Lesson Plan Chapter 8

Chapter 8
Lesson Plan Enrichment Ideas
Misguided Mother
Jesus and Salome 


Have you ever wanted to win or come in first at something? Why do you think people are so driven to land on top? What personal needs does being in “first place” meet in a person? 

Things to teach for enrichment

1. Take a look at the context in which Matthew places this conversation between Jesus and Salome. Read Matthew 19:27-30 and 20:1-16. Note the phrase which ends both accounts in 19:30 and again in 20:16. Compare this with how Salome’s conversation ends in 20:26-27. The fact all three accounts end with this idea restated is significant. Matthew was making a point with the grouping of these stories. What observations can you make on each account individually and then on the group as a whole that will raise your understanding of the conversation in question?

2. Biblical leadership is radically different than what the world thinks. There are two Greek words for head: arche and kephale. An arche leads with absolute authority. He holds all of the power and gives orders from on high. A kephale leads the troops into battle. He goes in ahead, experiences first what his men will experience. He leads by example.

Biblical leaders are urged to be a kephale kind of leader. Peter tells the elders: “Shepherd the flock among you… not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock.” 1 Peter 5:2-3

Paul uses kephale to describe Jesus, the Head of the Church. Read 1 Peter 2:21-24 and Philippians 2:5-11. What specifically did Jesus do to give us an example to follow? What character traits do you see displayed in his example? How does this kind of leadership exemplify “the last shall be first, and the first shall be last”?

3. Discuss the destructive sides of ambition. How does a quest for position or power ruin relationships? When we are of that mindset, how will we view people around us? Can you see how ambition will create disunity and division? Preoccupation with self-interests ruins our capacity to relate to Jesus and to those we are supposed to be serving. It becomes all about appearances. We will only do things our way—eventually to our ruin.

Ambition will do more than create disunity: it will keep us from working in tandem with God towards His purposes. Read 1 Peter 5:8, Galatians 5:13-17. How does selfish ambition quench the Spirit?

4. The religious leadership in Jesus’ day was exemplifying the opposite of Jesus’ teaching: ambition and selfish motives. Read Matthew 6:1-6 and 23:1-12. What was the leadership specifically doing that Christ found so appalling?

5. Paul describes functioning within the body in Romans 12:3-5. What ideas does he express about humility in service? What attitude toward others is key to servanthood? Read also Philippians 2:3-4.

6. The remedy for ambition is in finding our identity in Jesus alone. If we fail to base our significance in the Savior we will become obsessed with gaining recognition for ourselves. Read Ephesians 1:3-14 and list specifics about our new identity in Christ. What spiritual blessings do we possess? How can knowing what we are in Christ help us avoid striving to be “on top”?

7. On the night of the Last Supper, Jesus gave his disciples a final object lesson on being the servant of all. Read John 13:2-16. Discuss the details of this story. What did Jesus do? How did the disciples react? What can we learn about being servants from this account?

8. In Matthew 6:1-6, Jesus instructs his disciples to serve in secret. How would following this command insure your service is for the glory of God alone?

How content am I to do this without any recognition? This is a great test for our motives. Ask if anyone has had the experience of being treated like a servant. How did they feel? The true test of whether we are a Christ-like servant is in how we act when people treat us like one!

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