THE GOSPELS Unit 5 (2014 Revised)

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1 THE GOSPELS (2014 Revised) CONCEPT: Each of the New Testament gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, were written by different people. Each writes about Jesus in his own unique way, but all agree that the gospel is the good news of Jesus Christ. PURPOSE: 1. To understand how the four gospels are different from one another. 2. To understand that the four gospels have the good news of Jesus in common. 3. To learn about events in Jesus' life and ministry. 4. To understand that the gospel's purpose is to move us to believe that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. PRAYER: As you work on this unit, pray each day. You might pray: to thank God for your friends. to ask God's help in being a good friend. that those who don't yet know Jesus might be reached by the Holy Spirit and brought to faith. that God would give you help in witnessing your faith. LEARNING ACTIVITIES: Complete the following learning activities in the order given. Read "The Four Gospels and the Gospel" on pages 2-3 of this unit. Complete Worksheet # 1, "The Four Gospels and the Gospel", page 4. Read the booklet, "About Jesus Christ". Complete Worksheet # 2, "The Life and Ministry of Jesus", page 5. Complete Worksheet # 3, "Parables and Miracles", pages 6-7. Complete Worksheet # 4, "Peter's Confession", page 8. Prepare for your unit conference by using Worksheet # 5, "Questions for Unit 5", page 9. Complete Review Sheet :, page 10 Do the Family Discussion Page with your parents and get their signature on page 11. (Some of the material in this unit was written by Rev. W. W. Wehmeier and is reprinted with his permission.) 1

2 THE FOUR GOSPELS AND THE GOSPEL The gospel is the good news of God in His Son, Jesus Christ. Through faith in Jesus we are given God's forgiveness and eternal life. That is the gospel. There is only one gospel, the good news of God in Christ. Yet in the New Testament, we know that there are four gospels. The difference is that "gospels" refers to the four written accounts about Jesus, which are the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. This unit will deal with the relationship between the gospel and the written accounts about Jesus. Each gospel writer has a different way of presenting the gospel for his readers. Matthew often refers to the Old Testament and seems to be writing for Jewish readers. He tries to convince them that Jesus is indeed the Messiah promised in the Old Testament. Mark may have been the first of the four gospels to be written. It is the shortest of the four. Matthew and Luke both use most of the material in Mark's gospel in addition to adding extra material from the life of Jesus in their gospels. It is thought that Mark was a secretary for Peter. Perhaps Mark wrote his gospel as he heard Peter tell about Jesus. He may have written it for readers in Rome at the time. Luke seems to be writing to a more general Greek-speaking audience in order to give them an accurate and complete count of God's activity in Jesus. John may have written his gospel a little later in the first century A.D. He seems to be writing to argue against some of the non-christian religious ideas of the time. Not only did all four gospel writers have different audiences in mind for their account of Jesus, but each chose to write his gospel in a slightly different way. Matthew begins his gospel by tracing Jesus' family tree back to Abraham, the father of the Jewish people. That's probably another indication that Matthew had Jewish readers in mind when he wrote his gospel account. Mark begins his gospel account with a short description of John the Baptist in which he quotes the Old Testament prophet, Isaiah. He briefly tells about the baptism and temptation of Jesus and then goes right into the ministry of Jesus already with verse 14 of chapter 1. Mark's gospel is a brief, quick, action-packed account of Jesus' ministry. In Mark, Jesus is revealed to us as God in action. 2

3 THE FOUR GOSPELS AND THE GOSPEL, page 2 When looking at the first four verses of Luke's gospel, we note that Luke tells us that he interviewed eyewitnesses before writing his gospel account. He also studied other accounts of Jesus' life because he wanted to make sure that what he wrote was "an orderly account". He wanted to make sure that his readers would "know the full truth" about Jesus. Then Luke tells us about the unusual birth of a cousin of Jesus, John. This John was the son of Zechariah and Elizabeth and later became known as John the Baptist. John begins his account in still another way. He emphasizes the eternal, divine nature of Jesus by telling us that Jesus was God and was with the Father even before the world began. In these first eighteen verses of his gospel, John uses the term "word" to refer to Jesus. When we think of a word, we might think of some letters on paper. John, however, uses the term to show that Jesus was God's word to us. That is, Jesus is the best way that God talks to us and shows us what He is like. When we see Jesus, then we know what God is like. Jesus is, therefore, God's word or message to us. Immediately after this, beginning with verse 19 of chapter 1, John tells us about the ministry of John the Baptist and then leads into Jesus' ministry. Note also John's comment toward the end of his gospel in chapter 20, verses He says that he knows he didn't tell us everything Jesus did or said, but he did pick out what was necessary so that we "may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name." Even more important that noticing all of these facts and characteristics about the four gospel accounts is to be sure of the gospel itself. All four gospel writers want us to believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. It is through faith in Him that we obtain forgiveness and eternal life. St. Paul uses the word "gospel" quite often to remind us of that. He says in Romans 1:16 that the gospel is the "power of God for the salvation of everyone." That's what the gospel is--the good news of God's salvation in Jesus Christ. 3

4 WORKSHEET # 1: THE FOUR GOSPELS AND THE GOSPEL Read "The Four Gospels and the Gospel" on pages 2-3 and use your Bible to complete this worksheet. 1. The word "gospel" means. The four accounts of the gospel in the Bible are the New Testament books of 2. This gospel writer interviewed eyewitnesses of Jesus' life because he wanted to give a complete and accurate account. 3. This gospel writer argues against some of the non-christian ideas of the time. 4. This gospel writer refers to the Old Testament and wants people to see Jesus as the promised Messiah. 5. This gospel writer never met Jesus but learned of Jesus through Peter. He wrote the shortest of the four gospels. 6. See Matthew 1. Matthew begins his gospel by showing that Jesus was from the family of and. 7. See Mark 1. Mark begins by referring to the words of the prophet who said that someone was coming in the desert to prepare the Lord's way. The person who then appeared in the desert was (1:4). One of the people who came to be baptized in the Jordan River was (1:9) 8. See Luke 1. Luke begins by telling of the announcement of birth (1:5-23) and the announcement of birth (1:26-38). 9. See John 1. John starts by referring to Jesus as the who was with God from the very beginning (1:1-2). 10. Although there are four gospel accounts, there is one gospel. What is the gospel? See Mark 1:1, John 20:30-31, Romans 1:16. 4

5 WORKSHEET # 2: THE LIFE AND MINISTRY OF JESUS Read the booklet "About Jesus Christ", and use your Bibles (Matthew, Mark, Luke or John) to help you complete this worksheet. l. Who was the king of the Jews at the time of Jesus? 2. Which country ruled the world at the time of Jesus? a. Israel b. Greece c. Rome 3. Who was the Roman governor during Jesus' later life? 4. Jesus was born in the city of 5. Jesus grew up in the city of 6. Jesus spent most of his early ministry in what region? 7. Jesus called disciples. Name four of them. 8. TRUE FALSE Jesus preached only to the Jewish leaders, the Sadducees and Pharisees. 9. Using the map in the back of your Bible or a Bible Atlas in your classroom, put the following names in their correct locations on the map on the following page. JERUSALEM BETHLEHEM JERICHO DEAD SEA JORDAN RIVER SEA OF GALILEE NAZARETH CAPERNAUM TYRE 5

6 6

7 WORKSHEET # 3: PARABLES AND MIRACLES Use your Bible and what you have learned in Sunday School/Midweek School to answer these questions. 1. Jesus told stories called parables to teach important truths about God and our relationship to Him. Read the parable Jesus told in Matthew 18: The king in the parable is like whom? What is the important truth that this parable teaches? 2. Read Jesus parable in Mark 4:1-20. What does the seed in this parable represent? What does the soil represent? What is the important truth that this parable teaches? 3. Look through the four gospels. List three other parables that Jesus told

8 WORKSHEET # 3, page 2 4. Read John 2:1-11. What miracle did Jesus perform? Why do you think Jesus did this miracle? What does this miracle show about Jesus? How many miracles had Jesus done before this one? 5. Read Luke 5: Give four details and facts about this miracle of Jesus What was the best thing Jesus did for this man? What does this miracle show about Jesus? 6. Look through the four gospels. List three other miracles that Jesus performed

9 WORKSHEET # 4: PETER'S CONFESSION 1. Read Mark 8: After Jesus had spent about three years in ministry with his disciples, Jesus asked them who and what they had come to believe about Him. Who did some people think Jesus was? What did Peter say that he believed about Jesus? 2. Read Mark 9:2-8. Jesus took three disciples up a mountain. The disciples got a glimpse of Jesus' divine glory. This event is called the Transfiguration of Christ. What did the disciples see and hear at the transfiguration? 3. The faith that Peter confessed when he said that Jesus is Christ is what the New Testament writers want their readers to believe. How does John say this in John 20:30-31? 4. In this unit you have learned what Peter, John and others confessed or believed about Jesus. Write your own confession of belief in Jesus here. What do you believe about Jesus? Write at least 4 sentences. Use these words: cross forgives life Savior God I believe that Jesus 9

10 WORKSHEET # 5: QUESTIONS FOR UNIT 5 Give some thought to these questions. They will be discussed at the conference. 1. How would you respond to a person who said, "Sure, I believe that Jesus lived on earth. He was a good man. He did a lot of good things for people. But I don't believe He was anything special."? 2. You know a boy at school who doesn't know Jesus. What can you do and say to let him know what Jesus means to you? 3. Jesus called 12 disciples to learn from him, to follow him and help him. We are disciples of Jesus, too. What are things that you do as a disciple of Jesus? Think of three things you will do this week because you are a disciple of Jesus. 4. Name some of the parts of Jesus' life that are similar to ours. These are the human side or human nature of Jesus. 5. Name some of the parts of Jesus' life that are holy and Godly. These are the divine side or divine nature of Jesus. 6. Refer to the PURPOSE statements on the front page of this unit. Do you understand all the points listed? Write any questions you have about these PURPOSE statements here. 10

11 REVIEW SHEET: UNIT 5 Match the following. You may have to refer to Units 1-4 for help. l. The Bible 2. Triune God 3. God the Father a. cheated his brother Esau b. the power of His word c. helps to locate Bible passages 4. God the Son d God the Holy Spirit 6. God-breathed 7. Means of Grace 8. Number of Old Testament books 9. Number of New Testament books 10. Commentary 11. Concordance 12. How God created e. brought death into the world f. first received God s promise I will bless you g. The Bible, Baptism and Holy Communion h. Abraham s son i. Father, Son and Holy Spirit j. calls us to faith k. people of Judah were taken as captives here l. Led the Israelites out of Egypt 13. Sin m Abraham 15. Isaac 16. Jacob 17. Joseph 18. Moses 19. Joshua 20. Babylon n. the revealed knowledge of God o. led the Israelites into the Promised Land p. creates, provides and protects q. redeemed us through His death and resurrection r. forgave his brothers for selling him as a slave s. God motivated men to write His Word t. explains difficult Bible passages 11

12 FAMILY DISCUSSION PAGE It is a blessing to discuss and share your faith with family members. Talk about the items in this page with your parents. A parent is to sign his/her name at the bottom to show that you have spent time together with this unit. 1. Who is Jesus? What has He done for you? What does He do for you? 2. Gospel means good news. How can you share the good news of Jesus in your family life each day? 3. Look through the Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John). Find and share a favorite story from Jesus life. 4. Read what Jesus calls Himself in the gospel of John 10: How does this picture of Jesus as our Shepherd help you understand what Jesus does for us? I have discussed these questions with my child. I have also looked through this unit s material and know that my child has completed his/her work and is now ready for a conference with an instructor. Parent Signature 12

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