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It had been a while since Hoax and I were able to sit down and talk about the Bible because he spent two weeks in the hospital with Ginalyn waiting for blood to arrive. They left the hospital after these two weeks without a blood transfusion and were told to check back in another two weeks to see if the equipment had arrived so that Hoax and his brothers could donate blood for Ginalyn.
When Hoax and I finally sat down together we started with a lengthy review of the major points that we have covered so far. It worked out very well because it gave us a chance to basically review the entire Old Testament before beginning with Jesus’ life. Though Hoax did not remember everything, it was encouraging to see what he had retained and how he was able to follow the story. Additionally, it gave me the opportunity to reiterate some of the major themes and tie together the overarching story of the Bible. After the review we went through the following lessons over our next two meetings:
Jesus’ Birth and Childhood – I told Hoax how hundreds of years had passed since God had sent a message to Israel through a prophet. Then an angel came to Mary and to Joseph to break the news about Mary’s pregnancy. We talked about God’s power in the virgin birth and its implications–namely that Jesus was not a descendent of Adam and did not inherit his corrupted image and associated guilt. We talked also about Zacharias’ prophecy and the reminder of God’s promise to Abraham that it contained. We then talked about Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem, his time in Egypt, his visit to Jerusalem and the fact that, in everything, he was obedient to his parents.
John the Baptist – I read a description of John’s activities and explained that he was preaching repentance to the Jews. Many of them were listening, accepting his message and responding by being baptized. Additionally, John told the Jewish leaders that their heritage would not save them but that they should change their thinking and their actions would follow this change. I ended this part with John calling Jesus “the lamb of God who takes away sin.”
Jesus’ Temptation – I read through Satan’s attempts to tempt Jesus to show Jesus’ perfect obedience to his father.
Hoax’s Reaction – Throughout our lessons, I’ve been hammering the points that we are guilty and deserve God’s punishment. And, additionally, fixing this problem and becoming righteous is not something we can accomplish through good works. When I asked Hoax if he had any questions, he told me that he used to think that he had to “believe and follow whatever customs God wants” so he could go to heaven. I asked him what it was that he thought he had to believe and he explained, “that there is a God.” Then he explained that he now has a new thought: “Now the two of us have been talking about a story and it is a new story. Now what do I really have to do to go to heaven?”