Category Archives: SUNDAY MORNING

Sunday Morning 08/20 (Unit 23, Session 3: Jesus Walked on Water)

Jesus had just fed more than 5,000 people on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. After sending away the people and directing His disciples to go back across the sea, Jesus went to a mountain to pray. It was late, and He sought to be alone with His Father. Jesus was preparing to fulfill His Father’s plan. Before long, He would die on the cross and rescue people from their sin.

While Jesus prayed, the disciples struggled to cross the sea. A storm came and tossed their boat up and down. They didn’t make any progress against the waves. Then, in the early morning hours, they saw a figure walking toward them on the water. They thought it was a ghost, but it was Jesus!

Peter asked Jesus for permission to come out on the water, and Jesus called to him. Peter walked on the water too—until he remembered the storm. Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, and he began to sink. Peter cried out to Jesus, “Save me!”

Jesus took Peter by the hand and got in the boat. The wind and waves calmed. Though Peter had doubted, the disciples worshiped Jesus. Clearly He was no ordinary man; this was the Son of God—the promised Messiah!

Jesus proved that He can be trusted. His miracles, teaching, death, and resurrection showed that He is who He says He is. Only Jesus can save us when we look to Him in faith. As you talk with your kids, encourage them to look to Jesus in faith every day. We can seek Him for our salvation and for help as we live in this world. Even in the midst of fear and doubt, we can hold out our empty hands and cry, “Lord, save me!” He will answer, and we can respond in worship of our Lord and Savior.

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FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus did miracles.
    • Jesus’ friends were in a boat during a storm.
    • Jesus walked on the water to His friends.
    • Jesus’ friends believed He is God’s Son.
  • Preschool
    • Why did Jesus perform miracles? Jesus performed miracles to show He is God’s Son.
    • Jesus walked on water.
  • Kids
    • Why did Jesus perform miracles? Jesus performed miracles to glorify God and prove He is God the Son.
    • Jesus walked on the sea.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • John 20:31

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Four Friends Helped” (Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12; Luke 5:17-26)
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Sunday Morning 08/13 (Unit 23, Session 2: Jesus Provided Bread from Heaven)

Jesus’ disciples had been working hard, teaching people and healing them. Jesus called them to go away with Him to a desolate place so they could rest. By now, Jesus’ popularity was so great that finding a place to be alone was difficult. When Jesus and His disciples crossed the Sea of Galilee, the crowd of people were already waiting for them on the other side.

Jesus saw the crowds. He wasn’t frustrated or angry. He didn’t tell them to go away. Instead, He had compassion on them because they were lost—like sheep without a shepherd. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who seeks and saves the lost. (See Luke 19:10; John 10:14.)

The miracle Jesus performed that evening—feeding 5,000 men plus women and children—is the only miracle during Jesus’ earthly ministry that is recorded in all four Gospels. God was clearly at work. The same God who provided manna for the Israelites in the wilderness multiplied loaves and fish to satisfy the crowd.

By feeding the five thousand, Jesus provided for the physical needs of the crowd. The next day, Jesus called Himself the bread of life. (John 6:35) Only Jesus is able to satisfy our souls forever by providing forgiveness, friendship with God, and eternal life.

But Jesus didn’t intend to only meet the people’s physical needs. He came to satisfy their spiritual needs as well. No one who comes to Jesus will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Him will ever be thirsty again.

Jesus is the bread that came down from heaven. (See John 6:41.) God provided His Son as the perfect sacrifice to take away our sin. At the first Lord’s Supper, Jesus broke bread—a symbol of His death on the cross. (See Matt. 26:26.)

As you talk about this Bible story, help your kids know that God can and will provide for our needs. We can trust Him for our “daily bread.” (See Matt. 6:11.) God met our greatest need in giving us salvation through Jesus. Will He not graciously give us all things? (Rom. 8:32)

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FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus did miracles.
    • Jesus loved people and healed them.
    • Jesus fed the crowd with five loaves and two fish.
    • Jesus showed people He provides.
  • Preschool
    • Why did Jesus perform miracles? Jesus performed miracles to show He is God’s Son.
    • Jesus fed 5,000 people.
  • Kids
    • Why did Jesus perform miracles? Jesus performed miracles to glorify God and prove He is God the Son.
    • Jesus fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • John 20:31

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus Walked on Water” (Matthew 14:22-33)
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Sunday Morning 08/06 (Unit 23, Session 1: Jesus Turned Water to Wine)

Jesus’ ministry had begun. He called disciples and traveled to the region of Galilee. Jesus spent His time on earth teaching and performing miracles, preparing for His ultimate mission: to die on the cross for the salvation of sinners. Jesus’ miracles were signs that pointed to greater truths about who Jesus is and why He had come.

John 2 records Jesus’ first miracle at a wedding in Cana. Jesus’ mother told Jesus that the wine had run out. Culturally, running out of wine was a big deal. Weddings were important events, and the celebration could last a week. To run out of wine was a social disaster. But Jesus responded in a surprising way: “What has this concern of yours to do with Me, woman? My hour has not yet come” (John 2:4).

To understand Jesus’ answer, remember that Jesus’ miracles were not an end unto themselves. They were signs, pointing to something greater. When the wine ran out, Jesus turned water to wine to show that He is the Messiah, the Son of God.

Jesus offers us something greater than wine—Himself. Jesus is the true Vine. On that day, His hour had not yet come. Jesus knew what lay ahead; to give us Himself, He would shed His own blood by dying on the cross for our sin.

When Jesus’ disciples witnessed His miracle, the jars of wine were not the focus of their awe and wonder. Through the miracle, Jesus displayed His glory and His disciples believed in Him. Jesus was driven by His Father’s plan—not to simply solve the problem of lacking wine, but to solve the deepest problem we face, the problem of sin.

As you talk with your kids, point them beyond Jesus’ miracles to see Jesus for who He is. Jesus performed miracles to help people believe that He is the Messiah, the Son of God. Jesus has power over everything, and those who believe in Him will have eternal life.

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FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus did miracles.
    • Jesus turned water into wine.
    • Jesus showed people His power.
    • Jesus is powerful because He is God’s Son.
  • Preschool
    • Why did Jesus perform miracles? Jesus performed miracles to show He is God’s Son.
    • Jesus turned water into wine.
  • Kids
    • Why did Jesus perform miracles? Jesus performed miracles to glorify God and prove He is God the Son.
    • Jesus’ first miracle was to turn water into wine.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • John 20:31

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus Provided bread from Heaven” (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; John 6:1-14)
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Sunday Morning 07/30 (Unit 22, Session 6: The Wicked Tenants)

A couple of days after Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem and the day after He cleansed the temple, Jesus returned to the temple complex and began teaching. The chief priests and elders questioned Jesus. “Who gave You this authority?” they asked. These religious leaders did not want to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. So Jesus told them parables to get them thinking and to teach them about Himself.

The parable of the wicked tenants illustrates the story of Israel’s history. As you teach kids, help them connect the story to what happened in Israel’s history. First, the landowner is God the Father. He chose to bless the world through Abraham’s family, the people of Israel. The vineyard is Israel.

The tenants are the leaders of Israel. Throughout history, God sent the Old Testament prophets to speak to God’s people. But they did not listen to the prophets. Like the tenants of the vineyard, Israel’s leaders persecuted the prophets. So God the Father sent His Son, Jesus. Jesus knew that the people were going to kill Him like the tenants killed the landowner’s son.

Jesus led the leaders to conclude themselves what would be fair: that the landowner would punish the tenants and find workers who respect Him. God too is just. God will judge those who reject Jesus. He planned to choose a people who respect and trust Him—those who have faith—and form a community of believers from every nation to live under His righteous leadership.

Jesus told this story to teach the religious leaders about Himself. God sent His own Son, Jesus, to earth but the religious leaders rejected Him. Jesus is the cornerstone—the most important One of all. Only He can save us from our sin.

Those who encounter Jesus can either accept and trust Him or walk away and reject Him. No one who meets Jesus will walk away unchanged. Pray that God would change the hearts of your kids so that they would come to trust in Jesus, the Son of the loving and just Master, who wants everyone to come to repentance. (2 Pet. 3:9)

22.6.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus told stories about God.
    • Jesus told a story about God’s plan.
    • People wanted to hurt Jesus.
    • God sent Jesus because He loves us.
  • Preschool
    • Why did Jesus tell stories? Jesus told stories to teach people about God.
    • God will judge those who do not follow Jesus.
  • Kids
    • Why did Jesus tell parables? Jesus told parables to teach people about God and His kingdom.
    • God will judge those who reject Jesus.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Mark 6:34

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus Turned Water to Wine” (John 2:1-12)
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Sunday Morning 07/23 (Unit 22, Session 5: The Pharisee and the Tax Collector)

Jesus was making His way to Jerusalem—the place where everything written about the Son of Man would be accomplished. (See Luke 18:31-33.) Jesus moved between towns and villages, teaching Pharisees and scribes, tax collectors and sinners, and His own disciples along the way. Luke 18:9-14 describes a parable Jesus told to a specific group: “to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and looked down on everyone else” (Luke 18:9).

The parable presents two men who went up to the temple complex to pray. The first, a Pharisee, was proud and believed he was righteous because of his own deeds. He stood up and prayed, thanking God that he was not as sinful as other people.

The second, a tax collector, humbly acknowledged his sin and asked God for mercy. Jesus explained that the tax collector—and not the Pharisee—went home justified.

The tax collector knew he needed God to forgive him, and he cried out to God. Everyone is a sinner who needs forgiveness. Jesus took the punishment for our sin by dying on the cross. We can cry out to God like the tax collector and because of Jesus, God will forgive us.

As you talk with your kids, explain that God rejects the proud but gives grace to the humble. (See Jas. 4:6.) The sin of pride keeps us from Jesus. Pride is thinking we are better than we really are. Someone with the attitude of the Pharisee sees no need for Jesus. The Pharisee focused on sins he had avoided rather than confessing his sin, but the tax collector knew he had no standing before a righteous God. He asked for mercy, and God was merciful to him.

God did not look at the Pharisee—nor does He ever look at us—and say, “Wow, that’s impressive.” God sees us for who we really are: sinners in need of forgiveness. Jesus took the punishment for our sin by dying on the cross. God wants everyone to be saved (see 1 Tim. 2:4; 2 Pet. 3:9), and we can come to Him with nothing but empty hands of faith. We can cry out to God like the tax collector and because of Jesus, God will forgive us.

22.5.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus told stories about God.
    • Jesus told a story about people needing God’s forgiveness.
    • The tax collector asked God to forgive him.
    • God forgives us through His Son, Jesus.
  • Preschool
    • Why did Jesus tell stories? Jesus told stories to teach people about God.
    • Jesus taught about being humble.
  • Kids
    • Why did Jesus tell parables? Jesus told parables to teach people about God and His kingdom.
    • God rejects the proud but gives grace to the humble.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Mark 6:34

 NEXT WEEK

  • “The Wicked Tenants” (Matthew 21:33-45)

 

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Sunday Morning 07/16 (Unit 22, Session 4: Three Parables)

In Luke 19, Jesus went after Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector. Zacchaeus was not well liked, but his interaction with Jesus led him to repent of his wrongdoing. Jesus said to him, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).

Who is “the lost”? What does it mean to be lost? In Luke 15, Jesus told three parables to the crowd of tax collectors, sinners, Pharisees, and scribes. Jesus’ teaching brought gospel truth to the tax collectors and sinners—those whose unrighteousness separated them from God—and to the Pharisees and scribes—those whose relied on their own righteous efforts for salvation.

The first two parables are similar. In one, a man loses a sheep. He leaves his flock to find the missing sheep, and he rejoices when it is found. In the second, a woman loses a silver coin. The woman carefully searches her home until she finds it. Then, she calls her neighbors and friends to celebrate with her. Heaven rejoices when even one sinner repents. Finally, Jesus told a parable about two sons. The younger son asked for his inheritance, wasted his money on immoral living, and decided to return to his father. Rather than rejecting his wayward son, the father embraced him. The older son, who had always been obedient to his father, reacted with anger.

As you read Luke 15, think about the crowd Jesus was speaking to. The focus is often placed on the younger son—the one with whom the tax collectors and sinners could identify—but Jesus also made a point about the older son. He was like the Pharisees and scribes, focused on his own morality and feeling entitled to his father’s favor.

The religious leaders complained that Jesus welcomed sinners. Jesus told these parables to teach about God’s forgiveness. God sent Jesus so sinners can be forgiven. As Savior, Jesus seeks sinners. He paid the ultimate price—His own life—to save people from sin.

Jesus taught what God is like. He seeks sinners who have wandered far from Him, and He seeks sinners who try to earn salvation by their good works. As you talk with your kids, help them understand that being lost means not knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior. God loves us, and He actively seeks to bring sinners to Himself.

22.4.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus told stories about God.
    • Jesus told a story about God’s love.
    • The father was happy when his son came home.
    • God is happy when we trust Jesus.
  • Preschool
    • Why did Jesus tell stories? Jesus told stories to teach people about God.
    • Jesus taught about God’s love.
  • Kids
    • Why did Jesus tell parables? Jesus told parables to teach people about God and His kingdom.
    • Jesus is the One who seeks and saves the lost.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Mark 6:34

 NEXT WEEK

  • “The Pharisee and the Tax Collector” (Luke 18:9-14)
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Sunday Morning 07/09 (Unit 22, Session 3: The Good Samaritan)

Jesus was meeting with His followers when an expert in the Law of Moses stood up and asked Him a question. “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” Jesus pointed Him to the Scriptures, which say, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” (See Deut. 6:5; Lev. 19:18.)

Then the lawyer asked, “Who is my neighbor?” Rather than give a list of whom the man should love, Jesus responded with a parable about a man in need. The priest and Levite—men dedicated to serving God—neglected to help the man in need. By showing mercy, the Samaritan (whom Jews considered a social outcast) proved to be a neighbor to the man in need. Jesus told the lawyer, “Go and do the same.”

Jesus’ story about the good Samaritan surprised the people who heard it. Like the good Samaritan, God saw that we needed to be rescued. He sent His Son to save us from sin. Jesus died on the cross for our sin and rose again so we can have eternal life. God calls us to show His love for the world by helping people in need.

Jesus did not directly answer the question, “Who is my neighbor?” The lawyer asked the wrong question; he was seeking to justify himself, to meet the minimum requirements of the Old Testament law with the hope of gaining eternal life. Rather, Jesus taught that the lawyer should love without limits and demonstrate love with action.

In this parable, we see the beauty of the gospel. Point out to your kids that like the good Samaritan, God saw that we needed to be rescued. We were dead in our sin and unable to help ourselves. God showed His love when He sent His Son, Jesus, to save us from sin.

Jesus came to us and provided salvation, forgiveness, and everything we need. As we look to Him, He continues to take care of us. Emphasize that, as a result, God calls us to show His love for the world by loving others as He has loved us.

22.3.2

FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus told stories about God.
    • Jesus told a story about showing love.
    • The Samaritan showed love to the hurt man.
    • We love others because Jesus loves us.
  • Preschool
    • Why did Jesus tell stories? Jesus told stories to teach people about God.
    • Jesus tells us to love others as He has loved us.
  • Kids
    • Why did Jesus tell parables? Jesus told parables to teach people about God and His kingdom.
    • Jesus calls us to love others as He has loved us.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Mark 6:34

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Three Parables” (Luke 15)
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