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The Story – Chapters 25: Jesus, the Son of God
As Jesus continues his ministry, his followers realize he is no ordinary man. However, he must now reorient them to understand exactly who he is. Meanwhile, opposition among those who support the status quo continues to mount. A confrontation is inevitable, as everyone must respond to Jesus’ question, “Who do you say that I am?”
This week, we look at Chapter 25, Jesus, the Son of God. The material in Chapter 25 comes from Matthew 17, 21; Mark 8-12, 14; Luke 9, 22; and John 7-8, 11-12.
Summary of Chapters 25 – Jesus, the Son of God
In Chapter 25, we pick up the story about 2½ years into Jesus’ ministry. Jesus knew the time for him to complete the work for which he’d come was drawing near, and he began preparing the twelve disciples for it. Three times, he explained that the Jewish leaders were going to kill him and that he would rise from the dead. The confused disciples thought about what he could possibly mean. Peter even took him aside and rebuked him.
But it wasn’t just the disciples. Many people didn’t not know what to make of Jesus. He was like no other rabbi. His claims about Himself were outrageous and way out of line if He were merely human. Two thousand years had passed since God promised Abraham that through his seed all nations would be blessed. A thousand years had passed since God promised David that his descendant would rule forever. Now, in Jesus, God’s marathon plan of redemption was sprinting toward its culmination.
Jesus took Peter, James, and John up a mountain and gave them a glimpse of His future glory. When He was transfigured before their very eyes, they fell face down in fear. Jesus had often made “I Am” statements connecting Himself to the name YHWH or “I Am.” Then a voice from heaven stated that Jesus was the Son of God, thereby confirming His assertions.
Despite getting word that His friend Lazarus was on his deathbed, Jesus delayed His journey. By the time He arrived, Lazarus had been in a tomb for four days. Sisters Mary and Martha mourned their brother’s death, disappointed that Jesus had not arrived in time to heal him. But at Jesus’ command, Lazarus walked out of his tomb, vindicating Jesus’ assertion that He alone is the Source of life.
The march toward Jerusalem continued. Jesus’ time was fast approaching and He had to prepare the disciples for what lay ahead. He told them that the kingdom of God is accessible to those with childlike trust and humility.
As Jesus began the last week of his life, He sent His disciples to find appropriate transportation for his final entry into Jerusalem. The colt was just where Jesus said it would be. He mounted the donkey and triumphantly rode into Jerusalem as people laid down their coats and branches on the road and hailed Him as the long awaited King, son of David!
Jesus was preparing to glorify the Father’s name. He continued to offer eternal life to all who trusted he was who he said he was. The incensed Pharisees instilled fear in many; some who did trust in him kept quiet. But Jesus’ claims were non-negotiable; He was the culmination of God’s redemptive plan. Who do you say I am? It is the single most important question that everyone must answer.
As you read, remember there are discussion questions for Chapter 25 on page 484 of the book and also questions that can be found on The Story bookmark (which is also on our website). Also, feel free to consider some of the questions below:
- Jesus’ audience thought he was going to establish an earthly kingdom by force, but Jesus had in mind a much different kingdom – one built on love and sacrifice. Can you think of a time when God’s way of doing things was not at all what you expected? What happened?
- Jesus said we must “deny ourselves” and “take up our cross;” and if we seek to save our lives we will lose them. (p. 353-354). What do you think this means in your life? How, if at all does it impact your own life goals?
- Three times Jesus predicted His death and resurrection (p. 353, 354, and 362; Mark 8:31, 9:30-31, 10:32-34) and followed each with a lesson on discipleship (p. 353-354 [Mark 8:34-38], Mark 9:33-37, Mark 10:35-45). What principles of discipleship did Jesus teach and why do you think Jesus related them to His Passion?
- Despite confessing Jesus to be the Christ and witnessing the transfiguration, Peter continued to struggle to be faithful. What miracles has God done in your life that you sometimes forget? Have you ever struggled, like Peter, to be faithful?
- Those who opposed Jesus “loved human glory more than the glory of God.” Honestly evaluate yourself: whose glory do you pursue most often? Whose approval do you seek?
- After Jesus entered Jerusalem as the rightful King of Israel, he cleansed the temple because some had turned it from a house of prayer into a “den of robbers.” Suppose Jesus walked into our church building. With what would he be most pleased? What changes and corrections might he make?