Matthew Chapter 13
It's evident from verses 1-2 that Jesus is still at the Sea of Galilee. You might want to build the house of which He exits and later enters. You might want to discuss whose house it could be. Review where each of the disciples lived and pick one.
Verses 3-9; 18-32; 36-43
In these verses Jesus uses a lot of parables. Look up the definition of a parable together. After the lessons in Chapter 13 have each child and adult make up their own parable. At the next study time have everyone take turns reading his or hers aloud. Instruct each person to think carefully of what they want others to learn and remember from the story. Verses 44-53 give some ideas to help them.
Also in these verses Jesus discusses sowing and harvesting. Gardens and flowerbeds or fields with various plants are great places to teach this lesson. Look for plants growing in good soil, on rocks, among thorns and discuss what happens when you just throw seeds out without working the land or covering the grass seed with straw---the birds comes and eat the seed before it can grow. Afterward discuss verses 19-23 where Jesus is talking about God's Word being the seed and that the garden being planted is peoples lives.
In verses 24-30, you might want to find plants mixed with weeds. Pull on a weed close to a plant and show the children how the dirt loosens up also by the good plant. Explain that if you keep pulling the good plant will come out also.
In verse 16-17, explain how that Abraham, Moses, David, Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah and many others who foretold about Jesus longed to see and know the things we know today. They prophesied, or foretold it and we get to see those prophecies come true.
Several Bibles review the prophecies of Jesus' coming and their fulfillment's. Review these together. Also explain that we are like the prophets of old in that as they looked for Jesus first coming, we are looking for His return.
Jesus returns to Nazareth from the Sea of Galilee. Based on which disciple's home you used at the beginning of this lesson, figure the miles from there to Nazareth and again, how many days did it take? Jesus teaches in a Synagogue, is there one made yet for your live map?
In these verses we learn Jesus has brothers and sisters. The brothers are named whereas the sisters are not. Using an encyclopedia or "Who's who in the Bible" look up each brother and see what you can learn about them. Here are some other verses to help you as well: Matthew 27:5,6; Mark14:40; John 7:1-13.
This chapter starts in Jerusalem with Herod, the tetrarch (a ruler over a fourth of a kingdom), then switches back to Jesus. Now where was Jesus last in Chapter 13?
Read verses 13-21. Jesus hears about John, goes by boat to a deserted place by Himself. Later the people follow him. In verse 19 we see there is grass at this place. Then Jesus tells the disciples to leave in a boat while He goes to a mountain to pray:
When Jesus leaves in a boat. Leaving from Nazareth, do you think He went on the River Kishon near Mount Carmel, the River Jezreel, which is near Mount Tabor or the Sea of Galilee near the Mount of Beatitudes?
Study the maps from the previous lesson. Study the nearby towns and surrounding areas. The Golan Heights is a deserted area. Many mountainous areas are deserted. We already know thousands of people can gather at the Mount of Beatitudes. (Without looking at our first map, do you remember where the Mt. Of Beatitudes is located?)
If you read verses 22 to 36 you can make a more logical decision:
1. In verse 24, the boat was where?
2. In verse 34, they crossed over to where?
3. So if they went south they must have been? (opposite)
4. Two of the areas mentioned above in that direction are deserted; which one has a mountain? (verse 23)
5. What is your conclusionwhere did Jesus go after leaving Nazareth?
In verses 1-12 we get an idea of the world Jesus lived in. It was a violent one. In the readings of Josephus, a historian of those times, one can see that the rulers of those days were wicked and vile. With all the violence around us today, the world can become a scary place. Here we see that Jesus can understand what we're dealing with today. How did Jesus handle the stress and anguish of His times? He went to a quiet place to pray (vs. 23). He did not have a home of His own, or His own room, Jesus went to the mountain. Here He shows us the best way to handle stress and heartache, by being alone in prayer with God.
We read verses 13-21 during our Map Work. Without looking back answer these questions:
1. Who followed Jesus to His deserted place?
2. When the hour was late what did the disciples want to do about the people?
3. How many loaves and fishes did the disciples say they had?
4. What did Jesus do before distributing the food?
5. After everyone ate how many baskets full of fragments did the disciples gather?
6. How many people had eaten this meal?
In verses 22-33 we learn about Jesus walking on the water. This truly was a fantastic miracle, but there is one part of this story I've always treasured. In verse 29, Peter tries to walk out to Jesus. He makes the mistake of taking his eyes off Jesus, looks at the situation around him, and sinks. Jesus gets frustrated with him because of his lack of faith.
I, too, like Peter have had the lack of faith to trust Jesus to handle my situations at times. I would get mad at myself for it and feel like a failure, then I'd remember Peter and the other disciples. They were human just like me. They made mistakes, yet Jesus loved them anyway just like He loves you. Despite their shortcomings, He put them in charge of His church. That gives me hope, how about you?
Nazareth was where Jesus was last in Chapter 13.
1. Middle of the sea
4. Mount of Beatitudes and the Golan Heights.
5. Mount of Beatitudes (my conclusion)
1. A great multitude 2. Send the people away 3. Five loaves and Two Fish 4. Looked up to Heaven, blessed and broke the bread 5. Twelve 6. 5,000 men, plus the woman and children