Sunday Morning 9/03 (Unit 24, Session 2: Jesus Has Power Over Evil)

Jesus had enemies. In the midst of His public ministry, the Jewish religious leaders began plotting to kill Him. (See Mark 3:6.) So one day, Jesus went to a land on the east side of the Sea of Galilee where Gentiles lived. Jesus’ mission to the Gentiles was not a backup plan after the Jews rejected Him; when Jesus was an infant, Simeon prophesied that His work would be for all people—both Jews and Gentiles. (See Luke 2:30-32.)

In that land was a man who needed help. An evil spirit was inside the man, and he suffered greatly. The people had tried to control the man by tying him up with chains, but the man broke free. So he lived alone in the tombs, crying out day and night.

When Jesus stepped ashore, the man ran to Him and kneeled down. Jesus commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many evil spirits were in the man, and Jesus gave the evil spirits permission to go into a herd of pigs. They did, and the man was healed.

The healed man wanted to follow Jesus, but Jesus told the man to go home to his own people and tell what the Lord had done for him. The man obeyed Jesus. He testified to the cities in that area about the Lord’s mercy, and the Gentiles were amazed.

Jesus is Lord over all things, good and evil. In His teaching, Jesus said, “If I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you” (Matt. 12:28). Jesus—as well as the Bible—is clear that Satan exists, and he and the demons work against God and His purposes.

Only Jesus had the strength to control the man with the evil spirits. Jesus has power over evil, and He used His power to free the man. He has power over everything. Jesus came to earth to destroy the Devil by dying on the cross. One day, Jesus will end evil forever.

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FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus healed people.
    • Jesus healed the man with the bad spirit.
    • Jesus told the man to tell everyone what God did for him.
    • Jesus has power because He is God’s Son.
  • Preschool
    • What did Jesus heal people from? Jesus healed people from sickness, sin, and death.
    • Jesus healed a man with many evil spirits.
  • Kids
    • What did Jesus heal people from? Jesus healed people from sickness, sin, and death.
    • Jesus healed a man with many evil spirits.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Psalm 103:2-3 (Babies and Toddlers: Psalm 103:3)

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus Healed a Woman and Raised a Girl” (Mark 5:21-43)
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Sunday Morning 8/27 (Unit 24, Session 1: Four Friends Helped)

Jesus was in Capernaum, a city on the Sea of Galilee. The Pharisees and scribes—teachers of the law—came to listen to Jesus’ teaching. They were curious about His message and wanted to make sure He was teaching things that were true. So many people came that they crowded the house; there was no more room.

That day, four friends came to see Jesus. The four men carried their friend who was paralyzed. Jesus had healed people before—even people who were paralyzed. (See Matt. 4:24; 8:6.) The men believed Jesus came from God, and He could heal people. So their faith led to action. Because the friends could not get through the crowd, they carried their friend to the roof and lowered him down to Jesus.

The man who was paralyzed needed to be healed. Jesus knew this and did something even greater; Jesus forgave his sins, and then He healed the man. Because Jesus is God, He has the power and authority to heal and forgive. Jesus forgives those who trust in Him.

Jesus’ words to the paralyzed man surprised the Pharisees and teachers of the law. Rather than saying, “Get up and walk,” Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven.” The religious leaders kept quiet, but Jesus knew their thoughts. They accused Jesus of blasphemy, dishonoring God by claiming to do what only God can do. But Jesus did not blaspheme. He is God, and He has authority to forgive sins.

Jesus asked them, “Which is easier: to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up and walk’?” Simply saying, “Your sins are forgiven,” seems to be the easier thing, but to actually forgive sins is harder, something only God can do. As God, Jesus has the power and authority to heal and forgive. And Jesus knew He would take the man’s sins upon Himself on the cross—an act of love that would cost Him His life.

Jesus healed the paralyzed man to prove to the religious leaders His power to forgive. Mark 2:12 records the crowd’s reaction: “They were all astounded and gave glory to God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this!’”

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FAMILY STARTING POINTS

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • Jesus healed people.
    • Four friends brought a man to Jesus.
    • Jesus forgave the man and healed him.
    • Jesus did only what God can do.
  • Preschool
    • What did Jesus heal people from? Jesus healed people from sickness, sin, and death.
    • Jesus healed a man who could not walk.
  • Kids
    • What did Jesus heal people from? Jesus healed people from sickness, sin, and death.
    • Jesus healed a paralyzed man and forgave his sins.

 UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Psalm 103:2-3 (Babies and Toddlers: Psalm 103:3)

 NEXT WEEK

  • “Jesus Has Power Over Evil” (Mark 5:1-20)
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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.

1-2

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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