A very unusual 12-year-old

Introduce kids to the Savior of sinners. This is a series of audio podcasts for kids who want to meet with Jesus by using Meeting with Jesus: A Bible Reading Plan for Kids (RHB). Listen to previous episodes here.

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Imagine you went camping with a lot of other families from your town. After a week or so, everyone packs up to return to your town. The kids are all mixed up: some are in their parents’ cars, some are in their friends’ cars, but they’re all heading to the same home town and everyone figures they’ll sort it out when they get back home.

But, when your family gets home, you’re not in anyone’s car. Your parents realize that you’re still at the campground many miles away. Understandably your parents are really worried and rush back to the campground and spend three days looking for you there. Imagine how they would feel for these three days. Probably by the end of it they would be sure you were dead or someone had taken you.

And what were you doing all this time? Probably swimming, playing volleyball, visiting the arcade, doing mini-golf, and so on. Eventually they find you playing spikeball with some new friends.

Something similar happened to Jesus. In Luke 2:41-46, we find him with a whole bunch of families that went up to Jerusalem for a religious holiday. They celebrated the Passover and then everyone got together to head home to Nazareth. But after three days of traveling, Joseph and Mary realized that Jesus wasn’t with them. He wasn’t with anyone. They rushed back to Jerusalem and after three days, they found him in in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions (Luke 2:46). What a relief for his parents. And what an unusual 12 year-old boy!

What does this tell us about Jesus?

JESUS LOVED THE CHURCH

  • Eight days of Passover
  • Three days in the Temple

JESUS LOVED PASTORS

  • He wasn’t with his peers
  • He sat among them

JESUS LOVED LEARNING

  • He listened
  • He questioned

JESUS LOVED HIS MISSION

  • He hadn’t come to play with friends
  • He came to save sinners

Let’s worship this 12-year-old boy and thank him for being so wonderfully unusual. And let’s be unusual kids too. Nothing wrong with playing, of course, but let’s remember it’s far more important to love the church, love our pastors, love learning, and love the mission God has given to us.


Listen to this episode on Living the Bible podcast. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Spotify.


Safety in a Scary World

Introduce kids to the Savior of sinners. This is a series of audio podcasts for kids who want to meet with Jesus by using Meeting with Jesus: A Bible Reading Plan for Kids (RHB). Listen to previous episodes here.

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We live in a dangerous world. There are natural dangers like hurricanes, and viruses. There are supernatural dangers like the devil and his angels. Sometimes it gets really scary, doesn’t it? We don’t feel safe do we? We feel weak and we feel helpless, don’t we?

But we can find great safety, strength, and confidence in Matthew 2:19-23.

JOSEPH PROTECTED HIS SON

  • Protected in Egypt (13-15)
  • Protected in Israel (19-21)
  • Protected in Nazareth (22-23)

GOD PROTECTED HIS SON

  • With an angel in a dream (13)
  • With an angel in a dream (19)
  • With a dream (22)

GOD PROTECTED HIS SONS AND DAUGHTERS

  • We needed Jesus to live for the present
  • We needed Jesus to die in the future

Ask and trust God to protect you in this dangerous world.


Listen to this episode on Living the Bible podcast. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Spotify.


Obey God rather than People

Introduce kids to the Savior of sinners. This is a series of audio podcasts for kids who want to meet with Jesus by using Meeting with Jesus: A Bible Reading Plan for Kids (RHB). Listen to previous episodes here.

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What do you do when someone tells you to do what God has commanded you not to do? Perhaps someone tells you to steal something, or tell a lie, or hurt someone. You know it’s wrong but what will you do? Will you obey God or obey the person?

Sometimes it’s a hard decision because the person might be someone you want to be friends with, or maybe you’re scared of them, or you want to impress them.

Let’s see what the wise men did when Herod the King commanded them to do something really bad in Matthew 2:7-12. He commanded them to tell him where baby Jesus was, because he wanted to murder him.

GOD TESTS OUR OBEDIENCE

  • A king’s authority: Herod the king was very powerful. When he told anyone to do anything, they did it.
  • A king’s trick: Herod told the wise men to tell him where they found Jesus so that they could worship him too. But he really wanted to kill him. It was all a trick.

What will the wise men do? This king is very powerful and very clever. Will they obey him and help him kill Jesus, or will they obey God and protect Jesus? God is testing their obedience.

But God doesn’t just test our obedience, he also encourages it. How does he do that here?

GOD ENCOURAGES OUR OBEDIENCE

  • With a star (9): He sends a star to lead them to Jesus
  • With joy (10): He gives them great joy in Jesus
  • With worship (11): He helps them worship baby Jesus and give him gifts.
  • With a dream (12): He guides them in a dream not to return to Herod.

What did they do? God tested their obedience and encouraged their obedience. They obeyed God rather than Herod.

No matter who the person is, we must always obey God rather than anyone else. When God tests our obedience, remember God also encourages our obedience with his Word and his providence, with joy in Jesus and with worship of Jesus.


Listen to this episode on Living the Bible podcast. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Spotify.


Jesus Goes Small to Make Tall

Introduce kids to the Savior of sinners. This is a series of audio podcasts for kids who want to meet with Jesus by using Meeting with Jesus: A Bible Reading Plan for Kids (RHB). Listen to previous episodes here.

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Do you ever feel small and forgotten? You may be actually quite tall but still no one notices you or pays attention to you? You get overlooked, or worse, put down. Not a nice feeling is it? It takes away your confidence. It makes you fell worthless and hopeless. Is this what my life is going to be like?

There was once a town that felt very like how you feel. Its name was Bethlehem and it was forgotten, overlooked, put-down. It was one of the smallest places in Israel, always in the shadow of it’s big brother, Jerusalem. But where did Jesus choose to be born? Our reading today in Matthew 2:1-6, told us it wasn’t big Jerusalem but small Bethlehem.

He chose small rather than tall. But he chose small to make tall, and that gives hope to all small people everywhere. Let’s read Matthew 2:6  and then take away two encouraging lessons.

“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”

Jesus goes small

  • Bethlehem had a small population
  • Bethlehem had a small reputation
  • Bethlehem had a small future

Jesus makes tall

  • Bethlehem will have a big population
  • Bethlehem will have a big fame
  • Bethlehem will have a big future

Here’s hope for all the small. Jesus goes small to make tall.


Listen to this episode on Living the Bible podcast. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Spotify.


What’s the Point in the Old Testament?

Have you ever wondered, “What’s the point of all the sacrifices, ceremonies, rituals, washings, etc., in the Old Testament? In fact, have you ever wondered, “What’s the point in the Old Testament?” Can’t we just go straight to the New Testament and ignore and forget the Old Testament?

Jesus’s first visit to church in Luke 2:21-24, helps us understand the Old Testament and its relationship to the New Testament. It helps us to see the important connection between Jesus and the ceremonies, sacrifices, washings, and rituals.

In fact, I’ll go further and say that you will never fully understand the person and work of Christ if you don’t understand the Old Testament. The result of this disconnect will be weaker faith, love, and worship.

The first time Jesus went to church, aged 5-6 weeks, he effectively preached a sermon about his relationship with the Old Testament. Let’s hear his first “sermon” in order to increase our faith, love, and worship of Christ.

Read the rest in my sermon notes here.


Encourage a Senior Today

Introduce kids to the Savior of sinners. This is a series of audio podcasts for kids who want to meet with Jesus by using Meeting with Jesus: A Bible Reading Plan for Kids (RHB). Listen to previous episodes here.

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Yesterday we talked about how our society and even the church divide people up too much based on their age. When this happens:

  • The young do not love or learn from the old
  • The old are not encouraged and enlivened by the young

Yesterday, God’s Word encouraged us to learn from the old. Today in Luke 2:36-40, I want you to see how you can encourage the older members of your family or church. Anna was very old, somewhere between 84 and 105. But she was still serving God and speaking of God.

SENIORS CAN STILL SERVE GOD (37)

  • Anna served by worshipping
  • Anna served by fasting
  • Anna served by praying

SENIORS CAN STILL SPEAK OF GOD (38)

  • Anna expressed thanks to God
  • Anna explained the salvation of God

So why not share this story with your grandma or grandpa today. They might feel useless in their old age. But they can still serve God like Anna did and still speak of God like Anna did.


Listen to this episode on Living the Bible podcast. You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and Spotify.