miracles of jesus 1. LEADER PREPARATION

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1 miracles of jesus Week 2: Jesus Calms the Sea This includes: 1. Leader Preparation 2. Lesson Guide 1. LEADER PREPARATION LESSON OVERVIEW In this week s study, we look at the power of Jesus. A journey across the Sea of Galilee becomes an opportunity for Jesus to show he has the authority to control nature. This is amazing, but it shouldn t be a surprise, because Jesus is the Word who gave life to all creation. As finite and fallible people, when we feel out of control, we can turn to Jesus for strength. LESSON OBJECTIVES 1. WHAT: Even though we can t control everything in our own lives, Jesus is in control. 2. WHY: The teenage years are filled with crazy, stormy times, and a teenager s natural reaction in these situations might be fear but God is there to provide a rescue in difficult moments. 3. HOW: Students will be encouraged to choose faith in Jesus instead of fear from harm. PRIMARY SCRIPTURE Mark 4:35-41 SECONDARY SCRIPTUREs Psalm 91 and John 1:1-5 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 small group lesson. Read Mark 4: The story of Jesus calming the sea in Mark 4 has a happy ending but only after the disciples endured some chaotic, stressful, and scary moments. The disciples, who d only been following Jesus for a little while, already had seen miraculous healings.

2 They knew that Jesus was from God, but they were still sometimes confused by his parables (see verses 33-34). It had been a long day of teaching, and Jesus and his disciples were looking for an escape from the crowds. So they climbed onto a boat and headed toward the other side of the Sea of Galilee. But things didn t go as planned. A storm arose, the winds intensified, and it seemed as if this group was in some life-threatening trouble. For seasoned fishermen to be so afraid of a storm meant that it was bad. Jesus, however, used this opportunity to display his power. The disciples were terrified because they had no control over what was happening, so Jesus revealed that he was even more powerful than the scariest of storms. Teenagers lives are filled with all kinds of drama. Adults listening to the stories sometimes trivialize the nature of these experiences, but when you re in the thick of it and trying to navigate the mucky waters of the teenage years, the storms feel just as real and significant as the storm the disciples faced that night. Your students may or may not articulate the areas of life that are spinning out of control, but it s happening now. And it will continue happening. The betrayal by a friend or loss of a boyfriend/girlfriend feels just as painful to a teenager as losing a job or going deep into credit card debt feels for an adult. Remind your students that the skies never clear permanently, but Jesus is always there to calm the seas and ultimately God is in control. During this week s lesson, consider sharing a story from your own life when things seemed to be spinning out of control. Explain to your teenagers what led up to the storm, what it felt like to be in the middle of the storm, and how Jesus acted to calm the wind and the seas in your own life. 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. What storm is flaring up today? Have you prayed about it? Join us for small group tonight.

3 Got any storms right now that need Jesus help? Let s talk about it 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, We finished our second week in the small group series on miracles Jesus performed. This time we traveled with Jesus and his disciples onto the Sea of Galilee in the middle of a storm and discovered how Jesus was able to control the wind and the waves. Teenagers face plenty of their own storms in life. Sometimes the storms make little or no sense to us as adults, but we recognize that the emotions and feelings are genuine for our students. I d encourage you to find time this week to talk with your teenager about life s tough times, especially if your student is experiencing some difficulties right now. Here are some questions you could incorporate into your conversation: Imagine if you were in a life-threatening situation and Jesus was with you but was sleeping. How might you respond, and what might you say to him? Why are the teenage years filled with such drama and so many crises? When was the last time you felt a sense of awe and wonder at God s power? Consider talking with your teenager about a time in your own life when everything felt out of control like the ship was going to sink. Your student may be surprised to hear about such a story from your own past, but it could be a powerful way to talk about how God is in control of everything, and that God cares for us and wants us to trust in him during these storms. Thank you for the privilege of having your teenager in our small group ministry!

4 miracles of jesus Week 2: Jesus Calms the Sea 2. LEsson guide GETTING THINGS STARTED [optional] Before your small group meets, buy some inexpensive tops for your students the kind that you spin and release on a flat surface to go in all directions. You will be giving the tops to your teenagers at the end of your lesson this week. You ll also want some permanent markers for the final part of this activity, in your closing minutes. As you begin your small group, welcome your students and invite them into your meeting area. Open in prayer, and then SAY SOMETHING LIKE: We re going to start off this week with a few minutes of silliness. I want each one of you to take a top and spin it see if you can hit these targets or make them go off the table or spin all over the room. After you ve given your teenagers a few minutes to use the tops, Could you do anything to make the tops go in specific directions or hit specific spots? What was your strategy for getting them to go where you wanted them to go? What obstacles or challenges did you encounter? Has your life ever felt like that when you thought things were going one way but then life seemed to spin in a completely different direction, making you feel a little out of control? How did that experience make you feel? Did you enjoy the unknown, or did you wish that you d had more control? SAY SOMETHING LIKE: I think most of us go through times when life feels out of control. That s the bad news. The good news is that Jesus is always there to protect us during life s storms. He s not just with us; he has ABSOLUTE CONTROL and will care for us. Today s lesson looks at a biblical story with people in a situation that seemed out of control but Jesus did a miracle in the middle of this experience to show that he was in control and that he cared enough about people to do something. 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

5 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) Realize that the storms will come, (2) Recognize that Jesus is bigger than the storms, and (3) Choose faith instead of fear. 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 4:35-41 together as a group. Consider allowing one or more of the teenagers to read the text. SAY SOMETHING LIKE: Let s look more closely at this story from Mark 4 and see how a disaster became a miracle. 1. Realize that the storms will come SAY SOMETHING LIKE: During all the chaos of the storm, Jesus was at the back of the boat sleeping on a cushion or pillow. All hands on deck was the theme of the night, but Jesus was resting. He wasn t bothered by the chaos and simply slept through it. The Bible calls Jesus the Prince of Peace, and he experienced peace in the middle of this difficult experience. The disciples had been traveling with Jesus for a while and had seen him heal and minister to many people. What do you think the disciples might have been thinking about Jesus as he was sleeping? Imagine if you were in a life-threatening situation and Jesus was with you but was sleeping. How might you respond, and what might you say to him? What experiences in your life feel similar to what the disciples faced out there on the water? Do you find peace during tough times, or do you tend to focus on the risk, threat, and danger? Why do you respond that way?

6 2. Recognize that Jesus is bigger than the storms Why didn t Jesus act right away? Did he just not care about his disciples? Explain. Several disciples were seasoned fishermen. They d seen a lot of storms and they d dealt with bad weather in the past. Why do you think the disciples were so scared? The disciples seemed to expect Jesus to do something, but they weren t quite sure what that something was. Everyone on the boat was working hard to save it from sinking, and they wanted Jesus to help. What do you think they expected him to do? Think about the last time you asked for God s help in the middle of a storm. Were you really willing to let God be God, or did you have a prescribed plan for how God should act? What did you learn through that experience? SAY SOMETHING LIKE: The disciples were trying to save the boat, doing all they knew to stop it from tipping over or sinking during the storm. Everyone was helping, but it seemed to do no good. They were frustrated. Why don t you care? they asked Jesus. To put it another way, it might have felt as if firefighters were napping or taking a coffee break during a house fire. Having seen Jesus perform all kinds of miracles, the disciples asked what he was going to do and if he cared. What he did surprised them all. 3. Choose faith instead of fear In your opinion, what s the difference between faith and fear? Why were the disciples filled with such awe after Jesus calmed the storm? What other emotions do you think the disciples experienced after Jesus calmed the storm? SAY SOMETHING LIKE: After Jesus rebuked the seas and calmed the storm, the disciples were in awe but they also seemed to be a little confused. They weren t sure what kind of person had this sort of power. Sure, they had seen Jesus perform miracles, but this time he changed the course of nature. Being fishermen, they were accustomed to dealing with harsh storms and probably knew people who had died in them. Jesus changed the rules. He shocked them with his authority over the wind and sea, and they weren t quite sure how to process this experience.

7 When was the last time you felt a sense of awe and wonder at God s power? Tell us about that experience. Why do we sometimes forget how truly awesome God is? When has Jesus stepped in and helped when your life felt like it was spinning out of control? ADDITIONAL DISCUSSION [optional] Read John 1:1-5. How do these verses relate to our story in Mark? [NOTE: Jesus was there at the creation of the universe and remains involved in the world today.] APPLICATION Bring out the tops again. Ask each student to spin his or her top, and if comfortable doing so, have each student share something in life that feels out of control, like the seas described in this story. After this conversation or in place of it pair up each student with another person in the group for these questions. If an outside, objective observer examined your life, what evidence or signs would indicate that you were trusting God right now or that you were struggling to trust God? Read Psalm 91 together. Which words in this psalm offer you the most encouragement or strength, and why? How might you incorporate this psalm into your prayers this week or prayers during an especially difficult time? Take a permanent marker and your top and find one meaningful word from either Psalm 91 or Mark 4. Write that word on your top and take it home this week as a reminder of how God is with you every day.

8 Think about your life right now. What tough situations or storms are you experiencing? How do you need God to work in your life today or this week? Pray for each other, that God would meet those needs. Bring everyone back together. Spend some time talking about the greatness of God and the deep awe we experience when we see miracles in our lives. If you have the resources available, spend some time in worship, choosing songs ahead of time that have words praising God s incredible power and faithfulness. SUMMARY End your small group lesson here. Provide your teenagers with a quick summary or take-home 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 verse below. The disciples were absolutely terrified. Who is this man? they asked each other. Even the wind and waves obey him! (Mark 4:41).

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