Category Archives: SUNDAY MORNING

Sunday Morning 12/10 (Unit 27, Session 4: Jesus Gave the Great Commission)

After Jesus’ death and resurrection, He appeared to His disciples over a 40-day period. At one point, He appeared to more than 500 people. During that time, Jesus taught about the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3) Some disciples wondered if Jesus was going to restore the kingdom of Israel. (Acts 1:6)

Jesus had a different plan for the disciples. He directed the Eleven to go to a mountain, where He appeared to them again. They worshiped Him, but some still doubted. (Matt. 28:17) On the mountain, Jesus gave His disciples the Great Commission. First, Jesus stated that all authority had been given to Him. Before the resurrection, Jesus had authority as God the Son. Through the resurrection, however, the Father gave Jesus far more than even Satan had promised. (Matt. 4:8-9) Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God subjected everything to His beloved Son. (See Heb. 2:5-9.)

Because of Jesus’ authority, He commanded His disciples to go into the world and preach the gospel, the good news about Him. The Great Commission is not just for missionaries far from home. All believers are called to share the gospel with others, teach them to obey God’s commands, and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus finished His commission with a profound promise: “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).

Talk to your kids about the importance of living out the Great Commission. Because Jesus has authority over all places and all people at all times, we can take the good news about Jesus to all places and all people at all times. God has given us a mission and gives us power through the Holy Spirit to obey this calling.

The good news about what Jesus has done to rescue us from our sins is too great to keep to ourselves. Before Jesus went back to heaven, He gave the disciples a job to do. Jesus wants His followers to teach people everywhere about Jesus so they will trust in Him as their Lord and Savior.

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FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus is alive in heaven.
    • Jesus has power over everything.
    • Jesus gave His friends a job to do on earth.
    • Jesus’ followers tell people everywhere about Him.
  • Preschool
    • What is our mission? Our mission is to tell others about Jesus.
    • Jesus gave His friends a mission.
  • Kids
    • What is our mission as believers? Our mission as believers is to make disciples of all nations by the power of the Spirit.
    • Jesus gave the disciples the Great Commission.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (Preschool: 1 Corinthians 15:4)

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus Ascended to Heaven” (Acts 1:4-14)

 

 

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Sunday Morning 12/03 (Unit 27, Session 3: Jesus Forgives and Restores)

After Jesus’ resurrection and His appearance to the disciples, seven of the disciples returned to Galilee, near the Sea of Galilee where Jesus had called four of His disciples to be fishers of men. (See Luke 5:1-11.) The disciples went fishing. Perhaps they felt it reasonable to return to the fishing business since their stint as disciples was apparently over—or so they thought!

In Bible times, nighttime was the preferred time for fishing. Fish caught at night could be sold fresh in the morning at market. But by daybreak, the disciples had caught nothing. Jesus stood at the shore, but the disciples did not know it was Him. He called to them, “Men, you don’t have any fish, do you?” (John 21:5). Then He urged them to cast their net on the right side of the boat. They obeyed, and they were unable to haul in the big catch!

John knew right away who He was. “It is the Lord!” John exclaimed. Peter immediately tied his outer garment around him and jumped into the sea, swimming 300 feet to shore. When the other six disciples arrived in the boat, they found Jesus sitting beside a charcoal fire with fish and bread. “Come and have breakfast,” Jesus said. Jesus ate with His disciples; then He turned to Peter.

John 21:15-19 describes Peter’s restoration. The disciple who told Jesus that he would die for Him (Luke 22:31-34) had denied Jesus three times. (Luke 22:54-62) Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved Jesus. Each time Peter responded yes, Jesus told Peter to feed His lambs. Jesus restored Peter to ministry.

Emphasize to your kids that Jesus’ plan for the disciples did not end with His death and resurrection.

When Jesus first called the disciples to follow Him, Jesus had promised to make them fishers of men. Instead of catching fish, they would tell people about Jesus. (Luke 5:1-11) The disciples had left Jesus when He was arrested and even denied Him, but Jesus still wanted to use them in God’s plan. Jesus is the Lord who forgives us and makes things right again.

27.3.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus is alive in heaven.
    • Jesus ate fish with His friends.
    • Jesus forgave Peter.
    • Jesus wanted Peter to tell others about Him.
  • Preschool
    • What is our mission? Our mission is to tell others about Jesus.
    • Jesus forgave Peter.
  • Kids
    • What is our mission as believers? Our mission as believers is to make disciples of all nations by the power of the Spirit.
    • Jesus forgave Peter and gave him a mission.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (Preschool: 1 Corinthians 15:4)

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus Gave the Great Commission” (Matthew 28:16-20)
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Sunday Morning 11/26 (Unit 27, Session 2: Jesus and the Doubter)

Jesus’ followers had seen Jesus alive! Two disciples met Jesus as they were walking to Emmaus, and then Jesus appeared to a group of His disciples as they met together in a locked room. But one of the disciples, Thomas, had missed out. He wasn’t there when Jesus appeared. He hadn’t seen Jesus for himself.

So despite his friends’ claims that the Lord was risen, Thomas doubted. In fact, he refused to believe. (John 20:25) Witnesses testified that they had seen Jesus, but Thomas wanted physical evidence. He lacked faith and was stubborn in his unbelief.

More than a week passed, and Thomas was with the other disciples in a room. Again, the doors were locked for their safety. Much like before, Jesus appeared before the disciples and said, “Peace be with you.”

This time, Thomas was there. Jesus told Thomas to believe. He urged him not only to look, but to feel Jesus’ wounds for himself. Here, Jesus gave grace to Thomas. He gave Thomas the physical proof he was looking for. Jesus was no ghost; Jesus was alive!

Thomas immediately believed, and Jesus said, “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing are blessed.” (John 20:29)

Thomas saw Jesus for himself. He saw that Jesus had been raised from the dead and was alive. He saw Jesus’ scars from the cross, where Jesus died for our sins. We have not seen Jesus, but Jesus said if we believe in Him without seeing Him, we are blessed.

The Bible says that God is pleased when we have faith. (Heb. 11:6) As you talk with your kids, explain the meaning of the word faith: “the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen” (Heb. 11:1). Faith is believing without seeing. It is trusting that God is who He says He is, and He will do what He says He will do. (See Num. 23:19.)

Faith cannot be mustered up on your own; it is a gift from God. (Eph. 2:8-9) Pray that God would grant your kids faith to believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior.

27.2.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus is alive in heaven.
    • Jesus showed Thomas that He is alive.
    • Thomas believed Jesus is the Lord.
    • We can believe God’s words about Jesus.
  • Preschool
    • What is our mission? Our mission is to tell others about Jesus.
    • Jesus showed His hands and side to Thomas.
  • Kids
    • What is our mission as believers? Our mission as believers is to make disciples of all nations by the power of the Spirit.
    • Jesus showed His hands and side to Thomas.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (Preschool: 1 Corinthians 15:4)

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus Forgives and Restores” (John 21:1-19)
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Sunday Morning 11/19 (Unit 27, Session 1: Jesus Appeared to the Disciples)

Only a few days had passed since Jesus was arrested, beaten, and crucified. His followers were undoubtedly afraid and confused. They met together in a house, locking the doors because they were afraid of the Jews. Would the Jews do to them what they had done to Jesus? The disciples had believed that Jesus was the Messiah, but they had abandoned Him and Jesus was killed. How could He save anyone if He was dead?

But now some people were reporting that Jesus was alive! Could it be true? The disciples were talking about these things when Jesus stood among them. They thought they were seeing a ghost.

“Peace to you!” He said. What good news! Imagine how Jesus’ words might have calmed the disciples’ anxious hearts. Their Lord, whom they had deserted, didn’t show up to scold them for their failures or shame them for their lack of faith. He spoke peace to them.

Even though Jesus had foretold His death and resurrection (Matt. 20:17-19), Jesus showed His disciples physical proof that He was alive. He showed them His hands and His side. With His resurrection, Jesus’ mission was accomplished. He paid the debt for sinners, and the transaction cleared. But the disciples’ work was just beginning.

Jesus gave His followers a job to do: “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). This verse contains the Gospel of John’s version of the Great Commission. Jesus, the One sent from the Father, sent the disciples to be His messengers and representatives. Jesus equipped the disciples with the Holy Spirit to proclaim the gospel—the good news of what Jesus has done—to the world.

For 40 days, Jesus presented Himself to at least 500 people and proved that He is alive. (1 Corinthians 15:3-8) Jesus is still alive today. He sends out believers to tell others about Him and gives us power through the Holy Spirit.

27.1.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus is alive in heaven.
    • The friends were hiding in a room.
    • Jesus showed His friends He is alive.
    • Jesus told His friends about God’s plan.
  • Preschool
    • What is our mission? Our mission is to tell others about Jesus.
    • Jesus appeared to His friends.
  • Kids
    • What is our mission as believers? Our mission as believers is to make disciples of all nations by the power of the Spirit.
    • Jesus appeared to His disciples.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 (Preschool: 1 Corinthians 15:4)

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus and the Doubter” (John 20:24-29)
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Sunday Morning 11/12 (Unit 26, Session 3: The Emmaus Disciples)

Jesus’ death and resurrection should not have surprised the disciples. Sometimes Jesus spoke metaphorically about His death and resurrection. (See Matt. 12:39; Mark 14:58; John 2:19; 3:14-15.) Other times, Jesus plainly told the disciples that He would be betrayed, crucified, buried, and resurrected on the third day. (Matt. 17:12; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22) In fact, Jesus had spoken so frequently of His death and resurrection, the chief priests and Pharisees asked Pilate to place guards at the tomb in case the disciples stole Jesus’ body. (See Matt. 27:62-66.)

On resurrection morning, the angel at Jesus’ tomb asked the women, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5). Even when Peter and John ran to the empty tomb to see it for themselves, Peter was amazed but uncertain (Luke 24:12), while John believed (John 20:8).

That same day, two disciples were walking to Emmaus, arguing about recent events. Jesus began walking next to them, but God prevented them from recognizing Him. (Luke 24:16) Jesus simply asked them what they were arguing about. They stopped walking. How could He not have heard about what happened over the last three days?

The two disciples had hoped Jesus was the Redeemer of Israel. Their hopes were crushed when Jesus died. Now Jesus explained to them why the Messiah had to die, starting with Moses and the Prophets. Jesus showed how the Scriptures point to Him. (Luke 24:27; John 5:39)

Remind your kids that the Bible is not a collection of unrelated stories.

The whole Bible is about Jesus. When Adam and Eve sinned, God began working out His plan to send Jesus to rescue people from sin. All of the Old Testament points forward to Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection—the time when Jesus would bring God’s promised salvation for sinners.

26.3.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus is alive.
    • Two friends saw Jesus alive.
    • Jesus helped His friends understand God’s plan.
    • God Jesus said the Bible is about Him.
  • Preschool
    • Why did Jesus die on the cross? Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, and He is alive today
    • Jesus taught that all the Scriptures point to Him.
  • Kids
    • Why did Jesus die on the cross? Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins and came back to life to show we are forgiven.
    • Jesus taught that all the Scriptures point to Him.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Ephesians 2:8-9 (Preschool: Ephesians 2:8)

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus Appeared to the Disciples” (Luke 24:36-49; John 20:19-23)
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Sunday Morning 11/05 (Unit 26, Session 2: Jesus’ Resurrection)

The time between Friday afternoon and Sunday morning must have been dark hours for Jesus’ disciples. Fear, doubt, and confusion certainly overwhelmed their thoughts. Jesus, their Lord, was dead. He had been unjustly arrested, falsely accused, and severely beaten. Even worse, He had been killed in a horrible manner: by crucifixion.

The story doesn’t end there. Jesus’ body was laid in a tomb. The tomb was sealed and guards watched over it. The Jews remembered Jesus’ claim that He would rise from the dead (John 2:19-21), and they made sure no one could steal His body and insist He had risen. Imagine their surprise when Jesus did rise from the dead!

John and Peter saw the empty tomb. Jesus appeared to Mary. The disciples believed Jesus had risen from the dead. Even though the guards at the tomb were bribed to lie about what happened (they said the disciples stole Jesus’ body), the truth spread. The disciples wouldn’t have dedicated their lives and died for something they knew was a lie.

If Christ had remained dead, His death would have meant nothing more than yours or mine. Humanity would still be dead in sin. But God gives us victory over sin and death through His Son, Jesus. The resurrection gives us hope that we too will one day be raised and changed. (See Rom. 6:5; 8:11.)

Paul addressed in 1 Corinthians 15:7 just how essential Jesus’ resurrection is to the gospel: “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.” The resurrection is proof that God was satisfied with Jesus’ sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins and that God’s new covenant had begun.

Jesus died on the cross for our sins, but He didn’t stay dead. God was pleased with Jesus’ sacrifice and raised Jesus from the dead to reign as King over all creation. Jesus provides salvation from sin and the promise of eternal life.

Emphasize to the kids you teach that Jesus is alive! We believe this by faith. Today, Jesus is seated at the right hand of God and reigns as King over all of creation. (Phil. 2:9-10)

26.2.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus is alive.
    • God sent Jesus to rescue us.
    • Jesus’ friends saw an empty tomb.
    • God made Jesus alive again.
  • Preschool
    • Why did Jesus die on the cross? Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, and He is alive today
    • Jesus is alive.
  • Kids
    • Why did Jesus die on the cross? Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins and came back to life to show we are forgiven.
    • Jesus was resurrected on the third day.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Ephesians 2:8-9 (Preschool: Ephesians 2:8)

 NEXT WEEK

  • “The Emmaus Disciples” (Luke 24:13-35)
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Sunday Morning 10/22 (Unit 26, Session 1: Jesus’ Crucifixion)

Jesus’ crucifixion, burial, and resurrection are the center of the gospel. Jesus accomplished the plan God had been working out throughout the Old Testament to bring salvation to sinners, and it happened in such an unlikely way.

In the Book of Acts, Peter testified to the Israelites about Jesus’ death: “Though He was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail Him to a cross and kill Him” (Acts 2:23). Crucifixion was a horrific way to die. As you share with your kids, rather than focus on the graphic details of how Jesus died, emphasize why He died. Two primary reasons stand out: God is loving, and God is just.

First, God is loving. He sent His Son to be the Savior of the world because He loves us. (See John 3:16; Rom. 5:8; 1 John 4:10.) Jesus submitted to the Father’s will; He humbled Himself and came to earth as a man, and He laid down His life because He loves us. (Eph. 5:2)

Jesus lived the perfect life we failed to live and died the guilty death we don’t want to die. Those who trust in Him receive forgiveness and eternal life.

Second, God is just. God’s law for the people was plain. (See Deuteronomy 6:5.) But God’s people, and all people, broke the law. We have loved other things more than we love God. That is sin. So why did Jesus have to die? Why couldn’t He just say, “You are forgiven”? Because God is just, He requires due payment for sin. To simply forgive sin without requiring a payment would be unjust.

Jesus was our substitute, taking our place on the cross and absorbing God’s wrath on our behalf so we can be forgiven and declared righteous. (See Rom. 3:25-26; Col. 2:13-15.) Jesus died to release sinners from slavery to sin, and when we trust in Him, we are free indeed.

We deserve to die because of our sin, but God loves us and kept His promise to send a Savior. Jesus never sinned, but He died in our place. He was the blood sacrifice made once and for all for the forgiveness of sin. Jesus rose from the dead on the third day, and those who trust in Him have forgiveness and eternal life.

26.1.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus is alive.
    • Jesus never did anything wrong.
    • Jesus died on the cross to do God’s plan.
    • God made Jesus alive again.
  • Preschool
    • Why did Jesus die on the cross? Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins, and He is alive today
    • Jesus died on the cross.
  • Kids
    • Why did Jesus die on the cross? Jesus died on the cross to save us from our sins and came back to life to show we are forgiven.
    • Jesus was crucified on the cross.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Ephesians 2:8-9 (Preschool: Ephesians 2:8)

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus’ Resurrection” (Matthew 28:1-15; John 20:1-18)
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