Sunday School Lessons

Dear Parents,

After Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection, He appeared to His disciples to reaffirm the Old Testament prophecies that the Messiah would suffer, die and rise again.  Jesus also restored His disciples to kingdom work.  When the promised Holy Spirit came, the disciples would go into all the world as disciplemakers, baptizing others in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

May 7 - The Emmaus Disciples

We are studying Luke 24:13-35 and Mark 16:12-13, as we discover Jesus’ teachings after His resurrection.

Jesus’ death and resurrection should not have surprised the disciples. Sometimes Jesus spoke metaphorically about His death and resurrection. (See Matt. 12:39; Mark 14:58; John 2:19; 3:14-15.) Other times, Jesus plainly told the disciples that He would be betrayed, crucified, buried, and resurrected three days later. (Matt. 17:2; Mark 8:31; Luke 9:22) In fact, Jesus had spoken so frequently of His death and resurrection, the chief priests and Pharisees asked Pilate to place guards at the tomb in case the disciples stole Jesus’ body. (See Matt. 27:62-66.)

On resurrection morning, the angel at Jesus’ tomb asked the women, “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5). Even when Peter and John ran to the empty tomb to see it for themselves, Peter was amazed but uncertain (Luke 24:12), while John believed (John 20:8).

That same day, two disciples were walking to Emmaus, arguing about recent events. Jesus began walking next to them, but God prevented them from recognizing Him. (Luke 24:16) Jesus simply asked them what they were arguing about. They stopped walking. How could He not have heard about what happened over the last three days?

The two disciples had hoped Jesus was the Redeemer of Israel. Their hopes were crushed because Jesus had died. Graciously, Jesus explained to them why the Messiah had to die, starting with Moses and the Prophets. Jesus showed them how the Scriptures point to Him. (Luke 24:27; cf. John 5:39)

When they reached Emmaus, the disciples urged Him to stay and eat. As soon as Jesus blessed the bread and broke it, “their eyes were opened” and they knew they’d seen Jesus. (Luke 24:31)

Teach your kids the Bible is not a moralistic tale. The Bible is about Jesus. When Adam and Eve sinned, God began working out His plan to send Jesus to rescue people from sin. (Gen. 3:15) All of the Old Testament points forward to Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection—the time when Jesus would bring God’s promised salvation for sinners.

May 14 - Jesus Appeared to the Disciples

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!!

Our journey takes us to Jesus’ appearance to the disciples in Luke 24:36-43; John 20:19-29; and Acts 1:3.

Perhaps one of the most gracious things Jesus did after His resurrection was appear to the disciples, proving He was alive. The disciples were devastated to see that Jesus had died. How could He save them if He was dead? Even though Jesus had foretold His death and resurrection (Matt. 20:17-19), Jesus’ disciples believed by seeing.

Jesus showed the disciples His hands and His side to prove He was not a ghost. He had a real, physical body. Then He spoke to them: “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). This verse contains the Gospel of John’s version of the Great Commission. Jesus, the One sent from the Father, was now sending the disciples to be His messengers and representatives. Jesus equipped the disciples with the Holy Spirit to proclaim the gospel.

Thomas, who was not with the disciples when Jesus came, had a hard time believing that they saw Him. Thomas wanted physical proof—and that is just what He got! Jesus showed Thomas His hands and His side. Thomas immediately believed.

Jesus’ resurrection proved that God was satisfied with Jesus’ blood sacrifice for sins and that God’s new covenant had begun. In 1 Corinthians 15, Paul addressed how the resurrection is essential to the gospel. In verse 17, Paul writes, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins.”

If Christ had remained dead, His death would have meant nothing more than yours or mine. Humanity would still be without hope. Jesus’ resurrection gives us hope that we one day too will be raised and changed. God gives us victory over death through Jesus. Emphasize to the kids you teach that Jesus is alive! Share with them that they have a special purpose: to tell others that Jesus is alive. He is reigning as King today over all of creation.

May 21 - Jesus Served Breakfast by the Sea

This week’s Bible story is found in John 21:1-19.

After Jesus’ resurrection and His appearance to the disciples, seven of the disciples returned to Galilee, near the Sea of Galilee. It was the same sea where Jesus had called four of His disciples, promising to make them fishers of men. (See Luke 5:1-11.) Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples decided to go fishing. Perhaps they felt it prudent to return to the fishing business since Jesus had died and resurrected. Their stint as His disciples was apparently over—or so they thought!

In Bible times, nighttime was the preferred time for fishing. Fish caught at night could be sold fresh in the morning at market. But at daybreak, the disciples had caught nothing. Jesus stood at the shore, but the disciples did not know it was Him. He called to them, “Men, you don’t have any fish, do you?” (John 21:5). Then He encouraged them to cast their net on the right side of the boat. They obeyed, and they were unable to haul in the catch because of the large number of fish.

John, the disciple Jesus loved, knew right away who He was. “It is the Lord!” John exclaimed. Immediately, Peter tied his outer garment around him and jumped into the sea, swimming to shore about 300 feet away. When the other six disciples arrived in the boat, they found Jesus sitting beside a charcoal fire with fish and bread. “Come and have breakfast,” Jesus said. Jesus ate with His disciples, then turned to Peter.

John 21:15-19 describes Peter’s restoration. The disciple who had told Jesus that he would die for Him (Luke 22:31-34) had denied Jesus three times. (Luke 22:54-62) Jesus asked, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” Peter responded, “Yes, Lord. You know that I love you.” Jesus told Peter to feed His lambs. Two more times Jesus asked this question, and on the third time, it grieved Peter. “Lord, You know everything! You know that I love You,” Peter said. (John 21:17) “Feed My sheep,” Jesus said again, and then told Peter how Peter would die to glorify God. “Follow Me!” Jesus said. (John 21:19)

Emphasize to the kids you teach that Jesus’ plan for the disciples did not end with His death and resurrection. When Jesus first called the disciples to follow Him, Jesus had promised to make them fishers of men. Instead of catching fish, they would tell people about Jesus. (Luke 5:1-11) The disciples had left Jesus when He was arrested, but Jesus still wanted to use them in God’s plan to rescue people from their sin. Jesus is a Lord who forgives us and makes things right again.

May 28 - Jesus Gave the Great Commission

Jesus gives the Great Commission in Matthew 28:16-20 and Mark 16:15-16.

After Jesus’ death and resurrection, He appeared to His disciples over a 40 day period. At one point, He appeared to over 500 disciples. Then He appeared to James, His half-brother, and the rest of the apostles. (1 Cor. 15:5-7) During that time, Jesus taught them about the kingdom of God. (Acts 1:3) Some disciples wondered if Jesus was going to restore the kingdom of Israel. (Acts 1:6)

Jesus and the Father had a different plan for the disciples. Jesus directed the Eleven to go to a mountain, where He appeared to them again. When Jesus appeared, they worshiped Him, but some still doubted. (Matt. 28:17) Before we condemn the disciples who doubted, they had not yet received the Holy Spirit. (Luke 24:49) Without the Holy Spirit, the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing. (1 Cor. 1:18)

On the mountain, Jesus gave His disciples the Great Commission. First, Jesus stated that all authority had been given to Him. Before the resurrection, Jesus had authority as God the Son. Through the resurrection, however, the Father gave Jesus far more than even Satan had promised. (Matt. 4:8-9) Through Jesus’ death and resurrection, God subjected everything to His beloved Son. (See Heb. 2:5-9.)

Jesus commanded His disciples to go into the world and preach the gospel, the good news about Him. The Great Commission is not just for missionaries far from home. All believers are called to share the gospel with others, to teach them to obey God’s commands, and to baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus finishes His commission with a profound promise: “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20).

Talk to the kids you teach about the importance of living out the Great Commission. The good news about what Jesus has done to rescue us from our sins is too great to keep to ourselves. Before Jesus went back to heaven, He gave the disciples a job to do. Jesus wants His followers to teach people everywhere about Jesus so they will trust in Him as their Lord and Savior.

June 4 - Jesus Ascended to Heaven and the Holy Spirit Came

This week’s Bible story comes from Acts 1:3-11 and Acts 2:1-42.  Our focus centers on Jesus’ ascension into heaven and when the Holy Spirit came to God's people.

After His resurrection, Jesus appeared to more than 500 people. He proved that He had beaten sin and death. After Jesus was on earth for 40 days after His resurrection, He ascended into heaven. Before He went, He promised that He would not leave us alone, but He would send the Holy Spirit to dwell inside every follower of Jesus. The Holy Spirit helps us do God’s work on earth while we wait for Jesus to come back and make all things new! How do you see the Holy Spirit’s work in your life?

Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to dwell within His followers. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, the disciples were able to begin their work in sharing the gospel with the entire world. Through them, many churches were begun! God gives the Holy Spirit those who trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior. I’m thankful for the Holy Spirit’s work that gives us power to follow Jesus and changes us to be more like Him.

A Note about 2 and 3 year old's Curriculum

We use a curriculum called DiscipleLand for our 2 & 3 year olds.  This curriculum is very clearly Christ-centered, like Gospel Project, but focuses on teaching our littlest ones foundational stories about Jesus.  The added benefit of this curriculum is the age appropriate words, actions and helpers - namely Chip, a puppy dog puppet, who helps introduce the story each week.

Please be sure you take home the Family Card.  This will give you an opportunity to continue teaching your little ones and reinforce the lesson all week long!

They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of His splendor.

Isaiah 61:3b