Several Bible stories show that even something as simple as clothing can be rich with symbolism and meaning.
A box full of miscellaneous articles of clothing (hats, scarves, jackets, ties) borrowed from your Community Service Center, writing paper, pens, exhaustive Bible Concordance
Connecting with the Scripture Topic
- Has anyone in the group been color-draped? If so, have that person explain the concept to those have no idea what color-draping is. If you have been color-draped, do you feel better or believe you are received better by others when you wear your colors?
- Close your eyes and select one article of clothing from the box. Now put that item on. How do you feel wearing this odd garment? Do your perceptions of your classmates change when you see them wearing a strange piece of clothing?
Sharing and Receiving Scripture
- Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you were conspicuously under-prepared for a theological discussion? How did you feel? Aside from making you feel uncomfortable, did being unprepared create an actual problem for you?
- Thought Questions
Read the story of the woman who touched Jesus’ robe (Mark 5:24-34). Why do you think she placed her faith in something as unusual as touching Christ’s clothes?
- Maybe it was a common superstition to touch a healer’s garment.
- She believed in the power of transference—the belief that power in Jesus’ robe would flow to her through her touch.
- Since she saw no way that Jesus could touch her directly, she was merely hoping this would work.
- There must have been some wild stories floating around about how Jesus healed people.
- You will do extreme—even nonsensical—things when you are desperate.
John 19:23-24 indicates that Jesus wore a valuable article of clothing. How does this fit with Jesus’ life of poverty?
- Jesus may not have had many possessions, but those possessions were durable and of good quality.
- It had practical value; it was not extravagant.
- It could have been a gift.
- Even the poor can have self-respect.
- Jesus must have earned some money as a carpenter, enough to last over three years.
Read Matthew 27:27-29. What deep spiritual significance do you see in the clothes the soldiers put on Jesus?
- They removed Jesus’ ragged clothes, which represented human self-righteousness.
- The scarlet robe signifies that Jesus’ true royalty is a result of bearing our sins.
- Instead of being a crown of human dignity, Jesus’ crown of thorns was a crown of divine suffering.
- A reed for a scepter indicates that Jesus’ rule was one of gentleness and grace; it was not harsh or autocratic.
- The whole affair illustrates the foolishness of those who refuse to acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Ruler of all.
Read John 20:3-7. Why was the burial cloth neatly folded?
- Never in a rush, Jesus took time to reflect on what had just happened.
- Jesus appreciates order.
- This shows that Jesus’ disappearance from the tomb was not the result of grave robbers.
- Maybe this was one of Jesus’ personal habits that the disciples would recognize.
- A wadded napkin on a plate means “I’m done,” while a folded napkin alongside the plate means “I’m coming back for more.” Jesus was saying, “I’m not done here; I’m coming back.”
Applying the Message of Scripture
Gather in groups of two or three. Choose one of the following options and work on a solution. Then report back to the larger group when your facilitator says time is up.
- Option 1: We often donate only old, cast-off clothing to charity. What if we gave our best instead? List some other ideas for increasing the quality of your gifts.
- Option 2: Using the clothes from the box, do an “Extreme Makeover” on a willing group member—and have fun with this! Using Ephesians 6:10-17 as your guide, identify what each article of clothing represents for this person.
- Option 3: Look through the Bible Concordance and see if you can find other references to clothing in Scripture that haven’t yet been explored in this quarter’s lessons. Make a list of some of those texts and be prepared to give a brief synopsis of each of those passages.
Valuing Scripture in Your Life
- For the next three minutes, reflect quietly on your spiritual wardrobe. Are you all dressed up in Christ’s robe of righteousness or do you need an extreme makeover?
- After three minutes, those who choose to may share their thoughts. Conclude with prayer.