THE LIFE OF JESUS: THE THINGS THAT HE DID Week 2: Jesus Performed Incredible Miracles 1. LEADER PREPARATION

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1 This includes: 1. Leader Preparation 2. Lesson Guide THE LIFE OF JESUS: THE THINGS THAT HE DID Week 2: Jesus Performed Incredible Miracles 1. LEADER PREPARATION LESSON OVERVIEW Jesus demonstrated his authority and power in many ways. In our previous lesson, we saw how Jesus healed the sick. This week, we examine how he miraculously fed thousands of people using just five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus miracles were seen as signs evidence that God was trying to communicate something. The miraculous feeding demonstrated that natural limitations don t constrain Jesus, and that nothing in our lives is too big or too small for God s help. LESSON OBJECTIVES 1. WHAT: Jesus has authority and power over the things we see as limitations. 2. WHY: God has the power to help us today with situations that seem too big to overcome and with things that seem too small for God to care. 3. HOW: Students will be encouraged to recognize Jesus power and ability to meet the biggest needs in life and the daily challenges they face, too. PRIMARY SCRIPTURE Mark 6:30-44 SECONDARY SCRIPTURES Matthew 14:22-33 and John 2:1-11 TEACHING PREP The short overview below is designed to help you prepare for your lesson. While you may not want to convey this information word-for-word with your teenagers, you ll definitely want to refer to it as you lead your lesson. Read Mark 6: This passage presents a familiar story from the Gospels: Jesus miraculous feeding of more than 5,000 people. As you read through these verses, you discover that huge crowds followed Jesus wherever he went, Jesus was concerned with people s everyday needs, and his disciples frequently struggled to recognize his ability to perform all kinds of miracles. In verse 31, we learn that Jesus and his disciples were so overwhelmed by the crowds that they often weren t able to eat. Yet when faced with this opportunity to teach, Jesus seized it and he apparently taught for hours that day because eventually, his disciples realized it was late in the day and people were getting hungry. In this account, we aren t told how or where the disciples found the five loaves of bread and two fish. Matthew 14 and Luke 9, in their parallel passages, don t reveal the source either, but John 6 tells about a young boy who willingly offered his food. We encourage you to avoid spending much time exploring that aspect of the story; our focus in this lesson is on Jesus ability to perform miracles, not our willingness to sacrifice or give. Regardless of how

2 and where Jesus got the food, he was able to multiply it and feed 5,000 men plus women and children. This week s teaching points are drawn from this one passage, but we encourage you to use some of the Additional Discussion content to explore other miracles that Jesus performed. THE BEFORE & AFTER [optional] Text Message Questions We ve provided a couple of different text message questions to send out to your students prior to your meeting. Feel free to use one or both of the questions below. As with the rest of the curriculum, edit these questions to fit the needs of your ministry. Have you fed thousands of people lately? Me neither. But Jesus did it. Come to small group tonight to learn more. Facing some challenges that feel overwhelming? Looking for help from God? We ll find some answers tonight at small group. Parent We ve provided you with an below that you can send to your parents following the lesson. Our hope is to encourage parents to continue the conversation at home. Feel free to edit and customize the to fit your ministry needs. Dear parents, Our small groups have finished their two-week series on things Jesus did specifically, different kinds of miracles he performed. In this second lesson, we examined the feeding of the 5,000 from Mark 6. This passage reveals that huge crowds followed Jesus wherever he went, Jesus was concerned with people s everyday needs, and his disciples frequently struggled to recognize his ability to perform all kinds of miracles. We saw that Jesus and his disciples were so overwhelmed by the crowds that they often weren t able to eat. Yet when faced with this opportunity to teach, Jesus seized it and he apparently taught for hours that day because eventually, his disciples realized it was late in the day and people were getting hungry. Jesus miracles were seen as signs evidence that God was trying to communicate something. The miraculous feeding demonstrated that natural limitations don t constrain Jesus, and that nothing in our lives is too big or too small for God s help. I d encourage you to find time this week to talk with your teenager about our lesson. Here are some questions you might want to include in your conversation: If you were one of Jesus disciples, what would you have said if he had told you to feed that crowd of thousands? How would you have reacted? Why do you think Jesus performed so many miracles? How would you describe your level of trust in Jesus right now? Do you find it difficult to trust him during tough situations? What steps might you take to grow in your trust and faith this week? Have a blessed week!

3 THE LIFE OF JESUS: THE THINGS THAT HE DID Week 2: Jesus Performed Incredible Miracles 2. LESSON GUIDE GETTING THINGS STARTED [optional] Welcome your students and invite them into your meeting area. Open in prayer, and then One of these days you ll have a driver s license. What would it be like to try navigating roads and highways if there weren t any signs? Besides signs on our roads, what are some other helpful signs that would be sorely missed if they were removed? On the simplest level, what is the purpose of a sign? SAY SOMETHING LIKE: A sign is designed to point us in the right direction or provide clear instructions. In the Gospels the first four books of the New Testament we see the word sign used a lot. Jesus miracles were seen as signs evidence that God was trying to communicate something. In our previous lesson, we talked about healings Jesus performed, and as we read today about more miracles, let s pay special attention to the bigger truths that they are guiding us toward. If you came up with an opening activity, movie clip, or game that worked well with your group, and you d like to share it with other youth workers, please us at TEACHING POINTS The goal of the Teaching Points is to help students capture the essence of each lesson with more discussion and less lecture-style teaching. The main points we have chosen here are (1) Natural limitations don t limit Jesus, and (2) Nothing is too big or too small for Jesus. Remember: All throughout these lessons, it s up to you to choose (1) how many questions you use, and (2) the wording of the main points keep ours, or change the wording to make it clearer for your audience. Read Mark 6:30-44 together as a group. Consider allowing one or more of the teenagers to read the text. SAY SOMETHING LIKE: Let s spend a few minutes discovering what we can learn from this miracle that Jesus performed. 1. Natural limitations don t limit Jesus SAY SOMETHING LIKE: Jesus wasn t just a man he was God in human form. The things that limit us humans don t limit God. So, Jesus could multiply fish and bread to feed thousands of people and still have leftovers. How many miracles occur in this story? What s the biggest miracle in this story?

4 In verse 37, Jesus tells his disciples to feed the crowd. If you were one of his disciples, what would you have said? How would you have reacted? In our previous lesson, we talked about Jesus healing miracles, and this week we re looking at other miracles Jesus performed. Why do you think Jesus performed so many miracles? Why do you think the writers of the Gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John wrote about so many of his miracles? What are some limitations that keep teenagers from pursuing lives that honor God or follow God s purposes? How do you think Jesus feels about these limitations? 2. Nothing is too big or too small for Jesus Imagine being part of the crowd that day before Jesus performs his miracle. Why stay around and listen to Jesus if you re really, really hungry? Why not just leave and go get some food? Why did Jesus care that the people were hungry? How do you think people in the crowd felt after eating this miraculous meal? Verse 43 says that at the end of the day, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish. Why do you think Jesus did so much multiplying that there were leftovers? SAY SOMETHING LIKE: It s interesting to read in verse 34 that Jesus had compassion on the people just like he had compassion on the people who were sick and needed healing, as we talked about in our previous lesson. Jesus cares about all the details of your life. Nothing is too small or insignificant and nothing is too big for him to handle. ADDITIONAL DISCUSSION [optional] Read John 2:1-11. Why do you think this miracle made such an impression on people? Verse 11 says this event was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. How and why do miracles reveal God s glory? Jesus turned water into wine but what are other ways he might have performed this miracle? If God isn t limited to performing miracles in just one way, what does that say about God? Read Matthew 14: Why is it so miraculous that Jesus walked on water? What do you think it feels like to walk on water? In this story, Peter was able to walk on water, too. What does that tell you about some of the miracles Jesus performed in the Bible? Can God also use us to perform similar miracles? Explain. If Jesus walking on water was the first miracle, and if Peter walking on water was the second miracle, then verse 32 reveals a third miracle in this story. What was this third miracle, and why was it so, well, miraculous? [NOTE: Jesus made the wind stop as soon as he was in the boat.]

5 People often say that Jesus miracles were signs evidence that God was trying to communicate something. What do you think God was communicating through the miracles of walking on water and turning water into wine? APPLICATION Ask each student to find a partner for these questions. What challenge are you facing right now that seems too big for God or seems too small for him to care? What are some of the ways that you need Jesus to protect and provide for you? How can I pray for you in this area? How would you describe your level of trust in Jesus right now? Do you find it difficult to trust him during tough situations? What steps might you take to grow in your trust and faith this week? SUMMARY End your small group lesson here. Provide your teenagers with a quick summary or takehome challenge based on (1) the content of this lesson, (2) the dialogue that took place during the lesson, (3) your understanding of the issues and struggles your teenagers are facing, and (4) the big picture of your youth ministry and what your leadership team wants accomplished with the teaching and discussion time. FOR KEEPS [MEMORY VERSE] Encourage and/or challenge your teenagers to memorize the verses below. They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover bread and fish (Mark 6:42-43).

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