"Do not just hear the Word of God and think hearing is enough. DO what it says!" James 1:22

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Mark Lesson 11

MARK 9:30-50

Object Lesson:  Use a Swiss Army Knife to explain the importance
of the church having many parts of one body.


It seems many times so far in our study of Mark, we find that people as well as the disciples just don't understand the fact that Jesus is truly God and truly Man.  Last week's lesson shared with us how Jesus was in tune with everyone's lack of understanding when He asked the disciples, "Who do people say I am?"  When Peter was asked Who he thought Jesus was, he answered, "You are the Christ."  Christ is translated as Messiah and Messiah means "the promised deliverer of the Jewish nation prophesied in the Hebrew Bible."  Peter basically said, "You're the One we've been waiting for.  You're the One God promised would come.  You're the One Who is going to save us and make things right."  THIS is IMPORTANT.

According to Peter's answer, perhaps the disciples finally understood Who Jesus really is.  Then we come to today's lesson and we find the answer to that to be... no, they still don't get it.  They still don't understand.  Mark 9:32 says, "They did not understand what Jesus was saying and they were afraid to ask Him to explain."  The disciples may have been everyday common men but they knew what Scripture said about the Messiah.  They knew in Jeremiah 23:5-6 it says, "Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as King and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land.  In His days, Judah will be saved and Israel will dwell securely.  And this is the Name by which He will be called: 'The LORD is our righteousness."

Our lesson moves on to the disciples arguing -actually fighting- about which one of them will be more important in the kingdom of heaven.  IT'S NICE TO BE IMPORTANT.  The disciples might have even thought that because they were the first ones to be called by Jesus, they were more important than anyone else called by Jesus.

(At this point in our Wrap Up, Mrs. Nelson and Mrs. Hamilton needed assistance that only the Swiss Army Knife could provide.  This is where Mrs. Gettelfinger explains the different features of the knife and how IMPORTANT it is to have each and every one of the tools be a part of the ONE tool.)

Right now, it's important for you to hear the Wrap Up for our lesson.  And since it is my turn to offer the Wrap Up, it's important that I be here.  Does this mean Mrs. Nelson and Mrs. Hamilton are NOT important?  Absolutely not!  What if Mrs. Neal came and said to each of them, "Well, your girls don't really have anything to do right now so feel free to go on home."  Then when the Wrap Up is over, who would be in your classrooms to shepherd you?  I may not need my Swiss Army Knife right this minute but Mrs. Nelson and Mrs. Hamilton needed it a few minutes ago.  It's the same when the Wrap Up is over.
God will have another IMPORTANT task for each of His CBS teachers.


Jesus tries to help the disciples AND us understand what it means to be important.  He uses a child to help explain.  Think about it... children must be cared for, right?  This is why we have parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles.  It is important to care for the children of our world.  This is why we have mission fields all over the world.  In Mark 9:37, Jesus said, "Whoever receives one such child in my Name receives Me..."  He said this so we would understand how IMPORTANT it is to care for others; adults as well as children.

At this point in our lesson, John actually shares with Jesus how someone who had not followed Jesus was actually caring for people and giving Jesus the credit for the actions.  That actually made John mad.  It was like the fork of my Swiss Army Knife complained to me that the spoon was trying to pick up a small piece of meat at dinner time.  That's just stupid!  Everyone knows a spoon is used for SOUP!  John thought that only he  and the other disciples were IMPORTANT enough to serve the Lord in such a special way.


To have my Swiss Army Knife without the bottle opener... I don't know what I would do.  I like drinking bottled Coke.  And these little scissors... I can't tell you how scratchy some of my shirt tags have been.  These little scissors have really come in handy!  This is how Jesus would feel about His church and the people who argue about what's IMPORTANT.  He looks at His church and says, "Wow, this church would do really well to have a (insert student's name) in it.  And a (another student's name)!  Now that would come in handy for this church.  And it sure would be nice if we just had a (another student's name.)!  Then what this church could accomplish... THAT'S IMPORTANT!"

Toward the end of our lesson, Jesus goes into a crazy explanation of sin to try and get John and the others as well as us to understand THIS...

It's nice to be important.

What does it matter if the scissors of my knife cut through a piece of rope for me?  Sure the pocket knife part of the tool will cut through rope quicker and easier than the scissors.  But the scissors work also.  What if none of the utensils on my knife opened at all because they all argued over who would be used for my next task?  The entire knife would be -USELESS.

God wants to work through each and every one of YOU, serving others.  THIS is IMPORTANT!
This week, will you choose to understand that BEING NICE is more important than being important?  Will you ask God how you can be useful to your family, your church, your community today?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Lesson 10 Memory Verse


"Whoever is ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation,
of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed
when He comes in the glory of His Father
with the holy angels."    Mark 8:38

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Mark Lesson 8


Object lesson: Use strips of clear packing tape to demonstrate how time spent in God's Word makes us stronger and more useful. Students pass the strips around, sticking it to one another's shirt sleeves or backs, while the teacher delivers the Wrap Up. In the end of the Wrap Up show how the  used strips don't stick together as well as the clean strips held by the teacher. So it is when we spend our time doing other things while avoiding special time with God in His Word.

How many of you have special "dates" with your parents?
How many of you have siblings and your parents try to spend special time with each of you?
Maybe some of you have special dates with a Godparent or special aunt or uncle.
My daughter and I enjoy going to Earth and Fire for our special dates while my son and I enjoy seeing a movie and going out for pizza afterwards.

Why do we do this?
Why do we need to spend special time with our loved ones?

No Jesus - No Peace
Know Jesus - Know Peace

Recently in our Wrap Ups, we've talked about how most people did not have the right idea about Who Jesus really is. We've talked about being good soil and what that soil will produce.
And we've talked about God's power
which is available to all who believe in and follow His Son.

How well do you know Jesus?

Jesus went home in the beginning of our lesson this week. I wonder if He had hoped to spend some special time with His family and friends while He was there. That didn't happen though, did it? As a matter of fact, Mark 6:3 says the people in Jesus's hometown "took offense at Him" which means they thought He was not acting like He was "on their side." They STILL didn't realize WHO Jesus really was, did they? Remember our Wrap Up a few weeks ago? Runner, softball player, hunter... I'm still Mrs. Gettelfinger. Teacher, Preacher, Healer... Jesus is still GOD. The people of His hometown saw Jesus as JUST a man... a man who healed a few sick people.

How well do you know Jesus?

King Herod thought Jesus was John the Baptist come back to life to haunt Herod for cutting off John's head. Herod KNEW John was a "holy man" (v.20.) Therefore, if Herod thought Jesus was John come back to life, then Herod had to thing of Jesus as a "holy man" also.
Did Herod think of John as God?
Even someone smart enough or blessed enough to be king
did not understand that Jesus is God.

How well do you know Jesus?

Before Jesus sends the apostles out two by two in vv.7-13, He spends time with them -teaching them. Listen... this part is important... remember all those parables we talked about a couple lessons back -the seed, the soil, the lamp, the thief? Mark 4:34 says, "He spoke to them only in parables, but privately to His own disciples he explained everything." Before the apostles are sent out two by two, Jesus teaches them PRIVATELY. And while in their presence, He gives them authority over demons. We know the apostles were successful with their mission because v.30 tells us how they shared their experiences with Jesus. That's when Jesus tells them to "come away by yourselves to a desolate (private) place and rest awhile (v.31.)"

How well do you know Jesus?

But before the apostles can get away for some rest, we hear the story of how Jesus fed more than 5000 people with just two fish and five loaves of bread. Jesus and His apostles needed to rest. Instead of telling the huge crowd to find the nearest city and go have dinner, Jesus put His plans for His own well-being aside and fed the crowd. Jesus made "special time" for the crowd. After all, the people in the crowd were children of God just as the apostles were.

How well do you know Jesus?

Let's talk about the people in the crowd. Do you think they knew Who Jesus really was? Do you think knew and understood the fact that Jesus was God? Even the apostles had not fully understood that Jesus was God. If the apostles had understood this fact, THEY would have fed the crowd when Jesus told them in v.37, "YOU give them something to eat."

How well do you know Jesus?

If the apostles and the crowd were all God's children and none of them fully realized Who Jesus was, what makes these two groups any different from one another? Name some of the differences between the two groups...

the apostles could heal...
many in the crowd probably came to Jesus to be healed.

the apostles could preach the Gospel...
the entire crowd came to hear the Gospel.

the apostles were Followers of Christ...
many in the crowd were merely "seekers" of Christ.

The most important difference between the two groups was that the apostles SPENT TIME ALONE -privately- WITH JESUS. The crowd had not had that kind of time with Him. Therefore, the apostles were stronger, more capable FOR CHRIST. Because of their time alone with Jesus, the apostles KNEW Him better than the people of the crowd.

There is a difference between knowing OF Jesus and KNOWING Him.

How well do you know Jesus?

(This is the part which is difficult to explain. Basically, the packing tape which was passed around from person to person will eventually not stick to anything. When the tape remains clean and is stuck to another clean strip, it is extremely difficult to tear apart. So it is when we make "special time" in God's Word and keep it important above all else that we become stronger and more capable of sharing the Gospel just as the apostles shared in our lesson.)

So how much time do YOU spend as Jesus suggests in Mark 6:31...
"Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest awhile."
How well do you know Jesus?

Will you make time for Jesus... just YOU and God's Word this week...
and then will you try to do that each and every week of your life? 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Lesson 8 Memory Verse

"When He went ashore He saw a great crowd,
and He had compassion on them,
because they were like sheep without a shepherd.
And He began to teach them many things."
Mark 6:34