Archive for January, 2016

The Miraculous Catch

Our hope is for our kids to know that: When Jesus called the Disciples with power, they could not resist  

17 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”
Mark 1:17 (NIV)

(Open the bible and read to your child Luke 5:1-11) Large crowds would gather to listen to Jesus teach. It was during one of these teachings that Jesus went into a boat and pushed away from shore a little bit. This was so the crowds could see and hear him. Peter was nearby cleaning his nets after having an unsuccessful time trying to catch fish. When Jesus finished teaching he asked Peter to let down his nets into the water. Peter explains that he had fished all night with no success. Also it made little sense to fish in the middle of the day, since night time and early mornings are the best time to catch fish. However, Peter followed the instructions and lowered his nets. When he pulled them up the nets were full, so much so that they began to break. After this miracle Jesus told Peter that he would become fishers of men. At that point Peter followed Jesus and his ministry. Peter had seen enough to know that this was the messiah, he couldn’t resist following Him.

The Jesus Connection:
How does today’s Bible story fit into God’s greater plan of redemption? Luke 19:10 says that Jesus came to seek and to save the lost. In our story today, Jesus seeks out a man named Peter and a few of his fishing companions and calls them to join him in his mission to reach the world. Though they were accustomed to netting fish, Jesus told them they were called to catch men (Luke 5:10). Like Peter, whom the Lord did not condemn for his sin, they would join Jesus in calling others. The picture of the nets, bursting with fish, depicts the kingdom of God. Through his death on the cross, Jesus would call men from every tribe, language, and nation. This catching of men would only be possible through the grace of God available through Jesus’ death on the cross and his resurrection.
Jesus called other men as well and they responded and followed him. For instance, when Jesus told Nathanael where he had been earlier in the day–before they met–and went on to describe the setting, Nathanael was amazed. He instantly believed and praised Jesus, saying, “You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” (John 1:49).


Jesus Feeds the Multitude  

Our hope is for our kids to know that: The Life and Ministry of Christ is Sufficient to Feed All

35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
John 6:35 (NIV)

(Open the bible and read to your child John 6:1-15) Jesus began to have a huge following because of the many teachings, healings, and other miracles he performed. People wanted to see who this Jesus was for themselves. One time after a long day of teaching, the disciples encouraged Jesus to send everyone away because it was approaching supper time. Instead of sending them away Jesus asked if anyone had any food. One boy volunteered his meal which consisted of a few fishes and loaves. This certainly could not feed the multitude of people, because thousands were in attendance! Jesus told them to be seated and instructed the disciples to begin passing out the food. As they handed out the food they realized it they weren’t running out. When they were finished everyone was feed and had plenty! There were even leftovers! Jesus once again demonstrated his power and proved that he was God!

The Jesus Connection:
In John 6:35 Jesus said, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” Jesus’ providing food for the five thousand is a picture of a greater salvation he would bring. He is not just the multiplier of the fish and the loaves. He himself is the Bread of Life. John 6:40 continues, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
The disciples, with but a few loaves and fish, could not feed the thousands gathered. What an apt picture of our inability to save ourselves. But if we turn to Jesus, he has the power to supply what we need. Just as Jesus multiplied the fish and the loaves to feed the multitude, so today he offers us himself.

Jesus Calms the Storm  

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Jesus Holds All Authority

Great is our Lord and mighty in power
Psalm 147:5a

(Open the bible and read to your child Luke 8:22-39) In this portion of scripture we can see that Jesus was 100% man as well as 100% God. While He and the disciples were traveling in a boat, Jesus slept from pure exhaustion. It was then that the waves and the wind picked up and began to rock the boat. When Jesus woke up, he commanded the wind and the waves to calm down. This shows that he was God as well as a tired man. Later there was a man who was possessed by several demons. Jesus didn’t even have to tell them what his name was, they knew He was God and had authority over them. Jesus freed the man from the demons, once again showing that He has authority over everything and everyone.

The Jesus Connection:
How does today’s Bible story fit into God’s greater plan of redemption?
The reason the disciples could be assured of their safety in the midst of the raging storm was because the promised Messiah was in the boat with them. Yet they still didn’t know who he was. After calming the wind and the waves, the disciples must have reasoned that Jesus was no ordinary rabbi, no ordinary teacher, no ordinary prophet. Later they would understand that Jesus was the Messiah, but even more than that, Jesus was God.
Jesus was fully man and slept from authentic exhaustion as a man on the boat. It would be this humanity that enabled him to hang as a man in our place and receive from the Father the punishment for our sin. But Jesus was also God. He had authority over the wind and the waves and the demons that possessed the man on the shore. Jesus lived a sinless life and after dying on the cross conquered death by rising again on the third day.
Notice the theme of salvation that follows Jesus everywhere he traveled. Jesus saved the disciples from the storm and Jesus saved the man from the demons that possessed him. Today, if we place our trust in Jesus who died on the cross to take the penalty for our sins, we too can be saved by his power.