Fruits of the Spirit: LESSON 6 PART 2 – Goodness (Matthew 1:21)
LESSON: GOODNESS – The good news is Jesus
Memory Verse: “She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” – Matthew 1:21
Bible Lesson: The Reason for the Season
- Why do we celebrate Christmas? We have parties, put up decorations and Christmas trees, buy gifts and sing carols and make Christmas cards, but do we really know why we are celebrating?
- Let us ask ourselves: Have we ever done something wrong? Have we ever hurt anybody or said unkind things? Have we ever told a lie or take something that isn’t ours? Have we ever felt jealous or angry at somebody? If so, that makes all of us sinners. As sinners, we are destined to “perish” or to be punished for our sins. God is a holy God, and sin cannot come near Him.
- John 10:11 tells us that Jesus is our Good Shepherd. “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” We are the sheep. Did you know that when a sheep rolls over to its back (ex. maybe to scratch their back if it’s itchy, much like how a dog does), it is unable to roll over again to a standing position? It’ stuck! It looks up to the sky and just stays there; if nobody helps the poor sheep to get up, it will die. Sometimes sheep which are left upside-down die because of the heat of the sun, others die because of lack of food and water, or sometimes from gases that build up in their stomach that cut off their circulation. An upside-down sheep is in very big trouble. (Read about upside-down sheep here: they are actually called “cast” sheep)
- We can say that if a sheep rolls over to its back, it made a big mistake. It’s just like when put ourselves first and do what we want to do and not what God wants us to do – we sin; we make a big mistake. And just like the upside-down sheep, we cannot help ourselves when we sin. We are “helpless.” Jesus is the Good Shepherd who takes care of the sheep. Just as when a sheep falls over or gets lost or maybe gets sick, the shepherd does what is needed to make the sheep all right again. The shepherd leads the sheep to lie down in green pastures and still waters. He protects the sheep from wild animals and other dangers. He finds the lost sheep and brings them all together inside the sheepfold at night to keep them safe and warm. And when a sheep rolls over to its back, the good shepherd makes sure that he helps it get back on its feet again.
- In the same way, Jesus came to the world so that our relationship with God the Father can be restored. God made us, but we can’t make a relationship with God on our own. But through Jesus, we now have a way back to the Father. Because we cannot help ourselves, God is the one who reached out to us to save us – through His son Jesus.
- 2,000 years ago, a baby was born in Bethlehem to a virgin named Mary. This child was called the “Messiah” or the promised savior — Jesus came to save the world. When the angel of the Lord appeared the shepherds, he said, “Do not be afraid. I bring you GOOD NEWS that will cause great joy for all the people.” (Luke 2:10) What is the GOOD NEWS? – It’s JESUS!
- A savior has been born! Jesus is the reason for the season! John 3: 16 tells us that “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
- Christmas is not about Santa Claus or gifts or parties and Christmas trees. It’s about God’s greatest gift for all mankind; His only Begotten Son — Jesus Christ — “Emmanuel,” which means “God with us.” And that’s a wonderful reason to celebrate.