Sunday School Lessons
Mrs. Daisy B. Scott - Superintendent
(Updated April 17, 2014)
Sunday School classes start at 9:30 AM every Sunday.
The lesson segments include a synopsis of the lesson and a link to AudioBible.com where the reference scripture will be played in audio and displayed on the screen. If your computer cannot play the file, download a free copy of RealPlayer at the Real.com site. Also in each lesson segment will be a link to the NewLivingTranslation.com site where the scripture will be displayed in the plain English of the NLT Bible.
April 6 – Jesus Cleanses the Temple
Alternate Title – Preserving Places Of Heritage
What we shall learn from this scripture:
The tent in the wilderness (the tabernacle) is where God's glory resided, as the Israelites made their way to the Promised Land. It was, in some regards, God's house. Later, a permanent building was constructed, which was called the Temple, which took the place of the tabernacle. Similarly, all of us have probably heard a church building referred to as "God's house." As members of a particular church, very few of us, if any, believe we own any part of the building. If I left my church for another, I would not demand any bricks, chairs, or pews as my part of the structure.
Our actions within the church building should be like it is God's house and belongs to Him. The main purpose to the building is for worship of Him, and it was dedicated to Him for that reason. It would then stand to reason, He would make the rules on what goes on within its walls, just as a person can make the rules concerning what goes on in his (or her) own house.
The scripture says Jesus had been in the temple observing things the day before he ran the money changers out (Mark 11:11). I can only imagine the disgust he must have had during that visit. A well known sentence from the Terminator movie is, "I'll be back." Well, Jesus did come back to the temple the next day, and immediately set out to cleanse the temple of "the den of robbers."
As God in human form, Jesus was angered by His house of prayer (His temple) being used as a marketplace for profit. There were people selling doves and animals for sacrifice in the temple. Also, there were money changers who could exchange one type currency for another (also for profit). Theologians believe this type business was also available in other parts of Jerusalem, but was allowed within the temple walls, especially during the Passover period when many people would make the pilgrimage to Jerusalem.
Jesus saw this as desecration of "His house" and He saw this "for-profit" venture, as thievery being condoned by the priests. Most likely, the main marketplace was set up in an area called the Court of the Gentiles which was a large area within the temple compound, but outside the area that only Jews could enter.
He used physical force to stop people conducting this commerce within the temple (Mark 11:15 and Mark 11:16). He quoted parts of Isa 56:7 and Jer 7:11 to explain His actions. However, these actions caused problems. As people might say, "It upset the apple cart." Money was being lost and people were upset, including the priests who, as a result, thought it might be a good idea to kill Jesus (Mark 11:18).
When we get too comfortable doing things which are wrong, we might forget or overlook the bad in it. I used to work for a company in which many of us, on Election Day, would stop and vote while still on company time. Thinking he was not doing anything wrong, someone told the supervisor he had to allow time to vote in a particular Election Day, and as a result, his assigned job might be delayed a little. The supervisor looked at him with amazement, and said no one was allowed to vote on company time! We had been doing wrong so long, that wrong had became right (in our eyes). The voting thing caught us by surprise. After that day, many other changes were made eliminating many of the wrong things we had been doing. Only afterwards, did we realize just how wrong we had been in some of the things we had routinely done in the past.
Possibly, the religious leaders and priests in the temple had fallen victim to the same type thing. If we give them the benefit of the doubt, the practice of having a marketplace (for profit) in the temple compound probably had been going on so long that "wrong had become right," at least through their eyes. If we don't give them the benefit of doubt, then we can conclude they were knowingly doing what was wrong, because it benefited themselves, and others. However, the important thing is Jesus knew it was wrong, because, as God in human form (God the Son), He was the ultimate authority on what should be permitted within the walls of the structure dedicated in His name and for worship of Him.
God's love is available for all of His creation, including the Gentiles. The words in Isaiah 56:6 welcomes all who will honor and love God into covenant fellowship with Him, and into His temple (Isa 56:7). He rejects hypocritical and insincere worship, and is displeased by those who think just coming into His house, which bears His name, will make that type wrong behavior all right.
God declared His house as a house of prayer for all nations, and not a safe haven for those who show disrespect to Him by worshipping other gods, and for committing other detestable sins (Jer 7:11). Just because He made a covenant with the Israelites, doesn't mean they are the only ones welcomed into fellowship with Him. He is sovereign over all nations, and the Israelites were not the only ones to receive His grace and mercy (Amos 9:7) even before the time Jesus walked on the earth. We should understand that what we do and say within God's house is important to Him. When considering some program or activity within the church building, we should ask ourselves, "Would God approve of this use of His house?"
The body of believers is also a temple, because God's presence indwells all believers. We are granted the presence of God, through the Holy Spirit (1st Cor 6:19, ESV). There is no doubt; He sets the rules on what goes on inside this temple as well. When we do things in this body which are detestable to God, we can expect His punishment. Our bodies are not our own; they belong to God.
The Bible lesson link is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation of Isa 56:6, Isa 56:7; Jer 7:9, Jer 7:10, Jer 7:11; Mark 11:15-19. If the scripture is not automatically displayed when the mouse pointer is over it, click on the link to the New Living Translation website. When you get to the site, scroll down the page a short distance to find the Scripture.
April 13 – A Messianic Priest-King
Alternate Title – A Perceived Threat
What we shall learn from this scripture:
Messiah the Branch
In the reference scripture, Jer 23:5, KJV, the Lord says he will raise a Righteous Branch. To be "righteous" is defined as being free from guilt or sin. Paul said in Romans_23:10, "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God." In history, we know of only one person who walked the earth and lived without committing sin: Jesus Christ. The rest of us can only obtain forgiveness for our sins through His sacrifice on the cross. The words, "... raise unto David a Righteous Branch," mean, the one of whom the Lord speaks, will be of David's seed; of which Jesus was. The Righteous Branch, refers to the Messiah, Jesus who was born in David's line of descendants, and lived sinless.
Messiah the Priest
During the time Jesus walked on earth, as well as before in the Old Testament period, the priests were the ones who offered sacrifices to God (from the people) to atone for their sins. Because of this and other duties, the priests were considered representatives of the people and acted on their behalf as a mediator between them and the sovereign God. Jesus, as High Priest (Heb 6:20) offered Himself to the Father as the perfect, sinless, and guilt-free sacrifice for our sins (Heb 9:14). Also, as a priest, He is also the mediator between us and the Father (1 Tim. 2:5).
Messiah the King
When I think of a King, what comes to mind is someone who reigns over a group of people; someone who doesn't come up for re-election, but keeps his title for life. Can you think of anyone who meets that description in reference to all those who inhabit the earth?
There have been many articles written about how Jesus qualifies as a King. These articles quote numerous scriptures where the title "King of the Jews," and "Kingdom or God" are mentioned. These articles compare what is meant by a worldly king as opposed to a spiritual king. Those articles are interesting to read, and make good points, but miss one important fact. Jesus and the Father are one (John 10:30-33). Therefore He existed and ruled over us before He was sent to Earth (John 8:58-59). He will rule over us for all eternity. He determines whether we live or die, succeed or fail, receive eternal salvation or eternal life in Hell. He is our King! Whether a person accepts His authority over them or not, doesn't matter; He will determine their fate.
Maybe Jesus did not come to earth in the manner which some had expected. Perhaps he did not defeat the Romans and sit on a throne in the temple as ruler of the earth, as some had envisioned. He did not come to earth to satisfy mankind's vision of a king, but instead, to bring salvation to humankind. He is not in the business of satisfying man; we are in the business of satisfying Him. Make no mistake, Jesus was, and is, God the Son. While He was here, Jesus also performed the functions of Priest through offering a perfect sacrifice to the Father. He is King, because He and God are One. He holds absolute control of our destiny for all eternity. He reigns over all of us, and does not come up for re-election! He is, as the lesson title implies, "The Messianic Priest-King."
The Bible lesson link is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation of Jer 23:5, Jer 23:6; Zechariah 6:9-15; John 19:1-5. If the scripture is not automatically displayed when the mouse pointer is over it, click on the link to the New Living Translation website. When you get to the site, scroll down the page a short distance to find the Scripture.
April 20 – The Third Day
Alternate Title – Deliverance
What we shall learn from this scripture:
God had provided His people with victory in many battles, and had provided for all their needs. But, irrespective of the blessings which the Lord had given, the people were worshipping the false Canaanite Gods. This caused God deep displeasure and He decided to punish them for this egregious sin. But, God's judgement was not just to punish Israel, for His desire was for her to repent of this sin and obey the covenant requirements.
His grace and mercy is evident, because even though they were destined for punishment, He pledged, after the punishment, to revive and restore His people (Hosea 6:2, NIV) in a short time. The problem is, to gain the Lord's favor, the people had to respond to the punishment by repenting of their sins. Initially, they indicated their response would be that way (Hos. 6:3, NIV). However, the Lord knows their promises are empty (Hos. 6:4, NIV).
Ultimately, this scripture looks to the prophetic future, when Christ the Messiah will provide redemption for the people, through His death on the cross. Just as the words of Hosea indicated a revival of the people on the third day (Hosea 6:2, NIV), Jesus' resurrection on the third day confirmed the payment of our sin debt through His sacrifice. This heralded the revival and restoration of the people through Him; our new means of salvation provided through the grace of God.
God's grace is like the rain (Hosea 6:3, NIV). Just as we need the rain to survive, we need God's grace to survive and prosper.
Luke's gospel was written after Jesus had ascended to heaven; after His death and resurrection. If many of us had to write such an accounting, of which we were a part, perhaps it would have sounded differently. Maybe, we might say, "We were waiting patiently for Jesus to come back to life on the third day." That way, we could make ourselves look as though we had faith it was going to happen, and also great understanding of what He had told us. That is not how the gospels were written.
Jesus plainly told the apostles beforehand, He would be killed, but would rise again on the third day (Luke 9:22). Either they did not understand Him, or they were unsure of whatever understanding they had. Thomas did not even believe in the resurrection of Jesus until he could physically examine the wounds in His hands and side (John 20:27).
The central tenet of Christianity is The Resurrection. We have faith that this happened even though there is no physical evidence we can place our hands on, such as apostle Thomas did. Faith is the foundation for our religion, and is why we celebrate The Resurrection which occurred on the third day. Jesus was crucified on a Friday. For most branches of Christianity, the central worship day is Sunday - the third day (counting Friday as the first.) It is the day we commemorate The Resurrection as our revival, restoration, and salvation through God's grace.
The Bible lesson link is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation of Hosea 6:1-3 ; Luke 24:1-12. If the scripture is not automatically displayed when the mouse pointer is over it, click on the link to the New Living Translation website. When you get to the site, scroll down the page a short distance to find the Scripture.
April 27 – From Suffering to Glory
Alternate Title – Greater Understanding
What we shall learn from this scripture:
Even if we had little or no knowledge of the title of the lesson, the words in Isaiah 53:3-8, concerning the Servant, describe perfectly the earthly life of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. That was the first thought which came to my mind when reading the reference scripture; written over 700 years before the birth of Jesus. To me, it was as if Isaiah was present, while Jesus walked the earth, and then wrote about the suffering He willingly underwent for our salvation.
In Isaiah 53:3 (NIV), is a description of how people despised and rejected the Servant. Although Jesus had many followers, many of His own people, the Jews, rejected and despised him; as can be seen in the next Bible references. The very people at the temple who should have rejoiced in His presence, sought to kill Him (Mark 11:18). Even His hometown people in the synagogue, refused to accept Jesus and sought to harm Him (Luke 4:29). In John 1:10-11, Jesus is rejected by the very people living in the world He created. His own people (Jews) demanded He be crucified (Luke 23:23), because they believed He should be killed for His sins. He was killed, but not for His own sins ... but for their sins.
The verse Isaiah 53:5, describes the punishment the Servant bore for our sins, and thereby, the salvation He brought. In Luke 24:44, NIV, Jesus confirms He was the fulfillment of prophecy. In Luke 24:46-47, NIV, Jesus describes His prophetic destiny. It was only after He completed His assigned task (John 6:38, KJV) on earth did He come into His glory (Luke 24:26, NIV), and return to Heaven from whence He had come.
The Bible lesson link is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation of Isaiah 53:3-8; Luke 24:25-27, 44-47. If the scripture is not automatically displayed when the mouse pointer is over it, click on the link to the New Living Translation website. When you get to the site, scroll down the page a short distance to find the Scripture.
May 4 – Jesus Resists Temptation
Alternate Title – Just Say No
What we shall learn from this scripture:
Temptation, in the context of Christianity, generally means an enticement or an urge to do something which is sinful. This is a serious type of temptation, as compared to something as innocuous as eating a chocolate, which goes against your diet.
Sometimes we may be deceived into thinking God is tempting us to see how we would respond, but that is not the case. God does not tempt us (James 1:13). Satan and his demons are the masters of temptation. Satan surely knew who Jesus was, but perhaps he thought the Son of God was vulnerable, and could be tempted successfully, since he was now clothed in human flesh. In any case, it didn't work.
Satan has a better chance of luring us humans into doing wrong. We are faced with temptations every day, but we know God will not allow more temptation on us than we can bear, and when we are tempted, He will show us a way out (1 Cor 10:13). There are some who extend this scripture to mean, God will not allow more difficulty in life than we can handle ourselves. If that is the case, why do we need to ask for His help? Can’t we handle all our problems alone if we already know He will not put more on us than we can bear? I think not! It would be better to say, “God will not allow more difficulty on us than we can bear ... with His help.” In fact, He wants us to depend on Him when we are faced with terrible times or terrible circumstances. He wants us to need Him, and to acknowledge his power over all which exists. God already knows our needs, but He still wants us to pray to Him and ask for those needs. Because, by doing so, we are acknowledging His sovereign control of all which exists.
Jesus went up on a mountainside and began teaching to those who had gathered (Matt 5:1). One of the things He taught them was how to pray, and what to ask for. We have said the Lord's Prayer so many times, perhaps it is repeated without us thinking a lot about the meaning. "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil," is part of it. The NLT Bible rephrases it as, "And don't let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one. Matt 6:13" Jesus was tempted by Satan (the evil one) and He knew this type lure would test the resolve of His followers. Therefore all Christians should do as Christ suggested; ask the Lord for His enabling power for us to resist temptation. We don't have the strength of Jesus to resist temptation, for He willingly allowed non-believers to torture and kill Him on the cross, when He could have reversed the outcome and killed them.
The Bible lesson link is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation of Deuteronomy 6:13-16; Matthew 4:1-11. If the scripture is not automatically displayed when the mouse pointer is over it, click on the link to the New Living Translation website. When you get to the site, scroll down the page a short distance to find the Scripture.
May 11 – Jesus' Mission on Earth
Alternate Title – A Fulfilling Vocation
What we shall learn from this scripture:
Last week, I received a coupon for a free cup of coffee from Starbucks, called a Macchiato Grande (whatever that is). Today, I joined the steady line of customers in the local Starbucks drive-thru to get my free cup of coffee. Looking at the menu, the total cost of this cup of coffee normally came to almost $5, and this realization further made me appreciate the success of the company. Although such a cup of coffee is not normally in my budget, there were so many people at this location willing to pay that cost, it was amazing to me.
When I noticed the topic of the lesson for this week had to do with Jesus' mission on earth, I couldn't resist looking up Starbucks' mission statement. Most successful companies have a mission statement, in which we should get an idea of why the company is in business, who the customers are, and the nature of the product of service. Starbucks' mission statement is, "to inspire and nurture the human spirit – one person, one cup and one neighborhood at a time." This simple statement conjures up thoughts of an atmosphere of friendliness, a sense of belonging, and a haven from the troubles of the day. With this mission in mind, the employees should inherently understand what their attitude should be toward the customers. And, who are their customers? Everyone.
The reference scripture in Luke 4:14-21 is considered by many to be Jesus' "Mission Statement." Let's see if our definition of a mission statement applies.
First, Jesus went to a certain section of scroll of the prophet Isaiah (Luke 4:17). The Bible doesn't explain if He was supposed to read this one section, or if He chose to read that one section. But, it doesn't matter which was the case. What matters is what He said after He closed the scroll. Jesus said, the scripture was fulfilled that day (Luke 4:21, NIV); meaning He was the one of whom Isaiah was speaking when the prophecy was written about 700 years prior.
Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor (Luke 4:19), and He was in the role of bringing salvation. The examples given in Isaiah's writing (quoted by Christ - Luke 4:18) were all about salvation: good news to the poor; freedom for the prisoners; sight for the blind; set the oppressed free. The "Mission Statement" of Jesus was He was anointed to proclaim salvation to the people. We know that salvation was obtained through His death on the cross and resurrection on the third day.
After reading Isaiah's scripture from the scroll, Jesus gave indication the good news was meant for more than just Jews. He spoke of how Elijah specifically helped Gentiles (Luke 4:26 and Luke 4:27). Saying that God's favor can also apply to the Gentiles, infuriated those present in the synagogue, and they sought to kill Him (Luke 4:28-29).
Let's see if our definition of mission statement applies: Jesus was in business to proclaim the good news. The nature of the product is salvation to the people. Who are His customers? Everyone.
Every Christian church should have a mission statement; why does that church exist? Someone said the church is an organization which should function mainly for those who are not members, as opposed to a country club, which functions mainly for the members, and excludes non-members. Our purpose is to love and glorify God, but our mission is to bring others to Christ. How is your church measuring up to the mission? Would you consider it functioning to bring others to Christ, or is it more like a country club; with activities tailored just for the members?
The Bible lesson link is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation of Isaiah 61:1-3; Luke 4:14-21. If the scripture is not automatically displayed when the mouse pointer is over it, click on the link to the New Living Translation website. When you get to the site, scroll down the page a short distance to find the Scripture.
May 18 – Jesus' Teaching on the Law
Alternate Title – Get It Right
Bible Lesson: Matthew 15:1-11, 15-20
What we shall learn from this scripture:
As a child, I was taught to wash my hands before eating. In general, we are all reminded that washing our hands will reduce the possibility of the spread of many types of germs and diseases. To us, this is no new thing, and many of you are probably asking, "What's wrong with washing your hands before eating?!" Interestingly, history shows the practice of washing hands, to help prevent the spread of disease, was first discovered by Hungarian physician Ignaz Semmelweis in 1847 - over 1800 years after Jesus' crucifixion.
Hand washing during the time of Jesus' ministry on earth was a religious tradition (Matt 15:2), passed on from generation to generation. They had no knowledge concerning the spread of germs by not washing their hands. Disobeying this tradition was considered unfaithful to God's will. The Pharisees, as experts in religious law and traditions, questioned Jesus as to why His disciples did not wash their hands before eating.
Jesus was God in the flesh (John 10:30; John 14:10). He knew all there was to know about the original religious law, for it was from His commands the laws were written in the first place. Challenging Jesus to a question about religious law was like a two-year child challenging the world's fastest runner to a 100-yard dash.
A Jewish religious tradition did not have to be an actual verbatim commandment from God. It could be an interpretation, or application of the law by the religious leaders, and then passed on from generation to generation. Before Jesus answered the specific question concerning the tradition of hand washing before eating, He gave an example of how God's law had been distorted by a tradition. God's law said to honor your father and mother (Matt 15:4), but the Jewish tradition allowed gifts to be donated to the temple which should have gone to honoring the mother and father (Matt 15:5). There was no Social Security or Medicare program functioning during those times, and often, the parents had to depend on their children for help during their old age. Jesus viewed encouraging this divergent of gifts as nullifying the Word of God in favor of human rules. To emphasize this, He quoted Isaiah 29:13. When man-made rules are respected at the level of holy law, the law can be distorted.
Then He turned His attention to the actual question about hand washing. In essence, His answer demonstrated God is more interested in a person's soul, and godly character, than in what the person eats. He is more interested in a person's soul than if a person follows superficial traditions or rules. Jesus was more interested in the core nature of a person than in rules such as hand washing.
In some churches, there is a tradition for the members to wear "church clothes." This may include a suit and tie for men, and dressy clothes for women. This practice falls in the category of a tradition, for no where in the Bible is such a requirement. Whether of not a man wears a suit to church is not something which will have a bearing on if he goes to heaven, or if he spends eternity with Satan in the burning fire.
Just as an apple can look great on the outside, but be bad on the inside, so can a person. We all want to strive to have a good and kind heart, and not one consumed with hatefulness, and other sinful thoughts.
The above link is for the King James Version. You may also wish to read the New Living Translation of
Matthew 15:1-11, 15-20 . When you get to the New Living Translation web site, scroll down the page a short distance to find the Scripture.
For access to all chapters of the King James Version Bible in audio and visual formats, visit
the Audio-Bible.com web site.
For other versions (NIV, New Living Translation, etc.) of the Bible in audio and visual formats, visit the
World Wide Study Bible page of Christian Classics Eternal Library site. Also visit the New Living Translation web site.
Some information on this page may be referenced from the NLT Study Bible,the Ryrie Study Bible (NIV), and the Standard Lesson Commentary.