praise.
Sincere and honest praise to God is something we should practice as Christians. No matter how we feel, God is always worthy of our worship. The highest praise we can give is to make Jesus Lord of our lives and obey what the Bible teaches. This pleases Jesus more than anything else. When His love is in our hearts, it is a natural thing to return that love to Him in worship and praise. If Jesus is not Lord of your life, you can open your life to Him today.
On the way to the chief's village, we stopped to greet a farmer and his wife who were inspecting their groundnut and maize fields. There were also many cashew trees along the route, since cashews are a main cash crop. The Mwera have a low annual per capita income of less than $40.
REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Mwera Tribe to Accept Jesus
1. Find forgiveness of sin,
2. Jesus to become their Saviour and friend,
3. Follow Jesus' example and demonstrate His love at all times.
"Walk in the way of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us" (Ephesians 5:2).
Remember: JESUS IS HONOURED
Memory verse: Luke 19:38
"Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!"
1. Jesus is worthy of my worship.
2. I will praise and worship Him with all my heart.
3. I want everything I do to please Him and exalt Him.
Pray for Mwera tribe to accept Jesus as their Saviour.
Study 14 | Will of God / Jesus is Lord | africaatts.org/go-teach