Jesus calls the fishermen to be His disciples

Categories: Children's Church

Lesson: Jesus calls us to follow Him 

 

1.    Story:
  • Tell the story of Jesus calling the fishermen to be His disciples from Luke 5:1-11.
  • One day, Jesus went to the Sea of Galilee. People crowded around Him and listened to the word of God.
  • There were two fishing boats at the shore, one belonging to a fisherman named Simon.
  • Jesus got into Simon’s boat and asked him to put the boat a bit further from the shore. Then Jesus sat down and taught the people from the boat.
  • After he taught the people, he told Simon, “Go to the deep water and put down the nets for a catch.”
  • Simon wasn’t so sure. After all, he was the fisherman. “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything.” Simon was tired from being out all night. He didn’t want to try to catch fish again.
  • Yet, somehow, this strange man Jesus seemed to know something he didn’t. So Peter said, “But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
  • So Peter and his friends cast the net into the water. And guess what happened?! Suddenly the whole net was full of fishes! There were so many, that the nets began to break!
  • So they called their partners, James and John, to help them! And both boats were soooo full that they began to sink!
  • Suddenly Simon fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”
  • Jesus told Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on, you will fish for people.”
  • So Simon, James and John pulled their boats up on the shore, left everything and followed Jesus.
Act it out:
Props: Long table, 2 badminton nets, many cutout card fishes (can be reused for craft)
  • Set up a long table on its sides on the stage to resemble the side of the boat.
  • Pin the cutout card fishes to one of the nets; fill up the net if possible. Hide this net between the table and the wall. (You may want to stick one edge of the net to the back of the table for easy access).
  • Place the other empty net on the stage, visible to the kids.
  • Teacher sits on chair on the stage, as if in a boat, while telling the story. When it comes to putting down the nets, take the empty net and cast it behind the table.
  • Then do a “switch” and pull up the “full” net, slowly, as if it’s very heavy.
  • Call 2 boys to come on stage to help you pull the nets too.
  • When the “full” net is on the stage, let the boys sit down and continue with the rest of the story and lesson.
 2. Lesson: Good news for today!
  • When we do things on our own effort, sometimes we get little or no results. Like the fishermen who worked long and hard, through the night. But when Jesus tells you where to go and what to do, the result is more than you can ask for or imagine.
  • Like Simon, we have to realise that no matter how good or clever we are, we cannot be good enough to meet God’s standards.
  • But the good news is, Jesus is good enough! And when we trust in Him, He makes us good enough too. Isn’t that good news? Don’t you want to tell other people how good Jesus is?
  • Once you know how good Jesus is to you, you will be like the fishermen — you will leave everything (your own efforts, your achievements, your strengths) because Jesus is better than whatever we have. And we will want to share His love and grace to all your friends too!
 3. Activity Ideas: 
a. Song: I will make you fishers of man


b. Activity Sheet: Fish Maze
 
c. Fishing Memory Verse
  • Prepare 3 sets of 9 fish cutouts (total 27); write on each one:| From | now | on | you | will | fish | for | people | Luke 5:10b |
  • Divide kids into 3 groups. Pass each group a set of jumbled up fish cutouts and let them arrange them to form the verse.
 
d. Craft: Fish Card
  • Each kid gets a cutout card fish (can use the same ones used in the story telling). 
  • Have them write the memory verse on one side of the fish.
  • On the other side, let them write the name of a friend that they’d like to share the good news of Jesus with.
  • Lead them to pray for the friends who do not yet know Jesus’ love and goodness.
*****
Youth Bible Study
Leader’s Guide
 
Jesus calls us to follow Him
Read Luke 5:1-8
 
Jesus’ Life: Jesus calls us to follow Him
Read Luke 5:1-8
1.       Where was Jesus in this story?
By the Lake of Gennesaret (or the Sea of Galilee)
2.       Where did Jesus preach from?
Simon’s fishing boat.
3.       What did Jesus tell Simon to do after he finished speaking?
To put out into deep water and let down the nets for a catch.
4.       How did Simon Peter respond? How do you think he felt?
“Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” Simon was tired from being out all night. He didn’t want to try to catch fish again. After all, he was the fisherman, the “expert”. Yet, somehow, this strange man Jesus seemed to know something he didn’t, so he obeyed.
5.       What happened next?
They caught a large number of fish until their nets began to break. Then they signalled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and both boats were so full until they began to sink.
6.       What was Simon’s response to this miracle?
He fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!”
7.       What did Jesus say? And how did the fishermen respond?
“Don’t be afraid; from now on, you will fish for people.” Then Simon, James and John pulled their boats up on the shore, left everything and followed Jesus.
 
·       Lesson:
o       When we do things on our own effort, sometimes we get little or no results. Like the fishermen who worked long and hard, through the night. But when Jesus tells you where to go and what to do, the result is more than you can ask for or imagine.
o        Like Simon, we have to realise that no matter how good or clever we are, we cannot be good enough to meet God’s standards.
o        But the good news is, Jesus is good enough! And when we trust in Him, He makes us good enough too. Isn’t that good news? Don’t you want to tell other people how good Jesus is?
o        Once you know how good Jesus is to you, you will be like the fishermen — you will leave everything (your own efforts, your achievements, your strengths) because Jesus is better than whatever we have. And we will want to share His love and grace to all your friends too!
8.       Who is one person whom you would like to tell about Jesus?
_________________________________________________________________

Jesus at a synagogue in Nazareth

Categories: Children's Church

Lesson: Jesus ushers in God’s favour


1. Game: Set the Captives Free
We played a game that involved people in prison and blindfolded, and others trying to get past the guards to tag them free. But it took a bit longer than expected. So would suggest a simpler game, like Blind Man’s Buff.


2. Story:

  • Tell the story of Jesus speaking at the synagogue in Nazareth based on Luke 4:16-30.
  • Last week, we learnt about how Jesus was tempted by the devil in the desert. Who remembers who the winner was? (Jesus!)
  • After that, Jesus returned to Galilee and began teaching about God. People began to hear about Jesus and said good things about Him.
  • Then Jesus decided to go to his hometown, Nazareth. That’s where he grew up as a boy!
  • On the Sabbath day, he went to the synagogue.
  • He stood up to read and was given the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. (Let’s all read together)
    • “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me    to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners    and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,    to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
  • After he finished, Jesus returned the scroll and said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”
  • What did Jesus mean?
  • After His baptism and time in the desert, Jesus was ready to begin his work on earth. And He was telling people what His work was.
  • Because Jesus was here, the people could experience God’s favour! Jesus told them:
    • If you are poor, I have good news! You don’t have to be poor anymore!
    • If you are in prison or being bullied, you can be free!
    • If you are blind, you can see!
  • Jesus did all these miracles! The poor were fed! Those oppressed found joy and freedom! The blind did see!
  • But more importantly, Jesus wanted to tell people that they didn’t have to be afraid of God anymore because Jesus was going to pay for the punishment of their sins soon! Because Jesus took all the bad things that we deserve, God’s favour is upon us — all the good things we don’t deserve!
  • Isn’t that great news?
  • The people thought so too … until they suddenly remembered … “Hey, we know this guy! He grew up here. His father’s name is Joseph, the carpenter!” They thought he couldn’t be the Saviour God promised because he grew up in their neighbourhood.
  • So they got angry and tried to throw Jesus off a cliff.
  • But Jesus’ work was only just beginning. God protected Him, and He could walk straight through the crowd safely.
 
3. Lesson: Good news for Today!
  • Most of you are not financially poor. You are not in prison. You can see.  But Jesus is still good news for you.
  • Maybe you are poor in your grades, or poor in joy (feel sad), or poor in health (sick). Jesus has good news for you! He will give you what you lack.
  • Maybe you are in prison to your bad habits — you keep doing wrong things that you do not want to. Maybe you are being oppressed by the bully in school. Maybe you are always getting scolded. Jesus wants to set you free!
  • Maybe you cannot see God’s goodness and grace in your life. You wonder why everyone is better than you. Jesus wants to open your eyes to see Him at work in your life!
  • The people in Nazareth didn’t want to accept what Jesus had to offer. What about you? Do you want to accept Him?
  • If you have experienced God’s favour in your life, bless someone else. Tell people the good news about Jesus too! Hallelujah!
 
4. Activity ideas: 
a. Craft: Scroll with Memory Verse
  • Print on brownish/beige paper. Get kids to fill in blanks and personalise/colour it. Roll ups ends and tied scroll with a ribbon.
*****


Youth Bible Study
 
Leader’s Guide
Jesus ushers in God’s Favour
Read Luke 4:17-26.
 
1.         After Jesus was tempted in the desert, he returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit. News about him spread through the countryside. He taught in their synagogues, and everyone praisedHim.
 
2.       Jesus had become a mini-celebrity by then. Where did Jesus go next?
He went to Nazareth, his hometown — where he had been brought up.
 
3.       In the synagogue, Jesus was invited to speak. What book did He read from? What did it say?
Isaiah (cref Isaiah 61:1)
The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because He has anointed me to proclaim:
    • Good news to the poor

 

  • Freedom for the prisoners
  • Recovery of sight for the blind
  • Freedom for the oppressed
  • The year of the Lord’s favour

 

 

 
4.       Where did Jesus say after that? What did he mean?
Jesus said, “Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.” He was the one who has been sent by God to proclaim God’s favour and blessings to everyone — good news, freedom, sight etc. He was the promised Saviour. This was His mission on earth!
Because Jesus was here, the people could experience God’s favour! Jesus did many miracles — the poor were fed; the oppressed found joy and freedom; the blind did see. But more importantly, Jesus wanted to tell people that they didn’t have to be afraid of God anymore because Jesus was going to pay for the punishment of their sins soon!
 
5.        What was the people’s initial reaction? How did it change?
At first everyone spoke well of him and were amazed at His words. But when they realised he was from Nazareth, they could not accept that He would be the Saviour God promised to sent. They probably thought a carpenter’s son was not good/learned enough to be used by God.
 
6.         What were the two examples Jesus gave to illustrate “prophets who were not accepted in their hometowns”?
i.                     Elijah: sent to a widow in Zarephath, Sidon, instead to the many widows in Israel (1 King 17)
ii.                   Elisha: healed Naaman the Syrian of leprosy, instead of the many lepers in Israel (2 Kings 5)
 
7.         What do you think Jesus meant?
Jesus was saying that if the Jews could not accept the favour of God that came through Him due to their pride, self-righteousness or unbelief, then the Gentiles would be the ones to receive it.
 
8.         What did the crowd do next? What did Jesus do?
They were furious, got up, drove Jesus out of town, took Him to the top of the hill and wanted to throw Him off the cliff. Jesus just walked right through the crowd and went on His way miraculously! His mission had only just begun; no one could touch Him until His work was done.
 
Most of you are not financially poor. You are not in prison. You can see.  But Jesus is still good news for you. If you are poor in your grades, or poor in joy (feel sad), or poor in health (sick), Jesus will give you what you lack. If you are tied down to your bad habits or are being bullied or disturbed, Jesus can set you free! Maybe you cannot see God’s goodness and grace in your life. Jesus wants to open your eyes to see Him at work in your life! Because Jesus completed His ultimate mission on the cross and took all the bad things that we deserve, God gives us all the good things we don’t deserve!
 
9.         What is your reaction to what Jesus has to offer?
________________________________________________________
What is an area that you want to see Jesus working in your life?
________________________________________________________
Share and pray for one another.

Jesus tempted in the wilderness

Categories: Children's Church

 

1.    STORY:

Tell the story of Jesus’ temptation based on Luke 4:1-13.
  • Last week, what did we learn about Jesus? (He was baptised by John)
  • After being baptised, Jesus was filled with Holy Spirit and was led to the desert.
  • He prayed in the desert and didn’t eat anything for 40 days.
  • There, the devil decided to tempt Him. The devil wanted Jesus to trust His own strength and abilities rather than trust God.
  • First: the devil told Jesus: “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.”
    • How many of you have not eaten for 1 day? How did you feel? Yes, Jesus was very hungry too. But Jesus didn’t want to depend on His own strength and power to satisfy His hunger. He knew God would take care of Him and provide for Him.
    • Jesus replied: “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’
  • Second: the devil took Jesus to a high place and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world. The devil said that he would give Jesus all the authority and splendour if Jesus would worship him.
    • Jesus knew that God was the source of everything and He was the only one worthy to be worshipped. He said, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.”
  • Third: The devil took Jesus to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here.” After all, the devil said, God had promised that His angels will protect Jesus.
    • Jesus knew He didn’t have to do anything to prove that He was God’s son. God already told Him that He is God’s beloved son when He was baptised, remember? So Jesus said, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
  • The devil realised that Jesus did not fall into temptation. Jesus had won!
  • So the devil left Jesus, and God sent angels to minister to Jesus.
 

2.    LESSON: Good News for today!

  • Jesus was tempted by Satan, and He was victorious.
  • A long time ago, the first man, Adam, was tempted by Satan in the Garden of Eden. Does anyone know how the devil tempted Adam? (to eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil)
  • Adam wanted to be like God, to be able to know good and evil. He didn’t want to depend on God; he wanted to use his own wisdom. He was tempted, and he failed.
  • Because of Adam’s failure, all of us became sinners and are separate from God.
  • Because of Jesus’ victory, all of us are righteous before God and can have a relationship with Him.
  • Because of Jesus, we have victory over temptation too! We can stand firm on God’s truths and promises whenever the devil tries to tricks us into believing his lies.
  • Memory verse: “Jesus was tempted in every way, like us, yet was without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15b)
  • Let’s thank Jesus for what He has done for us!
 

3.    ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS:

a. Craft: Victory Medal
  • Prepare some yellow card paper and ribbon.
  • Cut yellow card into circles.
  • Write “name of child is victorious in Jesus!” on it.
  • Staple ribbon onto circle so that child can loop it over their neck like a gold medal.
b. Activity Sheet: Match & Colour
 
 
  
 
c. Activity Sheet: Fill in the blanks
 
*****
Youth Bible Study
 
Leader’s Guide
Jesus Tempted in the Wilderness
 
1. Read Luke 4:1-13.
 
2. After Jesus was baptised, he was led by the Spirit into the wilderness for 40 days. He ate nothing during those days and was hungry.
 
3. The devil wants to tempt Jesus to trust in His own strength and abilities than to trust in God.
Temptation #1: Turn stones into bread
The devil wanted Jesus to use His own power to satisfy His hunger. But Jesus knew God would take care of Him and provide for Him. He said, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
Temptation #2: Worship me and I’ll give you all the kingdoms of the world.
The devil lied that he had authority of the world. But Jesus to knew that God was the source of everything and He was the only one worthy to be worshipped. He said, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.”
Temptation #3: If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from the temple, and God’s angels will protect you.
Jesus knew He didn’t have to do anything to prove that He was God’s son. God already told Him that He is God’s beloved son when He was baptised, remember? So Jesus said, “It is said, ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”
 
4. Write down your memory verse: Heb 4:15
   “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are — yet he did not sin”
 
5. Who was the first man God created, and how was he tempted by the devil?
     Adam was tempted by the devil in the Garden of Eden to eat the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil — the only tree God said he could not eat from. Adam wanted to be like God, to be able to know good and evil. He didn’t want to depend on God; he wanted to use his own wisdom. He was tempted, and he failed.
 
6. What were the consequences of this man’s actions? (cref Rom 5:17)
Because of Adam’s failure, all of us became sinners and are separate from God.
“For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many.”
7. What were the consequences of Jesus’ victory over Satan?
Heb 5:18-19: Jesus was victorious over Satan’s temptation, and through His death for us, we are all righteous and justified before God.
1 Cor 10:13: Because Jesus was victorious in temptation, I can also be victorious in temptation.
 
Let’s thank Jesus for what He has done for us!

Jesus and John the Baptist

Categories: Children's Church

Lesson: Jesus is God’s Beloved Son

 

1. Story:
Tell the story of Jesus and John the Baptist based on Luke 3:1-22.
  • How was your Chinese New Year? How many of you had fun with your cousins?
  • In today’s story, we meet Jesus’ cousin. His name is John.
  • John: quite an unusual man.
    • He lived in the desert
    • He wore clothes made of camel’s hair
    • He had a leather belt around his waist
    • He ate locusts and wild honey
  • One day, when John was about 31, God told him to tell the people something important:
    • Stop running from God and run to Him instead
    • You need to be rescued 
    • I have good news — the Rescuer is coming
    •  Make your hearts ready for Him!
  • John baptised the people in the Jordan river — a sign for them to show that they wanted to follow God and begin a new life.
    • The people began to wonder if John was the Savior God had promised.
    • Remember the cycle of sin in the book of Judges? God always had to send a saviour to get the people out of trouble. But He had promised to send them the ultimate Saviour who would break the cycle of sin once and for all.
    • But John told them “NO”.
      • I am just preparing the way for the Saviour
      • Someone more powerful was coming
      • I am not worthy to untie his sandals
      • I baptise with water; but He baptises with Holy Spirit and fire
  • One day, guess who wanted to come and be baptised by John too? Jesus!
  • At first, John didn’t want to baptise Jesus because he didn’t think he was worthy; Jesus should be the one baptising John! Besides Jesus had no sin to repent of!
  • But Jesus wanted to be baptised — it was a prophetic act to show that one day, He will take away ALL their sins and give them His righteousness in return.
  • As Jesus was in the water praying, suddenly:
    • Heaven opened
    • The Holy Spirit came down like a dove
    • A voice came from heaven saying, “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
 
2. Lesson: Good News for today!
  •  Even before Jesus began his ministry or did anything to serve God, God already acknowledge 3 things:
    • You are my Son
    • I love You
    • I am pleased with You
  • Because of what Jesus did for us — take away ALL our sins and give us His righteousness in return —we can have a relationship with God as our Father.
  • And we don’t have to earn His love or favour.
  • He’s saying to all of you now:
    • You are my son/daughter
    • I love you
    • I am pleased with you
  • Now say it for yourself:
    • I am God’s son/daughter
    • He loves me
    • He is pleased with me
  • Let’s thank Jesus for what He has done for us!
 
3. Activity ideas:
a. Craft: Dove Badge
 
  • Prepare: White card paper, medium-sized safety pins
  • Trace outline of hand on paper with thumb stretched as far from other fingers as possible — forms a dove shape
  • Get kids to write on dove: “I am God’s Beloved child”
  • Stick the safety pin behind the dove card so kids can wear it as a badge.
*****
Youth Bible Study
 
Leader’s Guide
Jesus and John the Baptist
 
 
Read Luke 3:1-22.
1. What do you know about John? (cref Matt 3:4)
He was Jesus’ cousin; He lived in the desert, wore clothes made of camel’s hair, had a leather belt around his waist, ate locusts and wild honey.
 
2. How did Isaiah describe John’s role as?
One who prepares the way for the Lord so that all people will see God’s salvation.
To tell people to stop running from God and run to Him instead; of their need to be rescued; and of the coming Rescuer.
 
3. What did John preach?
A baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins; symbolizing a cleansing from the false belief that you can be saved through righteous works. To prepare their hearts for a Saviour.
ie. All of us are in the same boat; all sinners in need of a Saviour
 
4. What did John tell the different groups of people the fruit of their change of mind (repentance) is?
Crowd: share shirt with those who have none
Tax collectors: don’t collect more than required
Soldiers: be content; don’t extort money or accuse people falsely
Fruit of repentance: realizing all of us are in the same boat, in need of a Saviour. So we don’t lord over others with our wealth, position or power.
 
5. The people thought John was the Rescuer/Saviour. What was John’s response?
No, he is just preparing the way for the Saviour. Someone more powerful was coming; I am not worthy to untie his sandals; I baptise with water; but He baptises with Holy Spirit and fire.
(cref Acts 19:4: “Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.”)
 
6. What was John’s initial reaction when Jesus came to be baptised?  (cref Matt 3:14-15)
John protested, saying that he needs to be baptised by Jesus instead.
7. Why did Jesus want to be baptised?
It is proper to fulfil all righteousness.
Jesus was identifying with sinners and prophetic of His death and resurrection and how all who believed could have new life and His righteousness.
Jesus’ righteousness would fulfil the requirements of the Law that the sinners could never do on their own. And when they came to Him, they would be exchanging their sin for His righteousness.
8. What happened while Jesus was in the water?
Heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus like a dove. A voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Lesson:
·         Even before Jesus began his ministry or did anything to serve God, God already acknowledge 3 things:
o    You are my Son
o    I love You             
o    I am pleased with You
·         Because of what Jesus did for us — take away ALL our sins and give us His righteousness in return — we can have a relationship with God as our Father.
o    And we don’t have to earn His love or favour; we do things as a response to God’s love, not to earn it.
o    He’s saying to all of you now:
§  You are my son/daughter
§  I love you
§  I am pleased with you
Let’s thank Jesus for what He has done for us!

Boy Jesus at the Temple

Categories: Children's Church

Lesson: My Father’s House

 
1. Game: Search for the Missing Number
Hand out a number to each child in your group on a card. The numbers should be in consecutive order. Before class, hide the No. 1 card somewhere in the classroom that would be fairly easy for the class to find. Have the class work together to put the numbers in order on the floor. When it is discovered that the number one is missing, have the class search for the missing card. When the card has been found, everybody sits back down quietly.

 

2. Story: 
Tell the story of Jesus in the temple based on Luke 2:41-52.

  • In today’s story Jesus was 12 years old. 
  • Every year all of God’s people travelled to the temple in the city of Jerusalem for a special holiday called the Passover. Jesus also travelled to Jerusalem with his family to celebrate the Passover with all their aunts, uncles and cousins.
  • What is the Passover?
    • The Passover was a celebration to remember how God delivered the Israelites from Egypt.
    • How many plagues did God send on the Egyptians? (10)
    • What was the last plague? (Death of the firstborn)
    • How were the Israelites spared? (Put blood of lamb on the doorpost; angel of death passed over them)
  • The Passover holiday lasted for many days.
  • Mary, Joseph and all his relatives packed up and started home. They did not know that Jesus was not with them. They walked all day. When night time came, Mary and Joseph set up camp to sleep for the night. They thought Jesus had been travelling with his aunts and uncles and cousins so they went to look for Him. But they could not find Jesus anywhere. 
  • So Mary and Joseph travelled all the way back to Jerusalem and started hunting for Jesus there.
  • Jerusalem was a big and busy city. Mary and Joseph searched everywhere for 3 days.
  • Finally they went to the temple. There was Jesus at the temple talking with the priests. He was asking them questions, and the priests were amazed with Jesus’ understanding and his wise answers.
  • Mary said to Jesus, “Son, why did you do this to us. Your father and I were very worried about you. We have been looking for you.” 
  • Jesus was very surprised that his parents wouldn’t have known to look for him at the temple. He said to his parents, ”Why did you have to look for me? You should have known that I must be in my father’s house, doing my father’s business.”
  • Mary and Joseph didn’t understand that Jesus was talking about God as His father. But Mary kept these things in her heart.
  • Jesus returned home to Nazareth with Mary and Joseph and was obedient to them. He grew in wisdom and stature, in favour with God and man.



3. Lesson: Good News for Today 

  • Even at a young age, Jesus knew who His father was (God) — the Jews of that time never knew God as their father. They only worshipped Him, but didn’t have a close relationship with Him. Jesus knew who He was and who He belonged to. When we accept Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, we can also call God “Father”.
    • Does anyone here want to accept Jesus into their hearts today?
  • Because Jesus knew who He belonged to, He knew whose voice to listen to. He was in His Father’s house, doing His Father’s business. If we know that we are God’s children, we will know how to listen to God’s voice.
    • Who are God’s children? Who likes to listen to God’s voice?
  • Because of God’s grace on His life, Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, in favour with God and man. When we receive God’s grace, we too can grow in wisdom and stature, in favour with God and man. What does it mean to grow in wisdom and stature? What does it mean to grow in favour with God and with man? (wise, big/tall/strong, blessed by God and by others)
    • Who would like to grow wise and big? Who would like to be blessed by God and by others?
  • Pray: Thank You Jesus that because of You, we, too, can call God “Father”. We can learn to hear His voice and do His work. We can grow in wisdom and stature, in favour with God and man. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
 
4. Activity ideas:
 
*****
 
Youth Bible Study
 
Leader’s Guide
Boy Jesus at the temple (Luke 2:41-52)

 

 
1. Read Luke 2:41-52
 
2. Why did Jesus’ parents go to Jerusalem every year?
To celebrate the Feast of the Passover
 
3. What do you know about this celebration? (cf Exodus 12:26-27)
To remember how the Lord passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared them from the death of the firstborn (10th plague; deliverance from Egypt)
 
4. What did Mary and Joseph discover on their way back to Nazareth after the feast?
That Jesus was not with them or their relatives.
 
5. Where did they finally find Jesus and what was He doing there and what were the reactions of those with Him?
After 3 days, they found Jesus in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.
 
6. What did Jesus respond to His mother’s concerns?
He was surprised that they were searching for Him and didn’t know that He was in His Father’s house attending to His Father’s business.
 
7. Jesus’ parents didn’t understand what He was saying. Which “father” was Jesus referring to?
His heavenly Father, God
 
8. Jesus knew who He was and whose He was. Do we know who we belong to? (cf Gal 4:4-7)
Because of Jesus, we have full rights as sons of God. No longer a slave, but a son and an heir.
 
9. How did Jesus live with His earthly parents?
He was obedient to them.
 
10. How did Jesus grow? Why was He able to grow that way? (cf Luke 2:40)
Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, in favour with God and men. Because the grace of God was upon Him.
 
Thank the Lord that:
  •  Because of Him, we can call God “Father”
  • Because we are His sons, we can be about our Father’s business
  • Because of His grace, we can grow in wisdom and stature, in favour with God and men

Simeon and Anna meet Baby Jesus

Categories: Children's Church

Lesson: My eyes have seen your salvation
This story actually takes place before the 3 Magi’s visit, but due to the Christmas period, we tell it after.

1. Story: 
Tell the story of Jesus being presented at the temple based on Luke 2:21-40.

a. Jesus’ Circumcision:

  • Mary and Joseph took God’s Son when He was 8 days old and had Him circumcised. At that circumcision ceremony babies were given their name. Before this baby was born an angel named Gabriel told Mary what to name Him. Who remembers the name Gabriel told Mary to give God’s Son? (Luke 1:31)

b. Jesus’ Dedication:

  • When Jesus was 40 days old, Mary and Joseph traveled to the temple in Jerusalem for another ceremony. Many, many years before Jesus came to earth as a baby, God had given Moses laws for His people to obey. One of those laws was that any family who had a firstborn son had to take that son and have him dedicated at the temple. To dedicate someone means to offer him to God. The parents of the firstborn son had to take an offering with them as they dedicated their son to God in the temple. The offering needed to be a lamb. If a family didn’t have enough money to bring a lamb, God allowed them to bring 2 birds called turtledoves. Mary and Joseph loved and obeyed God. They obeyed His laws regarding the Firstborn Son. This little baby, Jesus, was God’s Son.

c. Simeon meets Jesus:

  • Meanwhile, in Jerusalem, there is a man named Simeon who was righteous. Whenever we read that someone is righteous in the Bible, it means that their faith was in God’s promise to forgive their sins. In the Old Testament people were declared righteous by God when he/she believed by faith that God was going to send a Savior to take away their sins. In the New Testament people are declared as righteous when they believe in Jesus, the Savior God promised to send to take away their sins.
  • Simeon was a man who loved God. He lived a life that pleased God. In the days that Simeon was living, not many people heard God’s voice. It says in Luke that the Holy Spirit was upon Simeon. In the Old Testament, the Holy Spirit came upon certain people but did not live inside them. After Jesus died on the cross and rose again the Holy Spirit comes to live in the hearts of people and He does not ever leave.
  • Simeon listened and obeyed God’s voice. God had told him that he would not die until he had seen with his own eyes the Promised Christ (the Messiah). We don’t know how old Simeon was when God made a promise to him but the Bible tells us that Simeon believed the promise and was looking for the day to come for God’s promise to happen.
  • This must have been an exciting promise to Simeon. Each year as he worshiped and served God he must have kept his eyes open for God’s promised Savior. As time passed, it may have been hard for Simeon to understand how he would ever live to see the Savior. Faith believes in something that a person cannot see. (Hebrews 11:1) Even though Simeon could not see or understand how he would see the Savior he believed God would do what He said.
  • One day, the Holy Spirit urged Simeon to go to the temple. So he went. And he saw a young woman holding a baby in her arms and her husband walked through the temple doors. God’s Spirit told Simeon that this baby was the Promised Savior. Immediately, Simeon went to Mary and reached out to hold her Baby Boy. He held him in his arms and began to praise God.
  • Listen to what Simeon said: “Lord, now You are letting Your servant depart in peace, according to Your word; for my eyes have seen Your salvation.” Mary and Joseph were amazed at Simeon’s praises to God. Simeon was praising God and speaking words of the Messiah’s future to Mary and Joseph.

d. Anna meets Jesus:

  • There was another person in the temple that day. Her name was Anna. She was 84 years old. Anna was a widow — she had only been married 7 years — and was serving God in the temple. She was known as a prophetess. Anna stayed in the temple everyday praying and fasting. Because she had a close relationship to the Lord, she knew that God had promised to send a Savior.
  • As soon as she saw the Child she immediately thanked the Lord for sending the Savior who was going to take away the sins of the world.
  • Simeon and Anna saw and believed that Jesus was God’s promised Savior. After Simeon and Anna met the Savior of the world, they chose to praise and thank Him for allowing them to see His Promise come true.
 

2. Lesson: Good news for Today

  • Today you too can meet the Savior. You have heard that God has kept His Promise to send His Son into the world to take away our sins. You can be like Simeon and believe by faith that Jesus died and rose again so your sins can be forgiven. It is faith because none of us were living when Jesus did this for us. We have to believe it even though we didn’t see it.
  • Did you know that today, believers also have a promise that they are looking forward to? A promise God has given in His Word that has not happened yet is that Jesus is going to come back and take all who believe in Him back with Him to heaven.
  • Who believes that Jesus has taken away your sins? Who believes that Jesus is coming back again for us? Who would like to believe in Jesus? (Give children a chance to respond and lead them in prayer and thanksgiving for Jesus and what He has done for us)
 
3. Activity ideas:
a. Colouring & Activity sheets on Simeon and Anna (source: Higher Praise)

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


*****
 
Youth Bible Study
 
Leader’s Guide
Jesus Dedicated at the Temple
 
1. Read Luke 2:21-30.
 
2. What are the 3 rituals/ceremonies mentioned and what do we know about them?
(briefly explain; no need to spend too much time on this cross references etc; just as long as the youths understand what these mean)
 
i.          Circumcision:
(Gen 17:10-12) It was a covenant sign of God’s people under the Old Covenant; 8 days after birth; babies usually named then (e.g. John the Baptist; Luke 1:57-63)
 
ii.         Purification rites: 
(Lev 12) Woman ceremonially unclean for seven days after birth of son; then must wait 33 days to be purified from bleeding. Jesus was probably 1 month old when his parents brought him to the temple. Had to offer sacrifice of a pair of doves or two young pigeons.
 
iii.        Dedication of the firstborn:
(Exodus 13:1, 14) Firstborn of every Jewish family to be dedicated to God in remembrance of how He brought them out of Egypt by striking down the firstborn of the Egyptians;
 
3. Why do you think Jesus’ parents went through all these rituals/ceremonies?
They were a good Jewish couple; law-abiding.
Matthew 3:15  Jesus fulfilled all righteousness; fulfilled the law
 
4. What do you know about Simeon?
Righteous, devout, told by the Holy Spirit that he will see the Messiah before He died; told by the Holy Spirit to go to the temple that day.
Righteous: Having faith in God’s promise to forgive our sins (Gen 15:6)
Holy Spirit: Is now in us. He speaks to us every day, and we can hear His voice.
 
5. What did Simeon do when he saw Jesus?
Took the child in his arms and praised God. Thank Him for letting him see God’s salvation for His people — all of Israel and the Gentiles too. 
Blessed Joseph & Mary. Warned Mary about what will happen to Jesus.
 
6.  Who else was at the temple, and what do we know about this person?
Anna, daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. A prophetess. Very old (84 years old); lived with husband for seven years. Never left the temple. Worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.
 
7.   What did she do when she saw Jesus?
Gave thanks to God. Said Jesus was God’s answer to redeem/save His people.
 
8.   What did Jesus and His parents do after that?
Returned to Nazareth. Jesus grew and became strong; filled with wisdom; the grace of God was upon Him.
 

Let’s thank God that today we can meet Jesus too, our Salvation, and that we can look forward to His coming back again!