Sunday, January 23, 2011

Boy Jesus at the Temple

Lesson: My Father's House

1. Game: Search for the Missing Number
Hand out a number to each child in your group on a card. The numbers should be in consecutive order. Before class, hide the No. 1 card somewhere in the classroom that would be fairly easy for the class to find. Have the class work together to put the numbers in order on the floor. When it is discovered that the number one is missing, have the class search for the missing card. When the card has been found, everybody sits back down quietly.

2. Story: 
Tell the story of Jesus in the temple based on Luke 2:41-52.

  • In today's story Jesus was 12 years old. 
  • Every year all of God's people travelled to the temple in the city of Jerusalem for a special holiday called the Passover. Jesus also travelled to Jerusalem with his family to celebrate the Passover with all their aunts, uncles and cousins.
  • What is the Passover?
    • The Passover was a celebration to remember how God delivered the Israelites from Egypt.
    • How many plagues did God send on the Egyptians? (10)
    • What was the last plague? (Death of the firstborn)
    • How were the Israelites spared? (Put blood of lamb on the doorpost; angel of death passed over them)
  • The Passover holiday lasted for many days.
  • Mary, Joseph and all his relatives packed up and started home. They did not know that Jesus was not with them. They walked all day. When night time came, Mary and Joseph set up camp to sleep for the night. They thought Jesus had been travelling with his aunts and uncles and cousins so they went to look for Him. But they could not find Jesus anywhere. 
  • So Mary and Joseph travelled all the way back to Jerusalem and started hunting for Jesus there.
  • Jerusalem was a big and busy city. Mary and Joseph searched everywhere for 3 days.
  • Finally they went to the temple. There was Jesus at the temple talking with the priests. He was asking them questions, and the priests were amazed with Jesus' understanding and his wise answers.
  • Mary said to Jesus, "Son, why did you do this to us. Your father and I were very worried about you. We have been looking for you." 
  • Jesus was very surprised that his parents wouldn't have known to look for him at the temple. He said to his parents, "Why did you have to look for me? You should have known that I must be in my father’s house, doing my father’s business."
  • Mary and Joseph didn’t understand that Jesus was talking about God as His father. But Mary kept these things in her heart.
  • Jesus returned home to Nazareth with Mary and Joseph and was obedient to them. He grew in wisdom and stature, in favour with God and man.

3. Lesson: Good News for Today 
  • Even at a young age, Jesus knew who His father was (God) — the Jews of that time never knew God as their father. They only worshipped Him, but didn’t have a close relationship with Him. Jesus knew who He was and who He belonged to. When we accept Jesus as our Saviour and Lord, we can also call God “Father”.
    • Does anyone here want to accept Jesus into their hearts today?
  • Because Jesus knew who He belonged to, He knew whose voice to listen to. He was in His Father’s house, doing His Father’s business. If we know that we are God’s children, we will know how to listen to God’s voice.
    • Who are God’s children? Who likes to listen to God’s voice?
  • Because of God’s grace on His life, Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, in favour with God and man. When we receive God’s grace, we too can grow in wisdom and stature, in favour with God and man. What does it mean to grow in wisdom and stature? What does it mean to grow in favour with God and with man? (wise, big/tall/strong, blessed by God and by others)
    • Who would like to grow wise and big? Who would like to be blessed by God and by others?
  • Pray: Thank You Jesus that because of You, we, too, can call God “Father”. We can learn to hear His voice and do His work. We can grow in wisdom and stature, in favour with God and man. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

4. Activity ideas:


Youth Bible Study

Leader's Guide
Boy Jesus at the temple (Luke 2:41-52)

1. Read Luke 2:41-52

2. Why did Jesus’ parents go to Jerusalem every year?
To celebrate the Feast of the Passover

3. What do you know about this celebration? (cf Exodus 12:26-27)
To remember how the Lord passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared them from the death of the firstborn (10th plague; deliverance from Egypt)

4. What did Mary and Joseph discover on their way back to Nazareth after the feast?
That Jesus was not with them or their relatives.

5. Where did they finally find Jesus and what was He doing there and what were the reactions of those with Him?
After 3 days, they found Jesus in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers.

6. What did Jesus respond to His mother’s concerns?
He was surprised that they were searching for Him and didn’t know that He was in His Father’s house attending to His Father’s business.

7. Jesus’ parents didn’t understand what He was saying. Which “father” was Jesus referring to?
His heavenly Father, God

8. Jesus knew who He was and whose He was. Do we know who we belong to? (cf Gal 4:4-7)
Because of Jesus, we have full rights as sons of God. No longer a slave, but a son and an heir.

9. How did Jesus live with His earthly parents?
He was obedient to them.

10. How did Jesus grow? Why was He able to grow that way? (cf Luke 2:40)
Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, in favour with God and men. Because the grace of God was upon Him.

Thank the Lord that:

  •  Because of Him, we can call God “Father”
  • Because we are His sons, we can be about our Father’s business
  • Because of His grace, we can grow in wisdom and stature, in favour with God and men

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