Evangelism (Be a Big Mouth)
Lesson 4: Make Room for Jesus
1. To develop in students a new passion for evangelism
2. To help students see what making room for Jesus really means
3. To motivate students to make room for Jesus in their own lives while helping others to do the same
Availablility, Evangelism, Preparedness, Priorities, Purity, Repentance, Spiritual Growth, Witnessing
OPENING PRAYER (5 to 10 minutes)
GROUP BUILDING (10 minutes)
Housecleaning (Activity) Click here
GETTING STARTED (10 minutes)
• Does your family act differently when you have guests at your house than they do when it’s just you? How so?
• If the President of the United States or a famous actor or actress were going to come and have dinner at your house, how would your family act differently? How would you act differently?
• What is it about anticipation that causes us to focus on preparation?
• Why do we make extra effort when we are more excited?
Today, we’re going to look at another aspect of Evangelism: Making room for Jesus. How can we make room for Him in our lives? How can we help others to do it in theirs? And what exactly are we making room for?
DIGGING IN (30 minutes)
Teaching Notes on Matthew 3:1-12
The point for this week is simple: We need to make room for Jesus. That’s the reason for John the Baptist’s ministry—to introduce Jesus. Similar to those getting their home ready for a special guest, John was cleaning house in his culture so that people would be ready for Jesus to come. Our passage for today is Matthew 3: 1-12, and covers three major points.
• We must make room first
• We must tell others to make room
• When you make room for Jesus, He'll make room for you
So let's dig in and discover some new truths.
TRUTH 1 - We Must Make Room First
Before we can tell anyone else to make room for Christ, we have to do it. To be a Big Mouth is great, but if we don’t have our lives focused on Jesus, we’ll come off sounding hypocritical. When we look at the life of John, we see a man who made room for Jesus.
Read Matthew 3:1-6
1. How does Matthew describe John?
John the Bapstist…
2. If you lived in Judea and heard John speak, what would you think of him?
3. Can you think of some modern-day equivalents to John?
4. What is John’s message in verse 2, and what does that message mean?
5. Based on his appearance and what he preaches, why do you think people came to him?
6. Why do you think they listened to what he had to say?
John was a wild man, no doubt. But people flocked to hear him speak. One of the main reasons this was true is because he demonstrated a belief in what he was saying. He was calling people to abandon everything and make room for Jesus. It was obvious he had done the same.
7. What does it mean to you to make room for Jesus in your own life?
8. What house cleaning needs to be done in your heart to make more room for Jesus?
9. How can you get people to listen to you when you say, “Make room for Jesus”?
The key is making room for Jesus in our own lives. If we want to be a big mouth, and John was the ultimate big mouth, we need to be sure that we are making room for Jesus first. We might seem a little off the norm, but people will see an authentic faith, and they’ll listen.
TRUTH 2 - We Must Tell Others to Make Room
Read Matthew 3:7-10
Here John has a confrontation with the Pharisees and Sadducees. They came to investigate the claims of John, and John meets them with anger. The focus of what we need to see here is not his attitude, but the principles John sets forth.
1. What is John's attitude? Is it fair or unfair? (Allow for answers.)
2. Regardless of his tone, what is John saying to the Pharisees and Sadducees? (They need to make room for Jesus.)
3. What does John tell them to do? (To be humble and not consider themselves righteous.)
What John tells them can be kind of confusing, but there are two things people need to hear in order to make room for Jesus.
A. Repentance is Necessary
1. What does it mean to repent?
To the Greek mind, the idea of repentance was more than just asking for forgiveness, or even changing your thoughts. It meant a change of will, one that affected your behavior as well. There isn’t room in anyone’s life for both selfishness and Christ-likeness. You can’t serve both purposes. To make room for Jesus, one must repent.
2. Practically speaking, how can sin keep people from Jesus?
People need to know that to make room for Jesus means cleaning out bad behaviors and attitudes—just like the Pharisees. But sometimes people think they don't need Jesus because they are already "good people." That leads us to the next point.
B. What You Currently Have is Not Good Enough
At the end of verse 8, John tells the Pharisees and Sadducees not to try even thinking that they didn’t need to make room for the Christ.
1. What did the Jews celebrate as validation of their religious commitment? (Obedience to the law.)
2. What do some people you know fill there lives with, to the point that they don’t think they need Christ?
3. What good things can detract from our own relationship with Jesus?
4. How can we help others see that the good they do is not as good as what Jesus can do?
5. What's the difference, if there is one, between a "good" person and a Christian?
No matter if we are talking about charity work, acts of kindness, or those who are nice and loving, without Jesus, none of it matters. Chances are you know a lot of “good” people, but they may not have room for Jesus.
TRUTH 3 - If You Make Room for Jesus, He Will Make Room for You.
The Pharisees and Sadducees had probably heard enough, but John the Big Mouth had one more thing to say. If you make room for Christ and change your ways, He will give you His Spirit and you can be renewed. If you don’t, in His judgment you will be condemned, and baptized with fire.
Read Matthew 3:11-12
1. Does that message of judgment sound harsh to you? Do you believe it’s true?
2. What about this image of “chopping down” the unbeliever strikes you as unloving?
3. What is comforting about the image of being baptized with the Spirit?
Harsh or not, it’s true, and John doesn’t back away from the Truth. Nor does he claim to have the power to do what he says. Instead, he points to the “one who comes after him,” one whose feet are too precious for his touch, and tells the whole audience simply, “Make room.”
MAKING IT REAL (10 minutes)
Being a big mouth is all about presenting the Truth to people. What we are really asking of them is to make room for God to move in their lives. We began tonight by talking about how we prepare for a visiting dignitary or celebrity. The truth is, we probably don’t have to worry about that. I don’t expect the President at my house any time soon. But Jesus is coming. As did John, we should cry out, “Make room for Jesus!” If we really believe that He will return, and if we really believe that He will judge us based on whether or not we’ve made room for Him, then that should affect how we speak up about Him.
You were asked to identify five people a few weeks ago, and then were challenged to pray for them, invite them, share your story with them, and then let God do the rest.
• Do any of you have any first-hand accounts of how being a big mouth has paid off in your life?
This week, I want to challenge everyone to find someone and share with them that they need to make room for Jesus. I also want to challenge you to do some housecleaning of your own, and be sure that Jesus can really take up residence in you.
If this month hasn’t been too good for you or your list of 5, perhaps it is because you really aren’t letting God control you. Maybe Jesus doesn’t really have room in your heart. I challenge you to search yourself this week, and not let this focus of being a big mouth wear off. The church has always been about sharing the Good News. Next week we’ll talk about where to go from here.