Fishers of Men

Friday:Fishers of Men
Story Passages: Matthew 4:18-22, Matthew 28, Acts 1:6-11
Other Passages: John 14:1-4, 2 Peter 3:9, Mark 16:15
Objective: We should share the good news about Jesus with others.
Memory Verse: Matthew 4:19, Come, Follow me, Jesus said, and I will make you fishers of men.
Introduction: Fishing
Have you ever been fishing for something besides fish? Did you ever lose money behind the couch cushion and had to fish down behind for it? Did you ever have to fish through your backpack to find your homework paper? What does it mean to go fishing for something? Are you always looking for fish?
Story: Fishers of Men
One day, Jesus was walking along beside the sea, and he saw Peter and Andrew out in a boat, fishing, because they were fishermen. Now Peter and Andrew were trying to catch fish -- they were fishing for fish, because that was their job. Jesus said, Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. Right away, they got out of their boats and followed him.
Application: Seeking People
What did Jesus mean, when he said he would make them fishers of men? (He meant that instead of trying to get fish, they would be trying to reach people for Jesus.) Why would Jesus call them away from fishing for fish, for food, to fish for people, for Jesus? (Because, people are more important.) Jesus didn't want anyone to die without knowing him. So he called disciples to help him reach other people.
When did these disciples become fishers of men? Did it happen right away?
Story: Great Commission
Right after Jesus died and rose from the dead, some women went looking for him in the tomb, but Jesus wasn't there. An angel, a messenger from God, told them Jesus had risen from the dead, and was going to Galilee to meet the disciples. They met him in Galilee and he said, Go and make disciples of all peoples..., and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
Application: Making Disciples
When you fish for men, does Jesus want you to catch them in nets, or on hooks? (No.) What does he mean, then, by fishing for men? Does he want you to just catch them, and then leave them and go away? (No. He wants you to teach them.) What does Jesus want us to teach people? (To obey what he has commanded.) Do we teach people to obey just some of what Jesus commanded? (No, all of it.)
Story: Ascension
After Jesus had been raised for a while and seen by lots of people, he was getting ready to go back to heaven, to make a place for us. But he left instructions for the disciples: You will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and to the ends of the Earth. Then after he said this, he was taken up into heaven and a cloud hid him from their sight.
Application: Witnesses for Jesus
What does it mean to be a witness? (To show people something.) What were they supposed to show people? (How to live for Jesus.) Where were they supposed to witness for Jesus? (All over the earth.) Where are some places you could witness for Jesus? (School, neighborhood, &c).
When Jesus went up into heaven, the disciples kept watching, even after the cloud hid him, but two men dressed in white came and gave them a message: This same Jesus who has been taken from you into heaven will come back in the same way you have seen him go into heaven.
How long should we keep witnessing for Jesus? (Until he comes back.)
Today's memory verse is Matthew 4:19: Come, Follow me, Jesus said, and I will make you fishers of men.
Invitation: Fishers of Men
[Invite any children who want to talk about becoming fishers of men to stay and discuss it further.]

Following God

Thursday:Following God
Story Passage: John 21
Other Passages: John 15:10, 1st John 5:3
Objective: Children should learn stuff.
Memory Verse: 2nd John 1:6, And this is love: that we walk in obedience to God's commands.
Introduction: ???
Story: Fish in the Morning
After Jesus raised from the dead, he appeared again to his disciples by the sea of Galilee. [Show map.] The disciples were sitting by the sea, and decided to go fishing, since several of them were fishermen. They fished all night and caught nothing. [Show visual.] In the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but they didn't recognise him. He called out, Friends, haven't you caught any fish? No. Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some. They did, and the net got so full [show visual] that they were unable to haul it in. John said, It is the Lord! Peter jumped in to swim to shore [show visual], and they followed in the boat. They landed, and Jesus said, Bring some of the fish you have just caught. He had a fire they had fish and bread for breakfast.
Then Jesus talked with them. He talked with Peter and said, Follow me. But Peter saw John and said, What about him? Jesus said, What is that to you? You must follow me.
First Point: Lordship
How could Jesus have known that 153 fish would be on the right side of the boat? (He was God.) When the net was full of fish, John and Peter recognised who Jesus was. What did John say? (It is the Lord.) What does it mean that Jesus is the Lord? (He is our master.)
Second Point: Resurrection
Why were they surprised that Jesus was there? Why didn't they recognise him at first? (Because he had died.) How could Jesus be there, if he had died? (He raised from the dead.)
Application: Following God
Why did Jesus tell Peter to follow him? Why should we follow Jesus? (He is the Lord.) Why did Peter ask about John? What did Jesus tell Peter when he asked about John? (What is that to you? You must follow me.) So, if other people we know don't follow God, is that an excuse for us? (No.)
Invitation: Following God
How do you follow God? (obey him: John 15:10, 1st John 5:3)
How do you know how to follow God? (from the Bible and from God)
The memory verse for today is from Colossians 1:10, Live a life worthy of the calling you have received and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.
[Invite any children who would like to talk about how they can follow God to stay after the lesson and discuss it further.]

Raised from the Dead

Wednesday:Raised from the Dead
Story Passage: Luke 24:36-49
Other Passages: Mark 16:9-11,14, John 20:11-25, Luke 24:13-32, Matthew 28:16-20, 1st Corinthians 15:5-7
Objective: Jesus rose from the dead.
Memory Verse: 1st John 4:10, In this act is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son, a payment for our sins.
Introduction: Death
What do you do with somebody's body after they die? (Usually you bury it.) That happened to Jesus too. Remember yesterday, we talked about Jesus' being crucified? He died, and where did they put his body? (In a stone tomb.) Why do we bury the body when someone dies, instead of leaving them on a bed, or in a chair? (Because, the body decays.) If we left them on a bed, or in a chair, would they wake up maybe, and get up and walk around? (No.)
Story: Resurrection
What happened to Jesus body, three days after it was sealed in the tomb? (He got up.) Is that what usually happens, three days after you bury someone? (No.) How could Jesus do that? (He is God.)
What did Jesus do, when he got up? [Accept a couple of responses.] Did anyone see him walking around? (Yes: two men travelling, Mary, James, the disciples, and more than 500 others.) Did Jesus do anything with a fish, after he raised from the dead? (Yes.) In Luke 24, it tells about a time Jesus came to the disciples, and they were startled and frightened. They thought they were seeing a ghost, because as far as they knew, Jesus was dead! They didn't expect to see him alive, because dead people don't usually come back to life. But Jesus said, Why are you worried? Why do you doubt that I'm here? Look at my hands and my feet. It's me. Touch me: a ghost doesn't have flesh and bones, like I do.
Why did Jesus tell them to look at his hands and feet? (Because, they could see the nail marks, from when he was crucified.) They were amazed, and still couldn't believe he was alive, so he asked, Do you have anything here to eat? They gave him a piece of cooked fish, and he ate it, while they were watching. Then he told them, This is what I told you while I was still with you. I had to suffer and die, and raise again, and you will preach repentance and forgiveness of sins to all nations in my name.
Application: Forgiveness
So why did Jesus have to die, and then be raised? (So that our sins could be forgiven.) Why did someone have to die, for our sins to be forgiven? (Because, there is a penalty for sin.) Because Jesus raised, it proves the whole penalty is paid. Because Jesus is raised, we also can be raised, and can be with God forever some day.
Our memory verse today is 1st John 4:10, In this act is love: not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son, a payment for our sins.
How was sending God's Son a payment for our sins? (Because, he died, and death is the price for sin. Since he paid, we don't have to.) Does that mean you won't die when you get old? (No.) What does it mean? It's not talking about death like separation from your body, but separation from God. When we die, if we have Jesus as our savior, we are not separated from God, we go to be with God, forever, in heaven. But if you die without Jesus, you are separated from God, forever.
Invitation: Salvation
If you're not sure that you're going to be with God in heaven when you die, if you're not sure that you have Jesus as your savior, and you'd like to be sure, you can stay after the lesson and talk about it with the teacher. We'd love to tell you how to be with Jesus forever.

The Sign of Jonah

Tuesday:The Sign of Jonah
Story Passages: Jonah 1-3; Matthew 12:38-41
Other Passages: Matthew 27:59-63, Luke 24:5-6, Romans 3:23, 6:23
Objective: Jesus died to pay the penalty for our sin.
Memory Verse: Romans 6:23, For the wage of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life, through Christ Jesus our LORD.
Story: Jonah
God told Jonah, "Go to the great city of Nineveh and preach against it, because it is wicked." But Jonah ran away from God, got on a ship sailing in the other direction. Jonah told the sailors he was running away from God, but God sent a great storm. The sailors were afraid they would sink, and they prayed, but the storm only got worse. They threw things off the ship to make it lighter, but that didn't help, so they asked Jonah what to do. "Pick me up and throw me into the sea, and it will become calm." So they threw him in, and the storm stopped. God didn't leave Jonah in the water: he sent a big fish to swallow Jonah. Jonah was inside the fish for three days and three nights. While he was inside the fish, Jonah prayed, and he repented, and God had the fish spit him out on the land.
First Point: Repentance
What does it mean to repent? (To change your mind and behavior.) Why did Jonah need to repent? (Because he wasn't doing what God said.) What happened when Jonah repented? (God forgave him.)
Now Jonah obeyed, went to Nineveh, and preached that the city would be destroyed if they did not turn to God! The people believed God and repented. The king told everyone to stop sinning and to pray to God for forgiveness. God saw that they repented, and he didn't destroy the city.
Why did the people of Nineveh need to repent? (They were wicked.) Why did they repent? (Because they believed God.) What happened when they repented? (God forgave them.)
Second Point: The Sign of Jonah
Did you know that Jesus talked about Jonah? He did. One time, some Pharisees came to Jesus and asked to see a miracle. He told them they were wicked, and that the only sign he would give them was the sign of Jonah: Just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the big fish, so Jesus would be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.
What does it mean to be in the heart of the earth? (He was underground: buried.) When was Jesus in the heart of the earth? (When he was dead. After he was crucified.) Why did Jesus need to die and be buried? (To pay the penalty for our sins.)
Invitation: Romans 6:23
Your memory verse tonight will be Romans 6:23. [Read the verse once.]
What are wages? (something you earn) How do you earn death? (sin) What is sin? (anything you do that doesn't meet God's standards) How many people sin and earn death? Since we have earned death, what can we do to let Jesus pay our penalty? (Romans 10:9, confess Jesus is Lord, believe God raised him from the dead.) Is there any other way to escape death? (No, John 14:6)
Offer to discuss this further with any children who stay behind after the lesson.