word made flesh
Matthew, Mark, and Luke are the synoptic Gospels. This simply means that they include many of the same stories in a similar order and often with similar wording. The fourth Gospel, the Gospel of John, stands alone. It even starts differently than the other Gospels. Rather than the traditional story of Jesus’ birth that we know and love from Matthew and Luke, John takes us back even further. The opening few verses of the Gospel of John are breathtaking:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. - John 1:1-5
In just five verses, John packs in an immense amount of theology and sets forth the purpose of his book: Jesus is the eternal Son of God, sent from heaven to bring the light of life into the world. Though the darkness of sin may lead to His death on the cross, it cannot, will not, has not overcome Him.
John’s intent in writing his Gospel is not merely that we would encounter the love of God in the person of Jesus, but that we would be transformed by it. His hope is that our hearts would be captured by a God who “so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
NEW TESTAMENT VISUALIZED
KNOWING GOD & RESPONSIBILITY
Who is Jesus and what sets Him apart from others claiming to be God? John 1 proclaims Jesus as fully God, the Son of God, and Creator. He had no beginning and has no end. Jesus is full of life and light. This leads to the family ingredient of Knowing God. In our passage, the Samaritan woman is totally confused. Intense hatred exists between Jews and Samaritans. Why is this Jewish man speaking to her and asking her for a drink? Jesus offers her living water. How can He give her water when He doesn’t have a bucket? Jesus then reveals to her many things about her life. How does He know? The woman’s declares her hope in the coming Messiah. Jesus replies, “I am He!” The woman realizes that there is something totally different about Jesus and He has something to offer her in the midst of her broken life. For us too, knowing Jesus as Messiah can forever change our lives. If He is God, He is fully able to save and worthy of our lives to bring Him glory. This takes us to our second family ingredient: Responsibility. Upon hearing who Christ is, the woman proclaims Christ as Messiah. We, too, are responsible and privileged to share His gospel.
- Where did Jesus and His disciples stop on their journey?
- Who did Jesus talk to as He rested and waited for the disciples to bring food? Why was she surprised that Jesus was talking to her?
- She was at the well to get liquid water. Why do we need liquid water?
- Jesus was talking about “Living Water." Why do we need “Living Water”? How can it change our lives?
- If we believe that Jesus can give people new life, with whom can we share this good news?
Activity 1: What is Living Water?
Begin family time with a jumping contest. Who can jump the fastest, highest, in a circle, like a frog, etc? Next challenge: jump as many times as you can. Have small bottles of water ready. Make a big deal of drinking water after jumping contest.
Say, After playing this game, everyone was tired and wanted a drink of water. Why? When we are tired, water refreshes us. We cannot live without water. God is like water for our lives. We are broken because of bad things we have done. God’s living water brings us new life. Now share the story from John 4:4-14.
Say, When Jesus was talking about living water, He wasn’t talking about drinking water. He was saying that He could give the broken woman new life. We cannot live without Jesus, just like we cannot live without water. He is our source of eternal life.
Activity 2: Water Bottle Praise Shakers
Fill bottles with beads, glitter, and/or sequins. Then add water. Close lid tightly and wrap duct tape around lid so it doesn’t leak.
Small Group Discussion
- From this week’s reading, what commands are there to obey? What principle is there to follow?
- How do you see God’s Word transforming your life?
- Jesus is the Word of God. How does intimacy with the Bible connect to intimacy with Jesus?