Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Bad Idea

A heart almost as beautiful as the heart of Jesus: this is a good little craft, if you like origami. Use the 6" by 6" squares in a cool and brightly colored design. Follow this link for instructions:

Continuing in the fourth chapter of Luke, Jesus has some trouble with the hometown crowd. They revile Him, accuse Him, and finally, caught up in their mass, ignorant frenzy, they are driven to attempt His murder. These are people He grew up with: the families of His boyhood playmates, the friends and customers of Joseph and Mary.  

Jesus, the best preacher ever, had had them in the palm of His hand. They were amazed at the beauty and authority of His words. Then came the bad idea. That is how every sin begins, with one bad idea. And ideas, good or bad, tend to sweep through crowds.

A Bad Idea

When Jesus got done whooping the devil in the wilderness, he went to his hometown. It was called Nazareth. That's where Jesus grew up, in Nazareth. He went to church like He ALWAYS did. They called it synagogue back then, but let's just call it church like we say today, okay? Jesus went to church to preach. 

The people of Nazareth were so excited to have Jesus back home. Jesus was the best preacher ever. He preached from the book of Isaiah in the Bible. It was this part:

"The Spirit of the Lord is in me. This is because God chose me to tell the Good News to the poor." (Luke 4:18 ICB see link at left) 

Then Jesus said, "This is happening right here and now!" What did Jesus mean, "This is happening right here and now?" What was happening right here and now? (they have no idea) The people of Nazareth understood what Jesus meant. When He said, "God chose me" Jesus meant HE was the Messiah Isaiah was writing about!  

But then something happened. Someone in the church got an idea. It was a BAD idea! The person said, "Wait a minute! This is only Jesus. We knew him when he was a small boy. He grew up in our town. Jesus is NOBODY SPECIAL!" (they are shocked) Then a few more people started saying the same thing, "Jesus is nobody special!" Pretty soon all the people in the church got the same bad idea. They were so mad at Jesus for saying He was God's Messiah.

The people were so mad, they started pushing Jesus right out the door of the church. Then they were pushing Him all the way out of town, right to the edge of a cliff! They wanted to push Jesus off the cliff and kill Him! What do you think Jesus did then? (they don't know) Do you think He blasted them with His awesome power? (they don't know) Maybe He sent plagues to Nazareth just like God sent plagues to Egypt long ago. Remember? God sent flies, frogs, blood, death, it was just awful. Do you think Jesus did that? No, He did not do any of those things. Jesus did not even get mad at them. He just walked right through them, and there was nothing they could do about it. Jesus walked through them and went on His way.

(Choose the oldest boy) OK Garrett, you pretend to be Jesus. Stand on the edge of the step with your back to the people. Everybody else come around and try to push Garrett off the step when I say so. Garrett, try your best to walk through them, okay? Ready, set, push! (Garrett tries to stay up, but goes down in the end with a great stage fall!) If Garrett couldn't get through a small group of kids, HOW did Jesus get through a big crowd of angry grown-ups? Jesus really has awesome power, doesn't He!

And He has awesome love. Jesus grew up in Nazareth, and He knew those people, and He loved those people, and He loves all of you, too. Jesus would never hurt anyone. 

I have a reminder for you. This heart will remind you of Jesus and His awesome love. Who loves you more than anybody? (jesus) Who? (Jesus) I can't hear you! (JESUS!) Yes, He sure does.

Bow heads, close eyes, fold hands.

Dear God,
The love of Jesus is wonderful.
He loves us even when we get a bad idea, even when we do something naughty.
He doesn't get mad.
Please make our bad ideas go away.
Please give us good ideas.
Please help us be good for Jesus.
In His name we pray,

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