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 3
“Jesus Called Disciples” from Luke 5
Listen to- “12 Disciples” to the tune of Jesus Loves Me here:
and- “I Will Make You Fishers of Men” from Wonder Kids here:
Later, after the Bible story, older kids watch- “Missionary Bible Teaching in Remote Tribes” from MAF here:
Summary- Jesus called disciples to follow Him.
Introduction Younger Kid Activity- Boats in the Water Give children sheets of aluminum foil to fold into boat shapes. Provide a basin of water and allow kids to see if their boats will float. An added challenge would be to add pennies, marbles, or other small weights in the boat to represent fish- see how many each boat can hold before sinking. Say, “Many of Jesus’ disciples were fishermen when Jesus met them. When Jesus called them, they left their boats and followed Jesus immediately. Jesus promised to teach them a new way to fish. What do you think they would catch?”
Introduction Older Kid Activity- Find a Friend Tell kids that they will need to identify the correct friend (or family member- this can be an extended family member or even a neighbor for more of a challenge) based on the description given. Consider using the following descriptions: “Find a friend who… has brown hair and wears glasses, has a pet hamster, drives a white pickup, etc.” Say, “You chose people based on specific descriptions. If you had to form a group of people you were going to hang out with all the time, what kind of people would you choose? Today, we will hear about the people Jesus chose to be His followers. They weren’t famous or powerful. Let’s find out more.”
Big Picture Question- Say, “Let’s keep our big picture question and answer in mind. Why did Jesus become human? The answer is: Jesus became human to obey His Father’s plan and rescue sinners. Each time you hear a story about Jesus and wonder, why did He do that? I want you to remember this question and answer. Everything Jesus did on earth was according to God’s perfect plan.”
Bible Story- Timeline Say, “When Jesus came on the scene as an adult, He went to John to be baptized. Jesus obeyed God by being baptized. Then Jesus was tempted by the Devil in the wilderness. Jesus was tempted and never sinned. Soon, John’s followers started asking questions about Jesus, and John the Baptist told people to follow Jesus. Today’s Bible story is about a special group of people Jesus called to follow Him. They were His twelve disciples.” Open a Bible to Luke 5:3-11, 27-32 as well as Matthew 4:20-22; 9:9. 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 194.
Christ Connection- Say, “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.”
Key Passage- Open a Bible to John 3:30. Read the verse aloud. Use the following hand motions (or have kids make up their own): “He” (point up towards Heaven), “must increase” (move hands apart), “I” (point to self with both thumbs), “must decrease” (move hands together). Say, “What if we don’t decrease in order to increase Jesus’ fame and worth? Is this optional or only for certain Christians? No, this is the path of all of God’s people. Following Jesus can be hard. As we love people and they come to know Jesus, they might be tempted to follow us instead of Jesus. Our key passage creates in us humility that keeps us, like John, pointing everyone to Jesus and away from ourselves as the answer to all of life’s problems.”
Review Questions- Ask the following questions:
- What did Jesus say He would teach His disciples to do? (Luke 5:10)
- What were some things Jesus’ disciples would have left behind to follow Him? (Matthew 4:20-22; 9:9)
- With whom did Jesus eat and spend His time? (sinners, Luke 5:29-30)
- Why does Jesus love sinners? (Guide kids to understand that everyone is a sinner, and Jesus loves all people because we are created in God’s image. Jesus wants people to repent of sin, turning to God to be saved. He loves sinners and rescues them. He helps us turn away from sin and glorify God instead.)
- What might we lose by following Jesus? (Guide kids to talk about the cost of loving and obeying Jesus. Help them think about the ways others might react to them, the influence they may lose, or the persecution they may face. Remind kids that, in some places, following Jesus may even cost a person his/her life.)
- What can we gain by following Jesus? (Discuss the unending joy and eternal life we have with God when we have faith in Jesus. Point kids to the hope they have in life: that we gain new purpose, can resist sin, and are filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. Point kids also to the hope we have for the future: that Jesus will return and fix all that sin has broken. On that day, we will reign with Christ as children of God.)
Say, “Jesus called disciples to follow Him.”
For Older Kids- Also, ask the following questions:
- Why do you think Jesus picked fishermen and tax collectors to be His disciples instead of kings or religious leaders? (read 1 Corinthians 1:26-31)
- What does it mean to follow Jesus? (read Matthew 16:24)
- What do you think might keep someone from following Jesus? (read 1 Corinthians 1:18)
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- Guessing Game Describe a doll or stuffed animal by telling what color its hair or clothes are and other identifying details. Read aloud Isaiah 40:30. Say, “This is a Bible verse in the Old Testament- before Jesus was born. And before John was born, but it is a prophecy describing John. You guessed who I was describing! Do you think the people who heard John preach in the wilderness knew that the prophet Isaiah had described John many years before he was born? This verse tells us that John the Baptist had a special job to tell people to get ready for Jesus. John told people to follow Jesus. Then, John described Jesus. What did John say about Jesus? (John called Jesus the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.)”
Closing Older Kid Activity- Discipleship in the Real World Choose a skill to teach kids. This can be anything: making a paper airplane, tying shoes in a new way, whistling, braiding, winking, snapping fingers, or any other skill you can teach. Work with kids for a few minutes to learn the skill and talk wo them about what makes the skill easy or hard to learn. Challenge them to teach that skill to a friend or sibling. Say, “That new skill was not super important to know, but the way I taught you to do it is a picture of discipleship. Jesus called disciples to follow Him. As Christians, we can help to train new Christians to follow Jesus, too. We can show what it looks like to love and obey Jesus in all parts of our lives. By talking to people about the difficulties and joys of obeying Jesus- and showing them what that looks like- we can teach them to do the same.”
Missions Moment- Say, “Our prayers for missionaries are very important, and it’s important for us to remember that we can be on mission wherever we go. Jesus called disciples to follow Him. He calls us today to follow Him, too, whether we follow Him right here where we live or whether He sends us to the other side of the world.” Watch YouTube video “Missionary Bible Teaching in Remote Tribes” (see above)
Pray- Thank God for sending Jesus to rescue us. Ask Him to help us follow Him each day and to fill us with the Holy Spirit so that we can obey Him more. Pray for missionaries around the world who are disciples making more disciples by telling others about Jesus and teaching them how to follow Him, too.
Adult Sunday School Devotion for May 3
“Jesus Calls His Disciples” from Luke 5
Listen to- “Fishers of Men” from Seeds Family Worship here:
and- “Follow Me” from Casting Crowns here:
Summary- When Jesus called His disciples, He called them to follow His example of intentionally seeking the lost.
Christ Connection- Jesus came into the world to call sinners to repentance and to lay down His life on their behalf. Likewise, as His followers, we are to tell others about Jesus and call on them to turn from their sin and trust in Jesus.
Point 1. Jesus calls His disciples to trust His leading (read aloud Luke 5:3-7).
Note- God’s wisdom is not the world’s wisdom. Here in Luke 5, Jesus was working to create in Simon a category of trust that supersedes human intuition, logic, and effort. What seems to be conventional wisdom cannot be assumed to be the wisdom of God. This doesn’t mean that the call to trust Christ is a blind leap of senseless, foolish faith, but it does mean that we place our trust in God, not the wisdom of the world.
Note- In 1 Corinthians 1:20-25, the apostle Paul pointed out that the gospel was a stumbling block to the Jews because they were looking to earn God’s favor by works of the law. They wanted a sign different from the crucified Messiah. Further, he noted that the gospel was foolishness to the Gentiles because they were looking for an answer that didn’t require faith, only reason (or what they perceived as “wisdom”). The Jews trusted in their ability to do. The Gentiles trusted their own wisdom. And the gospel defies both.
Respond- In what ways have you experienced God’s call to trust Him when the conventional wisdom of the world would say otherwise?
Point 2. Jesus calls His disciples to fish for people (read aloud Luke 5:8-11).
Note- Jesus doesn’t call us because of what we bring to the table. Because God made people, He knows we do not have what it takes to become fishers of people. We are not called based on our skills or good works but instead on the basis of who Christ is and what He has already done on our behalf.
Respond- Why should Jesus’ holiness and power cause us to reckon with our own sense of sinfulness and insufficiency?
Note- The call to fish for people- to make disciples- is a task greater than we could ever be able to accomplish on our own. Like Simon Peter, we should be brought to our knees asking the question: “Who is worthy of such a task? We are just sinners in need of forgiveness.” And just like Jesus responded to Simon Peter, He responds to us with encouragement not to let our own insufficiencies cause us to run in fear but to trust in Him and His perfect sufficiency for us.
Point 3. Jesus calls His disciples to invite sinners to repent (read aloud Luke 5:27-32).
Note- Following a rabbi in that time meant walking with him, physically following him, in order to learn from him. Disciples may even leave behind family, friends, and their work. Becoming a disciple of a rabbi wasn’t just intellectual assent to a particular line of thought; it was a total life change centered on a relationship with a rabbi. So Jesus invited His disciples into a relationship with Him. Jesus also challenged His disciples to change. He promised to transform His disciples into men who would reach others with the good news of the gospel.
Respond- How should Christians approach their relationships with non-Christian friends, family members, and acquaintances?
Note- Often, once a person comes to faith in Christ and has been a Christian for a few years, they no longer have any significant relationships with non-Christians. They might have casual friendships with coworkers or neighbors, but deep, meaningful friendships with non-Christians seem harder to come by. This reality brings about obvious challenges for us when it comes to keeping the focus of our mission on the lost. Even though Jesus had His twelve disciples with whom He spent the most time, He didn’t lose sight of reaching the lost, and neither should we.
Conclusion- Modern-day culture would have us believe that the gospel is foolishness, that it is narrow-minded to believe there is only one way to God. This environment can make it very challenging for us to stand firm and proclaim the person and work of Christ. But opposition is not new to the Christian faith and it should not come as a surprise to us (see John 15:18). We shouldn’t expect a warm welcome from our culture. No matter the environment, no matter the opposition, no matter the most popular slogans and teaching of the day, Jesus’ call remains the same. He asks us to trust His leading, even when it flies in the face of worldly logic. He calls us to fish for people and to invite them to repent and to see Christ for who He really is. As we respond to His call to make disciples, we should remember that this call to follow Christ is a call to relationship with Him. He will not leave us alone. He will not forsake us. His sufficiency will always be enough.
Apply- Because Jesus gave up His life for us and we have committed to following Him, we intentionally invest in others so that they might become His disciples as well.
-How is Jesus leading you to obey His commands in faith instead of living by the world’s wisdom?
-What are some ways your family can act as a tangible expression of Christ’s love to your neighbors?
-Who is a person in your life with whom you will explain the necessity of repentance and challenge to follow Jesus in faith?
(Take some time to pray for the people that you have hope Jesus will use you to impact with the gospel.)