Lesson Notes: Authority and Obedience

For this lesson, we get to set aside a little time to contemplate just how awesome Jesus truly is!  In Matthew 28:18, Jesus tells us that “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me,” and to open we’re going to look at some Bible stories that demonstrate His power.  He healed people, calmed storms, fed 5,000 with practically nothing, walked on water, and suspended the laws of nature in many other ways.

The really interesting thing about it is that even though He can force nature to obey, Jesus will never, ever force us to obey Him!  (And suddenly, we’ve moved from “authority” to “free will.”)  We should love and obey Jesus: after all, no one knows us more perfectly, and no one wants the best for us more than He does.  But Jesus wants our love in return and love must be given freely.

There are a couple pages of practical discussion of what it means to love and obey God (Is it easy? How do I know if I am? What happens when I don’t?), and the activity is a story about Victor, a boy who lived long, long ago and was training to be a page in service to a knight.  He learned some difficult lessons about obeying authority, but there’s a happy ending as he learns to serve both Sir Thurston and Jesus better!

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At the end, there’s a corollary for parents and how we too need to make wise judgments regarding the legitimate authority of the Church and the authority of individual bishops and priests.  Some (perhaps all) of that lesson should be shared with your older kids so take a look at pages six and seven to decide if this is the time for your family to discuss these subjects.

And finally, pray this prayer for Christian unity together:

Lord Jesus Christ, at your Last Supper you prayed to the Father that all should be one.  Send your Holy Spirit upon all who bear your name and seek to serve you.  Strengthen our faith in you, and lead us to love one another in humility.  May we who have been reborn in one baptism be united in one faith under one Shepherd.  Amen.

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