Click below to download the Cornerstone Connections leader’s guide and student lesson. This week’s resources also include two lesson plans and a discussion starter video which offer different ways of looking at the topic. Each lesson plan includes opening activities, scripture passages, discussion questions, and real-life applications.
Humble Hero (Desire of Ages)
Chapter 49 - If Any Man Thirst, Let Him Come
Humble Hero (Desire of Ages)
Chapter 50 - Among Snares
Humble Hero (Desire of Ages)
Chapter 51 - The Light of Life
Humble Hero (Desire of Ages)
Chapter 52 - The Divine Shepherd
Jesus was popular and well-liked by ordinary people. But He wasn’t the Messiah the religious leaders were expecting. What kind of Savior do we expect? Who do we say that He is?
Have you ever been misunderstood? Yes! Well, you are in great company. Aristotle, Galileo, and many others over the years have been misunderstood. Jesus was misunderstood too. How could the Messiah, the gentle teacher, healer, and Savior of all humankind be misunderstood? In today’s lesson we will explore who Jesus was, is, and will continue to be.
Supplies: 100 pennies for each group of five
1. Place 5 pennies in a straight line.
2. Stack 3 pennies on the first coin in the line and 3 pennies on the last coin.
3. Using only pennies, build a bridge across the span created by the penny towers.
Truth today is a difficult commodity to come by. It is important to pay attention to the details, listen carefully to what is being said, and see the fruits of what is being taught. It should have been easy to verify the teachings of Jesus. Jesus was attempting to share the principles of His kingdom with the world. All the evidence was presented, and people were given a choice to believe or not believe. Some in the world were ready for what He was teaching, and others were actively attempting to sabotage Him at every turn. The choice was theirs just as it is today.
BIBLE STUDY GUIDE
Read John 7:16-24.
16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own. 18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”
20 “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”
21 Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. 22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. 23 Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? 24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”
Read John 8:21-30.
21 Once more Jesus said to them, “I am going away, and you will look for me, and you will die in your sin. Where I go, you cannot come.”
22 This made the Jews ask, “Will he kill himself? Is that why he says, ‘Where I go, you cannot come’?”
23 But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. 24 I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.”
25 “Who are you?” they asked.
“Just what I have been telling you from the beginning,” Jesus replied. 26 “I have much to say in judgment of you. But he who sent me is trustworthy, and what I have heard from him I tell the world.”
27 They did not understand that he was telling them about his Father. 28 So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am he and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me. 29 The one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what pleases him.” 30 Even as he spoke, many believed in him.
Read John 8:31-47.
31 To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
33 They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?”
34 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.”
39 “Abraham is our father,” they answered.
“If you were Abraham’s children,” said Jesus, “then you would do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the works of your own father.”
“We are not illegitimate children,” they protested. “The only Father we have is God himself.”
42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.”
Read John 9:1-6.
1 As he went along, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
3 “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 As long as it is day, we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work. 5 While I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 After saying this, he spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes. 7 “Go,” he told him, “wash in the Pool of Siloam” (this word means “Sent”). So the man went and washed, and came home seeing.
Read John 9:13-16.
13 They brought to the Pharisees the man who had been blind. 14 Now the day on which Jesus had made the mud and opened the man’s eyes was a Sabbath. 15 Therefore the Pharisees also asked him how he had received his sight. “He put mud on my eyes,” the man replied, “and I washed, and now I see.”
16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.”
But others asked, “How can a sinner perform such signs?” So they were divided.
Read John 9:24-27.
24 A second time they summoned the man who had been blind. “Give glory to God by telling the truth,” they said. “We know this man is a sinner.”
25 He replied, “Whether he is a sinner or not, I don’t know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!”
26 Then they asked him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?”
27 He answered, “I have told you already and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples too?”
Who is Jesus to you—Messiah, Savior, good man, important teacher, or imposter? Our view of who Jesus is influences how we live—in fact, it is probably the greatest factor of all. Jesus never forces His view on others or makes them believe in Him. Instead, He lays out the facts and allows us to choose whether to follow Him. Who do you say Jesus is? What impact do you want Him to have on your life? What difference will it make?
Jesus was always helping someone. During this next week, find a way to ease someone else’s burden. It doesn’t have to be a complete home makeover or giving away your life’s savings. But, do something to help someone else. It could be giving cold water to a homeless person, doing the dishes for your family, sending a text to your pastor thanking them for their service, or any number of other things.
For a Relational Bible Study (RBS) you’ll want to get into the Scripture passage and encourage the youth to imagine participating in the story while it’s happening. Then you will be able to better apply it to your own situation today.
You will need to ask God for the Holy Spirit to be present as your small group discusses the questions (no more than 3-6 people in a group is recommended). Start with the opening question. It is a personal question and the answer is unique for each individual. There is no right answer and nobody is an expert here, so don’t be surprised when you hear different responses. You are depending on the Holy Spirit to be present and to speak through your group. Say what God prompts you to say, and listen to what others share.
Take turns reading the chapter out loud. Follow that with giving the students some time to individually mark their responses to the questions (a PDF version of the handout is available as a download). This gives each person a starting point for responding when you start to share as a group. Next, begin the discussion by asking the students to share what they marked and why on each question as you work your way through. Feel free to take more time on some questions than others as discussion warrants.
Encourage each person in the group to apply what is discussed to their personal lives and to share with the group what they believe God wants them to do. Then ask them to pray that God will help each of them to follow through in doing so. Remind them to expect that God will show them ways to live out the message of this passage in the coming week, and that they are free to ask others in the group to help hold them accountable.
Be sure everyone takes time for personal applications before you end your Sabbath School time together.
Over the course of His ministry here on earth, Jesus used parables to try to make the hardheaded Israelites (and their leaders) understand His purpose. The story of the good shepherd and his sheep is one of salvation and purpose, something that reaches out to every youth today. There are 3 main characters in the story: the sheep, the shepherd, and the thieves/robbers. As Jesus explains, He is the gate for the sheep, because everyone who passes through Him can be saved, and although thieves and robbers try to take them, they are safe in God’s fold. It can go without saying that a thief can never be characterized as something good, and in this illustration, it represents the devil and evil forces. They will try to jump over the gate or cajole the sheep away, but true sheep that listened to their shepherd and enter through the gate (both embodiments of Christ) will not fall to their wiles. A good shepherd’s main purpose is to protect the sheep, above all. This is exactly what Christ does for each one of us. He loved the “sheep” so much that He voluntarily came and laid down His life for them.
A good comparison to note is that of the hired hand. Unlike the shepherd, who genuinely cares for the sheep, the hired hand will run in the face of adversity because he’s just there for personal gain. Jesus’ act of redemption was selfless; there was nothing in it for Him. But the stubborn “sheep” do not understand that. Further on in His ministry, Jesus sternly rebukes the people as they pressure Him to proclaim He is the Messiah. In this speech, Jesus reminds everyone that He and the Father are one, and anything they do is together. Sometimes we are stubborn and refuse to follow our Shepherd’s voice, but it is important for youth to realize that once you are in the fold, you will never be kicked out. Only you can choose to wander away. Jesus is our Good Shepherd, and He is always waiting with the gate open to safeguard us from the wolves, robbers, and thieves on the outside.
Jesus constantly used parables to explain foundational values of Christian living. The parable of the good shepherd uses relevant metaphors to describe how much God and Jesus care for us and are willing to take on for the sake of humanity. Jesus was the epitome of humility, refusing to proclaim Himself the Messiah, even if everyone else thought it crazy, to the point that His own disciples pleaded with Him to do so. During Jesus’ 3 years of ministering and gathering a flock, He demonstrated traits such as humility, compassion, and patience that are clearly seen as He ministers to the crowds that gather around Him. As we move on with our day to day lives, let’s say an extra prayer so that we too can embrace the traits of our Shepherd and be fully consecrated members of the flock.
A Good Shepherd
Have you ever played with or taken care of sheep?
Read John 10:1-30.
1 “Very truly I tell you Pharisees, anyone who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. 2 The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5 But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice.” 6 Jesus used this figure of speech, but the Pharisees did not understand what he was telling them.
7 Therefore Jesus said again, “Very truly I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. 8 All who have come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep have not listened to them. 9 I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture. 10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. 12 The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. 13 The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd. 17 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father.”
19 The Jews who heard these words were again divided. 20 Many of them said, “He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?”
21 But others said, “These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?”
22 Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, 23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. 24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”
Everything Jesus said during His ministry is still relevant to us today. Sometimes, we can picture ourselves in the parables Jesus told, and it is important to take a moment and figure out how we can apply these passages to our own lives as youth. Below, you will find three applications that can benefit the youth in your class that can be done as a group or individually during their own meditation time. Feel free to pick which works best for you!
Jesus used stories to explain fundamental beliefs as a way to make it easier for His listeners to understand. As a class or individually, pick a fundamental belief (maybe from the 28 fundamental beliefs of the Seventh-day Adventist Church) and create a metaphorical story to explain it.
The parable of the lost sheep uses various characters that each have a second meaning. Have each person pick one character in the parable and explain their role in the story.
Discuss why Jesus never proclaimed Himself the Messiah. What other acts of humility has Jesus portrayed during His ministry? How are some ways that youth can show humility today? Encourage them to put it into practice in their day to day lives.
In a Strange Land: Daniel Dreamgazer Vol. 1
By Wayne Jamel & Andrew Jamel
The prophecies of old have said that the destroyer of nations would come and now that day is here.
Daniel, a teenager, is captured by this tyrant, King Nebuchadnezzar. He and his friends are brought to the strange land of Babylon.
There, they will have to decide between survival and staying loyal to their God.
This is the first in the 12-book series of comic books chronicling Daniel’s Adventures of Danger and Dreams.
Help eliminate hunger. Purchase ready to eat and easy to open food items and assemble them in resealable plastic bags. Donate to shelters or use for street ministry.
Cost: Less than $10.00
Re-use plastic bags for a great cause. Save plastic bags and convert them into a sleeping mat for the homeless.
Cost: Less than $5.00
Help small children learn at home. This easy sew bean bag craft can help children learn alphabets, numbers, or shapes.
Cost: Less than $5.00