Obey Your Commander

Tuesday:Obey Your Commander
Story Passages: Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-10
Other Passages: Ephesians 1:19-23
Objective: Children should learn that they should obey Christ.
Memory Verse: 1st John 5:3-4, This is love for God: to obey his commands; and his commands are not burdensome...
Visuals: Available
Introduction: Cents
Who knows what a cent is? (Accept answers.) How many cents are there in a dollar? (Accept answers.) How many years are there in a century? (100) Cent means a hundred. In the Roman army, there were officers called centurions. Each centurion had command of about a hundred soldiers. An army has a lot more than a hundred men in it. How many do you think there would be in a whole army? A thousand? Ten thousand? Maybe more. So an army would have lots of centurions in it. The big bosses of the army, like the generals, would have a lot of centurions under them. The centurions had to answer to these bosses, but they also had to tell the soldiers under them what to do.
In an army, everyone has to do what they're told all the time. If you're at war, and someone doesn't do something, people can get hurt. The whole battle can be lost. The commanding officer doesn't always have time to explain his reasons, and he can't do everything himself, so the men under him have to trust him and obey their orders. When the army trains new soldiers at boot camp, they are trained to do whatever they are told all the time. When the general gives an order, he doesn't have time to watch that it gets done. The orders get passed down the chain of command, and it gets done.
Story: The Centurion's Servant
In Capernaum, there was a centurion, who loved the Jews and had helped them to build their synagogue there. One of this man's servants was very sick, and in terrible suffering. The centurion heard that Jesus was in town, so he sent some men from the synagogue to ask Jesus to heal his servant, because this servant was important to him. The Jews told Jesus that this centurion was a good man, and they told Jesus what the centurion had done for them, so Jesus went with them, but while he was on the way, the centurion sent some of his friends to tell Jesus that he didn't need to come to the house.
He said, "Lord, don't trouble yourself. I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. Just say the word, and my servant will be healed, for I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one 'Go', and he goes, and that one 'Come', and he comes. I say to my servant 'do this', and he does it.
Jesus was surprised when he heard this. He said, "I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith." The centurion believed that just by speaking, Jesus could heal his servant. It would happen at his order. The centurion understood authority, because of the way the army works. Jesus did heal the man's servant. He said, "Go, and it will be done, just as you have believed it would", and when the men who had been sent got back to the house, the servant was already well.
Application: Commanding Officers
When an army general gives an order, how can he know that it will happen? He has to be able to trust the soldiers to follow it. The soldiers have to obey their commanding officers. If we are soldiers in God's army, we should obey our orders too. Our commanding officer is Christ, because he has been put in charge of the church. The Bible says that Christ is over everything for the church, and he is the one we have to follow and obey.
Invitation: Obedience
Invite any children who want to commit themselves to obey Christ to stay after the lesson and discuss it further.

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