Lesson Fifteen


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Memory Verse: 2 Corinthians 9:7
Further Study: Matthew 21:12-17, 23-32; Mark 11:15-19; 24-33; 12:4-44; Luke 19:45-48; 21:1-4, 29-33; The Desire of Ages, pp. 589-600, 614-616; The Bible Story, vol 8. pp. 142-144; vol. 9, pp. 44-47

How long has it been since you have done a dot-to-dot puzzle? These are pictures that are usually made for children, but sometimes adults, where there are a series of dots in a pattern. Each dot is numbered and as one connects the dots starting with one and going in order until the end, the outline of a picture is formed. It’s only at the end that you see the full picture.

Our lesson this week is something like a dot-to-dot picture. Jesus has spent three and a half years in ministry. He has healed, taught, walked on water, raised people from the dead, and more. Now He’s entering His last week. The picture is almost formed, each dot representing and identifying who He is. The challenge for Jesus was that while He was laying down point by point for those around Him to see and understand the picture He was creating, they weren’t getting it. For them, they were simply confusing dots on a page.

For them, they were simply confusing dots on a page.

In this last week Jesus added important points for people to see and to remember. Last week we learned of His entry into Jerusalem on a donkey. This was significant as it referenced Jesus as King and it was done loudly, joyfully, and most important, publicly. Next, Jesus entered the temple. At the beginning of His ministry, Jesus cleansed the temple when He discovered moneychangers, animals, and cheating. This time, if possible, it was worse. There was all that was there and more, including animal cruelty. 

My mother was a teacher. She could give a look across the room and with no words, I knew exactly what she was saying. She had the “teacher look” down pat. Jesus had a similar look. As He gazed over the scene, His look silenced those in the temple court. Their silence turned to fear, and their fear to instinctively look for a place to hide. But Jesus wasn’t only silent, He reminded them in a loud, authoritative voice just where they were and whose house it belonged to. Again, He laid down another dot. The King had come, and it was with power and authority.

The King had come, and it was with power and authority.

Yet another dot revealed more of the picture as Jesus then sat down in the temple courts, taught, healed, and played with children. This King was kind, loving, and full of truth. At that moment many surrounding Him didn’t see the full picture, but in a few days when this King died and was resurrected, they connected the dots and in so doing revealed who He was and caused them to believe in Him.

A dot-to-dot puzzle is exactly that—a puzzle. If one doesn’t connect the dots, the picture won’t ever be revealed. We are no different than the people in the lesson this week. Jesus has laid out the dots of who He is. More importantly, out of love each of us have a unique picture of Jesus created just for us. Let’s connect the dots and be renewed.

Digging Deeper 

When Jesus entered the temple grounds, the chaos and confusion that He encountered was in the court of the Gentiles. There the religious leaders had set up tables to exchange currency for the temple currency, to sell animals or birds to those who had traveled great distance, plus other grains, and offerings. They did this at great expense to the purchaser and great profit to themselves. One can imagine the noise from birds, oxen, cattle, sheep, and the hundreds of travelers. 

The challenge wasn’t only the noise, but the picture of God that those who were involved displayed for worshippers including Gentile observers. Everything was portrayed as a requirement of God, and it wasn’t difficult to leap to the conclusion that it was God robbing the worshiper because of His stringent demands.

Jesus commandeered the temple if only for a few hours. He cleared out the sellers and noise, replacing it with a calm, peaceful, serene, and healing Presence. He healed the lame, the sick, the blind. He played with children. He taught great truths. And for a few hours, people were able to see the true character of God.


Making it Real

This is the week to do a dot-to-dot puzzle! If you have kids, visit this website (https://activities.raisingourkids.com/connect-dot-to-dot/index-02.html) to find printable dot-to-to sheets. Select several to print. At family worship, show them the puzzle and talk about what is missing in the picture. They can take guesses to what the full picture is. Talk about how the dots are guides to help them understand and see what the full picture is. Then relate it to Jesus. After your child does the puzzles, talk about the Jesus “dots,” we find in the Bible and in our own lives.

No kids, but you’re a kid at heart? Check out this website for an adult level dot-to-dot puzzle (https://www.thinktonight.com/Downloadable_Dot_to_Dot_Puzzles_s/504.htm). As you do the puzzle, it’s the same idea as for kids. How has Jesus impacted your life? What dots has He laid down just for you to see Him more clearly? 



Merle Poirier writes from Silver Spring, Maryland, where she works as the operation manager for Adventist Review and Adventist World magazines as well as the designer for KidsView, a magazine for 8-12-year-olds. She enjoys spending time with her family including being a grandmother to two active little boys, who greatly enjoy Starting With Jesus, and a granddaughter, who’s delighting everyone with her smiles. She is blessed to have all three living close by, continually bringing joy and delight.


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