The Point: Obeying Jesus’ teaching leads to fruitful living.
Get Into the Study
Use this story to introduce the idea that Jesus is more than just a great teacher; His teaching is life-changing.
Leonardo Da Vinci’s portrait of Jesus Christ just sold for a record breaking $450 million dollars at an auction at Christie’s auction house. The highest amount ever paid for a piece of art privately or at auction, the painting, Salvator Mundi, shows Christ with one hand raised in blessing and the other holding a crystal orb. The previous record for a work of art at auction was $179 million for a painting by Pablo Picasso.
Even with questions about the condition and authorship surrounding the sale, the bids at auction sky-rocketed. Loic Gouzer, co-chairman of post-war and contemporary art at Christie’s, said, “Salvator Mundi is a painting of the most iconic figure in the world by the most important artist of all time. The opportunity to bring this masterpiece to the market is an honor that comes around once in a lifetime.”
Ask: Why do people consider Jesus to be the most iconic figure in the world? How have you heard Jesus described by non-believers?
Even those who do not believe Jesus is the Son of God often refer to Him as one of the greatest teachers of all time. However, in doing so, they miss the real truth about Jesus. Jesus’ teachings are transformational not just because of the wisdom behind them, but because of the spiritual change that comes with following Him. The name of the Da Vinci painting points to this truth: Salvator Mudi, translated Savior of the World.
Nikki Wilbanks is a stay-at-home mom, writer, Bible study leader, and commercial real estate appraiser/investor. She graduated from Pepperdine University, and lives with her husband and two children in Murfreesboro, TN.
Study the Bible
Use the following activity to wrap up the Mark 4:8-9 portion of this session.
Read the following questions and multiple-choice answers to your group. Ask learners to raise their hand for each answer.
- When I want to fact-check information, I am most likely to:
- Google it
- Ask a reliable friend
- Scan Facebook or Twitter
- I first learn the news of the day from:
- If I want advice before making a decision, I first:
- Post my question to social media, hoping for responses
- Ask a few close friends, face to face
- Turn to the concordance in my Bible
- The Christian voices I listen to most intently:
- Are right here in my church
- Are famous authors and speakers
- Change regularly, depending on my circumstances
Arguably, humanity has never had access to not only the amount of information at our disposal but so many ways to receive and consume it.
- If you could fast from one social media site to make space for significant time in God’s word, what would it be? Are you willing to do it?
- What can the Christ follower do to cultivate a heart prepared for the words of Jesus with so many competing voices at their fingertips?
Emily Jennings (Master of Arts, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary 2009) lives and serves in the greater Atlanta area. She is wife to Brian and mom to three wonderful boys. She teaches the Bible to 8th grade girls at First Baptist Church Woodstock. Find her on Twitter and Instagram: @emilyejenn
- What movie, novel or story has influenced or inspired you to look at life differently?
- Describe the best teacher you’ve ever had.
- If you could become an expert in one topic, what would it be and why?
- Why might Jesus have taught with parables?
- When have you learned an important lesson through a story?
- Why do Jesus’ stories touch people so deeply?
- Why do you think Jesus used seeds to signify God’s truths?
- What hardens people’s hearts to God’s Word?
- How does God prepare people to receive the seed of His Word?
- How can we develop strong spiritual roots so our faith doesn’t wither under pressure?
- What can you do this week to make reading and applying the truths of the Bible more of a priority in your life?
- How might Jesus have communicated these same truths in today’s industrial/technological culture?
Send the following link to your group members as either a teaser before the group meets or as a follow-up thought:
Here’s a brief video giving you an overview of this session: Jesus Changes Everything, Session 2.