Note that we have separated the worship and Sunday school materials into separate posts this week in an effort to keep things organized. You can find the Sunday service materials here.
We have both family and adult Sunday school materials available that come right out of our Gospel Project curriculum. You can find the lessons below:
Jump to the Family Sunday School Devotion for March 29
Jump to the Adult Sunday School Devotion for March 29
Family Lesson- “Jesus as a Child” from Luke 2
Listen to- “The Good Song (Psalm 34:10 & Romans 8:28)” from Seeds Family Worship here:
and “And Jesus Grew (Luke 2:52)” from Steve Green here:
Summary- Jesus came to earth to do His Father’s plan.
Christ Connection- Jesus came to earth to do God’s plan, and even as a boy, Jesus knew that. Jesus got ready to do what God sent Him to do. God sent Jesus into the world to die on the cross and rescue people from sin.
Introduction Younger Kid Activity- Measure Height Ask each child to stand tall with back against the wall. Place a ruler horizontally on tope of head to determine height. Mark the height with small piece of tape or sticky note. Measure the height of each child. Say, “The last two weeks, we heard Bible stories about when Jesus was a baby. In today’s Bible story, Jesus was 12 years old. The Bible says Jesus got taller, just like you are getting taller! Listen to today’s Bible story to hear about what Jesus was like when He was a kid like you!”
Introduction Older Kid Activity- Amazing Feats Explain that several world records are held by kids who have accomplished amazing feats. Describe the following world records and ask the questions (you may choose to keep track of points for getting closest to the correct answer). 1. A 9-year-old boy set the world record for most claps in 1 minute. How many times did he clap? (1,080) 2. A team of 12 jumpers and 2 rope holders set the world record for most jumps over a rope in 1 minute. How many times did they jump? (230) 3. A fifth grade girl set the record for longest distance to stretch homemade slime in 30 seconds. How many inches did it stretch? (88) 4. A 17-year-old boy set the record for the world’s largest drawing. How many square feet did it cover? (3,486) 5. A group of children set the record for largest gathering of people dressed as rabbits. How many children participated? (1,119) Say, “Those were some amazing feats! Did you know that when Jesus was 12 years old, teachers in the temple were amazed by Him?”
Key Passage- Open a Bible to John 1:1. Read the verse aloud. Mention to younger children that Word begins with a letter W. Guide younger children to pretend to write a large W with their pointer finger in the air. Say the verse a few times, writing a W each time Word is spoken.
For older children, also read John 1:2. Assign each person a number: 1, 2, or 3. Explain that you will say the key passage together. When you read the word “beginning”, the 1s will clap. When “Word” is read, the 2s will clap. When “God” is read, the 3s will clap. Say, “Our key passage reminds us that Jesus- the Word- has always existed. In the beginning, He was there with God the Father. He is God the Son and will continue to exist for eternity.”
Big Picture Question- Ask, “First, does anyone remember our big picture question and answer?” Ask, “Is Jesus God or a human?” Answer, “As the Son of God, Jesus is both fully God and fully human.” Say, “This can be kind of hard to wrap your mind around, but it’s important to realize that when God the Son came to earth, He did not give up being God. He took on the likeness of humanity (read Philippians 2:7 aloud) and experienced life like we do, as fully human, to perfectly obey the Father and to rescue sinners.”
Bible Story- Timeline Say, “In today’s Bible story, we’ll hear about Jesus as a 12-year-old. Let’s review what we’ve learned about Jesus so far. First, we learned about Jesus’ family. Jesus’ family line proved He is the Messiah. Before Jesus came into the world, John was born. God had a plan for John’s life. John was born to prepare the way for Jesus. Then, at just the right time, Jesus was born. Why was Jesus born? Jesus was born to be God’s promised Savior. When Jesus was a few weeks old, His earthly parents- Mary and Joseph- took Him to the temple to be dedicated. At the temple, Simeon and Anna worshiped Jesus as the Messiah. So, what happened between the time Jesus was dedicated and the time He was a grown man? Listen to today’s Bible story.” Open a Bible to Luke 2. Either read the passage (Luke 2:41-52) or tell the story in your own words. You may also read aloud from the Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook (the Bible storybook your younger child from Sunday School) page 188.
Younger Kid Activity- Go on a Scavenger Hunt Play this game either inside or outside of the house. Name things like a blade of grass, a gray rock, a bird’s call, or a car’s engine. Help children discover each item with eyes or ears. If desired, collect nature items as they are discovered. Do similar hunting indoors if desired: ice machine or other mechanical device “running”, specific refrigerator magnet, design on couch cushion, photograph of certain relative, etc. Say, “Jesus’ parents looked and looked for Him, and they were worried for His safety. They finally found Him at the temple asking the teachers questions. God had a plan for Jesus to rescue people from sin when He was older. When His parents finally found Him, Jesus told them He needed to be in the temple, His Father’s house.”
Older Kid Activity- Hot Seat Choose 1 person to role play as either Mary, Joseph, or Jesus, inviting everybody else to interview the player, asking questions about the Bible story as if they are conducting an investigation. Suggest asking “who, what, when, where, and how” questions. The player should respond as that person. Provide the player a Bible to refer to Luke 2:39-52. If time, do again with a different player and a different person from the Bible story to be in the “hot seat”. At the end, say, “I wonder if Mary and Joseph asked Jesus more questions as they traveled home together.”
Review Questions- Ask the following questions:
- Why did Mary and Joseph travel to Jerusalem each year? (Luke 2:41)
- How long did it take Mary and Joseph to find Jesus? (Luke 2:46)
- What about Jesus surprised people? (Luke 2:46-47)
- Why do you think Jesus said it was necessary for Him to be in His Father’s house?
- How can we live out God’s plans for us?
Say, “Even as a child, Jesus wanted to do His Father’s plan.”
For Older Kids- Also, ask the following questions:
- Who does God want us to honor and why? (read Romans 12:10)
- How can we grow in wisdom and obedience to God? (read Hebrews 10:24-25)
- How can God use you in His kingdom even while you are young? (read Ephesians 1:9-10)
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 Activity- Live on Mission Talk together as a family about ways to serve or encourage someone in the church or community this week. Say, “By helping out in simple ways, you are a part of God’s plan. You are an important part of the church. Our mission as a church is to lead others to Jesus; so, when we serve at church and in our family or community, we are a part of the mission.” Have younger children draw a picture of your family serving together. Help them draw/place an adhesive bow (like on a gift) on top of each person’s head as a gift offered to God by giving of your time, talents, money, or other treasures to serve others.Pray- Thank God for giving us His Word- the Bible- and for sending His Son. Ask Him to show grace to your family as you grow in wisdom and understanding.
Adult Lesson- “Jesus at the Temple” from Luke 2
Listen to- “The Word of God (Hebrews 4:12)” from Seeds Family Worship here:
and “Walk in His Ways (Psalm 128:1)” from Seeds Family Worship here:
Summary- Even as a child, Jesus prioritized the work His Father had given Him to do.
Christ Connection- As Jesus grew, He increased in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and with people. Each step of His life prepared Him to implement the eternal mission His Father had given Him: to live a life of complete obedience, die on the cross for our sins, and rise again in victory.
Application- Because we belong to God in Christ, we strive to grow in wisdom and obedience as we join with Jesus in being about the Father’s work.
Point 1. Jesus demonstrates wisdom in God’s law (read aloud Luke 2:40-47).
Note- We do not know much about Jesus Christ as a child, but what we do know is sufficient to see that He was well aware of His identity and mission. God puts grace upon all of His children, upon all those who have come to His Son in repentance and faith and been adopted into His family (John 1:11-12). In the Book of Acts, the early church experienced the “great grace” of God upon them as they loved one another and testified to the resurrection of Jesus. This grace worked itself out in their actions toward others (Acts 4:32-35). This is true even more so in the perfect life of Jesus, even as a boy.
Respond- Why is it important to keep in mind that Jesus is fully human as we are?
Note- In the Jewish cultures of the day, students often would enter into question-and-answer dialogue with their religious teachers about spiritual things in order to learn and apply their learning. It is somewhat ironic to consider Jesus at this point in His life sitting at the feet of and learning from the religious teachers. In the remainder of Luke’s account, it would be “older” Jesus’ questions and answers that would astound and anger the teachers of His day and shake the same religious establishment to its core.
Respond- How can we grow in wisdom concerning the things of God?
Point 2. Jesus prioritizes His Father’s work (read aloud Luke 2:48-50).
Note- While young Jesus responded to Mary’s question with a question, Jesus’ question also made a bold statement: Jesus understood that God is His Father, a special relationship that would have a unique impact upon His life, mission, and actions (see John 5:19; 8:27-29; 10:30; 14:9-11). It must be understood that while Jesus remained behind in Jerusalem for three days and answered Mary’s question with a question, He was not being disobedient or disrespectful to His earthly parents. Jesus is like us in every way except without sin (Hebrews 4:15). His behavior and response to Mary and Joseph emphasized the priority of His relationship to His heavenly Father. He knew at least this much of His identity from a young age.
Note- Mary and Joseph needed to be reminded of Jesus’ mission as well as His identity. Jesus had to be about His heavenly Father’s business, even if it appeared to strain His relationship with His earthly parents. Jesus remained committed to His parents and family. He made sure to provide for the care of His mother even as He hung dying on the cross (John 19:25-27). But the priority of His mission meant that He was committed even more so to His disciples and followers, the beginnings of His church- these were His mother and brothers (Matthew 12:46-50; Luke 8:19-21).
Respond- What are some ways believers need to prioritize the mission of God in their lives?
Point 3. Jesus increases in favor with God and with people (read aloud Luke 2:51-52).
Note- Being born under the law, Jesus also fulfilled the law, which included honoring His father and mother (Exodus 20:12). In this sense, Jesus demonstrated His perfect allegiance to God the Father in expressing His obedience to Joseph and Mary. Consequently, faithful followers of Jesus will demonstrate their love for God by obeying His commands, chief among them is “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:36-40).
Respond- In what areas of your life are you encouraged to obey the Lord because of the Son of God’s perfect obedience to His sinful earthly parents?
Conclusion- The human Son of God grew. He grew mentally (wisdom) and physically (stature) and socially (favor with people) and relationally with His Father (favor with God). Nothing was lacking in His relationship with God; He and the Father are one (John 10:30). Yet He “learned obedience through what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8). In His humanity, Jesus pleased the Father with His perfect obedience, and this righteousness He earned He gives as a gift to all those who come to Him in repentance and faith that they may be called children of God. We may wonder why the Gospel writers did not include more about Jesus’ childhood. Yet here we are given plenty to ponder if we pay close attention.
Apply- Because we belong to God in Christ, we strive to grow in wisdom and obedience as we join with Jesus in being about the Father’s work.
-What steps of obedience to the heavenly Father will you take because of the salvation and example of Christ our Savior?
-What are some ways your family can help each other grow in wisdom and in favor with God and others?
-How will you prioritize the Father’s work of salvation in your life and in your relationships with others?