I was asked by ministry leader, Tom Wright, who was on vacation in 77 degree weather in Florida today, to teach from Genesis 21 – the story of the birth of Isaac and the casting out of Ishmael. The challenge was to explain the story in a simple way to people who are unfamiliar with the redemptive history of the Bible. Then, I wanted to connect the dots to the story of Jesus.
I wanted to answer the question, "How does the story of Isaac and Ishmael point us to the story of Jesus?"
Many years ago I heard the statement, "Jesus is in the Old Testament concealed and in the New Testament revealed." I have the Jesus Storybook Bible that I purchased for my grandson. The book is subtitled "Every story whispers His name" - meaning, of course, that every Old Testament story teaches us something about the Person and work of Jesus. This approach reflects the message of the book Jesus on Every Page: 10 Simple Ways to Seek and Find Christ in the Old Testament, by David Murray. Today, I told the internationals that history is really His–story.
Below is my lesson plan. I tried to make it a dialogue and gave the internationals the opportunity to explore the text in small group settings and then to make their own discoveries.
Question: How would you teach Genesis 21 to a group of internationals?