Guest Blog written by: Brad Kempson
We start out reading a passage everyone has heard before. When Jesus feed the five thousand. We all know that the amount of food was very small, and the amount of people was very big. Everybody knows that this miracle was big, but what most people don’t know is that this was to show us that no matter how small we might think we are able to affect people, God will be able to spread that out to affect many people.
The second thing we read is also a very big passage taught to children, and that we hear in church all the time. That is when Jesus walks on the water. The disciples were going back from that day’s lessons, and a big wind came onto the water, and the waters became rough. The disciples saw that Jesus was coming towards the boat on the water. When they saw him, they were afraid. But Jesus told the that it was him, and they believed and took him onto the boat. As soon as they invited him on, the boat hit the shore. This is to show us that when we are in storms in our lives, if we take in Jesus and want him, he will get us to a safe place.
We read that Jesus is the bread of life. The people are following Jesus because they know that he could help them eat. But Jesus tells them that they shouldn’t search for food that spoils. The people want to know how they can get the food that Jesus told them about that will lead to eternal life. Jesus tells them that they have to believe in the person that God has sent. Jesus told the people that he was the bread of life, and that he was the bread that has come down from heaven. The people were upset that Jesus said this because they knew his parents, and they didn’t believe him.
One thing that we read is how Jesus helped a blind man see. Everyone knew that he was born blind. When he could see, and he told them how he could see, they criticized him and talked bad about him and Jesus. Jesus tells the people that the blind can see and the ones that see will be blind. This means that all the people who follow him will be given sight, and the people that deny him and think they he is wrong, will become blind and can’t see the truth,
Jesus uses another example to teach the people about him. He says that anyone who enters the sheep pen not through the gate is a thief and a robber, and the sheep won’t listen to their voice because that person is a stranger, and sheep don’t follow strangers. Any one who enters the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. Jesus tells the people that he is the gate. Anyone who enters through him will be saved, and the thief comes to destroy.
We also read about Lazarus dying. When Jesus finds out, he knows that God has done this so he can be glorified. Jesus said that Lazarus was asleep, but the disciples didn’t know that he was actually talking about death. Jesus wanted to see where Lazarus was laid, and they took him. He then wanted them to move the stone. They told him that he would smell. Jesus wanted them to move the stone and they finally did. He thanked God that he had heard him. He then called out to Lazarus to come out. Lazarus came out with cloth wrapped around his hands and feet and one over his face.
Another thing we read is how Jesus washed his disciples’ feet. He went to Simon Peter, and he didn’t want Jesus to wash his feet. Jesus wanted the disciples to know what he had done for him. Jesus said that because their Teacher and Lord had washed their feet, they should wash each other’s feet. We did this one night in Georgia. We were all sitting around a circle with our partners, and we all got down and washed each other’s feet. This was a very special moment for everyone on the trip.
Jesus then goes on to predict his betrayal by Judas, and how Peter would deny him. Jesus also promises the people the Holy Spirit. He says that he was leaving them but he would be with them through it.
Finally, we read that Jesus is the vine. This was a lesson we did in Georgia. We did all of the I am stories that Jesus told. This was also the VBS theme for Ebenezer. We did this lesson first, and it went very well. What this is saying that we need to stay in Jesus and God. And if we do, then he will make us plentiful. The visual we had for that day was a plastic vine of grapes with the fruits of the spirit on the grapes. We had all of the kids take one and we told them to say what was in the grape. After they picked one, we told them that if we stay in Jesus we will grow all of the fruits of the spirit. We will also be stronger in our faith if we stay in him and be closer to him.