April 11, 2013 by Will Ray
We did a great little series called “You THINK You Know Jesus” in the run-up to Easter this year.
Perhaps a bit of a confusing series title, but our aim over a number of weeks was to strip away the “stained glass” that much of Christendom keeps Jesus in and destroy some of the misconceptions about who Jesus was when he walked the earth. I wanted our students to understand and remember the depth of his humanity.
My hope was that at the end of the series, Jesus would be a much more relatable and approachable figure, who experienced all of the emotions and temptations that we do. This way the Cross and Easter would become so much more significant for our students, as we remembered the sacrifice of this incredible God-man that changed the game for all of humanity.
My main inspirations for this take on a series about Jesus was John Eldredge’s Beautiful Outlaw. Another great source I found while searching were the various sermons Mark Driscoll has done on the person of Jesus (search YouTube).
Week 1 – Introduction and Focus on Jesus’ Humanity
This week I showed a great old-school Vintage 21 Jesus Video, which pokes fun at the misconceptions that people have about Jesus (that he was no fun, he was judgmental, only wanted us to be in church, was a soft, weak guy). We talked about a number of those misconceptions and showed some passages in the light of Jesus’ humanity and the fact that he was both a great guy and had a sense of humor.
Key Verses: Hebrews 2:17, Matthew 7:3-5, Luke 24, Hebrews 4:15
Visuals: Jesus Video and 2×4, to illustrate Matthew 7:3-5
Week 2 – Small Groups
We’ve been utilizing small groups a lot more lately, as it’s a great way for students to interact with the material, solidify it in their brains, and get them involved in the process. We did that here, reviewing some of the material from the week before and looking at some passages where Jesus showed real depth of emotion and extravagant generosity.
Key verses: Hebrews 2:17, John 11:32-38, Matthew 14:13-21, Matthew 15:32-38
Week 3 – Dealing with some more challenging and deeper parts of Jesus’ nature
This week I showed another Jesus Video to get us started, and dissected three stories that are maybe a little more difficult to handle: Jesus at the Temple, Jesus with the Woman Caught in Adultery, and Jesus and the Pharisees. These parts are more challenging to reconcile with what we think about the “meek and mild” Jesus that we know and love.
Key Verses: John 2:13-17, John 8:1-11; Matthew 23
Visuals: Jesus Video, and a (flippable) table – I used a six-foot plastic folding table (and yes, I flipped it.)
Week 4 – Small Groups
The main task this last week was to wrap up everything we had learned and heard, commit it to memory, and discuss how it applied to our lives. We reviewed everything we had learned and heard about Jesus, and looked at Jesus’ purpose being here on the earth, leading us toward the ideas in Easter.
Key Verses: John 13:1-10, Philippians 2:5-8, Matthew 20:28
All in all, I think it was a good series that helped our students see Jesus in a more accurate light. Feel free to download the series title slide for your use.