Posted by: arieliondotcom | February 12, 2013

Look to JESUS and Live

Lesson Plan: Numbers 21

Big Ideas

Exegetical: Jesus says that as the Israelites in the wilderness were healed from fatal wounds by looking at a statue of the serpent that caused the wounds, believers in Him can have eternal life by looking in faith to His work on the cross.

Pedagogical:Look to Jesus and Live!

Goals/Aims

Cognitive: My learners will understand how the cross of Christ for eternal life compares to the Israelites looking
to the brazen serpent for life

Affective: My learners will feel relief from rebellion against God by looking to the finished work of Christ on the cross and His redemption on their behalf.

Behavioral: My learners will change their behavior by remembering the work of Christ on the cross and repenting of their rebellion whenever they sin.

Note: distribute student handouts (with questions but without goal responses) before the beginning of class). Keep the goal response sheet for yourself. Try to get students to the goal responses during discussions.

Supplies: Distribute student handouts, large index cards and pencils before class in anticipation of the Book activity. Set up flip pads and tape for display of student cards

HOOK

Objective: In order to stir their curiosity, my learners will demonstrate how they get someone to look at them.

Activity: Game. Tell the group to simultaneously try to get the rest of the group to look at them for 1 minute. They can use anything in the room (NOTE: Advise against safety hazards)

Transition:Explain that the lesson today is about how Jesus tells us we must look to Him for relief from rebellion (sin) and everlasting life.

BOOK

Objectives: In order to clarify the Scriptures, my learners will analyze John 3:13-15 in order to discover how to find relief from rebellion through looking to the finished work of Jesus on the cross for everlasting life.

Main idea – As the Israelites were allowed to live by looking at the brazen serpent, we can have eternal life by looking to Christ’s cross as the means of our redemption from rebellion through our repentance and His redemptive work and ressurection.

Have students read aloud background passage, numbers 21:1-9 (one verse per student in whatever version they prefer)

Background: numbers 21:1-9

Have students read aloud the main passage (one verse per student in whatever version they prefer)

Passage: john 3:13-15

13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.[g] 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. (English Standard Version)

Similar verses: John 8:28 John 12:32
Activity: Drawing — Have students draw how they think Moses lifted the brazen serpent in the wilderness to display it for the viewing and healing of the Israelites.

Note: Except as noted on the goal response sheet, go around the room and have each student read a question from the Student Handout to the class for discussion as they show their drawing. (Students reading the questions may feel free to answer them as well.)

LOOK

Objective(s): In order to see the implications for life, my learners will examine instances of rebellion in their own lives.

Activity 1: Brainstorming- Have students “brainstorm” examples of rebellion in society today.

Activty 2: Using three flipboards, write “The World” on one, “The Flesh” on another and “The Devil” on the third. Have students tape their index cards on the easel where they personally struggle the most with rebellion.

Continue student discussion of questions as noted on the Student Handout/Goal Response Sheet

TOOK

Objective: In order to make a personal response, my learners will choose to respond biblically when confronted by their rebellion .

Activity 1: Neighbor Nudge – Have students tell the person next to them some example of rebellion in their own life, how they felt and how they dealt with it.

Continue student discussion of questions as noted on the Student Handout/Goal Response Sheet

Activity 2: Wrap up the discussion with a moment of having students pray silently for themselves to look to the finished work of the cross whenever they face sin in the future.

Tell students your personal application

End class with prayer: Father, we thank You that in your mercy you provided relief from death for the Israelites despite their rebellion and through Jesus Christ for us, despite ours. We pray that as that brazen serpent remained in the minds of the Israelites (perhaps in the shape of a cross as the serpent horizontal on a vertical pole) so your cross would be imprinted on our minds and hearts. Let us turn to you in true repentance each time we rebel in sin and find relief knowing it’s not because of our repentance we are forgiven but because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross and His redemption and resurrection. We can be healed, forgiven and enjoy the newness of eternal life.

Supplies: 3 flip boards with paper and tape, pencils, large index cards, student handouts, goal response sheets (for instructor only)

———–

STUDENT HANDOUT: “LOOK TO JESUS AND LIVE!”

When guided by the instructor, read aloud numbers 21:1-9 (one verse per student in whatever version you prefer)

Background: Numbers 21:1-9

When guided by the instructor, read aloud the main passage (one verse per student in whatever version you prefer)

Passage: John 3:13-15

Similar verses: John 8:28 John 12:32

The instructor will guide a discussion of the following questions. Feel free to offer a response whether it is your turn to read the question or not. You will NOT need to write your answers or submit them.

How does Moses lifting the serpent relate to Jesus talking about being lifted up?

Reason for serpents?

Result of rebellion?

Relief from rebellion?

Reason for rebellion?

Who is the speaker?

Why was this book written? What was the occasion of the book?

Some Background: John was a Jew, son of Zebedee, to spread the news that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in order that the hearers might have eternal life through Him. (John 20:31 “(T)hese are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

“Prior toJohn’s death on the island of Patmos, 100 AD. The gospel has been preached in all the Roman empire and Christianity was no longer considered a Jewish sect, attached to the Synagogue. Jerusalem had been overthrown and the temple destroyed. Christians had been sorely persecuted but had achieved great triumphs in many lands. All of the rest of the New Testament except ​Revelation had been written…(John) perhaps wrote to Christians of all nationalities whose history had by this time been enriched by the blood of the martyrs for the faith.” (Tidwell, J. B. [1914]. The Bible book by book: A manual for the outline study of the Bible by books. Dallas: C.A. Bryant.

What is the overall message of this book and how does this passage fit into that message?

What precedes this passage? What follows?

Are there any repeated words? Repeated phrases?

Does John make any comparisons? Draw any contrasts?

Does John raise any questions? Provide any answers?

Does the author point out any cause and effect relationships?

Is there any progression to the passage? In time? Action? Geography?
Does the passage have a climax?

Does the author use any figures of speech?
Is there a pivotal statement or word?

What is the author’s intent?

Continuity/Non-Contradiction: What Scriptures can be used to interpret this one?

What is the author talking about?

What do the original words mean?

A word study: ​

ascended: “anabaino” (Strong’s G305) 1) ascend; a) to go up; b) to rise, mount, be borne up, spring up (Same in Vine’s)

descended: “katabaino” (Strong’s G2597) 1) to go down, come down, descend, a) the place from which one has come down from b) to come down 1) as from the temple at Jerusalem, from the city of Jerusalem; 2) of celestial beings coming down to earth c) to be cast down 2) of things a) to come (i.e. be sent) down b) to come i.e. fall) down 1) from the upper regions of the air 3) metaph. to (go i.e.) be cast down to the lowest state of wretchedness and shame (same in Vine’s)

serpent: “ophis” (Strong’s G3789) From Vine’s: The brazen “serpent” lifted up by Moses was symbolical of the means of salvation provided by God, in Christ and His vicarious death under the Divine judgment upon sin, Jhn 3:14. While the living “serpent” symbolizes sin in its origin, hatefulness, and deadly effect, the brazen “serpent” symbolized the bearing away of the curse and the judgement of sin; the metal was itself figurative of the righteousness of God’s judgment. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3789&t=KJV

What is he saying about what he is talking about?

What is the “so what” of John 3:13-15?

What do we have in common with the Israelites/audience of the Gospel of John?

What can we do as a Sunday School class/church?

Have you ever rebelled against God?

How did you feel?

How did you find relief?

How can you use John 3:13-15 in your personal life next time you rebel?

———————

Follow the lesson plan for the use of these questions and other activities during class.

Distribute student handouts (with questions but without goal responses) before the beginning of class). Keep the goal response sheet for yourself. Try to get students to the goal responses during discussions.

Ask: How does Moses lifting the serpent relate to Jesus talking about being lifted up?
Reason for serpents? (Goal responses: Complaining, rebellion)

Result of Rebellion? (Goal responses: Death through serpents)

Relief from rebellion? (Goal responses: Must look on the cause of their suffering (serpents) and believe God would heal them)

Reason for rebellion? (Goal response: Sin)

Result of Rebellion? (Goal response: Death)

Relief from Rebellion? (Goal response: Looking to the cross in repentance and faith that Christ died for our sins)

Observation: (What does it say?)

Note: Have students read the questions (same as below) to the class (one question per student, going around the room) and allow time for discussion. The goal responses are from anyone in the class, not the student reading the question.

Who is the speaker? (Goal response: Jesus Christ)

Why was this book written? What was the occasion of the book? (Goal response: It was written by the disciple/apostle John to spread the Gospel)

Note to instructor: Additional info to tell the class: John was a Jew, son of Zebedee, to spread the news that Jesus Christ is the Son of God in order that the hearers might have eternal life through Him. (John 20:31 “(T)hese are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”

Tell students: Where was it written? Who were the original recipients? “Prior toJohn’s death on the island of Patmos, 100 AD. The gospel has been preached in all the Roman empire and ​Christianity was no longer considered a Jewish sect, attached to the Synagogue. Jerusalem had been overthrown and the temple destroyed. Christians had been sorely persecuted but had achieved great triumphs in many lands. All of the ​rest of the New Testament except ​Revelation had been written…(John) perhaps wrote to Christians of all nationalities whose history ​had by this time been enriched by the blood of the martyrs for the faith.” (Tidwell, J. B. [1914]. ​The Bible book by book: A manual for the outline study of the Bible by books. Dallas: C.A. Bryant.

What is the overall message of this book and how does this passage fit into that message? Overall message: That eternal life can only be found in Jesus Christ. Passage: Quotes Jesus making the statement that He is the source of eternal life to those who believe in ​Him.

What precedes this passage? What follows?

(Goal responses: The passage is immediately preceded and followed by two of the most famous Scriptures of the Bible, both of which involve eternal life. Joh 3:3 & 3:16 The passage is also referenced (and followed) by John 12:32 (seen in context in John 12:27-36)

Are there any repeated words? Repeated phrases? (Goal Responses: Yes. (v. 13, ascended/descended; v. 14, ​lifted/lifted)

Does John make any comparisons? Draw any contrasts? (Goal responses: Yes. He/Jesus contrasts descending and ascending & compares the bronze serpent lifted in the wilderness by Moses for the healing of the ​people of Israel to His being “lifted up” for eternal life of those who believe Him for it.)

Does John raise any questions? Provide any answers? (Goal Responses: Yes. Who has ascended into Heaven? [Answer: No one but He who descended from Heaven] What will happen if Jesus is “lifted up”? [Answer: ​Those who believe in Him will have eternal life]

Does the author point out any cause and effect relationships? (Goal Responses: Yes. Cause: Jesus being lifted up Effect: leads to believing. Cause: Believing Effect: Eternal life)

Is there any progression to the passage? In time? Action? Geography? (Goal responses: Progressive revelation: Association with the “lifted up” metaphor for healing (Numbers 21:1-9); associated with Jesus as the Son of Man to be lifted up for the healing of others from death (John 3:13-15); associated with “lifting up” ​meaning crucifixion in John 12:23)

Does the passage have a climax? (Goal responses: Not explicitly but implicitly [eternal life as a result of the lifting up of Christ and belief in Him]

Does the author use any figures of speech? (Goal responses: Yes. Quotes the metaphor Jesus uses “lifted up” (and as we see in John 12:23 this is a metaphor for crucifixion). Contrasts descending/ascending. Simile (snake ​being lifted to Jesus being lifted); may also be making a pun between “ascended” and future resurrection)

Is there a pivotal statement or word? (Goal responses: Yes. “Must”…Christ must be lifted up in order to put the effect ​of belief in Him leading to eternal life to occur.)

2.​Interpretation:

What does it mean? What is the author’s intent? (Goal responses: John is quoting Jesus as the means to eternal life (healing from death))

Continuity/Non-Contradiction: What Scriptures can be used to interpret this one? (Goal responses: Numbers 21:1-9; John 12:27-36)

Generalization (“big idea”)

What is the author talking about? (Goal response: John quotes Jesus comparing Himself to the brass serpent Moses lifted in the wilderness to heal those who believed it could from certain death from their
rebellion and complaining. He says that He must be lifted up as well and that those who look to
Him lifted up (crucified) and believe in Him will have eternal life.)

Ask students to read along on their handouts for the following:​

ascended: “anabaino” (Strong’s G305) 1) ascend; a) to go up; b) to rise, mount, be borne up, spring up (Same in Vine’s)

descended: “katabaino” (Strong’s G2597) 1) to go down, come down, descend, a) the place from which one has come down from b) to come down 1) as from the temple at Jerusalem, from the city of Jerusalem; 2) of celestial beings coming down to earth c) to be cast down 2) of things a) to come (i.e. be sent) down b) to come i.e. fall) down 1) from the upper regions of the air 3) metaph. to (go i.e.) be cast down to the lowest state of wretchedness and shame (same in Vine’s)

serpent: “ophis” (Strong’s G3789) From Vine’s: The brazen “serpent” lifted up by Moses was symbolical of the means of salvation provided by God, in Christ and His vicarious death under the Divine judgment upon sin, Jhn 3:14. While the living “serpent” symbolizes sin in its origin, hatefulness, and deadly effect, the brazen “serpent” symbolized the bearing away of the curse and the judgement of sin; the metal was itself figurative of the righteousness of God’s judgment. http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3789&t=KJV

What is he saying about what he is talking about? (Goal response: John is pointing to Jesus having said Himself that He was the means of eternal life.

Tell students: Summary: Look to Jesus for life and relief through repentance and faith in His redemption of us on the cross and resuurection on our behalf.
Ask students what the “so what” of John 3:13-15 is. Goal responses:

• Jesus said He is the means to eternal life for those who look to Him in faith for it. But the means of His accomplishing it was being “lifted up” (crucified) to heal us from certain death.

• If you do not look to Jesus you cannot have eternal life.

• Do not look to other means than the “lifting up” (crucifixion) of Jesus ​for eternal life.

• The cross is central to having eternal life and Jesus did not claim to just be ​a good teacher but claimed to be the means to eternal life and power over death.

Ask students: What do we have in common with the Israelites/audience of the Gospel of John? (Goal responses: Subject to the threat of death. Desire for eternal life

Ask students: What can we do as a Sunday School class/church? Do not accept any other means for eternal life than the crucifixion (and implied resurrection) on your behalf of Jesus Christ.

Ask students: Have you ever rebelled against God? How did you feel? How did you find relief? How can you use John 3:13-15 in your personal life next time you rebel?

Tell students your personal application: Example: The application toward godliness for me is that Jesus Christ was lifted up (crucified) so that I can be healed of death, so fearing death rather than believing in Him for eternal Life which He freely provides is wrong.

End class with prayer: Father, we thank You that in your mercy you provided relief from death for the Israelites despite their rebellion and through Jesus Christ for us, despite ours. We pray that as that brazen serpent remained in the minds of the Israelites (perhaps in the shape of a cross as the serpent horizontal on a vertical pole) so your cross would be imprinted on our minds and hearts. Let us turn to you in true repentance each time we rebel in sin and find relief knowing it’s not because of our repentance we are forgiven but because of the finished work of Jesus on the cross and His redemption and resurrection. We can be healed, forgiven and enjoy the newness of eternal life.

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