Posts Tagged ‘prophecy’

Jonah and Nineveh

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God’s Grace Extends Beyond Israel’s Borders

 I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
Romans 1:16

(Open the bible and read to your child the book of Jonah) Jonah was a prophet, who God wanted to use to save the city of Nineveh. This city was so wicked that Jonah didn’t want to go there, so he fled from God on a ship headed the opposite direction. As we know, God will pursue us, and the same was true for Jonah. God made a storm so severe that the people on the ship grew fearful. This caused them to throw Jonah overboard, which immediately calmed the sea. Jonah was swallowed by a fish, and stayed in the belly for three days. Afterwards, Jonah warned the city of Nineveh and they repented. However, Jonah was angry because he felt they should perish. God reminded Jonah that he loves all of us, and will pursue all of us in order for us to spend eternity with him.

The Jesus Connection:
Read Matthew 12:39–40. Jesus tells us that the three days Jonah spent in the belly of a fish was a picture foretelling the time that Jesus’ crucified body would be in the grave before the resurrection. God had a plan to rescue Jonah from his sin of disobedience. God’s plan for Jonah involved three days swallowed up in a fish. Jonah found his salvation in God. In the end Jonah was released and went on to preach repentance to Nineveh. God has a plan to rescue us from our sin through Jesus. Jesus died on the cross for our sins and spent three days in the grave swallowed up by death. But death could not hold him, and on the third day he rose again. Now the message of repentance and faith in Christ is proclaimed all over the world. The question for us is, will we trust in him?


The Birth of Jesus Foretold  

Our hope is for our kids to know that: The Baby to be Born to Mary would be the Savior of the World

32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David
Luke 1:32

(Open the bible and read to your child Luke 1) The angel Gabriel went to Elizabeth and Mary to announce God’s plan for the savior. He told Elizabeth that she would have a son in her old age, and she were to call him John. John would come before Jesus to announce the coming of a savior. Of course this savior is Jesus. Mary who was a relative of Elizabeth’s, would have a son and she were to call him Jesus. She was not married to Joseph yet, so this was truly a virgin birth. Since Jesus was a descendant of both Aaron and David, he was both a priest and a king. Soon the savior to the world would be born! Both Elizabeth and Mary were full of joy because of the good news that was soon to come in the form of man!

The Jesus Connection:
When Mary saw Elizabeth with child, she realized that what the angel Gabriel had told her was true. Then she heard Elizabeth’s prophetic blessing. Filled with wonder and joy, she worshiped God with a song.
Mary was a sinner just like us. She needed a Savior (Luke 1:47), and she knew that God’s promise was going to be fulfilled with the birth of the baby inside her. She knew that God’s plan of salvation would somehow be about her son. Her words are a song of praise to God for his incredible promise to Abraham and his descendants. The fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham was going to come through Jesus. But Mary could not have understood that her son would be sacrificed on the cross in order to fulfill that promise. It is through Jesus that people from every nation are blessed.

The Fall of Jerusalem

Our hope is for our kids to know that: God judgment comes when his people do not repent

Key Verse:
“He saved us, not because or the righteous things we have done, but because of His mercy”
Titus 3:5a

(Open the bible and read to your child 2 Chronicles) God sends many prophets to the kingdom of Judah telling them to stop worshipping false gods. However the people along with the kings never follow God for long. Jeremiah warns to follow the true God or they will lose their land. But neither the kings nor the people of Judah listen, so as a result, Jeremiah’s prophecy comes true, and the people of Judah get taken into captivity for seventy years.

The Jesus Connection:
Read Jeremiah 23:5–6.
God sent his prophet Jeremiah to warn the kings of Judah. The kings did not listen to Jeremiah, and in the end, there was no remedy—God allowed Jerusalem to be ransacked and the people carried into captivity (2 Chronicles 36:16). God, however, was not finished speaking through Jeremiah. Jeremiah said that God would give his people another king from the line of David. This king would be a “righteous Branch” and he would be called “The Lord is our righteousness” (Jeremiah 23:5–6). Jesus is that King!

The Transfiguration

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Jesus gave up his heavenly glory to take our sins upon the cross

Key Verse:
His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.

Matthew 17:2b

(Open the bible and read to your child Mark 9:2-13) Jesus took Peter, James, and John up on a mountain. These three men were brought there to witness the glory of God in Christ. Luke tells us that as the Lord prayed, the appearance of his face changed, and his clothes began to radiate (Luke 9:3). By revealing his glory, Jesus demonstrated that he could remanifest his glorious power at any moment. This confirms that Jesus went to the cross freely and willingly, as a lamb led to the slaughter (Isaiah 53:7). Elijah and Moses appeared with Jesus, representing the fulfillment of the law and the prophets. Though obviously having never before seen them, the disciples seemed to immediately recognize who they were.

The Jesus Connection:
How does today’s Bible story fit into God’s greater plan of redemption?
Here, in a moment of time, three of the disciples had the opportunity to glimpse the holiness, glory, and power of Jesus as God. They knew Jesus, the man, but they didn’t know Jesus the Son in glory. If Jesus was not both fully God and fully man, he could not have taken our punishment on the cross and then risen from the dead. Here on the Mount of Transfiguration, Jesus revealed his glorious splendor as the Son of God. Yet once again, Jesus “made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7–8).
Jesus was resolute. He would take the penalty for our sins upon himself and die a cursed death on the cross. After the transfiguration, Jesus gave his disciples strict orders not to tell anyone what they had seen until he had risen from the dead. They could not understand all that had been revealed by his transfiguration. They didn’t understand what Jesus meant by being raised from the dead. Later they would come to understand more fully that God the Son, Jesus, had come down to earth to take on human flesh that he might die for the sins of man and be raised on the third day to new life in victory over sin and death.


Key Verse: “Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies’”
(John 11:25)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: We Praise Jesus

(Open the bible and read to your child Psalm 118:19-29; Matthew 21:1-11) Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem was the high point of his earthly ministry. The scene was one that military heroes often received, with one main difference; Jesus rode in on a donkey, a sign of humility, rather than riding in on a horse, which fulfilled an Old Testament prophecy. The people who made up the crowd placed their cloaks as a carpet on the street, which was an act of honor and of submission. The people also used cut palm branches as a victory celebration for Jesus. This is known as Palm Sunday.

(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents:Share with your children one reason to praise Jesus today. Maybe you saw an amazing sunrise and can praise Jesus for his creation. Or perhaps you were reminded of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross and want to tell him how thankful you are. Encourage your children to share at least one thing they can praise Jesus for as well. Encourage each other to look for one reason to praise Jesus every day this week.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
As a family, use household objects to show how you can praise Jesus. You can use the words from the Key Verse to get you started: power, wealth, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and praise. Have each family member choose a word and then find an object in the house that represents that way to praise Jesus. For example, someone can bring a piggy bank and tell how we as a family can offer our wealth as praise to Jesus. After everyone finds an object and explains how it represents praise for Jesus, have everyone lift up their object. In unison say, “Jesus, you are worthy of praise! Thank you!”

Jesus is Born

Key Verse: “For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile – the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’”
(Romans 10:12-13)

Our hope is for our kids to know that: Jesus does great things

(Open the bible and read to your child Psalms 72:1-19) When reading Psalms 72 we see that it points directly to Jesus. Only Jesus’ kingdom will extend to the ends of the Earth, only to Jesus will all rulers eventually bow down. We see that Jesus does amazing things for us! He takes care of the needy and their children, and he defeats oppressors. He lives forever, despite the fact that he died on the cross for us. When he returns, Jesus will reign over the entire earth! Verses 18 and 19 describe the type of praise and honor He deserves!  

(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Talk with your children about some of the great things you know Jesus did while he was here on earth. For example, you might talk about how Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, or you might share examples of how Jesus healed the sick. Then ask your kids to think about the great things Jesus has done for them. Encourage your kids to talk about things such as Jesus protecting them from harm, Jesus forgiving their sins, or Jesus healing them from illnesses. Remind your kids that Jesus is just as active in doing great things today as he was when he physically walked the earth.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
As a family, take a tour of your home looking for ways that you know Jesus does great things. For example, you can walk up to a family photo and say, “Jesus did a great thing in making our family.” Go to every room of the house – including the garage and yard, if you have them – to look for how Jesus does great things. Then compare your observations with the great things Solomon predicted that Jesus would do in Psalm 72:1-19.

Let’s Celebrate

Key Verse: “For to us a child is born, the Prince of Peace”

(Isaiah 9:6)

Our hope is for our kids to believe that: Jesus is special

(Open the bible and read to your child Luke 2:39-52) When Jesus was twelve he traveled to the Temple in Jerusalem for Passover with his family. After Passover Mary and Joseph left Jerusalem but seem to have forgotten Jesus. This is understandable if you remember that in this culture Mary and Joseph was likely traveling in a caravan with many other family members. It is easy to assume that Jesus was with cousin or other family members. After they made the long trip back to Jerusalem to get Jesus they found him teaching in the Temple. We read that not only was Jesus teaching, but he was answering questions as well! The teachers were impressed by what he understood and by the answers he gave. They knew that Jesus was special even at such a young age!

(This is an opportunity for you to ask some questions and to share your thoughts) Parents: Talk to your children about what it means to you that Jesus is special. Then encourage your family members to explore what “Jesus is special” means to each of them. One of the ways to get to know the “specialness” of Jesus better is simply to spend more time with him. If your family is used to praying aloud together, perhaps at mealtimes, suggest spending time in silence together acknowledging the presence of the Savior with you.

Activity/Challenge for Families:
Gather your family, and look at photo albums together. Share memories about the pictures. Tell how you felt at the time the pictures were taken. After looking at severed pictures, try to imagine Jesus growing up – as a baby, a child, and as a teenager. If possible, go to the library to discover what life was like for children in Jesus’ day. Talk about what made Jesus special. Then thank Jesus for being with your family in each photo collection.