The Story of Jesus Achieving True Greatness in His Kingdom (Lesson 26)
1. In addition to identifying Jesus as His "beloved Son," the Father said, "hear ye him" (Matthew 17:5). 2. As we grow in our knowledge of the Lord (2 Peter 3:18) through careful Bible study (John 5:39), we must listen to His teachings and put them into practice. 3. In this lesson we are examining the Lord's instructions that relate to achieving true greatness in His kingdom.
I. MATTHEW 5:17-20
A. (vs.17a) Jesus had the highest respect for God's Word -- His mission was not to destroy the writings of Moses or the prophets. B. (vs.17b-18) Jesus' mission was to fulfill God's law to the smallest detail. C. (vs.19) Jesus showed that "doing and teaching God's Word" is one of the keys to attaining true greatness in His kingdom. D. (vs.20) Jesus expects His followers to do better than the Pharisees (Matthew 23:2-4, 23).
II. MATTHEW 18:1-4
A. (vs.1) The disciples wanted Jesus to settle an issue that was very important to them -- "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" B. (vs.2) Jesus first placed a young child in the middle of the disciples. C. (vs.3) Jesus then explained that the disciples needed to be converted and become as little children to enter the kingdom. D. (vs.4) He showed that humility is associated with greatness in His kingdom.
III. MATTHEW 20:20-28
A. (vs.20-21) James and John, with their mother, made a request of Jesus -- they desired what they thought were the two most prominent positions in His kingdom. B. (vs.22-23) Jesus responded to their request. C. (vs.24) The other apostles became indignant toward James and John. D. (vs.25-28) Jesus taught the apostles how to achieve true greatness. 1. (vs.25-26a) He explained that His followers must avoid the power structure found in government. 2. (vs.26b-27) He wants His followers to be ministers and servants. 3. (vs.28) Jesus set the proper example for His followers to imitate.
IV. MATTHEW 23:11-12
A. (vs.11) Jesus emphasized the importance of service. B. (vs.12) Jesus also emphasized the importance of humility (James 4:6).
V. LUKE 22:14-27
A. (vs.14-23) The occasion was the Passover when Jesus instituted His Supper as a memorial of His death. B. (vs.24) The apostles were divided over "which of them should be accounted the greatest." C. (vs.25-26a) Jesus taught His followers again to avoid the power structure practiced by the Gentiles. D. (vs.26b-27) Service, such as Jesus practiced, is a key to true greatness in His kingdom.
VI. JOHN 13:1-17
A. (vs.1-2) These verses relate to the same setting found in Luke 22:14-27. B. (vs.3-12) Jesus washed the apostles' feet, an act usually performed by a servant. C. (vs.13-17) Jesus taught the apostles to follow His example of humble service.
1. According to Jesus, "doing and teaching God's Word," "humility," and "service" are the keys to achieving greatness in His kingdom. 2. Let us remember that God said, "hear ye him."