Our Commanding Officer (Teen Version)

Tuesday:Our Commanding Officer
Story Passage: Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-10
Other Passages: Ephesians 1:19-23
Objective: Teens 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.
Introduction: Cents
Who knows what the Latin word root cent means? (Accept answers.) There are 100 cents in a dollar, 100 years in a century, and 100 degrees between freezing and boiling on the centigrade temperature scale. Cent really just means 100. 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, thousands, possibly tens of thousands, so an army would have lots of centurions in it. They're sort of like lieutenants. The generals and colonels would have a lot of centurions under them. The centurions had to answer to these superiors, but they also had to command the soldiers under them.
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 die. Entire battles can be lost, if orders are not followed. 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
Give an invitation for any teens who want to commit or recommit themselves to obey Christ.

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