Family Sunday School Devotional for August 30
“Jesus Showed His Glory” from Matthew 17
Listen to- “To God Be the Glory” from Cedarmont Kids here:
and- “Rise and Shine” by Go Fish here:
and- “Glory to God Forever” by Steve Fee here:
Supplies Needed- For younger kids: none needed; for older kids: two sheets clear contact paper (or press n’ seal- type plastic wrap) per child, torn pieces of tissue paper in various colors
Summary- Jesus showed His glory to Peter, James, and John.
Introduction Younger Kid Activity- Wake Up, Disciples Let children sit in a circle. Explain that when you say, “Fall asleep, disciples”, children should close their eyes and pretend to sleep. When you say, “Wake up, disciples”, children should open their eyes, jump up, and find a new seat. Repeat a few times. Say, “In our Bible story today, Jesus went up on a high mountain with Peter, James, and John. The disciples fell asleep. When they awoke, they saw an amazing sight! Listen to the story to hear what Peter, James, and John saw.”
Introduction Older Kid Activity- Suncatchers Pass out two sheets of clear contact paper or press n’ seal-type plastic wrap and pieces of tissue paper to each child. Challenge kids to leave a half-inch border around the edge of their picture and then stick tissue paper onto one piece of sticky paper/plastic to form a mosaic picture of their choice (a daisy-type flower with grass in foreground and blue sky in background is simple). Then, attach the other sheet of contact paper/plastic wrap, sticky sides together, pressing around the border. Say, “These suncatchers will look beautiful when sunlight shines through them. Today we will learn about a time Jesus shone brightly with glory. What do you think that would have been like to see?”
Big Picture Question- Say, “Our 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. When Jesus did impossible things, it proved that He has power over creation. It demonstrated that He is God the Son. He also used miracles to meet people’s needs for food, healing, and safety.”
Bible Story- Timeline Say, “We learned that Jesus calmed a storm to show the disciples He is God. He protected His disciples from sinking and showed His power. We also talked about the time Jesus miraculously fed a crowd with five loaves and two fish. Again, Jesus was showing compassion on the hungry people and proving that He is God. When another storm put the disciples in danger, Jesus showed He is God by walking on water. They all worshiped Him and glorified God after that. This week, we will look at a story called ‘Jesus Showed His Glory’.” Open a Bible to Matthew 17:1-13. Say, “The Bible is God’s words. All God’s words are true. Today we will hear a story about Jesus that comes from the Books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke in the New Testament part of the Bible.” Read or tell the story in your own words from this passage (this story is not included in the Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook).
Christ Connection- Say, “Jesus said He would die, rise from the dead, and return to heaven. One day, Jesus will come back to earth in His glory to make all things new. This story tells of the first time Jesus revealed His glory to humans, but it will not be the last time humans see Jesus in glory. When Jesus returns to earth wearing bright white clothing and shining brighter than the sun, He will destroy all evil and fix everything wrong in the world. Everyone who has faith in Jesus will receive new, glorified bodies to live forever with God.”
Key Passage- Open a Bible to Psalm 40:5. Read the verses aloud. Say, “This key passage helps us think about God. His plans and actions are perfect and righteous. We can praise Him for doing what is best.”
Review Questions- Ask the following questions:
- *PreK- Whom did Jesus take with Him up the mountain? (Peter, James, and John)
- *PreK- How did the way Jesus looked change? (His face was shining like the sun, and His clothes were bright white.)
- *PreK- When the disciples awoke, whom did they see talking with Jesus? (Moses and Elijah)
- *PreK- What did the voice from the cloud call Jesus? (“My beloved Son”)
- Where did Jesus show His glory? (Matthew 17:1)
- Why do you think Jesus chose to reveal His glory to Peter, James, and John? (Discuss those three disciples’ roles as leaders among the disciples. Help kids understand that they were Jesus’ closest friends as well as some of His most loyal followers. Help them understand that showing His glory to them was a way to help them see that He truly is God’s Son.)
- How should we respond to Jesus? (Guide kids to discuss appropriate ways we might respond to the good news about Jesus. Talk to the kids about what it would look like to feel overjoyed, humbled, and awestruck. Remind the kids that part of our response to Jesus is loving obedience to His commands, including a desire to tell others about Him.)
- What causes you to think about Jesus’ return? (Help kids respond to looking at Scripture for Jesus’ promise to return as well as seeing the need in our fallen world for Jesus’ return. Remind them that everyone who has faith in Jesus will be glorified with Him and live forever with God. Focus on Jesus’ return as our source of hope.)
- 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, “One of Jesus’ most impressive miracles happened when Jesus showed His glory to Peter, James, and John. Jesus wanted them to know for sure that He is God. Jesus will return in glory someday to restore the world and destroy all evil.”
For Older Kids- Also, ask the following questions:
- What do you think the disciples realized about Jesus after they saw Him changed? (Lead kids to conclude that this event further confirmed that Jesus is God’s Son. Remind them of God’s words at Jesus’ baptism-see Mark 1:11. Point out that even though Jesus said He would rise from the dead, the disciples did not understand what He meant. Read Psalm 104:1-2)
- How is Jesus greater than Moses and Elijah? (Help kids recall that Moses had seen a glimpse of God’s glory. Afterward, Moses reflected God’s glory in his face-see Exodus 34. Elijah told people about God’s glory-see 1 Kings 18. Jesus, however, showed God’s glory directly and brings us into God’s presence. Read Hebrews 3:3-6)
- Why should we listen to Jesus? (Remind kids that at Jesus’ transfiguration, a voice said, “This is my beloved Son… Listen to Him!” Jesus is God in the flesh. We listen to Jesus by submitting to Him as the King of our lives, listening to what He tells us through His Word, and obeying Him. Read John 14:23)
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.
Pray- Praise God for showing His glory through His Son. Pray that kids would eagerly share the good news about Jesus with others, looking forward to the day when Jesus will return in glory.
Adult Sunday School Devotional for August 30
“Jesus is Transfigured” from Matthew 17
Listen to- “Days of Elijah” from Robin Mark here:
and- “What If It Were Today?” by Lelia N. Morris here:
Summary- At the transfiguration, Peter, James, and John beheld Jesus’ glory, which gave them a glimpse into the day when Jesus will return in full glory.
Christ Connection- The transfiguration foreshadowed Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension (see Luke 9:13) when He would depart and return to His place of glory. We live with the hope that one day Jesus will return in full glory to make all things new.
Point 1. Experiencing the Son of God’s glory (read aloud Matthew 17:1-5).
God’s Glory: The glory of God is His manifest work, the way He represents His perfect character through His activity. It also refers to His excellent reputation and is given as one of the reasons we are to praise His name. Another sense of the word is the inherent beauty of God, the unbearable brightness and beauty of His being as He radiates His own attributes and characteristics for all to witness. The Scriptures speak of humanity as having “fallen short” of God’s glory (see Romans 3:23) because we have rejected the purpose for which God created us- to glorify Him.
Note- Moses and Elijah, perhaps the two most esteemed prophets of ancient Israel, stand here as figures representing the Law and the Prophets, a twofold way of referring to the entirety of what we now call the Old Testament. Moses was regarded as the prototypical prophet of Israel (see Exodus 33:11; Numbers 12:5-8, Deuteronomy 18:15-22), and Elijah was perceived as a “new Moses” and forerunner to the Messiah (see Malachi 4:5-6). Given the comparatively large amount of signs and wonders that occurred during their ministries, these two prophets were especially associated with God’s miraculous activity. Furthermore, both of these men had their own special encounters with God on a mountain (see Exodus 34:1-9; 1 Kings 19:8-18). So while these men had ministries somewhat comparable to Jesus’ ministry, they themselves served the Lord as their own ministries pointed forward to Jesus’.
Respond- How does Moses and Elijah’s purpose at the transfiguration relate to our chief purpose in life?
Point 2. Experiencing the Son of God’s grace (read aloud Matthew 17:6-8).
Note- Terror often is the reaction from humans when they come into the presence of God. We can see this all throughout the Bible; God’s presence is so incomprehensibly glorious that we can’t even be around Him without His aid. For example: in Exodus 33-34, God hid Moses in the cleft of a rock so that he wouldn’t die when God passed by in all His glory; during a vision, Isaiah saw God seated on a throne in the temple as the seraphim proclaimed His supreme holiness, to which the prophet, recognizing his sin, confessed the following words: “Woe is me! For I am lost” (see Isaiah 6:1-7); John recorded his response to Jesus’ majestic appearance as the Son of Man: “When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead” (see Revelation 1:17). The reality is that God is glorious and grand, and in His presence we become intensely aware of our frailty and failures. Without His grace shown to us, no one could endure His holy and glorious presence (see Psalm 24:3-6). In His glorious grace, God calls believers to not be afraid, just as Jesus spoke to His disciples in their frightened state following His transfiguration. Though by rights we should be afraid in the presence of God and His Son and His Spirit because we deserve judgment for our sin, Jesus says, “Rise, and have no fear” (see also Isaiah 6:7; Revelation 1:17).
Note- When the Lord Jesus returns to judge the living and the dead, His presence is going to have a similar effect on humankind as the voice of God did to the disciples on the mountain. Many will fall in fear as Jesus returns as a judge; yet others will rejoice at the same event as they see Jesus as a husband coming for His bride, the church. What separates those who will meet Jesus as Judge and those who will meet Him as Savior is union with Christ. Those who have been united to Christ by faith and therefore found “in Him” will meet Him with the greatest rejoicing imaginable. On the last day, those who are in Christ will not have to fear the wrath of God, for God’s wrath for their sin has already been poured out on Jesus on the cross.
Respond- How has Jesus addressed our fears so that we can stand in God’s holy and glorious presence?
Point 3. Experiencing the Son of God’s plan (read aloud Matthew 17:9-13).
Note- The New Testament mentions John the Baptist and Elijah in connection with one another multiple times. This happens as early as the promise of John the Baptist’s birth, when the angel told his father Zechariah that John would have the spirit and power of Elijah (see Luke 1:13-17). In Matthew 11:7-15, Jesus spoke about the greatness of John the Baptist and explicitly declared that John was the fulfillment of the prophecy that Elijah would precede the coming of the Messiah and the Day of the Lord (see Malachi 3:1; 4:5-6). Though the Jewish people were looking for the coming of Elijah, they missed his coming in John the Baptist and instead made him suffer (see Matthew 17:12). Jesus stated that John the Baptist’s persecution and execution foreshadowed Jesus’ coming suffering and crucifixion. Not only is Jesus greater than Moses, He is also greater than Elijah. In Matthew 16, Jesus asked His disciples about who others said He was. They replied with a plethora of possibilities, one of whom was Elijah. As Peter pointed out, however, Jesus is greater than Elijah, for He is “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (see Matthew 16:16). Elijah prophesied, but Jesus is the One prophesied about. Elijah was a prophet; Jesus is the Prophet whom “Elijah”, or John the Baptist, preceded.
Respond- How should God’s plan of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection shape the way we live as Christians?
Conclusion- The scene of Jesus’ transfiguration is one of glory and might. In it we get a peek at just how incomprehensible Jesus really is. Though we can’t comprehend everything about Jesus, we can learn at least 3 things from His transfiguration: (1.) Jesus is greater than Moses and Elijah, because He fulfilled the Law and the Prophets; (2.) the same God at work in the transfiguration touches us with His grace and tells us not to be afraid; (3.) the Son of God was heading for suffering and death in our place, but would be raised again and will one day come in glory on a permanent basis.
Apply- Because we have beheld the glory of Christ in our salvation, we live with urgency, sharing the Gospel with a dying world, and with anticipation of Christ returning in glory.
-What step of faith is Jesus calling you to obey?
-What are some ways your family can point people to His glory and grace?
-How will you follow in the steps of the well-pleasing Son of God and help others to see and believe in His glory and salvation?
(Pray, thanking God for revealing Himself in His only Son Jesus, the image and glory of God. Thank Him for demonstrating His justice and mercy in the cross, where sin was condemned and sinners were forgiven. Ask for help in the power of the Holy Spirit to share the Gospel with others and anticipate Christ’s return in glory.)