The Gospel Project

This week’s lesson in StoneWater Kids.

Jesus Healed a Man Who Was Blind

Sunday, June 28, 2020

In the Old Testament, Isaiah prophesied about the coming Messiah. Isaiah 35:5-6 tells about a time when “the eyes of the blind will be opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped. Then the lame will leap like a deer, and the tongue of the mute will sing for joy.” When God the Son came to earth, He came as a Healer—removing skin diseases, raising the dead to life, making the lame walk, and giving sight to the blind.

John 9 gives us a glimpse of the kingdom of God, where creation is redeemed, and opens our eyes to the greater purpose of suffering in our lives. The disciples asked Jesus a question that many still wrestle with today: Why is this person suffering? (In this case, why was this man born blind?) Was it because of sin?

Jesus’ answer gives hope to anyone facing suffering: “Neither this man nor his parents sinned. This came about so that God’s works might be displayed in him” (John 9:3). Because Jesus is Lord over everything, all suffering in this life has meaning and purpose.

Miraculously, Jesus gave sight to the man who was blind. The man’s neighbors noticed the change, and he told them what Jesus had done for him. But the reaction of the religious leaders—skepticism and unbelief—reveals a different kind of blindness: spiritual blindness. Sin keeps us from seeing what is true about God. Jesus came as light into a dark world. He helps us see what is true so we can know God.

Our sin makes us unable to see the truth about God. Jesus came as a light in a dark world. He came to give us sight—true understanding of God and His kingdom. Those who trust in Jesus see who He is and worship Him.

Those who trust in Jesus are freed from sin and worship Jesus as Lord. We can live fully in the light of Jesus as we seek to make Him known to others so that their eyes might be opened to the truth of the gospel as well.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • ○ Jesus healed a man who could not see.
    • ○ Jesus’ friends thought the man did something wrong to be blind.
    • ○ Jesus said the man was blind to show God’s power.
    • ○ Jesus helps us see what is true about God.
    • ○ God created people for His glory.
  • Preschoold
    • ○ Jesus healed a man who could not see.
    • ○ Why did God create people? God created people to love Him and give Him glory.
  • Kids
    • ○ Jesus gave sight to a man who was blind. 
    • ○ Why did God create people? God created people to worship Him, love Him, and show His glory.
  • UNIT KEY PASSAGE
  • Isaiah 53:4-5 
  • NEXT WEEK 
  • “The Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5–7)

Go to our website, stonewaterchurch.com, scroll down to the Kids’ Service button and click on “Parents” for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

Jesus Healed a Man That Was Lame

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Located in the city of Jerusalem, the pool of Bethesda was a place many believed to possess healing powers. People who were sick or disabled went to the pool in hopes of being made whole. They believed an angel would stir up the waters, and the first person to get in would be healed. (Some translations include this detail in verse 4; but since the earliest and most accurate manuscripts do not include the detail, most contemporary translations omit it as well.)

Jesus sought out a man at the pool of Bethesda who had been disabled for 38 years. Jesus asked the man, “Do you want to get well?” The man, not recognizing who was talking to him (see John 5:13), explained his inability to get to the pool in time. Filled with compassion, Jesus commanded this man: “Get up, pick up your mat, and walk.” After decades of helplessness, the man was instantly healed. He picked up his mat and walked.

At this time, Jesus slipped away through the crowd. So when the Jewish leaders approached the man, asking questions about the healing and accusing the man of breaking the law by picking up his mat on the Sabbath, the man could not even identify who healed him. Yet Jesus sought out the man a second time. Jesus found the man in the temple and warned him, “Do not sin anymore, so that something worse doesn’t happen to you.”

Jesus cared about the man’s body; He had healed it. But Jesus also cared about the man’s soul. As you teach kids, emphasize that the man at the pool was unable to help himself. Jesus healed him, and he obeyed Jesus’ commands. In a similar way, we are unable to free ourselves from sin. Jesus calls us to trust in Him. When we trust in Jesus, He frees us from the power of sin and death so we can follow Him and obey Him.

Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • ○ Jesus healed a man who could not walk.
    • ○ People were upset that Jesus broke their rules.
    • ○ Jesus said He is God’s Son.
    • ○ Jesus takes away our sin and heals us.
    • ○ God created people for His glory.
  • Preschool
    • ○ Jesus healed a man who could not walk.
    • ○ Why did God create people? God created people to love Him and give Him glory.
  • Kids
    • ○ Jesus healed a man who could not walk.
    • ○ Why did God create people? God created people to worship Him, love Him, and show His glory.
  • UNIT KEY PASSAGE
  • Isaiah 53:4-5 
  • NEXT WEEK 
  • “Jesus Healed a Man Who Was Blind” (John 9)

Go to our website, stonewaterchurch.com, scroll down to the Kids’ Service button and click on “Parents” for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

Jesus Healed a Woman and a Girl

Sunday, June 14, 2020

Jesus had just returned from the region of the Gerasenes, where He had healed a man with an unclean spirit. He crossed the Sea of Galilee and came on shore, where He was surrounded by a large crowd of people. News of Jesus’ teachings and healings was spreading, and people wanted to see Jesus. They wanted to learn from Him and be healed.

Jairus, a leader in the synagogue, came to Jesus in crisis. His daughter was at the point of death. Without Jesus’ help, she would surely die. Jesus went with Jairus, but as He walked, a woman in the crowd came up behind Him and touched His robes. She too was desperate for healing. The woman believed that Jesus’ power was strong enough to heal her even if all she did was touch His robes. Because she had faith, Jesus healed her.

Imagine Jairus’s devastation when he heard that his daughter had died. The people suggested that Jesus was too late to help her, but Jesus proved them wrong. He went to Jairus’s house and raised the little girl from the dead.

By healing the woman and raising the little girl from the dead, Jesus showed His power as the Messiah. Jesus died on the cross and rose again to save people from sin and death. When we trust in Jesus, God forgives our sins and changes us to be more like His Son.

As you talk with your kids, point out that the woman and the father of the little girl came to Jesus in faith. They needed Jesus’ help, and they trusted in Jesus’ power to heal. After Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead, He ascended to heaven. Even though Jesus is not physically on earth today, we can pray and ask God to heal people who are sick. Whether or not God grants physical healing, we can rest knowing that He brings ultimate healing through His Son, Jesus.

Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • ○ A woman touched Jesus’ robes to be healed.
    • ○ Jesus made a girl alive again.
    • ○ Jesus showed His power as the Messiah.
    • ○ Jesus can heal and give dead people life.
    • ○ God created people for His glory.
  • Preschool
    • ○ Jesus healed a woman and brought a girl back to life.
    • ○ Why did God create people? God created people to love Him and give Him glory.
  • Kids
    • ○ Jesus healed a woman and raised a girl from the dead.
    • ○ Why did God create people? God created people to worship Him, love Him, and show His glory.
  • UNIT KEY PASSAGE
  • Isaiah 53:4-5 
  • NEXT WEEK 
  • “Jesus Healed a Man Who Was Lame” (John 5)

Go to our website, stonewaterchurch.com, scroll down to the Kids’ Service button and click on “Parents” for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

Jesus Healed Ten Men

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem when He stopped in a village. He was approached by ten men who had leprosy. The men didn’t get too close because according to Jewish law, their disease meant they were unclean. Leviticus 13–14 details the law regarding skin diseases such as leprosy. A person had to go to a priest for a diagnosis, was isolated from others, and then—after healing occurred—returned to the priest to be examined, cleansed, and restored to the community.

The men cried out to Jesus for mercy, and He commanded them to go and show themselves to the priests. As they went, Jesus miraculously healed them. This healing gave the men a new beginning. They would be able to return to their friends and family members. One of the men—a Samaritan among Jews—seeing that he was healed, returned to Jesus.

Luke tells us how this man responded: “He … gave glory to God. He fell facedown at his [Jesus’] feet, thanking him” (Luke 17:15-16). This humility and gratitude were evidences of faith. The man’s response shows an understanding of God’s mercy and goodness. Jesus declared, “Get up and go on your way. Your faith has saved you” (v. 19). This man was healed not just physically but spiritually.

Jesus healed the ten men who cried out to Him. The one who had faith was saved. When we trust in Jesus by faith, He heals us from something greater than a disease; He saves us from our sins. We can give Him thanks and worship Him for making us new.

The Bible says all of us have sinned. Our sin makes us unclean, but we can cry out to God like the men with leprosy: “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” God hears our prayers and answers. The gospel welcomes everyone who turns from their sin and trusts in Jesus.

As you talk with your kids, emphasize that when we trust in Jesus by faith, He heals us from something greater than a disease; He saves us from our sins. We can give Him thanks and worship Him for making us new. 

Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • ○ Jesus healed ten men from their skin disease.
    • ○ Only one man went back to thank Jesus.
    • ○ Jesus saves us when we have faith in Him.
    • ○ When we trust in Jesus, He heals us from sin.
    • ○ God created people for His glory.
  • Preschool
    • ○ Jesus healed ten men with a skin disease.
    • ○ Why did God create people? God created people to love Him and give Him glory.
  • Kids
    • ○ Jesus healed ten men, and one was saved.
    • ○ Why did God create people? God created people to worship Him, love Him, and show His glory.
  • UNIT KEY PASSAGE
  • Isaiah 53:4-5 
  • NEXT WEEK 
  • “Jesus Healed a Woman and a Girl” (Mark 5)

Go to our website, stonewaterchurch.com, scroll down to the Kids’ Service button and click on “Parents” for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

Jesus and Samaritan Woman

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Dear Parents,

At the time Jesus was on earth, Jews and Samaritans didn’t get along. The strife between the two groups stretched back hundreds of years, to the Babylonian exile.

When the Babylonians attacked Judah, they moved a large group of God’s people away from their homes. But some of the people—the poorest, sickest, least able to work—were left behind in the region that became known as Samaria. The exile lasted 70 years. During that time, those left in Samaria began to mingle with their neighbors to the north. They intermarried and practiced foreign customs. While the Samaritans still believed in God, they adapted foreign beliefs as well.

The Jews who returned home from Babylon to rebuild God’s temple in Jerusalem rejected this new way of life. They were dedicated to obeying and worshiping God, so they didn’t agree with the Samaritans’ practices. The Samaritans opposed the Jews’ efforts to reestablish their nation. In time, the Jews’ hate for the Samaritans grew—so much so that a Jew traveling from Judea to Galilee would take a longer route to travel around Samaria rather than through it.

Jesus broke down barriers when He traveled to Galilee by way of Samaria. Even more surprising, Jesus stopped at a well around noon and asked a Samaritan woman for a drink. Jewish men did not speak to women in public.

But Jesus was kind to her, and He offered her a gift: living water. The woman didn’t understand, but Jesus revealed His knowledge of her past. He even gave her a glimpse of the future. The Samaritan woman expected a Messiah to come and fix everything. Jesus said, “I am He.”

Explain to kids that the living water Jesus offers is the Holy Spirit. (See John 7:37-39.) The Holy Spirit is a gift that He is eager to give us when we ask Him. Those who receive His grace will never be thirsty again.

 

Jesus offers something better than physical water; He gives us Himself. Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to everyone who comes to Him by faith. We can worship Him as Lord and Savior wherever we are.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • ○ Anyone who trusts in Jesus will be saved.
    • ○ Jesus cared for people.
    • ○ Jesus spoke to a Samaritan woman.
    • ○ The woman told people to come and hear Jesus.
    • ○ Many people believed Jesus is God’s Son.
  • Preschool
    • ○ Jesus loves all people.
    • ○ What makes people special? People are special because God made us in His own image.
  • Kids
    • ○ Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to those who believe. 
    • ○ What makes people special? People are special because we are made in God’s image, as male and female, to know Him.
  • UNIT KEY PASSAGE
  • John 3:16
  • NEXT WEEK 
  • “Jesus Healed Ten Men” (Luke 17)

Go to our website, stonewaterchurch.com, scroll down to the Kids’ Service button and click on “Parents” for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

Jesus and Nicodemus

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Jesus’ ministry had begun. His early miracles included turning water into wine, casting out demons, and healing people. John 2:23 says that “many believed in his name when they saw the signs he was doing.” Jesus likely spent a large part of His day teaching. When the day was done, He spent time alone or with His disciples. One night, a man named Nicodemus approached Jesus.

Nicodemus was a Pharisee and a ruler of the Jews; that is, he was a religious leader who taught God’s law, and he was a member of the Sanhedrin—a Jewish governing body. Nicodemus held to the belief that if a person was a law-abiding Jew, he would be accepted by God. Jesus gave Nicodemus a lesson that would turn his belief system on its head.

Jesus was a carpenter (Mark 6:3), so the religious teachers likely assumed He didn’t know theology. But they had seen Jesus’ miraculous signs in Jerusalem. Nicodemus had to conclude, “You are a teacher who has come from God” (John 3:2).

Nicodemus initiated the conversation, but Jesus chose the subject. His words perplexed Nicodemus: “Unless someone is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3). Jesus explained that spiritual birth is not unlike physical birth in that a person cannot do it himself; it is something that happens to him.

Jesus reminded Nicodemus of an Old Testament account, the disobedient Israelites and the bronze snake. The Israelites could not help themselves, but when they trusted in God and looked to the bronze snake lifted up on the pole, they were healed. (Num. 21:4-9)

Emphasize to your kids that every person is born a sinner—spiritually dead and alienated from God. It is by God’s Spirit—not our own effort—that we are born again. We look to Jesus and His finished work on the cross for our salvation.

 Nicodemus needed new life—eternal life—but he could not do anything to earn it. Eternal life is a gift that comes only from God. God showed His love in this way: He sent His one and only Son to save the world. Everyone who believes in Him will not perish but will have eternal life.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • ○ Jesus gives us life forever with God.
    • ○ Jesus cared for people.
    • ○ Nicodemus went to see Jesus at night.
    • ○ Jesus told Nicodemus about God’s plan.
    • ○ God sent Jesus to earth because He loves us.
  • Preschool
    • ○ Jesus told Nicodemus about God’s great plan.
    • ○ What makes people special? People are special because God made us in His own image.
  • Kids
    • ○ Jesus taught that we must be born again. 
    • ○ What makes people special? People are special because we are made in God’s image, as male and female, to know Him.

Go to our website, stonewaterchurch.com, scroll down to the Kids’ Service button and click on “Parents” for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

Jesus Taught in Nazareth

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Jesus was about 30 years old when He began His earthly ministry. After John baptized Jesus in the Jordan River, Jesus was tempted in the desert. Jesus traveled to Jerusalem for the Passover. Then He headed north to Galilee. He went through the region of Samaria, stopping at Jacob’s well to talk to a Samaritan woman.

After, Jesus went to the town of Nazareth, where He had grown up. Nazareth was a small village in the hills between the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean Sea. On the Sabbath day, Jesus went into the synagogue to teach. He read aloud the words of the prophet Isaiah. (See Isa. 61:1-2.) Jesus sat down. Everyone’s eyes were on Him as He explained, “Today as you listen, this Scripture has been fulfilled.” Jesus was saying, It’s Me. The words Jesus read were coming true. Some people remembered Jesus from His youth. They asked, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”

Jesus knew their thoughts; Jesus had performed miracles in Capernaum, and the people wanted Jesus to do miracles in His hometown too. Jesus reminded them of two Old Testament accounts. Many widows lived in Israel when the prophet Elijah was there, but God sent Elijah to help a widow in another country. And Elisha likely encountered Israelites who had leprosy, but he healed Naaman the Syrian.

Jesus wanted the people to understand that His miracles were an act of grace—a gift. No one deserves God’s grace, so God may show grace to whomever He pleases—even Gentiles. The people were angry about that last part. They drove Jesus away, intending to kill Him, but Jesus escaped through the crowd.

As you share with your kids, explain that Jesus came to give sight to the blind and to set the captives free. He came preaching good news to all the people groups. Finally, the Messiah had come! Jesus was God’s plan to save sinners.

 Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah wrote about God’s plan to send a Messiah. The Messiah would bring good news and redeem people who were broken and hurting. Jesus read Isaiah’s words and announced that He is the promised Messiah.

Go to our website, stonewaterchurch.com, scroll down to the Kids’ Service button and click on “Parents” for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • ○ Jesus saves people from sin.
    • ○ Jesus cared for people.
    • ○ Jesus read Isaiah’s message in Nazareth.
    • ○ Jesus said God sent Him to preach good news.
    • ○ God sent Jesus because He loves us.
  • Preschool
    • ○ Jesus taught that He is the Messiah.
    • ○ What makes people special? People are special because God made us in His own image.
  • Kids
    • ○ Jesus taught that He is the Messiah. 
    • ○ What makes people special? People are special because we are made in God’s image, as male and female, to know Him.
  • UNIT KEY PASSAGE
  • John 3:16
  • NEXT WEEK 
  • “Jesus and Nicodemus” (John 3)

Jesus’ Early Miracles

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Early in His ministry, Jesus and His disciples traveled to Capernaum, a town on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee. Capernaum became Jesus’ home and headquarters. (See Matt. 4:13.) He entered the synagogue on the Sabbath, when people would gather to hear and learn from the Scriptures.

Jesus quickly set Himself apart from the scribes and other religious teachers. Unlike the scribes, who relied completely on traditional interpretations of the Torah from other teachers, Jesus spoke with authority. His teaching came from His own authority as the Author of truth, and it had a profound effect on His listeners—they were astonished!

The early miracles recorded in Mark 1 demonstrate Jesus’ power and authority as the Son of God. Jesus drove an unclean spirit from a man in the synagogue; even the demons obey His commands. Then Jesus healed Peter’s mother-in-law, and that evening the people in the town brought to Jesus all those who were sick or afflicted with unclean spirits. What did Jesus do? He healed them! (Mark 1:34)

Jesus’ miracles continued, and He healed a man with leprosy. Leprosy is a skin disease that would have marked a person as “unclean,” requiring him to be separated from the community. Jesus had compassion on the man and healed him immediately.

Jesus’ miracles brought many people to faith in Him. Jesus’ miracles proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God. They strengthened people’s faith and met their needs. Through Jesus, God did what is impossible for us to do on our own. He provided forgiveness, salvation, and eternal life.

Go to our website, stonewaterchurch.com, scroll down to the Kids’ Service button and click on “Parents” for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

Babies and Toddlers

○ Jesus’ miracles showed that He is God’s Son.

○ Jesus cared for people.

○ Jesus taught people about God.

○ Jesus healed people who were sick.

○ Jesus takes away our sin and heals our sickness.

Preschool

○ Jesus’ miracles helped people.

○ What makes people special? People are special because God made us in His own image.

Kids

○ People came to Jesus, and He healed them. 

○ What makes people special? People are special because we are made in God’s image, as male and female, to know Him.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

John 3:16

NEXT WEEK 

“Jesus Taught in Nazareth” (Luke 4)

John Called Disciples

Sunday, May 3, 2020


In the first century, rabbi was a title given to a respected expert in the law of Moses. A rabbi studied the Scriptures and taught through speaking and writing. Jews wanted to honor God in how they lived, and they looked to the rabbis to instruct them in their behavior.

The word rabbi translates “my master.” Jewish students would seek out a rabbi and ask to follow him. A rabbi would choose only a few highly-promising students to be his disciples. If a student was not accepted by the rabbi, he likely returned home to learn a trade. Those chosen to be a rabbi’s disciples followed him everywhere. They learned from the rabbi how to think and how to act. They trusted the rabbi, and the goal was to become just like him.

When Jesus chose His disciples, His strategy was unusual. Rather than waiting for students to come to Him, Jesus sought out His disciples among the people who followed Him. He found them working—fishing and repairing nets. Some of Jesus’ disciples were introduced to Him by their friends. He approached these ordinary men and said, “Follow Me.” Their response? “Immediately they left … and followed him” (Matt. 4:20,22).

The Twelve—Simon (Peter) and his brother Andrew; James and John; Philip; Bartholomew; Matthew; Thomas; James, son of Alphaeus; Thaddaeus; Simon; and Judas—spent time with Jesus during His ministry. Jesus taught them how to live in light of God’s coming kingdom. He commissioned them to teach others about Him. The good news about Jesus is too great not to share with the entire world. 

The call to follow Jesus is not an easy one. Jesus said, “If anyone wants to follow after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross, and follow me” (Matt. 16:24). Jesus calls us to do the same—to surrender our lives for His purposes and perhaps even to die. “For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of me will find it” (Matt. 16:25).
 
Jesus came to earth to show what God is like and to save people from their sins. This is great news! Jesus told His disciples to tell others about Him, and we are Jesus’ disciples when we trust in Him. Everyone in the world needs to hear the good news about Jesus.

Go to our website, stonewaterchurch.com, scroll down to the Kids’ Service button and click on “Parents” for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • ○ Jesus’ friends love Him and tell others about Him.
    • ○ Jesus obeyed God’s plan.
    • ○ Jesus chose twelve disciples.
    • ○ Jesus taught His disciples about God’s plan.
    • ○ People who love Jesus are also His disciples.
  • Preschool
    • ○ Jesus chose disciples to follow Him.
    • ○ Why did Jesus become human? Jesus became human to rescue sinners.
  • Kids
    • ○ Jesus called disciples to follow Him. 
    • ○ Why did Jesus become human? Jesus became human to obey His Father’s plan and rescue sinners.
  • UNIT KEY PASSAGE: John 3:30
  • NEXT WEEK : Jesus’ Early Miracles” (Mark 1)

John Pointed to Jesus

Sunday, April 26, 2020

Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, the prophets had spoken of a forerunner—someone who would get people ready for Jesus. (Isa. 40:3; Mal. 3:1) At just the right time, “John came baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins” (Mark 1:4). These baptisms were an outward sign of cleansing for people who had repented of their sins.


John’s followers were concerned when they saw Jesus and His disciples, who were baptizing people too. They came to John, who pointed out several things about himself and about Jesus. Consider these comparisons as John explained that Jesus was greater than John.


First, who were they? John was clear: “I am not the Messiah” (John 3:28). John was not the bridegroom, but the groom’s friend. Jesus is the bridegroom. (John 3:29)


Where did they come from? John was from the earth, and he belonged to the earth. Jesus comes from above and is above all. (John 3:31)


What did they do? John said, “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John was a witness to the Light. (John 1:7-8) He was a voice in the wilderness, and Jesus is the Word. (John 1:14,23) John the Baptist told people to get ready for the Messiah. He baptized with water, but Jesus baptized with the Spirit. (John 1:33)


Finally, why were they here? John went before Jesus and rejoiced with Him. (John 3:28-29) Jesus came to give eternal life. (John 3:36)


John described his joy as being complete. (John 3:29) The One for whom he had prepared the people was here. The time had come for John to step aside and let Jesus take the spotlight. John’s mission was complete.
 
John the Baptist told people to get ready for Jesus, the promised Messiah. Now that Jesus was on earth, John’s mission was complete. Jesus was greater than John, and John joyfully stepped aside as Jesus began His earthly ministry.

Go to our website, stonewaterchurch.com, scroll down to the Kids’ Service button and click on “Parents” for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • ○ Jesus is greater than anything and anyone.
    • ○ Jesus obeyed God’s plan.
    • ○ John was not the Messiah.
    • ○ John said Jesus is more important than him.
    • ○ Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.
  • Preschool
    • ○ John told people to follow Jesus.
    • ○ Why did Jesus become human? Jesus became human to rescue sinners.
  • Kids
    • ○ John the Baptist told people to follow Jesus.
    • ○ Why did Jesus become human? Jesus became human to obey His Father’s plan and rescue sinners.
  • UNIT KEY PASSAGE
  • John 3:30
  • NEXT WEEK 
  • “Jesus Called His Disciples” (Matthew 4,9; Mark 1–3; Luke 5–6)
  • Unit 20, Session 4: Jesus Called His Disciples

Jesus’ Temptation

Sunday, April 19, 2020

Satan wants to ruin God’s plan. In Genesis 3, he tempted Adam and Eve to disobey God. Sin entered the world, and the perfect relationship between God and man was broken. But all along, God had a plan to rescue His people through His Son. So when Jesus came to earth, Satan didn’t back down. After Jesus was baptized—beginning His ministry and effectively declaring war on Satan—Satan tempted Jesus.

If Satan could just get Jesus to stray from God’s perfect plan—if he could just get Jesus to sin—then Jesus would be disqualified to be the sinless Savior people needed. But Satan could not stop God’s plan.

Jesus’ temptation is not primarily an example to be followed but more a declaration of who Jesus is. He is the answer to God’s promise of a descendant who would crush the head of the snake. (Gen. 3:15) Jesus is the perfect sacrifice required to take away sin. Where Adam failed, Jesus succeeded. Adam brought guilt and death to the human race, but Jesus brings forgiveness and life to all who trust in Him.

Even today, the devil works hard “to steal and kill and destroy” (John 10:10). Teach kids that the power to resist temptation comes from Jesus. Kids may struggle to understand that following Jesus won’t mean instant eradication of temptation and sin in our lives. (Sanctification is a lifelong process!) Pray that your kids would see Jesus as their greatest treasure—more valuable than any instant gratification the world has to offer.

Finally, give your kids hope for when they fail. Jesus’ perfect obedience is credited to those who trust in Him. Remind the kids that “if we confess our sins, he [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). We can boldly approach God’s throne to receive both grace and mercy when we need it. (See Heb. 4:14-16.)

 Jesus was tempted, but He trusted God and never sinned. Jesus is perfect and righteous. A perfect sacrifice was required to take away sin. Jesus was that perfect sacrifice. He died on the cross to free us from sin and to give us the power to say no to temptation.

Go to our website, stonewaterchurch.com, scroll down to the Kids’ Service button and click on “Parents” for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • FAMILY STARTING POINTS 
  • Babies and Toddlers
    • ○ Jesus always did what was right.
    • ○ Jesus obeyed God’s plan.
    • ○ Jesus was tempted in the wilderness.
    • ○ Jesus always obeyed God’s words.
    • ○ God sent Jesus because He loves us.
  • Preschool
    • ○ Jesus was tempted and never sinned.
    • ○ Why did Jesus become human? Jesus became human to rescue sinners.
  • Kids
    • ○ Jesus was tempted and never sinned. 
    • ○ Why did Jesus become human? Jesus became human to obey His Father’s plan and rescue sinners.
  • UNIT KEY PASSAGE
  • John 3:30
  • NEXT WEEK 
  • “John Pointed to Jesus” (Matthew 3; John 1,3)

Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection are essential to the Christian faith. If we teach Jesus as a respected teacher and miracle-worker who claimed to be the Messiah and who was crucified on the cross—but who was not resurrected—then we are teaching the Jesus of Judaism. If we teach Jesus as a wise teacher and prophet who ascended into heaven—but who was not crucified—then we are teaching the Jesus of Islam.

Jesus’ purpose for coming to earth was to save us from our sins. (Matt. 1:21) Jesus came to die to show God’s love to us (Rom. 5:7-8) so that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16) Jesus came to die so that we would be forgiven. (Eph. 1:7) Jesus came to die to bring us to God. (1 Pet. 3:18)

Jesus died on the cross to satisfy the wrath of God toward sin. His resurrection proved that God was satisfied with Jesus’ sacrifice. If Jesus had died but not been raised up, He would have been like military leaders who died without a throne. (Acts 5:33-37) But Jesus conquered death, just as He said He would. (John 2:19-21) If there was no resurrection, Paul says, our faith would be worthless. We would be dead in our sins. (1 Cor. 15:17)

But Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope for our resurrection. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead will raise our bodies to life. (Rom. 8:11)

Jesus’ death and resurrection is the center of the gospel. In Adam, we were spiritually dead in sin, but Jesus died to pay for our sins. Jesus is alive! God gives new life to everyone who trusts in Jesus. As you share with your kids, emphasize the gospel: the good news of who Jesus is and what He has done. We do not worship a dead Savior. Jesus is alive! There is hope for sinners. Jesus’ resurrection gives believers the promise of new life. “For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive” (1 Cor. 15:22). 

Go to our website, stonewaterchurch.com, scroll down to the Kids’ Service button and click on “Parents” for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • ○ Jesus brings forgiveness and life with God forever.
    • ○ Jesus obeyed God’s plan.
    • ○ God sent Jesus to rescue us.
    • ○ Jesus died on the cross and is alive.
    • ○ People who trust in Jesus will be alive with Him forever!
  • Preschool
    • ○ Jesus gives us life with God forever.
    • ○ Why did Jesus become human? Jesus became human to rescue sinners.
  • Kids
    • ○ Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope for eternal life. 
    • ○ Why did Jesus become human? Jesus became human to obey His Father’s plan and rescue sinners.
  • UNIT KEY PASSAGE
  • John 3:30
  • NEXT WEEK 
  • “Jesus’ Temptation” (Matthew 4; Mark 1; Luke 4)

Jesus’ Baptism

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Zechariah’s son, John, grew up in the wilderness. His ministry began when God’s word came to him, and he began preaching near the Jordan River. John worked to get people ready for the coming of Jesus, fulfilling the Old Testament prophecy, “A voice of one crying out: Prepare the way of the LORD in the wilderness” (Isa. 40:3a).

John called people to repent of their sins, and he baptized them in the Jordan River. John also instructed people on right living. (See Luke 3:10-14.) Some of the people suspected that John might be the Messiah, but John insisted, “One who is more powerful than I am is coming” (Luke 3:16).

Before His ministry began, Jesus came from Galilee to be baptized by John at the Jordan River. But John was calling people to a baptism of repentance. Jesus never sinned (see Heb. 4:15; 2 Cor. 5:21), so why did Jesus come to be baptized? John recognized this when he said, “I need to be baptized by you, and yet you come to me?” (Matt. 3:14).

Commentators’ ideas vary about why exactly Jesus was baptized. Perhaps He was affirming John’s work. Maybe He was identifying with sinners or showing them how they would be saved—through His death, burial, and resurrection. Jesus answered John, “Allow it for now, because this is the way for us to fulfill all righteousness” (Matt. 3:15). Jesus completely obeyed God, and God audibly confirmed His sonship.

As you share with your kids, allow time for them to ask questions about repentance, salvation, and baptism. Emphasize that baptism is not what saves us; baptism is a way we show that we have been saved. Jesus never sinned, but He obeyed God and was baptized like sinners are baptized. Baptism reminds us of Jesus’ death and resurrection. It reminds us that when we trust in Jesus, we turn from sin and start a new life—a life lived for Jesus.

Go to our website, stonewaterchurch.com, scroll down to the Kids’ Service button and click on “Parents” for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • ○ People are baptized to show they follow Jesus.
    • ○ Jesus obeyed God’s plan.
    • ○ Jesus always obeys God perfectly.
    • ○ God wanted John to baptize Jesus.
    • ○ Everything Jesus does makes God happy.
  • Preschool
    • ○ John baptized Jesus.
    • ○ Why did Jesus become human? Jesus became human to rescue sinners.
  • Kids
    • ○ Jesus obeyed God by being baptized.
    • ○ Why did Jesus become human? Jesus became human to obey His Father’s plan and rescue sinners.
  • UNIT KEY PASSAGE
  • John 3:30
  • NEXT WEEK 
  • “EASTER: Jesus’ Crucifixion and Resurrection” (N)

John Was Dedicated

Sunday, March 22, 2020

God had chosen Mary and Joseph to be Jesus’ earthly parents. Mary and Joseph named their baby Jesus, obeying God in faith that salvation had indeed come into the world. (See Matt. 1:21.) When the time came for Jesus to be dedicated and Mary to be purified, Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the temple in Jerusalem.

According to the law given to Moses, after a woman gave birth, she was “unclean” and would observe a period of purification. Then she would bring an offering to the priest. (See Lev. 12:1-6.) Jesus was about five weeks old when Mary and Joseph dedicated Him to the Lord and offered the required sacrifice.

Simeon was also at the temple that day, not by mere coincidence but by the Holy Spirit’s leading. (Luke 2:27) Simeon spent His life serving the Lord and looked forward to the day when God would keep His promise to comfort Israel. (See Isa. 57:18.) God promised that Simeon would live long enough to see the Messiah. That day had finally come. Imagine his joy. At last, the Savior was here!

Simeon saw the baby Jesus, took Him in his arms, and praised God. Simeon expressed prophetic praise, trusting by faith that God would keep His promise through this child: “My eyes have seen your salvation” (Luke 2:30). Through Jesus, everyone would be able to see God’s plan. Jesus would be a light for all the nations. He would bring honor to Israel.

Anna, a prophetess, also praised too. At well over a hundred years old, Anna began to speak about Jesus to everyone who was looking forward to God’s bringing salvation to His people.

 Throughout the Old Testament, God promised the arrival of a king who would redeem people. When Jesus arrived, Simeon and Anna knew He was the promised Messiah. Today, we have faith that Jesus is God’s Son. We can trust Jesus for our salvation, and like Simeon and Anna, we should share the good news.

Check this session’s Activity Page and stonewaterchurch.com for ways to interact with the Bible story at home!

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • ○ We can tell others the good news about Jesus.
    • ○ There is no one like Jesus.
    • ○ Mary and Joseph took Baby Jesus to the temple.
    • ○ Simeon and Anna praised God for Jesus.
    • ○ God sent Jesus to earth to be our King.
  • Preschool
    • ○ Simeon and Anna worshiped Jesus.
    • ○ Is Jesus God or a human? Jesus is both fully God and fully human.
  • Kids
    • ○ Simeon and Anna worshiped Jesus as the Messiah. 
    • ○ Is Jesus God or a human? As the Son of God, Jesus is both fully God and fully human.
  • UNIT KEY PASSAGE
  • John 1:1-2 (Preschool: John 1:1)
  • NEXT WEEK 
  • “Jesus as a Child” (Matthew 2; Luke 2)

Jesus Was Born

Sunday, March 15, 2020

After the angel Gabriel appeared to Zechariah and predicted the birth of John—the forerunner of the Messiah—he appeared to Mary and predicted that she too would have a baby. This baby would be named Jesus, and He would be God’s Son. “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High … His kingdom will have no end,” Gabriel said. (See Luke 1:32-33.) Mary visited Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth, who was pregnant with John. Inside the womb, John leaped for joy in the presence of Mary’s unborn baby.

Mary and Joseph lived in Nazareth. When Caesar Augustus called for a census, they traveled to Bethlehem—the very place the Messiah was prophesied to be born. (Micah 5:2) There, in a stable, God the Son entered the world as a baby.

Imagine the shepherds’ surprise when an angel of the Lord suddenly appeared. The Bible says that they were terrified! But the angel brought them good news: “Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:11). This Savior—the long-awaited deliverer and redeemer—had come.

Not only did Jesus come into the world as the Savior, He came as our King. Some time after Jesus’ birth, wise men came to worship Jesus. They brought Him gifts suitable for a king—gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Jesus is the King who will rule forever, just as God promised King David. (See 2 Sam. 7.)

When you share this story with your kids, remind them that Jesus came because we needed Him. The purpose of Jesus’ birth was twofold: to bring glory to God and to make peace between God and those who trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection. Celebrating the birth of Jesus is about rejoicing over the greatest gift we could ever receive. God’s own Son came to earth to be our Savior and our King.

The birth of Jesus was good news! Jesus was not an ordinary baby. He is God’s Son, sent to earth from heaven. Jesus, the promised Savior, came into the world to deliver us from sin and death.

Check this session’s Activity Page for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • ○ Jesus came into the world to rescue us from sin.
    • ○ There is no one like Jesus.
    • ○ Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
    • ○ Jesus is the Son of God.
    • ○ God sent Jesus to earth to be our Savior.
  • Preschool
    • ○ Jesus was born to rescue people from sin.
    • ○ Is Jesus God or a human? Jesus is both fully God and fully human.
  • Kids
    • ○ Jesus was born to be God’s promised Savior. 
    • ○ Is Jesus God or a human? As the Son of God, Jesus is both fully God and fully human.
  • UNIT KEY PASSAGE 1:1-2 (Preschool: John 1:1)
  • NEXT WEEK : “Jesus Was Dedicated” (Luke 2)

John Was Born

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Some of the last words of the Lord recorded in the Old Testament are found in Malachi 4—“Look, I am going to send you the prophet Elijah … he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers” (vv. 5-6). The Book of Malachi was written more than 400 years before Jesus was born. For centuries, God’s people did not hear from Him. They were back in their homeland but were subject to other ruling nations. Eventually, the Romans took over.

The Roman emperor installed Herod as a leader over Judea and surrounding regions such as Samaria and Galilee. To gain the people’s favor, King Herod replaced Zerubbabel’s temple in Jerusalem with a beautiful marble temple constructed by 10,000 workers. This was the temple in which Zechariah, a priest from the family of Abijah, served the Lord. This was the temple in which God, through the angel Gabriel, broke His silence after so many years.

Zechariah and his wife, Elizabeth, were both “righteous in God’s sight” (Luke 1:6), living by faith in God’s promise to send a Messiah. Like Abraham and Sarah in Genesis 18, they were getting along in years and did not have any children. Elizabeth’s barrenness was a point of disgrace for her among the community (Luke 1:25) and God graciously answered this couple’s prayers.

An angel appeared to Zechariah in the temple sanctuary and delivered good news: “Your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear a son.” Echoing Malachi’s prophecy, the angel declared this son would “turn the hearts of fathers to their children” (Luke 1:17)

For his doubting, Zechariah was rendered mute until the promise came to pass. When Zechariah believed God’s word, he praised God. John was born to prepare the way for Jesus. John would point people to Jesus, and they would praise God for keeping His promise to send the Savior.

Check this session’s Activity Page for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • ○ We can praise God for sending Jesus.
    • ○ There is no one like Jesus..
    • ○ An angel told Zechariah that Elizabeth would have a baby.
    • ○ John was born to get people ready for Jesus.
    • ○ Zechariah praised God for His plan to rescue people.
  • Preschool
    • ○ John was born to get people ready for Jesus.
    • ○ Is Jesus God or a human? Jesus is both fully God and fully human.
  • Kids
    • ○ John was born to prepare the way for Jesus.
    • ○ Is Jesus God or a human? As the Son of God, Jesus is both fully God and fully human.
  • UNIT KEY PASSAGE
  • John 1:1-2 (Preschool: John 1:1)
  • NEXT WEEK 
  • “Jesus Was Born” (Luke 2)

From Adam to Jesus

Sunday, March 1, 2020

The prophecies concerning Jesus’ birth are numerous, and many of them refer to Jesus’ lineage. Old Testament prophecies tell of the promised Messiah being born from the seed of a woman (Gen. 3:15); from the seed of Abraham (Gen. 22:18), Isaac (Gen. 21:12), and Jacob (Num. 24:17); from the tribe of Judah (Micah 5:2); from the line of Jesse (Isa. 11:1); and from the house of David (Jer. 23:5). The prophecies said He would be born of a virgin (Isa. 7:14) and would be the Son of God (1 Chron. 17:13-14; Ps. 2:7). Jesus fulfilled all of these prophecies.

In Bible times, Jews took great care to record family genealogies accurately. The family a person belonged to was directly linked to property rights. Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38 both chronicle the genealogy of Jesus. The account in Matthew presents Jesus as the king of the Jews—the legal heir to the throne of David. The account in Luke was written to Greek Christians and focuses on Jesus’ descent from Adam.

Jesus was born as a baby in Bethlehem. He had earthly parents—Mary and Joseph—but His true Father is God. Jesus is fully God and fully man.

As fully God, “the entire fullness of God’s nature dwells bodily in Christ” (Col. 2:9). As fully man, Jesus has a human body, human mind, and human emotions. (See Luke 2:7,52; Matt. 26:38.) He is our sinless representative (2 Cor. 5:21), sympathetic high priest (Heb. 4:15), and substitute sacrifice (1 John 4:10).

Use this Bible story to review Jesus’ ancestors and their stories in the Old Testament. Help your kids recognize that God had been working out His plan to send Jesus over hundreds of years—through Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Rahab, Ruth, David, and others. God sent His Son to earth to save people from their sins.

Jesus came to earth as a human. Jesus had earthly parents, Mary and Joseph, but His true Father is God. Through Jesus, God kept His promises to Abraham and David. Jesus saves people from their sins and adopts them into God’s family.

Check this session’s Activity Page for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • ○ Jesus rescues us and makes us part of God’s family.
    • ○ There is no one like Jesus.
    • ○ God promised to send Jesus to earth.
    • ○ Jesus is God’s Son, and Jesus is a man.
    • ○ God sent Jesus like He promised.
  • Preschool
    • ○ Jesus had a family.
    • ○ Is Jesus God or a human? Jesus is both fully God and fully human.
  • Kids
    • ○ Jesus’ family line proved He is the Messiah. 
    • ○ Is Jesus God or a human? As the Son of God, Jesus is both fully God and fully human.
  • UNIT KEY PASSAGE
  • John 1:1-2 (Preschool: John 1:1)
  • NEXT WEEK 
  • “John Was Born” (Luke 1)

Malachi the Prophet

Sunday, February 23, 2020

After many years living as prisoners in Babylon, God’s people had returned to Judah. They had worked hard and overcome opposition to rebuild the temple and the walls around Jerusalem. Surely God would restore them … finally! But nothing happened. As they waited, they faced drought and economic uncertainty. God’s people probably didn’t feel like God had blessed them at all.

“It is useless to serve God,” they said. “What have we gained by keeping his requirements?” (Mal. 3:14). Did God still care? It wasn’t long until God’s people fell back into the same patterns of sin that led to their exile in the first place: idolatry, covetousness, hypocrisy, arrogance, and abuse of the poor.

But God did still love His people. He had been working out His divine plan of redemption, and He never gave up on them. God sent a message to His people through the prophet Malachi.

Malachi was the last of the Old Testament prophets. He spoke to God’s people approximately 100 years after the end of the Babylonian captivity. Malachi’s message from God was a wake-up call.

God communicated through Malachi that the people’s lack of blessing didn’t mean that God didn’t care. God exposed His people’s sin and made clear that their actions merited a curse. God’s people needed to repent and turn back to God. “But for you who fear my name,” God said, “the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings” (Mal. 4:2).

Explain to your kids that 400 years of silence followed Malachi’s prophecy; God did not communicate to His people. This period brings us to the New Testament, when the silence would be broken by the last prophet before Jesus, John the Baptist. His words about Jesus in John 1:29 offered hope to all who heard: “Here is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

Malachi was a messenger—a prophet—who told God’s people to repent. Malachi also told about another messenger God would send. This messenger, John the Baptist, would call people to repent and get them ready for a final Messenger, Jesus Christ. Jesus would bring good news of salvation.

Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
  • ○ Nothing can stop God’s good plan.
  • ○ Jesus came to give us good news.
  • ○ Malachi told people God’s words.
  • ○ God promised to send a messenger before the Messiah.
  • ○ Jesus is God’s Son, the Messiah.
  • Preschool
  • ○ Who is in control of everything? God is in control of everything.
  • ○ Malachi said a messenger would get people ready for the Messiah.
  • Kids
  • ○ Who is in control of everything? God is in control of everything in heaven and on earth. 
  • ○ Malachi called God’s people to repent to prepare for the Messiah.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • 1 Peter 5:10

NEXT WEEK 

  • “From Adam to Jesus” (Matthew 1; Luke 3; John 1)

The Walls Rebuilt

Sunday, February 9, 2020

Nehemiah was a Jew living in Persia. He served as the king’s cupbearer. When the Persian Empire conquered the Babylonians, King Cyrus allowed God’s people to return to Judah. Two or three million Jews had originally been deported, but only a remnant—50,000 people—returned. They set up their homes and rebuilt the temple in Jerusalem.

But when God’s people faced opposition in rebuilding the rest of Jerusalem, they stopped. Some 70 years passed, and the walls and gates around the city were still ruined.

City walls and gates were very important in Bible times. Thick walls protected a city from its enemies and provided a sense of safety and security. Gates were the center of city life, the meeting place for commercial and social transactions. Without these structures, the surviving remnant of God’s people struggled and was vulnerable to attack.

Nehemiah traveled from Persia to Jerusalem to lead the effort in rebuilding Jerusalem’s walls. His leadership was effective. Nehemiah 3 describes all the people working together to rebuild the gates and walls. But it wasn’t long before Nehemiah met opposition from local governors. God’s people armed themselves and kept working. They completed the wall in just 52 days.

Note how their enemies reacted: “All the surrounding nations were intimidated and lost their confidence, for they realized that this task had been accomplished by our God” (Neh. 6:16).

Now God’s people were protected from their enemies. Help your kids see that God provided the way for us to be protected from our enemies, sin and death: He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on the cross for our sins. When we repent and trust in Jesus, He frees us from sin and death. We still sin, but we are no longer slaves to sin. (See Rom. 6:17-18.) We may die a physical death as a result of sin, but we have eternal life. (See John 11:25-26; Rom. 6:23.)

Nehemiah led the people to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem to protect them from their enemies. Jesus came to protect us from our greatest enemy, sin and death. He died on the cross and rose from the dead to rescue everyone who trusts in Him.

Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
  • ○ Nothing can stop God’s good plan.
  • ○ Jesus protects us from our enemies.
  • ○ Nehemiah led the people to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls.
  • ○ God kept His people safe as they worked.
  • ○ Jesus keeps us safe from sin when we trust in Him.
  • Preschool
  • ○ Who is in control of everything? God is in control of everything.
  • ○ Nehemiah led God’s people to rebuild the walls.
  • Kids
  • ○ Who is in control of everything? God is in control of everything in heaven and on earth. 
  • ○ God used Nehemiah to rebuild Jerusalem’s walls.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • 1 Peter 5:10

NEXT WEEK 

  • “God’s People Repented” (Nehemiah 8–13)

Esther Saved Her People

Sunday, February 2, 2020

The Babylonian captivity ended when Cyrus, the king of Persia, took over Babylon and let God’s people go home. Some of God’s people—now called Jews (people from Judah)—traveled back to Judah to rebuild the temple, the city, and their lives. Others, however, stayed in Persia where life among the pagans was relatively comfortable.

The king of Persia was now Ahasuerus (uh haz yoo EHR uhs), also known by his Greek name, Xerxes (ZUHRK seez). Esther was a young Jewish girl who became queen of Persia. The former queen had defied the king and was promptly replaced.

Esther had been an orphan, so her cousin Mordecai adopted her. Mordecai kept in touch with Esther while she lived in the palace. One day, the king gave Haman the Agagite a very important position in the kingdom. The king even commanded the people to bow down to Haman. But Mordecai refused.

Haman was a descendant of Agag, king of the Amalekites. The nations of Israel and Amalek did not get along. Haman was angry, but instead of just punishing Mordecai, he planned to kill all the Jews in the kingdom.

In this week’s Bible story, Mordecai turned to Esther for help. After all, she was in a position of power, and the Jews were her people. The stakes were high, but Esther approached the king and explained her people’s plight. Review the details in Esther 7.

Note how Esther described Haman: “The adversary and enemy is this evil Haman” (Esth. 7:6). We too have an adversary—the Devil. He prowls around like a lion, seeking people to devour. (1 Pet. 5:8) He loves nothing more than to destroy believers and hinder the work of God. Satan thought he had succeeded when Jesus died on the cross, but God—working frequently behind the scenes—raised Jesus from the dead and defeated Satan once and for all. (See Heb. 2:14-15.)

God was in control over Haman’s evil plan to destroy the Jews. Like Haman, Satan wants to ruin God’s plan and destroy believers. Satan thought he had won when Jesus died on the cross, but God raised Jesus from the dead and defeated Satan once and for all. All who believe in Jesus are rescued from sin and death.

Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • ○ Nothing can stop God’s good plan.
    • ○ Jesus died and rose again to do God’s plan.
    • ○ God made Esther queen of Persia.
    • ○ God used Esther to rescue His people.
    • ○ Jesus rescues us from sin and death.
    • Preschool
    • ○ Who is in control of everything? God is in control of everything.
    • ○ God used Esther to rescue God’s people from their enemies.
    • Kids
    • ○ Who is in control of everything? God is in control of everything in heaven and on earth. 
    • ○ God made Esther a queen to protect His people.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • 1 Peter 5:10

NEXT WEEK 

  • “The Walls Rebuilt” (Nehemiah 1–6)

The Captives Came Home

Sunday, January 12, 2020

God’s people had been living in Babylon for 70 years. Some of God’s people had died in Babylon. Some of their children and grandchildren were born in Babylon and grew up there. But Babylon was not their home.

Before the people of Judah were exiled, God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah. These are the words of the Lord: “These nations will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years” (Jer. 25:11). Then the Lord said, “When seventy years for Babylon are complete, I will attend to you and will confirm my promise concerning you to restore you to this place” (Jer. 29:10). The time had come for God’s people to go back home.

Cyrus, the king of the Persian empire, had overthrown Babylon. Cyrus took over the kingdom, including the lands of Israel and Judah. In the following year, the Lord did something miraculous in Cyrus’s heart. He prompted Cyrus to issue a decree: All the Jewish exiles are free to return to their ancestral homes.

The exile was over! God’s people were free to return to their own land. They were free to live as God’s special people. The first group of Judean exiles returned home under the leadership of Zerubbabel (zuh RUHB uh buhl). Zerubbabel was the grandson of King Jehoiachin, who had been taken to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. (See 2 Kings 24:8-13.)

Ezra 2:64-65 says nearly 50,000 people traveled back to Judah. When they got to Jerusalem, they began working to rebuild the temple that the Chaldeans had destroyed. (See 2 Chron. 36:19.)

Explain to your kids that the temple was the place where God met with His people. Jesus came to earth to rescue God’s people from sin. When Jesus returns, He will restore the earth and will dwell with His people forever.

Zerubbabel led God’s people back to the temple to rebuild it. The temple was the place where God met with His people on earth. Jesus came to earth to rescue God’s people. One day Jesus will return to restore a greater home for all of God’s people, and we will spend eternity with Him.

Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • The prophets told about Jesus.
    • Jesus will give us a home with Him.
    • God brought His people back to their land.
    • Zerubbabel led the people to build the temple.
    • Jesus brings us to God.
  • Preschool
    • How is Jesus the perfect Prophet? God speaks to us through Jesus.
    • God kept His promise to bring His people home.
  • Kids
    • How is Jesus the perfect Prophet? Jesus perfectly reveals God the Father and fulfills what the prophets spoke. 
    • God kept His promise to bring His people home.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

Jeremiah 29:11

NEXT WEEK 

“The Temple Was Rebuilt” (Ezra 4–6; Haggai)

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