The primary idea you need to keep revisiting during this Following Jesus Pathway is that we are following and being formed by Jesus. This pathway can be learned simply or in great depth. We trust that you as a leader know your people and the dynamics of your group well enough to adapt and impart this topic with grace and wisdom.
This guide is designed to help you and others follow and be formed by Jesus. Remember to keep it Jesus-Centered.
We pray that you will be Spirit-Led and Spirit- Empowered as you lead and learn together.
Brief Commentary and Context
(Answer this question here: What did this mean in the original context and how is it set in the larger story of the Bible?)
‘Baptized in the Name’ Overview:
Jesus tells us to ‘baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit’. In our culture, "name" refers primarily to what a person is called. But in Hebrew the thought that underlies Jesus' usage, "name" has a deeper meaning. To be baptized “in the name” of another person is to receive the essence of that person’s identity. We are called to die with Christ to our old life and be raised to new life and new identity in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Brief Commentary for Matthew 3:13-17 (Key Story: Jesus being baptized)
Before any miracles or healings and before ever preaching to the masses, Jesus walked down to the river Jordan to be baptized. It was a stunning moment as his cousin John lifted Him out of the water. The Holy Spirit in the physical form of a dove landed upon him, and then heaven opened with the audible sound of the Father’s voice. Imagine the Father waiting for this moment eternally, choosing his words precisely. What would He say? Would He speak to His destiny to save the world or to His commission to do good works? In that moment, as the voice of God boomed from heaven, we find out with shocking clarity the very heart of the Father, and the very nature of his kingdom. “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” Is that all? Can that really be the most important thing God could say to Jesus with the world watching? Yes! Our Lord and Savior is first a beloved Son. In one sentence, humanity’s two deepest struggles of rejection and performance are put to rest by the powerful belonging and approval of Abba, Father.
Jesus was the perfect Son and showed us exactly how to receive and live in the love of God.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.” (John 3:16) What a statement! The ultimate expression of the Father’s love is giving a Son. And it doesn’t stop there: Jesus lets us know a profound secret in His famous prayer just before His death. “Then the world will know that you sent Me, and have loved them even as you have loved Me.” (Jn. 17:23). The Father loves us just as He loves Jesus? Wow! It was Jesus’ intent to share His favor and sonship with the whole world! We are invited to receive sonship in Jesus.
Summary Scripture: Eph. 1:4-5- In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will.
Core Truths/Scriptures for the topic
Colossians 1:13-14- For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Matt. 11:25-30 – Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.” (Matt. 11:25) One of the reasons that Jesus came was to reveal the Father, and in so doing, offer us sonship. Jesus knew that if the qualification for seeing and knowing the Father and his kingdom was being clever and intelligent, it would alienate so many people. The Father has a huge heart desiring all to come into sonship. It is the Father’s good pleasure to reveal Himself to the children. He wants everyone, not just the elite.
Acts 17:24-28 - “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
Rom 6: 3-11 Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus.
John 1:12 - But to anyone who did accept him, he gave the right to become God’s children; yes, to anyone who believed in his name.
1 John 3:1- Look at the remarkable love the father has given us – that we should be called God’s children! That indeed is what we are. That’s why the world doesn’t know us, because it didn’t know him.
1 John 5:18-20 - We know that everyone fathered by God does not go on sinning. The one who was fathered by God keeps them, and the evil one does not touch them. We know that we are from God, and the whole world is under the power of the evil one. We know that the son of God has come and has given us understanding so that we should know the truth. And we are in the truth, in his son Jesus the Messiah.This is the true God; this is the life of the age to come.
Extra Resources to help you Prepare
The Great Dance by C. Baxter Kruger, PhD
Orphan Slave Son by Ben Pasley
Anyone new in your home church?
Things to Consider:
Is the new individual, or family organically connecting with anyone in your home church? Suggest a coffee hang to begin a deeper connection, or consider having the individual/family over for an easy dinner to get to know them better.
Is the new individual, or family interested in receiving communication via text, or email? If so, have them email email@example.com with their name and phone number.
Do they plan to attend All Navah Gatherings? If yes and it is a new family, they can email firstname.lastname@example.org with their name, their children(s) name, DOB and grade to make for a smooth kids ministry check-in process.