Sunday, July 14, 2013

Bible Study on The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian and the Voyage of the Dawn Treader (BBC)



The Chronicles of Narnia:

Prince Caspian and

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

           
(British Broadcasting Company Movie Edition)

Authorship The Chronicles of Narnia were written by C.S. Lewis, a Christian English professor at Oxford College in England. The first volume was published in 1950, and was a story meant to remind us of the greatest story of all, the Bible.

Setting 1941, England, during World War Two: one thousand years later in Narnia since the children first visited the land

Discussion Points

*(0:12:00) Most people in Narnia did not believe in the old stories about Aslan and the history of the royal children. Most people thought that they were just myths and fairytales. Did you know that most people today believe that our stories about God are just myths?, that most people today think that the Bible is just make believe? What are some of the reasons why you think people don’t believe the Bible is true?

Open your Bible to any random page in the Old Testament or the Gospels. Try to find a page that doesn’t give a name of a place or a year. The Bible is very detailed in geography and time frame. This tells us that the Bible was written to be a history book for us, a history of what God has done for us and His people. God and the people who wrote the Bible want us to know that this is a true story. These things really happened. They’re not just myths. All those boring parts where it says, “This guy begat this guy”, is to tell us that we’re reading real history.

Okay. So we can read about what God did in the past, but it’s still hard to believe it actually happened. It’s hard to imagine God flooding the whole world or parting the Red Sea. The people in the Bible actually saw that stuff, but we didn’t. They have an advantage over us, right? That’s where faith comes in.

John 20:29 - 29Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Hebrews 11:1 - 1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

2 Corinthians 5:7 - 7We live by faith, not by sight.

*(0:31:00) Lucy says she saw Aslan. But it was only for a moment. Then the rest of the children see Him, but Peter says that it’s tricky in this light to really see Him clearly. Just like it was hard for the children in the movie to see Aslan, it’s hard for us to see God while we’re here on earth.

1 Corinthians 13:12 - 12Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

We can’t see everything that we want to see now. We can’t always see God. It’s like we’re looking through a really dirty window. Sometimes we can make something out, but most of the time it’s just too hard to see through the dirt. But if we keep looking, we will catch glimpses of God from time to time.

Matthew 7:7-8 -7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

Jesus promises that if you seek for God you will find Him.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 - 11 For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.

But we’re not talking about just some ho-hum casual seeking. If you want to see God, you have to seek with all your heart. And here it tells us one of the ways to seek. It says that if we pray, God will hear us. Prayer is one way to seek God.

1 Chronicles 15:1-3 - 1 The Spirit of God came upon Azariah son of Oded. 2 He went out to meet Asa and said to him, "Listen to me, Asa and all Judah and Benjamin. The LORD is with you when you are with him. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will forsake you. 3 For a long time Israel was without the true God, without a priest to teach and without the law.

The second way to seek God is by reading the Bible. This verse tells us that the people of Israel did not know God for a long time because they weren’t reading His Word. God gave us the Bible for a reason. The Bible is where God chooses to show Himself to us. The Bible is the place where God wants us to seek for Him.

If we want to see God, if you want to find Him, look for Him in the Bible and pray to Him, and He promises that you will find Him.

*(1:05:00) Eustace’s tongue gets him in trouble, doesn’t it? He has a bad attitude and makes a lot of nasty comments. He even openly insults people! Of course we don’t always watch what we say as much as we should do we? It’s hard to control what we say!

James 3:3-12 - 3When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal. 4Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go. 5Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. 6The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. 7All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, 8but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. 9With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. 10Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. 11Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 12My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water.

Our mouths have a way of running away with us, don’t they? We find ourselves lying, insulting people, backtalking, gossiping, telling dirty jokes, cursing. We do all of these things and then we say that we believe in God! As Christians, we need to really try to control what we say.

James 1:26 - 26If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

If we’re saying things that we shouldn’t then the Bible tells us that we’re not taking our religion seriously enough. Religion has to make a difference in our lives. If it doesn’t, then we don’t really have religion. What we believe has to affect what we say.

Psalm 15:1-3 - 1 LORD, who may dwell in your sanctuary? Who may live on your holy hill? 2 He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart 3 and has no slander on his tongue, who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman

One of the things that will make us acceptable to God is watching what we say. This passage tells us that God will be pleased with people who speak the truth, that God will be pleased with people who don’t gossip, that God will be pleased with people who don’t insult others.

*(1:35:00) Eustace has been selfish from the moment we met him. Along with being selfish, he’s also greedy, isn’t he? He sees something that he wants and he wants to keep it all to himself. Let’s see what the Bible has to say about selfishness and being greedy.

Luke 12:13-21 – 13Someone in the crowd said to him, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me." 14Jesus replied, "Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?" 15Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." 16And he told them this parable: "The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. 17He thought to himself, 'What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.' 18"Then he said, 'This is what I'll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19And I'll say to myself, "You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry." ' 20"But God said to him, 'You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?' 21"This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God."
Luke 12:22-34 - 22Then Jesus said to his disciples: "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. 23Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. 24Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! 25Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? 26Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? 27"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 28If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! 29And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. 30For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. 31But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.  32"Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. 33Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. 34For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
These verses tell us that although people want to have a lot of money and want to have a lot of nice stuff, that isn’t what matters in life. Being rich toward God is what matters, right? Because God will provide us with everything that we need if we trust in Him. Not only will He give us food and clothes, but He’ll also give us the Kingdom of Heaven if we believe in Him. So money and stuff in this life don’t matter. Jesus says that where our treasure is, that’s where our heart is. What is your treasure? Is it your cell phone, your ipod, your cds, your video games, your clothes? If those types of things are what you value most, then your heart is not going to be right with God. But if what you value most is spending time with God and reading the Bible and praying and doing things that please Him, then your heart will someday be in Heaven with God. People in this world care way too much about things and not enough about God and other people. The Bible tells us to give and give, not want more and more.
1 Timothy 6:7-10 – 7For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. 8But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. 9People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. 10For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
When we want more and more money or things, we make money or things our idol. We let money or things distract us from God and the things that really matter.

When Eustace allowed himself to be tempted by greed, he was turned into a dragon, wasn’t he? He was turned into an ugly monster. What do you think happens to us when we sin? People who are selfish and greedy and sin all the time have ugly personalities, don’t they? Next week we’ll see how Eustace and we can be healed from our sin.

(1:52:00) Eustace was turned into a monster because his soul was ugly and sinful. He was selfish and greedy and a curse caused him to appear on the outside what he looked like on the inside. Eustace’s personality shows us that he was definitely someone without God in his life, right? He was lost. But what did Aslan do for Eustace? Did Eustace go try to find Aslan or did Aslan come find Eustace? Aslan came to find Eustace, right? Close your eyes and listen as I read to you.

Luke 15:3-7 - 3Then Jesus told them this parable: 4"Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? 5And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, 'Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.' 7I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.

Luke 19:10 - 10For the Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost."

Okay, open your eyes again. You see, there was a point in our lives, when we, like Eustace, were lost from God. But Jesus came to find us, just like Aslan came to find Eustace. We weren’t lost in the sense that Jesus didn’t know where we were. God always knows where we are, right? He knows everything about us. But we were lost in the sense that we didn’t know what road or path in life to take to lead us to Heaven. Jesus knew where we were, but we didn’t. We were just going along on our merry way, thinking that we were doing fine, but really we were so lost that we didn’t even realize that the path that we were on was leading us straight to Hell. We were so lost that we were heading away from God instead of to God and didn’t even know it.

We were trying to find our own on the road of life. We were trying to do things by ourselves. Just like Eustace was, right? When he was a dragon, he thought that he could fix his problem himself? Did you see him trying to claw his own skin off? But no matter what he did, he was powerless to help himself. Just like we are powerless to fix our own spiritual problems.

Romans 5:6, 8 - 6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Aslan told Eustace that He would have to do it for him. And that’s the same way it is with us. We can’t fix our spiritual problem. We can’t get rid of our sin by ourselves. We can’t save ourselves. God has to do it for us.

Ephesians 2:4-9 - 4But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. 6And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. 8For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— 9not by works, so that no one can boast.

Close your eyes again. I want you to take a minute to think about God’s incredible to grace to you. That He sent His Son to come looking for you when you didn’t even know that you were lost. That He took away your sin when you were powerless to help yourself.

*(2:15:00) Aslan says that he calls all times soon. Remember that Aslan symbolizes God in this series. How can God call all times soon?

2 Peter 3:8 - 8But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

How can a day be like a thousand years? How can a thousand years be like a day?

God stands outside of time. God created time for us. Time does not matter to God. God lives in a place where there is no time. It is called eternity. God enters our time and our world from time to time, but He is also free to leave it and reenter it whenever He chooses.

*(2:45:00) Aslan appears here as a lamb and a lion. We know that God is like a lion because He’s strong and He’s the King. Just like the lion is the king of the jungle, God is the King of the Universe. But why do you think He appears here as a lamb?

Exodus 12:21-23 - 21 Then Moses summoned all the elders of Israel and said to them, "Go at once and select the animals for your families and slaughter the Passover lamb. 22 Take a bunch of hyssop, dip it into the blood in the basin and put some of the blood on the top and on both sides of the doorframe. Not one of you shall go out the door of his house until morning. 23 When the LORD goes through the land to strike down the Egyptians, he will see the blood on the top and sides of the doorframe and will pass over that doorway, and he will not permit the destroyer to enter your houses and strike you down.

During the exodus, God ordered His people to show their faithfulness to Him by sacrificing a lamb and putting the blood of it over their doorways. When God saw the blood of the lamb over His people, they were protected. Today, we still do the same thing to show that we are God’s people.

John 1:29 - 29The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, "Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!

Jesus has become our Lamb.

Isaiah 53:7 - 7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
    yet he did not open his mouth;
    he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
    and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
    so he did not open his mouth.

When we have the blood of Jesus covering us, when we believe in the sacrifice that He made for us, we are identified as God’s people. We are protected from God’s punishment. The blood of Jesus, believing in Him, is the same as putting blood over our doorway in the time of the exodus.

*(2:45:00) Aslan says that there is a door to his country in our world and that we must learn the name that he has in our world. What do you think Aslan’s name is in our world? What do you think is the door to his country in our world?

Through our study, we have come to recognize that Aslan symbolizes God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit. The way that we get to God in our world is not by believing in a magical lion, but by believing in the true story of Jesus Christ.





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