THIS WEEK'S LESSON
Jesus Returned to Heaven
BIBLE PASSAGE: Matthew 28; Acts 1
STORY POINT: Jesus gave His disciples the Great Commission
KEY PASSAGE: John 11:25
BIG PICTURE QUESTION: Where is Jesus now? Jesus ascended to heaven where He is seated at the right hand of the Father.
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Overview For Parents:
After Jesus’ death and resurrection, He appeared to His disciples over a 40-day period. At one point, He appeared to more than 500 people. During that time, Jesus taught about the kingdom of God. Some of them wondered if Jesus was finally going to overthrow the Roman government and set up His kingdom on earth.
Jesus had a different plan for the disciples. He directed the Eleven to go to a mountain, where He appeared to them again. They worshiped Him, but some still doubted. (Matt. 28:17) On the mountain, Jesus gave His disciples the Great Commission. He commanded His disciples to go into the world and preach the gospel, the good news about Him.
The Great Commission is not just for missionaries far from home. All believers are called to share the gospel with others, teach them to obey God’s commands, and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus finished His commission with a profound promise: “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).
Jesus told the disciples to remain in Jerusalem until they received the Father’s promise—the Holy Spirit. Those who repented of their sins and trusted in Jesus’ death and resurrection would be baptized by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit would give them power to live holy lives and take the gospel to the ends of the earth. After Jesus told the disciples these things, Jesus was taken up into the sky—right in front of their eyes!
Jesus is alive in heaven, waiting to return for His people. Jesus told the disciples He was going to prepare a place for them, and when we die, we will be with the Lord. (John 14:1-3) In the meantime, Jesus has not left us alone. Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be with us and help us do God’s work. One day, Jesus will return to make all things new and to rule as Lord over all.
The Great Commission
In today's Bible story, we saw how Jesus ascended to heaven, after he had told his disciples to go out into the world and make disciples of all nations--The Great Commission. This seemed like an impossible task for a small group of people, but Jesus promised he would send a helper. Today, take a few minutes to ask the Lord to help YOU carry out the Great Commission on your different mission fields, wether that's at home, school, or even church.
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