|Theme:||The disciples go "back to school" with Jesus. - Proper 16 (21)|
|Object:||School supplies, books, or other school-related objects.|
|Scripture:||Then he asked them, "Who do you say I am?" Simon Peter answered, "You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God." Matthew 16:15-16 (NIV)|
It's back to school time again! Some of you are probably feeling excited. Some of you may be a little sad that summer is over. You may feel nervous or a little scared about going back to school because of all the new things that you will have to face. You will have new teachers, some new friends, and some of you may even be going to a new school.
On the first day of school, the teacher will probably ask some questions to see how much you already know. When the teacher asks a question to which you know the answer, you might wave your hand excitedly in the air and say, "I know! I know!" It is a great feeling when you know the answer, isn't it? It sure helps to take away those "Back to School Jitters."
In our Bible lesson today, the disciples are going "back to school." Can you guess who their teacher is? Right! Jesus is their teacher. Jesus often took his disciples aside to teach them important lessons about the Kingdom of God. This was one of those days. Jesus began his lesson that day by asking his disciples a question.
"Who do men say that I am?" Jesus asked.
I imagine that one of the disciples raised his hand and said, "I know! I know! Some people say that you are John the Baptist."
Then another of the disciples raised his hand and said, "I know! I know! Some people say you are Elijah."
A third disciple raised his hand and said, "Some people say that you are Jeremiah or one of the other prophets."
"Very good," Jesus said, "that is what other people are saying, but who do you say that I am?"
You know, I think that Peter was so excited that he forgot to raise his hand. I think he just called out to Jesus, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Jesus said, "You are right, Peter. You didn't learn that from listening to other people. It was taught to you by my Father in heaven."
The lesson that the disciples learned that day is just as important today as it was then. Many people in our world today still do not know who Jesus is. You and I need to be ready with the answer, "He is the Christ, the Son of the living God."
Dear Father, when people are searching for the answer to the question, "Who is Jesus?" help us to be ready with the answer. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.