Sunday School: Called to be Heir
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When we meet in person, we share our joys and concerns with each other. We can continue to do that here. As you think about your past week, consider what things have brought you joy, and what has caused you worry. You can share any of these things in the comments section of our page. Pray for your joys and concerns. Then follow with this prayer.
As this is the first Sunday in December, we are starting our winter quarter. The topic for this quarter is Call in the New Testament.
The lessons for this quarter focus on god's calling individuals to specific ministries according to His plans. Those called included John the Baptist, the Magi, Jesus' parents, and (most of all) Jesus himself. The last five weeks of the winter quarter (the last Sunday of January and all of February) will focus on women in the New Testament who were called to vocations of service to God's people. The New Testament sees a broad calling of all people to salvation and a narrower calling of certain individuals to specific ministries in the church.
Today's lesson is on Matthew 1:1-6, 16-17; Hebrews 1:1-5.
Our lesson begins with genealogy of Jesus the Messiah. It starts with the covenant with Abraham to Issac to Jacob. Going to King David and King Solomon to Jesus. It is Jesus who fulfills the promises of the Old Testament covenants.
In the Old Testament God communicated through the prophets. Unlike those prophets Jesus is God’s own Son. This equates Jesus with God. Attention is now to turn away from the prophets to Jesus and his message. Jesus, the heir of all things, has divine authority and ownership, , far more than any created beings since all things means everything that exist.
The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and exact representation of his being.
The Son though distinct as a person from the Father, is of the same divine nature as the Father Jesus said “Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father”
Sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. The Son brought about the purging, or cleansing from sins when he died on the cross. Jesus’ ability to purge sins reinforces his deity, as only God can forgive sins.
To be seated at the right hand is a position of honor given for the Son’s completed work on earth.
The Son is superior to the angels. An angel is a created messenger and the Son is the divine, uncreated Creator.
"I will be his Father, and he will be my Son." This quotation is from 2 Samuel. It comes from the passage that established the Davidic covenant. David wanted to build a temple for the Lord. Through Nathan the prophet, the Lord explained that he did not need a special house. Instead the Lord would establish a house for David.
The Lord said he would raise up David’s “offspring “ and establish his kingdom. It was that seed who would build his house; the seed, ultimately , is the Lord’s Son. His house, unlike Solomon’s temple, endures eternally. Solomon governed a nation in a golden age, but that kingdom did not endure. The Son’s kingdom, by contrast, will never end.
Matthew told his readers about Jesus’ human heritage: Jesus is the king promised to bless all nations. The major theme is God’s faithfulness, which situates Jesus as the final step in God’s fulfillment of his old and new covenant promises. The theme of covenant promises prepares us for the message and mission.
The author of Hebrews, by comparison, focused on Jesus’ divine heritage. When Jesus finished his earthly ministry, he was honored by his Father, further indicating the importance of accepting his message.
Through these texts, the Holy Spirit directs us to pay attention to Jesus’ message. He is God’s Son, greater than any angel or prophet. But he is also God himself.
Father, thank you for sending your Son to fulfill your promises. Help us to live each day remembering that our future is in him. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.
This week's benediction is from the God's Word translation.
Next week's lesson will be on Matthew 1:18-25.
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We are a small, rural Presbyterian church in southwestern Pennsylvania.