Sunday School

We need Jesus lesson 8 - We need new life

Matthew 9:18-26

Simplified Sunday resource to be taught by parents at home during lockdown

Matthew’s story shows us the great power and compassion of a Saviour who transforms lives. Hear what he says. See what he does. The desperate woman clinging to his cloak is called “daughter”. He walks with the grieving father. He holds the little girl’s hand and she lives. He reaches into death and brings life.

We are dead in sin, unable to help ourselves. Our only hope is that Jesus is kind enough and powerful enough to help us. This story should thrill our hearts with the wonderful truth that he is BOTH! This great news should change us and this new life should spill out of us to those around us.

Questions to Ponder

Do I really recognise my desperate and helpless situation before God, apart from Jesus?

How much of a difference does knowing Jesus make in my life, that others can see?

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Sunday School

We need Jesus lesson 7 - We need a friend

Matthew 9:9-13

Simplified Sunday resource to be taught by parents at home during lockdown

Matthew’s story helps us see the connection between how we respond to Jesus and how we view others. If we view ourselves as sinners in need of a Saviour, failures whose only hope is grace, we will extend grace to our fellow sinners. Once we have been humbled to recognise our own sinful state, we won’t be able to look down on others with pride. Our delight at being included by Christ and welcomed to his table will transform us to welcome, include and love others, especially those that others leave out.

Jesus' call to follow him is for all who know they need him. Sadly, the Pharisees don’t think they do.

Questions to Ponder

Are you amazed and delighted that Jesus welcomes you, or should he be delighted to have you on his guest list? How does his generous welcome of you change the way you think about and act towards people who some view as failures?

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Sunday School

We need Jesus lesson 6 - We need to be forgiven

Matthew 9:1-8

Simplified Sunday resource to be taught by parents at home during lockdown

Perhaps you know this story well. Where are the crowds blocking the doors? Where is the hole in the roof? Matthew didn’t make a mistake with what he left out. He is drawing his own picture, to highlight what is most important. He wants us to see and hear the shock of the claim – “Son, your sins are forgiven”. Matthew focuses his story-telling lens on the response of the people to the words of Jesus.

V2 – His problem is obvious, everyone can see it, he has to be carried by friends. We all expect Jesus to fix his legs. Jesus tells him to take heart, because his sins are forgiven. We should be left surprised. Firstly, how does this help? Secondly, how can he claim to be able to do that?

V6 – Jesus wants us to know something. Always worth listening! He wants us to know that he has the authority to forgive. This whole exchange is about learning that. And if we get that, we will leave dancing with the man and singing with the crowd. This is Jesus' clearest claim to be God. Here he shows himself to be the one we were told he would be way back in Matthew 1:21 “give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”

This is what he came to do, because this is what each one of us most needs.

Questions to Ponder

What needs fixing most - your body or your soul? Do you share in the worship of the crowd? If not, have you forgotten or minimised your need for forgiveness?

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Sunday School

We need Jesus lesson 5 - We need Jesus to win

Matthew 8:28-34

Simplified Sunday resource to be taught by parents at home during lockdown

This story paints a beautiful picture of Jesus for us. Here we see both his great power and his gentle care. The devil’s control of the demon-possessed men produces violence and fear. Everyone else keeps their distance, yet Jesus is not afraid. He is kind to these tormented men, setting them free from their captivity.

In this world we are very used to seeing strength used for selfish ends. Power used to benefit only the powerful. But here, the most powerful figure on the scene uses his power to show compassion to the weak. We are right to be in awe of Jesus' power shown here. No other man in all of human history had the authority to direct evil forces to obey him.

The people of the town saw his power, yet they wanted to get rid of him. Who would want to get close to a man like this? Anything might happen! They were afraid. They’d rather be in ones in charge. They recognised his power but they hadn’t experienced his gentle care for themselves. But those of us who know him, who have read the whole of his life story, who have seen his compassion for the weak and experienced it in our own lives, know that we have nothing to fear from him, and nothing to fear from anything else when he is with us.

Questions to Ponder

How do I feel when I think of Jesus' immense power? Do I want to keep him at a distance, holding onto the power to run my own life? Or do I draw near in faith, knowing that he graciously uses his power to protect and care for the weak and powerless, including me?

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Sunday School

We need Jesus lesson 4 - We need to be safe

Matthew 8:23-27

Simplified Sunday resource to be taught by parents at home during lockdown

Matthew is building a picture for us of Jesus – The king who rules and the saviour who cares. In just these few short verses we see Jesus the man (needing to sleep) and Jesus the commander of creation (calming the storm). I’m so glad we have a saviour who understands our fears, has experience of our storms, knows our weaknesses and the smallness of our faith and has the power to help. When I remember that this is his world and that he rules over it and he is with me, I can know peace in a storm.


Question to Ponder
How does remembering that Jesus, the ruler of creation, cares for you encourage your heart and your faith today?

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