** Unlocked은 Keys for kids Ministries에서 지원받은 프로그램입니다. 원본으로 듣고 싶으신 분들은 홈페이지 Unlocked.org로 들어가시면 <February 4, 2020>에서 다시 들으실 수 있습니다.**
• READ: JOHN 1:6-34
Do you have cousins? I have several cousins on my mom’s side, and they are all about the same age as me. I didn’t see them much as I grew up because I didn’t live near any of them. By contrast, some of the people I went to school with were close friends with their cousins. Sometimes they were even in the same class as them!
Whether your cousins live near to or far from you, you probably have
experienced a fight or disagreement with them. While family members have disagreements for many reasons, sometimes they get into fights because one thinks they are better than the other.
That was not the case for John the Baptist, who had a pretty famous cousin—Jesus (Luke 1:26-45, 57-60). John knew Jesus was the Son of God. Rather than trying to be better than Jesus, John mentioned he didn’t even feel worthy enough to untie Jesus’ sandal because he knew Jesus was God (John 1:27).
When he saw Jesus right before he baptized Him, John even called Jesus the Lamb of God. This name was a great honor: John was saying that Jesus was the long-promised Savior from sin who would do away with the old system of sacrificing lambs and other animals as payment for sin (Hebrews 10:1-4, 11-14). John knew Jesus had come to save the world from sin and death.
John the Baptist’s job was to prepare the people’s hearts for the coming of his cousin Jesus, and that is exactly what he did. He went out into the wilderness, preaching to and baptizing large crowds because He wanted to direct people to Jesus. • Melissa Yeagle
• How would have the story of John the Baptist been different if he had tried to compete with Jesus instead of point others to Him?
• As Christians, we might not be called to preach and baptize in the wilderness, but what are other ways we can point people to Jesus?
• The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John 1:29 (NKJV)
** Unlocked은 Keys for kids Ministries에서 지원받은 프로그램입니다. 원본으로 듣고 싶으신 분들은 홈페이지 Unlocked.org로 들어가시면 <February 2, 2020>에서 다시 들으실 수 있습니다.**
• READ: HEBREWS 12:1-12
Ask any athlete at any level, and he or she can discuss the value of homefield advantage. Cheering, screaming, clapping, frenzied fans make a difference to athletes. Yankee Stadium, Arrowhead Stadium, or Lambeau Field—these are tough places for visiting teams to play. But they’re amazing venues for the home team, elevating teams to victory on the voices of their fans.
Homefield advantage reminds us of a comforting truth for us as Christ-followers. The Bible metaphorically describes the Christian faith as running a race. Hebrews 12:1 even offers the image of a packed stadium, describing it as “a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us.” While there will be fatigue, pain, setbacks, and losses, we can be encouraged by that great cloud of witnesses, which includes the people mentioned in Hebrews 11. They are cheering us on,
exhorting us to keep our eyes on Jesus to win the race, just as they ran and finished before us (Hebrews 12:2).
Here’s the great irony in the cloud of witnesses cheering us to victory: we’re running in a packed stadium today because Christ paid the price on a lonely hill called Calvary. He had no homefield advantage. He was crucified alongside two criminals. There were a few hardened Roman guards and a few supporters, including His mother. All the fans Jesus seemed to have during His ministry had deserted Him.
But, a few days later, alone in a tomb, Jesus overcame death and threw off the burial clothes. What Christ accomplished on a hostile hilltop—and then alone in the dark of a tomb—has enabled us to run the race before us. Not only that, we have a stadium full of cheering fans. • Mike Hurley
• Look at the list of some of the witnesses in Hebrews 11. Who are some of the people cheering for you?
• What does this chapter tell us about running the race of the Christian life?
Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us. Hebrews 12:1 (CSB)