Family Sunday School Devotional for August 16
“Jesus Fed a Crowd” from John 6
Listen to- “The Alpha and the Omega (Revelation 1:8)” from Seeds Family Worship here:
and- “Seek First His Kingdom (Matthew 6:31-33)” by Seeds Family Worship here:
and- “The Wedding Banquet” by Rain for Roots here:
Supplies Needed- For younger kids: picnic supplies (either pretend or real); for older kids: paper and pencils
Summary- Jesus miraculously fed a crowd with five loaves and two fish.
Introduction Younger Kid Activity- Play Out a Picnic Set out a picnic basket, blanket, plastic/paper dishes, and play food (or real food- like breakfast, lunch, or snack). Invite children to join you for a picnic. Say, “Today, we will hear a Bible story about how Jesus fed a crowd of people after He finished teaching them about God. They ate their food while seated on the ground outside. It was a little like our picnic here.”
Introduction Older Kid Activity- Grocery List On a piece of paper, write the word “bread” vertically down one side. Give each child a pencil and encourage them to help you make a grocery list by writing items that begin with the letters found in the word “bread”. Or, for more of a challenge (instead of the previous idea), have older children form a list with words that each begin with the letter of the previous word, beginning with the word “bread”. So, the next word would begin with “d” and so on. Say, “Imagine the grocery list you would need to buy enough food to feed more than 5,000 people! In today’s Bible story, we will see how Jesus fed a crowd with just five loaves of bread and two fish.”
Big Picture Question- Say, “Our new Big Picture Question asks: Why did Jesus perform miracles? The answer to our question is: Jesus performed miracles to glorify God, to show He is the Son of God, and to care for people. A miracle is something amazing done with God’s power that would normally be impossible. Jesus’ miracles showed love by healing and saving people. His miracles glorified God by proving His power and goodness. They also showed that Jesus is the Son of God because no one else could have done what He did. Let’s learn about another miracle now.”
Bible Story- Timeline Say, “Jesus traveled all over Israel. He healed people, taught about God, and performed many other miracles. Last week, we learned that Jesus calmed a storm to show the disciples He is God. This week, we will learn about a time Jesus cared for people by providing a big meal for a lot of hungry bellies. Our story is called ‘Jesus Fed a Crowd.’” Open a Bible to John 6:1-14, 35-40. Say, “God’s Word tells us amazing true stories about Jesus. Today’s story is actually found in all four Gospels: the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.” Either tell the story in your own words from this passage or read aloud from the Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook (the Bible storybook your younger child received from Sunday School) page 224.
Christ Connection- Say, “In a way, this can help us see what following Jesus can be like. We won’t usually know ahead of time what God’s plan for us is. Sometimes we might feel frustrated or overwhelmed. But we can trust Jesus each step of the way. His plans are perfect. He will help us push through and obey. By feeding the five thousand, Jesus provided for the physical needs of the crowd. The next day, Jesus called Himself the bread of life. Only Jesus is able to satisfy our souls forever by providing forgiveness, peace with God, and eternal life.”
Key Passage- Open a Bible to Psalm 40:5. Read the verses aloud. Say, “Psalms is a collection of songs written by many different people over many years. God’s work is amazing, and He does many miracles. Jesus is God the Son, and He did many miracles, too, including dying for our sins and rising again.”
Review Questions- Ask the following questions:
- *PreK- What did Jesus teach people? (about God and His kingdom)
- *PreK- How much food did the boy give to Jesus? (5 loaves of bread and 2 fish)
- *PreK- Would this much food feed a whole crowd of people? (no)
- *PreK- How many people did Jesus feed? (more than 5,000)
- What does this story show about Jesus? (Guide kids to think about the compassion Jesus shows. Jesus wants to meet the needs of people. He met their physical needs by healing them and feeding them, but also meets spiritual needs. Jesus taught about God before dying on the cross and rising again. Jesus’ work made the way for us to be forgiven and have eternal life with God.)
- Why did Jesus call Himself the bread of life? (Guide kids to think about the role of bread in Old Testament stories. Remind them about the manna God provided and the significance of the unleavened bread at Passover. Help them see that, just as bread represents a basic necessity- food- Jesus is necessary to have spiritual life with God.)
- How can we learn to trust Jesus more? (Guide kids to discuss ways we can grow in faith, such as studying the Bible, gathering together as a church, praying, and even fasting. Help kids understand what those disciplines are and how we do them.)
- Why did Jesus perform miracles? (Jesus performed miracles to glorify God, to show He is the Son of God, and to care for people.)
Say, “Jesus miraculously fed a crowd with five loaves and two fish. Jesus met the physical needs of the crowd by satisfying their hunger. He will meet all our spiritual needs. He satisfies our soul, provides forgiveness, and promises eternal life.”
For Older Kids- Also, ask the following questions:
- How was Jesus able to feed the crowd with just 5 loaves and 2 fish? (Prompt kids to recall that Jesus’ feeding of the crowd was a miracle! Recall how God provided manna as food in the wilderness for His people. When the people saw this sign, many believed Jesus was the Prophet whom God had promised to send. Read John 6:41-51)
- How has Jesus recently provided for some of your needs- physically or spiritually? (Invite kids to share ways the Lord has provided for their needs. Remind kids that every good gift comes from God. He provided for us in the greatest way by sending His Son to give life to the world. Read John 6:33)
Reflection- Ask older children to answer one of the following questions:
- What does this story teach me about God or the Gospel?
- What does the story teach me about myself?
- Whom can I tell about this story?
Further Learning- Take about 15 minutes to do one of the activities from the 2020 Missions Conference At-Home from our church’s website. Many activities have internet links to view videos or see simple directions for crafts, science object lessons, music appreciation/interaction, cultural information, games, and food recipes. With a few extra minutes of planning, prepare for next week’s missions activity.
Pray- Thank God for being powerful and loving. Ask Him to meet your family’s specific needs.
Adult Sunday School Devotional for August 16
“Jesus Feeds the Multitude” from John 6
Listen to- “My Worth is Not In What I Own” by Fernando Ortega & the Gettys here:
and- “Behold the Lamb (Communion Hymn) by Stuart Townend & the Gettys here:
Summary- Jesus miraculously provided food for a crowd and then declared that He is the bread of life who meets the greatest need we all have- salvation.
Christ Connection- When the Israelites were hungry in the wilderness, God provided manna from heaven. Jesus is the greater Moses, the One who not only provides bread from heaven but who also speaks of Himself as the bread who gives life to the world.
Point 1. Jesus invites others into His work of meeting the needs of people (read aloud John 6:4-10).
Note- Stop and think about this for a moment: Jesus, the Son of God, the divine teacher and healer of humanity, on His way to the cross to die for the forgiveness of sins, noticed others’ physical needs and made plans to meet those needs. Too often we think Jesus cares exclusively about immaterial souls and we gloss over the fact that Jesus also cares for our physical needs. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus addressed the fact that God, who feeds the birds and clothes the flowers of the field, cares for and provides for the physical needs of His children (see Matthew 6:25-34). He doesn’t belittle their needs as secondary issues. Jesus’ example teaches us that we too ought to care for the needs of people, especially since that is what God has done for us in Jesus. God saw us in our helpless estate and moved toward us. He sent Jesus to meet our needs and restore us to right relationship with Him.
Respond- What are some reasons we fail to notice the needs of others?
Point 2. Jesus provides superabundantly for the needs of people (read aloud John 6:11-14).
Note- This is the nature of our God! What might seem insignificant becomes significant in His hands. Whether it be our time, our money, our jobs, or our giftings, there is nothing so small that God cannot use it greatly. We sometimes can be hesitant to give what we have to God because we believe it isn’t enough: “If I had more time, I would serve”; “When I make more money, I’ll give toward missions.” That line of thinking puts our confidence in what we have to offer, but our confidence ought not be in what we have to give or our circumstances. Like the boy, we can humbly submit what we have into the hands of Jesus, knowing that what we have to offer is never too meager for Him to make useful.
Miracles: A miracle is an event in which God makes an exception to the natural order of things, or supersedes natural laws, for the purpose of demonstrating His glory and/or validating His message. Miracles are recorded throughout Scripture; miraculous signs and wonders were oftentimes evident when a prophet or an apostle was speaking God’s message to the people. Because we believe God to be all-powerful and personally involved in this world, we believe He can and does perform miracles.
Note- Jesus multiplied the bread and the fish, and everyone ate until they were satisfied- and still there was more leftover. Imagine being one of the disciples with a basket in your hand, picking up the uneaten pieces of bread and marveling that you have more food now than when you began! God is not stingy. He’s able to do above and beyond anything we could imagine (see Ephesians 3:20)! How abundant is His giving? God graciously gave us Jesus, who gave all of Himself to take on all of our sin so we could take on all of Him and His righteousness (see Romans 8:32).
Respond- What are some points of caution we should take in applying this passage to our own situation?
Point 3. Jesus offers Himself as the bread of life who satisfies the greatest need of people (read aloud John 6:26-27, 32-35).
Note- Jesus performed an amazing miracle, but it must be noted that the same people He fed got hungry again the next day as they sought out Jesus. Imagine the best meal you’ve eaten. Regardless of the amazing taste, the cost, or how full you were after that meal, at some point you were hungry again. Here, Jesus teaches on this point.
Note- The food we hunger for never fully satisfies, but this phenomenon doesn’t just apply to food. The things of this world that we buy and build and look to for meaning eventually fade. The gnawing hunger that drives us keeps coming back, keeps demanding more, and is never satisfied. The writer of Ecclesiastes said that God has placed eternity in our hearts (see Ecclesiastes 3:11), but too often we try to fill that void with temporary things that can only satisfy us temporarily, such as achieving a certain career milestone, life state, or income bracket.
Respond- What are some ways we might come to Christ for the bread He can provide instead of the bread that He is?
Gospel Application: Like the hungry crowd, we often go to Jesus only when we need something He can give us. We go to Him when we’re sick, before an interview, or when a crisis hits. These are appropriate reasons to come to Jesus, but He is much more than just a genie granting wishes. Jesus expects us to come to Him not for what He gives but for who He is. Only when we truly understand who He is can we understand what He will do for us. Jesus is the true bread that meets our deepest need. When we go to Him for who He is, He promises that He will satisfy. So, not only must we come to Him, we must come to Him in faith. To believe is more than just thinking about Jesus or knowing facts. To believe is to internalize the truths about Jesus and put all your hope and trust in Him. To believe in Jesus is to trust that God has sent Him to reconcile sinners to Himself. It means rejecting all other avenues to salvation (which don’t exist) and admitting you don’t have it all together and you can’t save yourself. Believing means you obey Him even when He says difficult things. Unfortunately, the crowd rejected Jesus as the bread of life because believing in Jesus is not easy (see John 6:36, 41, 60-66). At the end of the chapter, the crowd leaves and only the disciples are left standing around Jesus. They knew that life cannot be found anywhere else. The disciples (all except Judas, that is) believed and experienced Jesus for who He is and found Him satisfying. The same offer of eternal, satisfying life is open to all who will come to Jesus and believe.
Respond- How have you found Jesus- the bread of life- satisfying to you soul?
Conclusion- With every meal we eat, we are reminded of the joy of food but also its temporary satisfaction. In a few hours, we need to eat again. Our physical hunger drives us to fill our stomachs, which then strengthens us for what lies ahead. The spiritual hunger in our hearts does much the same, only eternal satisfaction for this hunger is available. Jesus, the bread of life, fed a crowd through a miracle, but then He offered Himself as the miracle that satisfies. When we come to Him in repentance and faith, we begin our never-ending feast upon the bread of eternal life. And because God has granted us this fulfillment in Christ, we are then called to join in the mission of helping others find that same fulfillment and satisfaction. Jesus is all we need, and others need Him, too.