If you’re short on prep time or just looking for some extra guidance, our weekly Leader Training is designed to help you lead your students through the week’s lesson.
This is the Leader Training for Session 1 of our Winter 2023 study on the Gospel of John, chapters 1–11 (suggested use date: December 4, 2022).
You can also download this week’s leader training in PDF format here.
Session 1: Word Made Flesh
Key Text: John 1:1-18
John began his Gospel with a familiar phrase, “In the beginning.” He did this to remind his readers of Genesis 1, where God created the world with words. Significantly, John called Jesus “the Word,” and made startling claims about Him: Jesus is God’s Language, God’s Light, and God Himself, living among us.
Why is it significant that the Word became flesh (see v. 14)?
Jesus is God—limitless and living in a place where He is continually worshiped. Yet He set aside His heavenly home to take on the limitations of the human body and experience profound rejection, pain, and ultimately death. Why would God become human? He came to give life to people trapped in darkness. Those who believed in Him would receive an unfathomable blessing: they would become children of God.
Keep in Mind:
— John’s Gospel begins with poetic language that some students might find challenging or burdensome, while others may enjoy it. The majority of John’s Gospel is written with much more straightforward language, but the beginning poetry helps us understand some foundational ideas about God and humans that we can carry with us throughout the text.
— The Apostle John, who wrote this Gospel, speaks quite a bit about John the Baptist. These are two different Johns! The Apostle John was one of Jesus’s closest disciples, and John the Baptist was commissioned by God to preach about Jesus’s coming and invite people to repent of their sins. John the Apostle begins His Gospel by talking about John the Baptist, because John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus.
Though Jesus is God, He still desired to be with those He created. How is this both honoring and humbling?
FOR THE STUDENT: Students have the opportunity to see themselves in light of “the Word.” They can be humbled to recognize that Jesus is God—the Creator of all things, and the limitless source of life and light. They can also be honored to know that God took on a human body to make a way for us to be children of God.
FOR THE LEADER: Challenge students to allow this concept to inform their entire worldview, from the way they talk about themselves when they look in the mirror to the way they treat others.
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