Jesus Christ and Divine Love
The purpose of this lesson is to help us understand that all the Manifestations of God brought the same message of Divine love to the world.
In this context, they will learn about the life and teachings of Jesus, a Manifestation of God Whose Message of love and fellowship eventually spread throughout the entire world.
Every Manifestation of God calls on people to love one another. Through both the beauty of Their teachings and the example of Their lives, the Manifestations establish bonds of love and fellowship between people.
Love is an attribute of God, and it is out of His love for us that He sends us His Manifestations. They explain to us, one and all, that human beings are created in the image of God, Who is the All-Loving and the All-Merciful. So it is that we must strive to love one another and show mercy to one another.
Love is one of the most powerful forces that exist. It can change a cold heart into one filled with joy and happiness. It can unite people and entire nations in peace and prosperity. And there is no limit to love. It is infinite. And through the teachings of God’s Manifestations, we learn to express the limitless power of love in the way we treat one another and in the good deeds we perform for our fellow human beings, in order to transform the world.
Jesus Christ was a Manifestation of God Who appeared some two thousand years ago. He taught people to love everyone, even their enemies, as they love their friends. His entire Being was an expression of love, and He was willing to suffer any hardship, and even the cruelest death, so that He could proclaim His life-giving Message, which spread to many people and nations, uniting them in loving fellowship.
What is the most powerful force that exists?
What force can change a cold heart into one filled with joy and happiness?
What force can unite people and entire nations in peace and prosperity?
Is there any limit to the power of love?
Through Whose teachings can we learn to draw on the limitless power of love?
THE MANIFESTATIONS OF GOD
Who was Jesus Christ?
JESUS WAS A MANIFESTATION OF GOD
Why is it that Jesus was willing to endure hardship and even death?
SO THAT HE COULD PROCLAIM HIS LIFE-GIVING MESSAGE
REMEMBER TO DOWNLOAD THE PDF TO HELP MEMORIZE THE PRAYERS FROM LESSON 4 IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO!
Glory be to Thee, O my God! Make manifest the rivers of Thy sovereign might, that the waters of Thy Unity may flow through the inmost realities of all things, in such wise that the banner of Thine unfailing guidance may be raised aloft in the kingdom of thy command and the stars of Thy divine splendour may shine brightly in the heaven of thy majesty. Potent art Thou to do what pleaseth Thee. Thou, verily, art the Help in Peril, the Self-Subsisting.
I beseech Thee, O my God, by all the transcendent glory of Thy Name, to clothe Thy loved ones in the robe of justice and to illumine their beings with the light of trustworthiness. Thou art the One that hath power to do as He pleaseth and Who holdeth within His grasp the reins of all things, visible and invisible.
I have wakened in Thy shelter, O my God, and it becometh him that seeketh that shelter to abide within the Sanctuary of Thy protection and the Stronghold of Thy defence. Illumine my inner being, O my Lord, with the splendours of the Dayspring of Thy Revelation, even as Thou didst illumine my outer being with the morning light of Thy favour.
O my God, my Master, the Goal of my desire! This, Thy servant, seeketh to sleep in the shelter of Thy mercy, and to repose beneath the canopy of Thy grace, imploring Thy care and Thy protection. I beg of Thee, O my Lord, by Thine eye that sleepeth not, to guard mine eyes from beholding aught beside Thee. Strengthen, then, their vision that they may discern Thy signs, and behold the Horizon of Thy Revelation. Thou art He before the revelations of Whose omnipotence the quintessence of power hath trembled. No God is there but thee, the Almighty, the All-Subduing, The Unconditioned.
LOVE LOVE LOVE
MIRROR OF GOD
SAY GOD SUFFICIETH
SEALS AND CROFT THE LORD’S PRAYER
Bahá’u’lláh reminds us that the true purpose of religion is to strengthen bonds of love among people. Learning the quote below,will help establish in our minds the essential unity of all the great religions of the world.
The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race and to foster the spirit of love and fellowship amongst menThe Proclamation of Bahá’u’lláh
MEANING OF WORDS
Fundamental is a basic principle or necessary part: A good attitude is fundamental in any group sport
Animating– to bring to life, lively; full of energy: The singer was very pleased to find such an animated audience
Safeguard – to keep safe; guard; protect: The fireman taught us how to safeguard our home
Promote– advance/further the progress of something: The boss promoted my father to a better job
Foster – to aid and encourage the growth or development of: They fostered trust in their family by always being honest
Fellowship – a group of people who share common interests: Nina is part of the fellowship of chess players
For any words, you are not sure of record and save them in your notebook/lapbook Download them here
SEND A POSTCARD WITH THE QUOTE TO A FRIEND PRINT OR EMAIL
The overview and stories presented here focus on the Life and Mission of Jesus Christ, Whose Message of love and forgiveness will help as you explore the theme of this lesson further.
Jesus Christ was a Manifestation of God Who appeared some two thousand years ago in the region we all know today as the Holy Land. You remember that Moses had led the Jewish people to this land after they had spent such a long time enslaved in Egypt. The teachings of Moses freed them from bondage and raised them to the highest state of civilization. But, now, hundreds of years had passed, and His people were beset by troubles once again, having been conquered by an empire that did not believe in one God or follow His teachings. The Jewish people were living under the rule of the powerful Romans when Jesus was born in the small town of Bethlehem. By then morals and conduct had become so confused and corrupted that there were many who awaited the coming of a new Manifestation from God, and a great prophet, John the Baptist, began to prepare them for this anticipated event.
Jesus was thirty years old when He made His Mission known, and He soon chose twelve disciples, whom He called “apostles”, to travel with Him and spread His Message. The first of these was Peter. Peter and the other apostles learned about the importance of love and compassion from the stories, or parables, that Jesus would share with them. Many would come to listen to Jesus, and He taught them to love everyone, even their enemies, as they loved their friends. The number of His followers gradually grew, and after some three years, those in authority began to fear His influence on the people. They arose to destroy Him, and He, as a demonstration of His love for humanity, allowed Himself to be put to death, knowing that His Message would spread to many peoples and nations, uniting them in loving fellowship. And, indeed, galvanized by Mary Magdalene, one of His most faithful followers, the apostles set out to share His teachings after He had been crucified. They traveled far and wide, and the entire world eventually became transformed by Jesus’ Message of love, which is recorded in the Holy Gospels. The word “gospel” means “good news”.
There are 4 Stories in today’s lesson
Before the birth of Jesus, His mother, Mary, had been made aware of His special station. One day she had a vision of an angel, which, at first, filled her heart with fear. But the angel addressed her, saying “Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God.” He told her that she would “bring forth a son” and would “call his name Jesus”. “He shall be great,” the angel said, “and shall be called the Son of the Highest.”
On the night Jesus was born, His mother Mary, and her husband Joseph were traveling from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Like all the Jewish people in the region, they had to return to their native city as required by the powerful Romans. Since the Romans controlled the land at the time, they demanded money, labor, and resources from the people. Every person had to be counted, one by one, in their native city, so that the Romans would know how much money they should take from each one. Now, Mary and Joseph had just arrived in Bethlehem after a long journey, and they stopped at an inn to spend the night. But the inn was full, so they had to stay in the stable with the animals. When Jesus came into this world, they had no place to lay the precious Child other than in a simple wooden box filled with hay.
Soon after the birth of Jesus, three wise men from a place far to the East noticed that a new star had appeared in the sky. Taking it as a sign of the appearance of a special Being, they followed the star. It led them to Bethlehem, to the Child that had been born in the stable. They laid gifts before Him as they knelt down in adoration.
From childhood, Jesus showed signs of His greatness, and everyone marveled at His knowledge and wisdom. One day, when He was still a young boy, Mary and Joseph traveled to the city of Jerusalem to celebrate a Jewish Holy Day, bringing Jesus with them. When they were ready to return home, He could not be found. They searched for three days until they finally discovered Him in the temple sitting with the Jewish elders, conversing with them and answering their questions. All who heard Him were amazed at the answers He gave and the depth of His understanding.
Around this time many people, remembering their forefather Abraham and the teachings of Moses, were praying for God to send the Messiah, their promised Savior. They could see the corruption and confusion in the land, and they felt deeply in their hearts the need for Divine guidance. Among them was John the Baptist. He helped to prepare the way for the coming of Jesus. He called upon people to purify both their inner and outer lives from those things that kept them remote from God. In a ritual called “baptism”, He immersed them in the water of the River Jordan as a symbol of their purification: just as one purifies and cleanses one’s body in water, one must strive to cleanse and purify one’s heart.
By now Jesus was nearly thirty years of age. He, of course, was in no need of baptism, for He was the essence of purity and detachment. But He went to the River Jordan and allowed John to baptize Him in order to show others that such an act was praiseworthy in the sight of God. It is said that, when Jesus came out of the water, He saw the Spirit of God coming down on Him, like a dove descending from heaven. At that moment He
became aware of the Mission entrusted to Him by God, to deliver the people of the land from the darkness of despair. A new set of Divine teachings had been revealed to Him. To prepare Himself for the great work that lay ahead, He spent forty days and forty nights in solitude, alone in the desert without food or drink, communing with God. He then set out to proclaim His Message.
For the next three years, Jesus traveled on foot from place to place, largely around the Sea of Galilee, teaching the Word of God. Great numbers were drawn to His presence. From every direction, they came to listen to His healing Message. During that time, He began to choose those who would act as His apostles, His closest and most trusted companions. He chose twelve in all, several of whom were fishermen, busy catching fish in the Sea of Galilee when they were called upon by Jesus to join Him. One was named Peter, and he was the first to testify to the station of Jesus as a Manifestation of God. Perhaps you know that the name Peter means “rock”, and Peter’s faith in God was unshakable, as firm as a rock. Another of those who joined Jesus around that time was a woman named Mary Magdalene. Mary came from a village near the Sea of Galilee, and she, like Peter, recognized the station of Jesus and was transformed by His Message. Though not one of the twelve disciples, Mary Magdalene became one of His most faithful followers.
The Message of Jesus was essentially one of love. In His words and deeds people could perceive God’s loving-kindness and infinite wisdom. He taught them to love one another, as God loved them, and to forgive those who harmed them, as God forgave them. God loves all human beings, He assured the multitudes who gathered around Him, no matter who they are or what they may have done in the past. Thousands of people were transformed by the power of His words.
Many of the most important lessons that Jesus taught the people of His time were in the form of parables, which are stories with special meaning to guide our lives. These stories and other teachings of Jesus, as well as the events of His life, are recorded in the Holy Gospels. One of these parables is of the Good Samaritan. First, you need to know that, in those days, the Samaritans and the Jewish people did not get along with each other very well. Here are the circumstances in which Jesus told that parable.
One day a Jewish man asked Jesus about how he could attain eternal life. Jesus answered the man with a question: “What did the laws of Moses teach the people?” The man replied: “Love God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and all your mind,” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Jesus confirmed that this was, indeed, the path that man should strive to follow if he wished to have eternal life. You realize, of course, that by “eternal life” Jesus was referring to the life of the soul. But, still, the man was not satisfied, and he asked: “But who is my neighbor?” To this, Jesus replied with a story: A man was once traveling from Jerusalem to Jericho and was attacked by two thieves who beat him and left him to die at the side of the road. Now, this man was of the Jewish people. Sometime later a priest passed by and saw the beaten man, but he crossed the street and hurried away. Then another man walked by. He, too, was of Jewish background, and, though he assisted the priests in the temple, he ignored the injured man as well. Finally, a Samaritan came along the road. Now this man, like
other Samaritans, had been taught to hate the Jewish people, just as the Jewish people had learned to hate Samaritans. But seeing the injured man, the Samaritan immediately went to help him. He took him to an inn where he could rest and recover, attending to his every need. The next day he had to leave on business, but he spoke to the innkeeper and made sure that all of the injured man’s expenses were paid. When Jesus finished the story, He asked which of the three men who passed by the beaten man acted as a neighbor. “The one who helped him,” was the reply. “Those who wish to attain eternal life,” Jesus said, “should go and do the same.”
There are many other wonderful stories in the Gospels that tell us about the life of Jesus and the effect of His teachings on the people of His time. Once, for instance, a blind man by the side of the road called out to Jesus as He and His disciples entered a town. “Have mercy on me,” the blind man cried. When His disciples brought the man to Jesus, He told him to go and see again; because of his faith, Jesus said, he would be cured. Immediately the man could see. We know, of course, that the Manifestations are endowed with the power to do whatsoever God pleases. But what this story tells us, above all, is that inwardly the man had been blind, and Jesus restored his spiritual vision. He helped the man to fix his inner sight on God. In another story, Jesus turned five loaves of bread and two fish into baskets filled with bread and fish, enough to feed the large crowds that had gathered on the hillside to hear Him speak. Again, the deeper meaning of this story is that Jesus provided, without limit, spiritual sustenance to all who wished to listen.
Within a short span of time, Jesus was so deeply loved that some authorities came to fear His rising influence. They could see that great numbers of the people listened to His words, and many had begun to follow Him. They grew more and more concerned. They wondered what His intentions were. To help people understand His station as a Manifestation, Jesus often referred to God as His Father, the Almighty, seated on His throne. Of course, Jesus had no interest in worldly power, but, still, some authorities felt threatened. Around three years after He began His Mission, Jesus and His twelve disciples arrived in the city of Jerusalem, where throngs of people awaited Him, all hoping in adoration to greet Him. They called out in praise of Him. Jesus knew, however, that great suffering was ahead.
One evening, as Jesus ate supper with His twelve disciples, He told them that the following day His earthly life would come to an end. He called on them to take up the cause of spreading His teachings after His passing and promised that He would always be with them. Later that same night, with the love of God burning in His soul, and falling with His face to the ground, He prayed fervently that the Will of God would be done. And just as Jesus had predicted, before the break of day, He was arrested and brought before the authorities. Now, at that time, the Romans crucified people who were found guilty of crimes, and Jesus, though He had committed no crime, was condemned to death by crucifixion. With a crown of thorns placed on His head to mock His majesty and greatness, He was nailed to a cross and left to die. In His final moments, He prayed to God, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.”
Jesus’ apostles were greatly shaken by His death, but Mary Magdalene strengthened them in their faith, reminding them of the assurance He had given that His Spirit would always be with them. The fire of the love of God that burned in the hearts of His apostles could not be extinguished, and they set off in different directions to share His teachings. Through acts of tremendous heroism and self-sacrifice, they laid the foundations of a great civilization, and the Message of Jesus, Who is often referred to as Christ, meaning the “Anointed One”, eventually spread to every corner of the earth.
- Jesus Christ was born in Bethlehem
- John the Baptist prepared the people for the coming of Jesus
- Jesus chose twelve apostles
- Peter was one of the apostles of Jesus
- Mary Magdalene was one of the most faithful followers of Jesus
- Jesus taught many of His lessons in the form of parables
- Jesus taught the importance of love and forgiveness
- Jesus allowed Himself to be put to death out of His love for humanity
- After the passing of Jesus, Mary Magdalene helped to strengthen the faith of the apostles, who spread out to share His Message
Facts About Jesus
Today you may help the children enact the episode of the Good Samaritan. Ask the children if they can remember the main parts of the story, reminding them of the details as necessary. You may wish to divide the class into smaller groups of, say, four or five so that the story can be acted out with the following characters: the traveler who was robbed, the first passerby, the second passerby, the Samaritan, and the innkeeper. If there are not enough children in each group, one child can act out more than one character. The scene can start when the traveler has already been robbed and is left dying on the side of the road. Help the children in the class to think about how they will act out the various characters, placing a particular emphasis on the praiseworthy conduct of the Samaritan.
What you need:
Enough chairs for all of your players (minus one) and an open room big enough to hold all of the chairs in a circle.
How to play: First ask each person to choose a fruit.
If you have young players or a smaller group, you might want to assign the fruits yourself, labeling players as strawberry, orange, apple, etc. Instruct players to remember their fruit. It’s okay (in fact, preferable) if multiple people have the same fruit, so you might use only two or three fruits.
Next set up the game by arranging all the chairs in a big circle and having everyone sit in a chair. One player will be left standing THAT PERSON IS IT. The person who is IT starts the game by calling out the name of a fruit, like “strawberries!” As soon as he calls out a fruit name, any player sitting in the circle who picked that as their fruit would jump up and try to find a new seat. Geoffrey would also try as fast as he could to sit in one of the open seats. In the end, a player would be left without a seat. That player would then call out another fruit and the game continues.
If you have some players who are the only ones assigned to their fruit, it would be a good idea to have the IT person call out more than one fruit.
The player in the middle also has the option of calling out “Fruit basket!” When that happens, all players get up from their chairs and find a new one. Mass pandemonium and good fun ensue as everyone tries not to be left without a seat. The game continues until you want to stop.
Reverse Musical Chairs
Start with enough chairs (or can use pillows) in the circle for everybody. Music is played and one or two chairs are taken out. When music is stopped, they have to all share the remaining chairs. Continue in this way until they are all on one chair. They don’t have to be sitting, but one body part of each person needs to be touching the chair (can be a hand or foot). The goal is to collectively share smaller and smaller places in a spirit of love and unity.
Based on Story 3: Loaves and Fishes
Fish and a wooden block with paperclips craft. Burlington kids did this one
The hardest part was drilling a hole in the wood, the rest was pretty easy. See the video below and the fish/loaves
Get The Fish and Loves pdf here
Based on Theme PEACE, LOVE, UNITY
If you need a template, ask me and I will make one. We did not use this idea for our craft, so I did not make the template.
PAPERCLIP ANGEL BASED ON THE STORY OF MARY
IDEA FOR A CRAFT FROM YOUTUBE
FROM THE WEBSITE SPARKLEBOX
A CRAFT TO SORT OR USE TO RETELL THE STORY OF THE GOOD SAMARITAN
FROM BRILLIANT STAR MAGAZINE
Based on Story 2: Dove
Dove fused/ Perler bead pattern. If you get a dove pattern and pearler beads this is an easy craft!
Strive ye with all your might to create, through the power of
the Word of God, genuine love, spiritual communion and durable bonds among individuals
S E L E C T I O N S F R OM T H E WR I T I N G S O F ‘ A B D U ’ L – B A H Á
Download the memorization aid HERE