Note that we have separated the worship and Sunday school materials into separate posts to keep things organized. You can find the Sunday morning sermon here.
Family Sunday School Devotion for May 17
“Jesus Taught in Nazareth” from Luke 4
Listen to- “Jesus Christ is Lord” from Seeds Family Worship here:
“Eternal Life (John 3:16)” from Seeds Family Worship here:
Later, during Key Passage, watch “For God So Loved (John 3:16)- Tutorial” from Faith Inkubators here:
Supplies Needed- For younger kids: picture-book biographies, Bible storybooks; for older kids: masking/painter’s tape
Summary- Jesus taught that He is the Messiah.
Introduction Younger Kid Activity- Play Church Encourage children to act out a worship service. Give each family member a job such as welcoming others, reading the Bible, singing, praying, preaching, collecting offering, etc. Say, “Thank you for leading that worship service for us! Meeting together to worship God is such a special gift from God. I can hardly wait until we get to meet together again with our whole church family. Did you know that Jesus met with other Jews to worship God once a week, too? He even helped in the service by reading Scripture!”
Introduction Older Kid Activity- Accept or Reject Direct kids to make silly offers to each other. They must either “accept” or “reject” based on how they feel about the offers. Suggested offers: I’ll let you high-five my cactus. I’ll shave your pet. I’ll tie your shoes together. I’ll let you wear my sunglasses at night. For older kids, have them “accept” or “reject” the following statements: A cat spent four years serving as the ceremonial mayor of a town in Minnesota (reject; a dog). A man in Germany once grew a pumpkin that weighed more than 2,500 pounds (accept). A bat eats 3 million insects each night (reject; 3,000). Eating too many carrots can turn your skin orange (accept). Your body’s largest organ is your skin (accept). Say, “Those were some silly offers/statements. I don’t blame you if you rejected them. When Jesus came to earth, He taught people the truth about God and His kingdom. Did everyone accept Jesus’ words as true? No. Today, we will learn about a time Jesus was rejected, even though His offer was wonderful and true. Who do you think rejected Jesus?”
Big Picture Question- Say, “We know that Jesus helped many people. That leads us to our big picture question: What makes people special? The answer is: People are special because we are made in His image, as male and female, to know Him. God created us and loves us. He sent Jesus to save us because we are special to Him. Nothing else God created is described as made in God’s image. Human beings- men, women, and children- are unique in that way. It sets us apart from all other created things.”
Bible Story- Timeline Say, “After Jesus was baptized and tempted in the wilderness, He called disciples and began His public ministry. We learned last week that Jesus traveled around teaching amazing things about God. People came to Jesus, and He healed them. This week, we will learn what happened when Jesus went back to where He grew up to teach people about Himself.” Open a Bible to Luke 4:16-30. 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 202.
Christ Connection- Say, “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. Many religious leaders rejected Jesus because they did not want to believe that their sin was very bad. Even today some people reject Jesus because they believe they do not need a Savior. They may not believe that Jesus is who He said He is. But that should not stop us from teaching the truth. Though Jesus was rejected, His ministry continued. He came to earth to save people from their sins. Jesus never sinned, but He took the punishment we deserve when He died on the cross. Jesus was rejected at the cross so that everyone who trusts in Him will never be rejected by God. Everyone who trusts in Him is declared righteous and has eternal life.”
Key Passage- Open a Bible to John 3:16. Read the verse aloud. You may watch the video of John 3:16 from Seeds Family Worship (see above). Come up with your own signs for the words of the verse or use the following sign language: “God” (open hand held upright coming down in front of face with thumb closest to face), “loved” (hug self), “world” (hold up 3 fingers on each hand to form sign language letter W and twirl hands around each other in a circle), “gave” (hook pointer fingers and pull hands toward self), “Son” (pinch hand together in front of forehead and pull down to two-handed rocking of a baby), “everyone” (make sign language for letters A by making fist with thumb up and L by holding out thumb and pointer finger, sweep hand with letter L across in front), “believes” (touch hand to forehead and then pull down to clasp hands together), “not” (shake pointer finger like saying “no”), “perish” (hold one palm face up and other palm face down, then flip flop them), “eternal” (point to head and make sign language for letter Y by making fist with thumb and pinkie finger sticking out, then push with letter Y outward), “life” (make sign for letter L with both hands, push upward). Say, “Our key passage reminds us of the Gospel. God showed His love for people by sending Jesus. Jesus is God’s Son, and everyone who believes in Him will live forever with God.”
Review Questions- Ask the following questions:
- *PreK- Which Old Testament prophet wrote the scroll that Jesus read from and when did he write it? (Isaiah; long before Jesus was born)
- Where did Jesus grow up? (Luke 4:16)
- *PreK- What did Jesus teach about the Messiah? (Jesus taught that He is the Messiah.)
- How do we know Jesus really is the Messiah? (Guide kids to discuss the overwhelming evidence that Jesus is the Messiah. Remind them of all the prophecies that Jesus fulfilled, such as His birth in Bethlehem. Point out His power to heal people and remind them that God called Jesus His Son.)
- *PreK- How did the people of Nazareth respond to Jesus? (they were angry)
- What does it mean to accept Jesus rather than reject Him? (Help kids see that when our faith is in Jesus, we are doing more than admitting that He is the Messiah, we are also saying that He is the Lord of our lives. When we believe in Jesus, we are saying that we want Him to guide and control our lives. We want to obey Him out of love and serve Him to glorify God.)
- *PreK- What makes people special? (People are special because God made us in His own image. *shortened)
- What can we do if we know someone who rejects Jesus? (Remind kids that we cannot save anyone. Our job when we believe the Gospel is to teach other people about Jesus. Help kids understand that God is the One who saves people. Discuss the importance of prayer in leading others to Jesus. Make sure they know that we treat everyone with kindness and respect, even if they don’t yet believe the Gospel.)
Say, “Jesus taught that He is the Messiah. Jesus loves people and wants to see everyone rescued from sin. We cannot make people believe, but we can tell them the good news so they can believe and be saved.”
For Older Kids- Also, ask the following questions:
- What made Jesus different from other religious teachers? (read Matthew 28:18)
- Jesus’ promise to help everyone, no matter where they were from, upset the people in Nazareth. What does this tell you about God’s heart and man’s heart? (read Philippians 2:3-8)
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?
Closing Younger Kid Activity- Browse Biographies Set out picture-book biographies and Bible storybooks. Challenge kids to find a book about themselves. After it becomes obvious that they cannot, say, “Wow, look at all the books we have about other people, especially about Jesus. Long before Jesus was born, Isaiah the prophet and many other people wrote about God’s plan to send a Messiah to earth. When Jesus read God’s Word in Isaiah’s scroll, He said the Scripture was about Himself. Jesus taught that He is the Messiah.”
Closing Older Kid Activity- Along the Line Use masking/painter’s tape to mark a line across the floor. Designate one end as “good” (plus sign) and the other as “not good” (minus sign). Ask kids to stand somewhere along the line based on how they feel about their abilities in different areas: dancing, drawing, math, eating vegetables, etc. Finally, ask how they feel about their spiritual life and where along the line a person would need to be in order to need Jesus to rescue him/her. Say, “We sometimes make the mistake of thinking certain sinful choices are worse than others. (Eating vegetables is NOT sinful, though😊.) Some people may think they are good enough and don’t need a Rescuer. Some people may think they are so bad that they cannot be rescued. The truth is: everyone who is on the line needs rescuing. There’s no such thing as being ‘too good to need Jesus’ or ‘too bad for Jesus to save you’. We all need to be rescued. Jesus taught that He is the Messiah. He alone can save us when we ask Him to. And He wants to see all people saved!” Pray- In closing, thank God for inviting everyone into His family even though many people reject Jesus. Pray for those your family knows who still need to believe in Jesus to be saved.
Adult Sunday School Devotion for May 17
“Jesus Reveals His Mission” from Luke 4
Listen to- “Isaiah 61” from Matt Maher here:
and- “Amazing Love (My Lord, What Love is This)” from Graham Kendrick here:
Summary- Jesus declared that He is the promised Messiah and predicted that, like the prophets, He too would be rejected by the people.
Christ Connection- Hundreds of years before Jesus was born, the prophet Isaiah wrote of God’s plan to send someone to bring good news and redeem His captive people. Jesus proclaimed that He is the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy- the promised Messiah. Jesus was rejected by the people, but it was through that very rejection- the cross- that He provided redemption from sin.
Point 1. Jesus declared He is the Messiah of Isaiah’s prophecy (read aloud Luke 4:16-22).
Note- Imagine the Jews in the synagogue, who recognized the ancient verses Jesus read, hearing Jesus declare He is the promised Messiah. How incredible it must have been for this carpenter’s son they had known from His youth to declare He was the One coming to save their people!
Note- The passage Jesus read from (see Isaiah 61:1-2 and 58:6) reveals that the Messiah’s mission is, in summary, to proclaim good news to the poor. Isaiah’s prophecy provided hope to Jewish exiles in Babylon that they would one day be free from their oppressors, but Jesus’ ministry was aimed at the ultimate fulfillment of this passage- freedom from sin for the whole world. Yet Jesus left off a reference to the day of God’s vengeance from His reading of Isaiah 61:2. Though judgment would certainly come one day, and in other places Jesus taught explicitly on this fact, Jesus’ primary purpose in His first coming to earth was to create a path of salvation for all people, Jew and Gentile alike.
Respond- What are some ways the good news of Jesus addresses the suffering the world experiences today?
Point 2. Jesus predicted He would be rejected like the prophets (read aloud Luke 4:23-27).
Note- Jesus knew that the path He walked would lead to rejection and death on a cross at the hands of the very ones He came to save. In Nazareth, Jesus was rejected by those closest to Him; in Jerusalem, He was rejected by the majority of His own people. The Jews had received the prophecies of the coming Messiah and were waiting expectantly for a King to save them, but when He appeared and was not what they wanted, they spurned Him, just as Jesus predicted they would.
Respond- What doubts might arise in our own hearts as we consider the claims of Christ?
Note- Jesus’ examples of prophets Israel had rejected and their ministry outside of Israel:
-During a famine, Elijah was sent not to the widows of Israel but to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon- a Gentile (see 1 Kings 17:8-24).
-Likewise, Elisha was sent not to the many Israelite lepers but instead cleanses only Naaman the Syrian- also a Gentile (see 2 Kings 5:1-19).
By speaking of this period of Israel’s history, Jesus connected Himself to the prophets Elijah and Elisha while likening the Nazarenes to the apostate Israelites. Just as Elijah and Elisha had continued their ministry in serving the Gentiles in the midst of their rejection by the Israelites, so would Jesus leave Nazareth and continue His ministry elsewhere, and through His disciples, His message of good news will reach the ends of the earth.
Point 3. Jesus continued His ministry despite the people’s rejection (read aloud Luke 4:28-31).
Note- The Nazarenes drove Jesus out of His hometown, highlighting the rejection of Christ by the world. Yet Jesus’ ultimate rejection at the cross paved the way for all who believe in Him to be accepted rather than rejected by God. Although we deserve to be rejected because of our sins, Christ bore our rejection and paid the debt we owe. Through Him we find salvation.
Respond- What comfort and encouragement should we take from the fact that Jesus passed through the crowd unharmed?
Note- Oftentimes, we can have a glorified view of what it means to follow Jesus. We might even think becoming a Christian is a ticket to an easy earthly life. But while Jesus preached the peace of His kingdom, the very fact that the kingdom of God is invading earthly spaces means that Christians will face opposition, both spiritual and physical, as the time draws closer for Christ to return in His fullness. Filled with the power of the Holy Spirit, however, we too may press on in pursuing Christ and sharing His Gospel with the world even when we face painful rejection. In these times, we must cling to the truth of the Gospel and continue to love all our enemies as we share the Gospel with them and still more. Christ is our example of how to live in the face of rejection; we must remain faithful to the Gospel mission. Fortunately, He does not leave us all alone on this path. He is with us every step of the way and His Spirit guides us. No matter how difficult the situation, we must take heart and persevere in our mission.
Conclusion- Fear of rejection can hinder us from fulfilling our God-given mission because it can cause us to shy away from the boldness that a faithful Gospel witness requires of us. Jesus chose to yield Himself in loving obedience to the Father’s plan over and above earthly feelings of rejection; in the same way, we too can choose to yield to the Father’s plan despite the momentary bouts of rejection we may feel at times. There is a legitimate cost that comes with following Jesus and living for His mission. We cannot pretend that it does not hurt our hearts when our friends or family members drive us away. But in comparison with the reward of Christ, this cost is well worth it. Jesus is worth every ounce of suffering that comes on the dangerous road of following Him. So let us be bold in our mission, taking heart that Jesus did not give up in the face of rejection, even on the cross, and He will enable us to do the same.
Apply- Because we have been saved through the rejection and sacrifice of Jesus, we persevere in our mission even when we face rejection from the people closest to us.
-How will you honor Jesus by faith because of the freedom and salvation He brings?
-What are some ways your family might comfort and encourage one another when faithfulness to the Gospel mission leads to rejection?
-Who will you share the Gospel with even though you may experience rejection?
(Take some time to pray for opportunities to share the Gospel with family, friends, and neighbors. Pray for strength to face inevitable rejection from the world, taking comfort and encouragement in knowing that following Jesus- even to the cross- is of eternal worth!)