Those who teach children should read study #96 for children.
Prayer: “Dear Father, thank you for sending Jesus to bring good news to the world. Thank you for His stories that help us understand your message. Help us to tell these wonderful stories to other people.”
Jesus was the world’s most effective messenger. To help people understand his message, Jesus used true stories as well as parables that give examples from common, daily activities in the lives of ordinary people. Jesus used stories because they are easy for people to understand, to remember and to share with others. His stories communicated truths that people find so valuable that they eagerly passed them on to their family and friends. The Good News spread quickly among the Jewish people. Here are some of the truths that the stories of Jesus reveal to us:
· God often works in a mysterious way. Jesus’ stories compare the mystery to the growth of plants and other things that men easily understand.
· God works with people that men think are weak or unimportant.
· Jesus’ message, unlike many religious messages, was fresh and powerful.
· Jesus told us that God is seeking us; He wants to save us from our sins.
· God saves us through Jesus when we repent and trust Him.
· God gives us work to do. He wants us to serve Him with joy and not with fear.
· God will greatly reward those who serve him and will punish those who reject him.
Please read the following six examples of stories that Jesus used to reveal truths about His kingdom. Each time you read a story, ask God to help you understand it. Find in each story, something that helps you to understand God and what He wants you to do.
Find in Matthew 13:31-35 what God wants you to learn from a Mustard Seed:
· What the yeast and the mustard seed represent.
· How the kingdom of God begins and what happens as it grows.
Find in Luke 5:36-38, the story of an Old Coat and an Old Bottle:
· What the new patch and the new wine represent.
· How the message of Jesus compares to other or older religious messages.
Find in Luke 15:8-10, the story of a Lost Coin:
· Whom the woman and the lost coin represent.
· With what urgency God seeks the lost and what he does when he finds them.
Find in Luke 18:10-14, the story of a Repentant Tax Collector:
· Why the attitude of the Pharisee did not please God.
· How we should approach God.
Find in Matthew 24:45-51, the story of a Faithful Servant:
· Whom the faithful servant represents and what his work represents.
· The attitude with which we serve God.
Find in Matthew 25:1-13, the story of a Wedding Feast:
· What awaits those who faithfully serve Christ and what awaits those who fail to serve Him.
· What the wedding feast represents. (For help with this see Rev. 19:1-10.)
We, too, should
tell Bible stories from the Old and New Testaments to communicate God’s
The stories can be read, told by memory, sung, acted out or shown in a
· Visit both believers and people who do not yet know Christ. Tell them stories that deal with their needs, from both the Old and New Testaments. Ask God to show you how you and those who hear the stories can put into practice the truths that the stories carry.
· Meet with those who teach children and help them to plan ways to tell the stories that Jesus told, and other Bible stories. Let children recite, dramatize or sing stories. They can also draw pictures and write poems about them.
· Discuss with your co-workers how they will use Bible stories in teaching and telling others about Jesus. Choose those stories that best help the people of your culture to understand the Good News. Use training materials and evangelistic tools that tell Bible stories.
Show members of the
congregation how to tell Bible stories to their friends, and how to do
during worship. Let them present stories through song, drama, poetry
pictures. Let believers who are artistic draw pictures to illustrate
Choose activities that fit current needs and local customs.
Tell or act out one or more of the parables of Jesus that you have studied. Help the people to imagine how these stories should be told if they happened now, in your own culture.
Ask questions about the things you found under part 1 (above).
Explain how Jesus revealed truths about God in his stories. Explain some of those truths.
To introduce the Lord’s Supper, use the story Jesus told in Matthew 25:1-13 about the wise and foolish virgins who went to a wedding feast. Explain that the Lord’s Supper gives us a taste of the Great Wedding Feast with Jesus that will be our reward in heaven.
Have the children present the drama, poem and questions that they have prepared.
Ask some believers to give testimonials about how God has used Bible stories to reveal to them truths about God, and to help them pass on the good news to others.
Form groups of two or three people, to pray and counsel one another and to confirm their plans to learn the stories that Jesus told and to pass them on to friends and family.
Memorize together John 8:12.