Sunday School Material 4-13-14: A Messianic Priest-King

(Jeremiah 23:5-6; Zechariah 6:9-15; John 19:1-5; 4/13/14)

Introduction:A key idea in today’s Sunday School material is God promises a Priest King who we believe to be Jesus. Prayerfully, we will be challenged to live like we trust the promises of God.

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Body:

Read Jeremiah 23:5-6

I. The Righteous Branch-King. In our Sunday School material a King is promised. The King will be known for reigning wisely and doing what is right. Israel will live in safety.

The King will be called “The Lord Our Righteous Savior.” Christians believe that Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of this promise.

Applications -

- God’s use of kings. Notice in vss. 5-6 that there is the vision of a King who will reign wisely, justly, and rightly, so that there is salvation and safety for God’s people.

First, Christians believe that the ultimate fulfillment of this prophecy is in Jesus. Second, we should observe God’s use of delegated leadership, which implies God’s people should follow the supplied leadership.

Third, if God is using you as the leader, you should strive to reign, manage, or serve with wisdom, justice, and righteousness. Let’s work on responding to God’s use of leaders appropriately.

Read Zechariah 6:9-15

II. The Building Branch-King. In our Sunday School material Zechariah is to make a crown out of the silver and gold that came from the exiles. The crown is to be placed on the head of the high priest.

In our Sunday School material there is a promise of restoration. However, the people must obey the Lord. Christians believe that Jesus is the ultimate fulfillment of this promise.

Applications -

- God’s word presented to us. Notice in vs. 9 that the word of the Lord came to Zechariah. We should be so thankful for God’s word coming to us today. The best way to know God and His will is by prayerfully studying the Bible.

We should thank God for Pastors who are sent to feed the people of God and who often do so through appointed helpers like Sunday School and Bible study teachers.

However, receiving the word and living by it are two different matters. Let’s work on receiving and living by God’s word to us.

- Priest and king. Notice in vs. 13 of our Sunday School material there is mention of harmony between the offices of the king and priest.

This would have been very difficult for Jews to accept given their understanding of the king coming from David’s line and the priests from the Levite line.

It is rather difficult for Americans to accept this given our concerns with checks and balances among those who have rule over us. However, at a theoretical level, God wants harmony between religious and civil leadership.

There should not always be protest and bad vibes between the church and government. God sends His people to be stewards of both the civil and religious affairs. Let’s work on developing more harmony between the church and government.

We can move in this direction by voting in godly and competent people, holding them accountable, and making sure we are doing are part as a church.

- From afar to close. Notice in vs. 15 that those who are far away (i.e., Jews in Babylon or Gentiles) are called to be a part of building the Temple.

In like manner, there are those who are far from the Lord today, but if they would yield to God’s calling, they can be a great asset to the work of God.

God is calling all of humanity to get saved and grow in their loving God and others, as they love themselves. Let’s work on letting God use us to help people who are far away come close and be a part of doing God’s work.

- Obedience required. Notice in vs. 15 that the blessings of the text are tied to the people being obedient. In like manner, God has more blessings than we can handle, but we need to be obedient.

We cannot expect God to pour out blessings that we don’t have room to receive, while we rob Him of His tithes, enthusiastic praise, and Christian service. Let’s work on being obedient, so we can experience the blessings of God.

Read John 19:1-5

III. The Broken Branch-King.  Jesus is being flogged and ridiculed. Soldiers have made a crown of thorns for His head. They mockingly call Him the King of the Jews. Pilate seems to try to find a way to let Jesus go.

Applications -

- Mean people. Notice in vss. 1-2 of the Sunday School material that there were some mean people at the crucifixion of Christ. Unfortunately, there are still some mean people around today.

There are people who aim to cause harm for others. If we are not careful, we will get caught up in causing harm that we had no intentions of being a part of.

Let’s be aware of meanness and avoid it. A great way to live by this application is to live a loving life. Be responsive to the needs of others.

- Jesus’ strength for us. Notice in vss. 4-5 that Jesus endured the pain for you and for me. It is embarrassing to see how we complain about the little stuff that we go through for God compared to how Jesus endured so much pain for us.

Let’s live like we appreciate what Jesus did. Such living should be known for at least minimizing our complaining, if not eliminating it all together. Such living should be known for enthusiastic worship. Such living should be known for obedience.

Conclusion: Let’s work on living like we trust the promises of God. God has much for those who obey His will.

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