Lisa Pham. Big Idea. Action Plan. Bible Verse. Materials. Connecting You to Jesus. Dear Teacher,

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1 The Gerasene Man Spring Lesson 10 Luke 8:26-39 Dear Teacher, Have you ever driven down the street and realized that you ve passed your destination? If you re like me, in trying to get going the right way, you ve seen plenty of No U-turn signs and ended up having to make even more unnecessary turns! I m sure glad that God allows U-turns in our relationship with Him. We might find ourselves on a path that makes us think, How in the world did I get here?! That is when we can go to God and ask Him to show us the way back to Him. The demon-possessed man in Luke 8 definitely needed to make a U-turn in his life. Jesus was the only One who could make that happen and He did! Print the words of Isaiah 54:10 on a note card and post it where you will see it often. Remember that no matter what the situation is, God s love for us will not be shaken. Lisa Pham Contributing Editor Action Plan Plan ways to remember God s love when I am afraid. Bible Verse Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken. Isaiah 54:10 Connecting You to Jesus When Jesus freed the demon-possessed man, He showed the Gerasene people that He is the Son of God! The demons, however, already KNEW who Jesus was! As soon as Jesus spoke, the demons called Him the Son of the Most High God and begged at His feet (Luke 8:28). When Jesus commanded the demons to leave the man, they HAD to obey. Not even Jesus enemies can deny WHO He is the Son of God! The Police Icebreaker two Bible Story Materials basics (see contents) badge small objects (beanbag, ball, etc.) Verse two large bedsheets, soft ball props (see p. 100) 97

2 Opening Music As children come into the large-group area, play Merciful Jesus (on Media DVD or track 4 on Worship CD). Lead children in singing and doing motions (see Song Motion Chart on p. 142). Jesus is merciful and kind. He loves us more than we will ever understand. I m glad that Jesus wants us to be in His family! Icebreaker Raise your hand if you have ever played the game Hot Potato. Let s see what happens when we have TWO objects to pass. Students stand in a large circle. Give each of two students an object to hold. When you start music, students pass objects to the person on their left. When you stop music, students holding the two objects trade places. For groups larger than 25 students, add more objects so that all kids get a turn to trade places. In this game, when you get the potato, you want to quickly get rid of it, right? In today s story, there was a man who had something only Jesus could help him get rid of. Bible Verse (10 minutes) Before class, gather two large bedsheets and a soft ball. There are lots of things that can scare people or make them afraid. Parents fighting, a bully picking on you or breaking a bone are all things that could scare a kid your age. Let s read a verse that s great to remember when we feel worried or afraid. Open your Bible to Isaiah 54:10 and read it aloud. Isaiah 54:10 tells us that even when things get scary, we can remember that God s love for us will never fail. Divide group into two teams. Give each team a sheet. Teams hold onto the edges of their sheets as you place a ball in the center of one sheet. Teams say the verse together and then team with the ball tosses it to the other team by making large waves with their sheet. Teams repeat the verse before tossing the ball back. Continue play for several minutes. Great job to both of the teams! Was that easy or hard? When we feel afraid, it s easy to always with us! TIP Greet kids as they arrive, and ask, What cheers you up when you re feeling sad or afraid? Playlist Merciful Jesus The Kingdom of God This Is How We Know All for Jesus Tip Students may need help bouncing the ball from one sheet to the other. Invite at least one small-group leader to be on each team to help give guidance. 98

3 Optional Game Ahead of time, blow up five balloons. Spring Lesson 10 Have you ever tried to do something challenging that you could have used help with? Today we re going to start out with a difficult challenge. Who would like to try our challenge? Choose one volunteer to attempt to keep five balloons in the air for 30 seconds. As soon as one balloon falls, pick it up and throw it back in the air, and add another volunteer to help keep the balloons in the air. Continue adding volunteers until the students working together can keep the balloons in the air for 30 seconds. Ask the first volunteer, How hard was it to keep all the balloons in the air when you were by yourself? How about when more students helped you? Allow volunteer to respond. Sometimes we need other people to help us when we don t know what to do. In today s story, we will hear about a man who really, REALLY needed Jesus help! Music (15 minutes) In the song The Kingdom of God, we are reminded that God hears all our prayers. It is comforting to know that when I get scared, I can talk to God and know that He is always listening. Lead children in singing and doing motions for I Will Trust in You (on Media DVD or track 3 on Worship CD; see Song Motion Chart on p. 141). One way we can understand how much Jesus loves us is by reading stories about Him in the Bible. Lead students in singing and doing motions for This Is How We Know (on Media DVD or track 5 on Worship CD; see Song Motion Chart on p. 143). Let s sing a song telling Jesus how much we love Him and how we want to give Him our all. Lead students in singing and doing motions for All for Jesus (on Media DVD or track 1 on Worship CD; see Song Motion Chart on p. 139). Story Starter What are you afraid of? Students respond. We don t need to live our lives in fear, because God is always with us and He is powerful. Lesson 10: Some May Fear on Media DVD. In our story today, we re going to find out about how Jesus showed God s power! 99

4 The Gerasene Man (15 minutes) Luke 8:26-39 STORYTELLING IDEA Show Story Slides 1-6 on PowerPoint (on Media DVD) as directed throughout story. Point to students to make ding sound when it is time to change the picture. A Wild Welcome Jesus and His disciples sailed across the Sea of Galilee to an area called the region of the Gerasenes. Point to students. ( DING. ) Show Story Slide 1. Just as Jesus was getting out of the boat, a very SCARY man came running up to Him. This man didn t wear any clothes. He ran through the countryside and lived in caves that were also tombs. The man fell down on the ground at Jesus feet. This man was controlled by demons, or evil spirits! This means that the evils spirits had power over the things he said and did. The evil spirits were so strong that when people tried to chain the man and guard him, the man would break the chains and run away from everyone. Tip Invite a volunteer to read aloud the definition of the word demon on page 300 in What the Bible Is All About for Kids. The evil spirits worked for Satan, God s enemy. The Bible tells us that evil spirits are VERY dangerous. They can cause terrible suffering. BUT there s one very important thing to remember: Jesus is MUCH more powerful than ANY evil spirit! What s Your Name? Jesus wasn t afraid of the man s appearance or his actions. And He was NOT afraid of evil spirits! But the evil spirits were afraid of JESUS! They knew Jesus was MUCH stronger than they were! Jesus commanded the evil spirits to leave the man. The man exclaimed, Jesus, Son of God! Don t hurt me! Why have you come? What do you want with me? Point to students. ( DING. ) Show Story Slide 2. But it was actually the evil spirits talking. Even THEY knew that Jesus was the Son of God, and they were TERRIFIED! Jesus asked the man, What is your name? The evil spirits answered for the man again. Legion! they said, because there were a LOT of them in this man. The evil spirits BEGGED Jesus not to send them far, Gospel Light. Permission to photocopy granted to original purchaser only. Elementary Large Group Leader Guide

5 far away. They knew that Jesus could do anything with them that He wanted to! The evil spirits finally asked Jesus to send them into a large herd of pigs that was grazing on a nearby hillside. And that s exactly what Jesus did! So the evil spirits left the man and went into the pigs. As soon as that happened, the herd of pigs went CRASHING down the side of a steep hill. They ran straight into the water. All the pigs were DROWNED! Point to students. ( DING. ) Show Story Slide 3. I m Free! The people who were tending the pigs were shocked! When they saw the pigs stampede down into the water, they ran through the countryside to tell people what they had seen! Soon people came from all over to see for themselves what had happened. When they got to where Jesus and His disciples were, the people saw something NONE of them had ever expected to see! There was the man from the tombs sitting at Jesus feet EXCEPT the man was now dressed. He was acting normally! He was thinking clearly! And he was talking to Jesus! Point to students. ( DING. ) Show Story Slide 4. Tip Guide students to open their Bibles to Luke 8:38-39 and follow along as you read what the man wanted to do and what Jesus told him to do instead. This was great, RIGHT?! But instead of being excited and happy about what had just happened to the man, the people were AFRAID! In fact, they were so afraid that they asked Jesus to leave. So Jesus and His disciples got back into their boat and prepared to leave. But before Jesus could sail away, the man Jesus had set free had something to ask Jesus. Please, the man begged Jesus, let me come with You! Point to students. ( DING. ) Show Story Slide 5. But Jesus had other plans for the man. Jesus told the man to go back home and tell others what God had done for him. You have been set free from the evil spirits that caused you so much trouble and pain, Jesus said. Go and tell others what has happened! Tell them how God has helped you! The man did EXACTLY what Jesus told him to do. He went back to the town and told everyone what had happened. He told everyone who would listen that Jesus had set him free! 2013 Gospel Light. Permission to photocopy granted to original purchaser only. Elementary Large Group Leader Guide 101

6 Wrap-Up The evil spirits in today s story made a lot of people afraid. But Jesus love is much more powerful than evil spirits or anything else that can frighten people! Even when we feel like there is no one to help us, Jesus promises to be with us. Knowing that He loves us helps us not to be afraid! God s love is bigger and stronger than any fear. Read aloud Isaiah 54:10. Because God loves us, we can trust Him to give us peace when we re afraid and to show us what to do! Show police badge. Police officers help us by protecting us and making sure we re safe. But God takes care of us so much MORE, because His LOVE is stronger than any police officer and stronger than ANYTHING! We can t see God, but we can know that He will keep His promise to always love us! Connecting Kids to Jesus When Jesus set free the man who had evil spirits, He showed the people in that area that He is the Son of God! The evil spirits, of course, already KNEW who Jesus was. They called Him the Son of the Most High God! When Jesus told the evil spirits to leave the man, they HAD to obey. Even Jesus enemies have to admit WHO He is the Son of God! Prayer There are times when all of us feel afraid and need to remember that Jesus loves us and is with us. Think about what frightens you. Pause for kids to think. Then pray, Dear God, thank You for always loving us and being with us wherever we go. I m glad that You are stronger than anything that we might be afraid of. We love You! In Jesus name, amen. Dismiss to Small Groups We ve been talking about the power and love of Jesus. As you go to your small groups, think about times when you could use a reminder that Jesus is with you and loves you. When we get into our small groups, we will plan ways to remember God s love for us this week. 102

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