SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON FOR THE WEEK OF NOVEMBER 25–DECEMBER 1, 2020
AIM: REVIEW the powerful familiar story in which Mary is called to be the mother of God’s Son. RECOGNIZE our significance and purpose in being a “vessel” for His Word; RESPOND by identifying ways to live out God’s plan for our lives when we are an empty vessel; and know that God uses REGULAR people to accomplish great things!
The cast of characters in the lineage of Jesus consists of some of the greatest people of the Bible! You would expect that. It’s no surprise that great people were used by God to achieve the greatest moment in history, the birth of the Messiah, the Lamb of God who would save the world from its sins.
Yet when one takes a closer look at all of the characters that are listed in the ancestry of Jesus, there are some unlikely people included in the list as well (we will take a closer look in next week’s lesson).
- Oftentimes God uses those most likely to succeed.
- Oftentimes He uses those who make wise choices.
- Oftentimes God selects those with the most potential.
- But sometimes God uses the least likely vessel.
- Sometimes God uses the person least likely to succeed.
- Sometimes God includes in His plan that individual no one would believe was a part of His grand plan.
Sometimes (Okay, a lot of times really) God uses the least likely vessel to carry His Word!
- In reality we are ALL UNLIKELY VESSELS!
- All that matters is that God wants to USE YOU to bring the MESSIAH to the WORLD!
2 Kings 4:1-5 (NKJV)
1 A certain woman of the wives of the sons of the prophets cried out to Elisha, saying, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. And the creditor is coming to take my two sons to be his slaves.”
2 So Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your maidservant has nothing in the house but a jar of oil.”
3 Then he said, “Go, borrow vessels from everywhere, from all your neighbors—empty vessels; do not gather just a few.
4 And when you have come in, you shall shut the door behind you and your sons; then pour it into all those vessels, and set aside the full ones.”
5 So she went from him and shut the door behind her and her sons,
- Empty Vessel
- Seek The LORD
- Not Family
- Not Friends
- Not Fortune Tellers
Isaiah 55:6 (NKJV) – Seek the Lord while He may be found, Call upon Him while He is near.
Psalm 34:10 (NKJV) – The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.
- Obey the Word
- Prepare for A Blessing
- No healing until the leper had dipped seven times
2 Kings 5:10 (NKJV) – And Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, “Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean.”
- No Messiah until the way had been prepared
Isaiah 40:3 (NKJV) – The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the Lord; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.
- No vision without obedience
John 9:7 (NKJV) – And He said to him, “Go, washin the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.
- No Resurrection until the stone is removed
John 11:39 (NKJV) – Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, “Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days.”
- No Entrance into Heaven without cleansing
Revelation 7:13-14 (NKJV) – 13 Then one of the elders answered, saying to me, “Who are these arrayed in white robes, and where did they come from?”14 And I said to him, “Sir, you know.” So he said to me, “These are the ones who come out of the great tribulation, and washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
- Shut The Door
- Pushy People
- Prying eyes
- Provoking tongues
Matthew 6:6 (NKJV) – But you, when you pray,go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward youopenly.
Point to Ponder: Have you ever been in a situation which looked absolutely hopeless? Have you ever felt empty and all prayed out?
Point to Ponder: What has caused you to feel empty, alone and wondering “where is God?”
Thought 1: If you are an “empty” vessel – seek the LORD and He will fill you.
Jeremiah 18:2-4 (NKJV)
2 “Arise and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will cause you to hear My words.”
3 Then I went down to the potter’s house, and there he was, making something at the wheel.
4 And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter; so he made it again into another vessel, as it seemed good to the potter to make.
2 Corinthians 4:7-10 (NKJV)
7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.
8 We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—
10 always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.
- Earthen Vessel
- Easily Broken or cracked
- Great Value
- This Treasure is. . .
- Holy Spirit
- God given Gifts
1 John 4:4 (NKJV) – You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
Thought 1: The treasure is NOT you but the treasure is on the INSIDE of you!
Thought 2: God wants to use us!
Ephesians 2:10 (NLV) – For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
Thought 3: We have been divinely equipped and empowered by God!
Thought 4: You (the vessel) can be full of things that hinder the infilling of the Holy Spirit.
Thought 5: Examine yourself – you could be full of sin! It could be pride, anger, bitterness or unforgiveness. You must empty yourself and allow the Holy Spirit to fill you. Remember thought 2 God wants to use us!
Luke 1:26-38, 49 (NKJV)
26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,
27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.
28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”
29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.
30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.
32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.
33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”
34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”
35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.
36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.
37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”
38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her
49 For He who is mighty has done great things for me, And holy is His name.
- Elevated Vessel
Who Mary wasn’t:
- She was not perfect
- She was not sinless
- She was not a perpetual virgin
- Mary was a person full of grace, not because of her own self-righteousness or her own worth.
- She should be honored but not worshipped.
Who Mary was:
- Average young girl (possibly 13-15 years old)
- From poor village in Israel
- A virgin
- Betrothed to Joseph
- Because of God’s sovereign choice for her to be the mother of Jesus:
- She was a vessel
- She was a servant, even to her own Son.
- She needed a Saviour and salvation the same as you and I.
- She was highly favored
- The Lord was with her
- She was blessed among women
Thought 1: Since Christ has come, every person can now. . .
(1) be highly favored;
(2) have the Lord’s presence and
(3) be blessed among all others.
- His name is to be Jesus
- Jesus is a very superior name
- There is Power in the name of Jesus
- There is Pardon in the name of Jesus
- Praise the name of Jesus
- Jesus is a very significant name
Philippians 2:9 (NKJV) – Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,
Acts 3:6 (NKJV) – Then Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have, but what I do have I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk.”
Ephesians 5:20 (NKJV) – giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
Acts 4:12 (NKJV) – Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”
- Rule over House of David
- Reign over the world
Thought 2: Mary couldn’t understand but she believed. There was no doubting or distrusting the message. Believers are to believe the miraculous even when we don’t understand.
Thought 3: We, like Mary, are to believe and be encouraged that “with God nothing is impossible!”
Thought 4: Mary was submissive. Her response was immediate and brief.
Thought 5: Surrender to God is absolutely essential both for salvation and service.
Point to Ponder: What type of “vessel” are you?
PRAYER PRINCIPLE: Be thankful for the opportunity that God has given you to be vessel.
SOCIAL JUSTICE PRINCIPLE: When you allow yourself to be of service, you share the blessings God has provided you with; this fosters others wanting his blessings
EVANGELISM PRINCIPLE: Share with others how Christ became a blessing for us to exist and live.
STEWARDSHIP PRINCIPLE: Your giving demonstrates your willingness to be a vessel; give persistently and consistently.
DISCIPLESHIP PRINCIPLE: Many times we don’t feel worthy of being a blessing; God has birthed within you gifts that we only scratch the surface in displaying because He’s deemed you blessed.
NEXT WEEK’S TITLE: Called to be an Heir
NEXT WEEK’S READING ASSIGNMENT: Matthew 1:1-17; Luke 3:23-38; Genesis 38:1-30; Joshua 2:1-16; Ruth 1:1-18; 2 Samuel 11:1-9; Romans 3:23; Ephesians 2:9; Hebrews 1:1-5; Genesis 3:15; Genesis 12:3; 18:18; 22:18; Genesis 49:10; 2 Samuel 7:13; Micah 5:2; Isaiah 7:14; Exodus 19:19; Deuteronomy 5:22; I Kings 19:12; Isaiah 1:1; I Samuel 3:5; Matthew 28:18; John 5:22; Romans 14:9; 2 Peter 3:10-13; Revelation 21:1-2, 23-26; Isaiah 9:6-7; Hebrews 1:8; Revelation 5:22; Php. 2:9-10