Christmas at the Movies: Elf, and No Ordinary Baby

elfposter1[Guest Post Carter Whyte Pastoral Intern]

Last Sunday we learned something crucial about Jesus from Matthew 2:1-12, and in viewing the movie Elf. Buddy the elf was no ordinary guy – he didn’t look like one, act like one, or burp like one. He was truly something special – different than the average church-go-er, for sure! And as we learned on Sunday: In a similar way, Jesus is not just a good man, a great example, or a spiritual friend; He is more than we often treat him to be. Jesus is the eternal and universal King. In Matthew 2:1-12 we see that King Herod and the wise men all treat Jesus like a King: Herod sees him as a threat and tries to kills him; whereas the wise men travelled a far distance in search for Jesus, so that even as a baby they might worship him. A King deserves a king-sized response – a response worthy of a king.

When we forget that Jesus is King, it is hard – if not impossible – to live the Christian life that is modeled for us in the New Testament. The men and women that we read about there speak and live in great confidence and humility: walking into unknown places and threatening situations to share the good news of Jesus, displaying his power, and seeking God’s glory in it all. They lived with great faith and hope because they knew that Jesus was King over all – fully able, fully sovereign, and fully active.

We might not often think of Jesus as being King, but we do often refer to him as “Lord”. We might call him “Lord, Jesus…” in our prayers, or quote verses like Romans 10:9, which says, “If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Though we use the title “Lord” to refer to Jesus, perhaps we forget what that means! And essentially, it means he is King – He owns the place and he makes the rules.

Jesus told his disciples in Matthew 28:18 “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” All authority. That’s a lot of authority… in fact, there is nothing left to be distributed between Satan, earthly kings, or us. Jesus has it all.

And this can be the most amazing news we could hear! Jesus has the power to judge, and to forgive. He has the power to create and to destroy; to teach and to correct; to strengthen and to weaken; and he will not be overthrown. We can walk with Jesus into darkness, difficulty and death, and none of these things can separate us from him because he is still and always our King – through death, and eternal life.

In our daily walk, do we have a vision of Jesus that is too small? Or is it king-sized?

Do we tell our neighbours about Jesus the good example? Or boast about knowing and being loved by Jesus the King?

Let’s allow our lives to be impacted by this biblical truth. I think it will dramatically change the way we live our lives and share Jesus with others.

Teaching Points:

  • Why was Herod so afraid of Jesus?
  • Why did the wise men sacrifice so much for Jesus?
    • A: Because Jesus is King!
  • Being King means: He owns the place and he makes the rules
  • Jesus is more than a good man or a great example
  • “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.”
  • A King deserves a king-sized response
  • Jesus deserves our eager obedience, our complete allegiance, and our costly worship.
  • We can have an incredible life as we serve and trust him because JESUS IS KING.

Adult Discussion Questions:

What are your initial feelings when you hear that Jesus is King today? Do you have any difficulty believing that? How have you experienced his power and Kingship in your life? How do you think you ought to respond to the King with how you live? How do you anticipate this idea – that Jesus is King – affecting your daily journey with him – or the way you share the gospel with others?

Family Discussion Questions:

Share with each other the difficulties and problems that you are facing currently. Remind each other that Jesus is the King – no matter what goes on in our lives. Ask: What hope can we have in our King no matter what the circumstance?

No Ordinary Buddy

elf-5[Guest Post – Carter Whyte Pastoral Intern]

This Sunday we are going to be learning from the Bible, using an illustration from the movie ElfElf is one of my favorite Christmas movies! If you have seen the movie, you’ll know that Buddy is no ordinary guy. If his yellow tights weren’t enough to prove that, his ability to eat so much sweet food without packing on the pounds should be proof enough! (Do you remember what an elf’s four food groups are? Candy, candy canes, candy corn, and ______[Answer below]).

In a similar way, Jesus was no ordinary man. Jesus was not just a good man, a great example, or a spiritual friend – Jesus is _____[Answer on Sunday]! This Sunday we are going to be learning more about who Jesus is, from the narrative of Matthew 2:1-12.

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,

    are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;

for from you shall come a ruler

    who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.

We hope you can join us this Sunday!

(Answer: Syrup)