Luke 15: 11-24 (3)



How to pray with the bible
Reading: Luke 15: 11-24 (3)
K-hymns: 460, 468
Preparation: give papers and pencils. Today’s text is written in the papers.

(After reading of the text)
You know this story, right?

So, we are going to practice something.
So, let me give you this paper and a pencil first.
Have one.

If you haven’t received this paper and pencil, let us know.

You read the bible, right?
Now how do you read the bible?
There can be many ways to read bible, right?
You can read the bible in the way that you read our textbooks.
You can read the bible in the way you read a magazine or novel.

Some people may read the bible, right before they sleep.
Because then their mind can think about the text all night.
Then, in the morning, when they wake up, they sometimes realize the meaning of the text or realize what God is trying to say to them now.
God sometimes gives them some new thoughts or new understanding about what they read.

Anyway, there are many ways to read the bible.
Today, I would like to show you one of those ways that we can read the bible.
Today, we are going to read the same text again, again and again.
That is, we are going to read our text and have a silence; and read our text and have a silence; and read our text and have a silence. Three times.
In this way, we are going to think about the text and pray with the text.
Then we may also realize what God is trying to say to us.
It may not be easy for you.
But at least let’s try, ok?

Now let’s begin.
First, I am going to reread our text again.
After that, I am going to ring this bell.
(After ringing the bell) Do you like it?

Whenever you hear this sound, it means that we are going to pray for a minute in silence, ok?

Now what can we do about during this silence?
You can pray to God in silence.
You can reread the text that is printed here.
Or you can just think about this story, closing your eyes.
Or you can write something down on the back of your paper.
Or you can draw something there, too?

Now let me read the text:
(After reading)
Now, we are going to think about this text, for a minute in silence.
(1) (Bell rings)

(After a minute)
Good job.
Now I am going to read again the same text.
After watching, I'm going to ring the bell again.
(1) Now you know what to do, in this silence, right?
You can read the text on your paper.
Try to think about why Jesus is telling this story.
If you realize some special meaning, you may write it down on the back of your paper.
You may have some questions about the text or about God.
You may also write it down on the paper.
Or, you can simply ask those questions to God in silence, ok?
Now let us have a minute of silence. (Bell rings)

(After silence)
Now I am going to read the story again.
After that, we are going to have a minute of silence, ok?
(Read) Put up with me. I am trying to show you something, ok?
(1) Now we are going to have a minute silence. (Ring the bell)

Great job.
It might have been very difficult.
Great job.
But in this way, we can think about the story; pray with it; and learn from it.
Usually, then we tend to gain some understanding of our own.
That is important.
If you realize something, by yourself, you may tell others about it.
For example, you can teach people or preach about this text, right?

Now what did you learn from the story?
(1) In this story, the son didn’t really want to be with his father.
He didn’t care about his father.
He didn’t even bow to his father, when he left his father.
He didn’t want to learn anything from his father.

He thought he has grown up.
But he didn’t know to handle his money.
(2) He didn’t know how to manage his money well.
He didn’t know how to live well.
He didn’t know how to take care of himself.
But then he learned a good lesson here.
So he came back.

All these time the father was always waiting for him.
He was like:
“Is he going to return today?
I wish that he comes home today.
Then I can throw a big welcoming party for him.”

(2) Then when the son returned, the father hugged him, and welcomed him.
The father just loves his son.
The father forgives him.
This son learned about what love is.
He learned about love.
Then he might have lived a good respectful life, loving people, especially his father.

(3) Again why did Jesus tell this story?
It is because he wanted to say that God loves us like this father.
God loves you and me, like this.
It doesn’t matter who you are or who they are.
Jesus loves every people like this.
Telling this story, Jesus hopes that we may also love God and love God’s people, all the people, like this father.

Let us pray:

Jesus, we learn something from our reading today.
We learn that you don’t remember our past.
We learn that you want to take care of our future.

Jesus, you explain how God the Father loves us.
May we know this mind of God.
May we be able to share this God with all the people in the world.

May we share about you, by living the good life that you design for us.
Thank you. In your name, we pray. Amen.”


Mark 3: 1-6


Free people to do the right things
Reading: Mark 3: 1-6
Additional readings: Matthew 11:25-30 and Psalm 131: 1-2
Learning words: Sabbath, grace
Blanks: Stand up, good

Let’s begin with a prayer:
Jesus, our living bread, nourish our hearts by your words so that we may see, hear and experience your Way, Truth and Life. Amen.

(1) At this time, Jesus entered a Jewish meeting place on a Sabbath.
Jesus knew that there was a setup.
What kind of setup?

(2) The religious leaders persuaded people that no one should heal people on the Sabbath.
They told them:
“Everyone should not work on the Sabbath.
If anyone worked on the Sabbath, they were not of God.
Healing is a work.
So, Jesus should not work on the Sabbath.
If Jesus heals people on the Sabbath, they should not believe in Jesus.
If he continually worked like that, God might get angry at us.
So, if Jesus loves God and people, he should not heal people on the Sabbath.
So, we made a setup.
We have this man whose hand does not work.
We will prepare him on this Sabbath.
If Jesus heals this man on the Sabbath, you know he is not of God.”

People agreed with them.
So, they were waiting for Jesus to come.
The religious leaders were sure that Jesus would heal this man.
They just wanted to show people so that they could say that Jesus was not of God.

Jesus healed people on the Sabbath all the times.
The religious teachers knew about this.

(3) What would Jesus do?
Jesus thought that their teaching was wrong.
So, Jesus wants to free people from their wrong teachings.
Because Jesus loves them, he wants them to free from wrong teachings.

So, here, at this place, everyone was watching what Jesus would do.
Then Jesus said to the man:
"Come up here so that everybody may see you."

Then Jesus said to him:
"Stretch out your hand!"
Then as soon as the man tried to stretch out, he was cured.
He was able to move his hand perfectly.

Knowing this was a setup, Jesus healed this man.
Jesus wanted to teach it is ok to do good on the Sabbath.
God wants to do good on the Sabbath.
God is freeing people to do good.

But now the religious teachers could get rid of Jesus, because they persuaded people that Jesus should not heal this man.

Knowing that he would die, Jesus wanted to prove them his point of view.
But in order to teach this, he had to pay the price.
Jesus had to die in order to teach grace.
It didn’t matter whether God was working through Jesus.
It didn’t matter whether Jesus showed God’s mind to them.
Some religious leaders didn’t like this kind of teachings. Period.

But God made the Sabbath for people to rest.
God made the Sabbath to make people free.
Jesus healed this man, because God worked on the Sabbath.
God liked this.
So, healing this man, Jesus wanted to persuade them.
Healing this man, Jesus hoped that people would understand the heart of God.
God was interested in helping people free and do good.
It does not matter whether it is on the Sabbath day or not.
It can be on any days.

Jesus thought that this was very important in order to teach people about this grace.
Jesus wanted to teach grace.
By the way, do you know what grace is?
Grace says that God accepts you as you are.
God accepts everyone as they are.
God gives them freedom.
God forgives.
That is grace.

God does give this grace so freely.
God is grace.
God wants to give freely, hoping that we will also freely love God and obey God.
God wants us to do what is right when we are free to do whatever we want to do.
If we are free to do what we want to do, we choose to make this world a better place to live in.
When we know that we are so free, we may say to God:
“God, what do you want me to do?”
Then God may start to speak to us.
God may show us something very important.
God may place the desire within our heart.
Then we may sense this desire or this feeling in our hearts.
We may notice this desire of God within us.
It happens because we are free in God.

In this way, we realize our call in life.
In this way, we recognize God’s voice in our heart.
Then we just can take a new step toward our calling in life.
We can do something good, every day for that calling.
As you take your steps toward it everyday, you may feel sure about your calling, or you may sense that God is not with you in this.
In this way you know which ways you should turn.

Anyway, sometimes, you need to ask these kinds of questions to yourself.
They are:
What does God want for my life? (Pause)
What kind of dreams does God have for me?

In God everything is possible.
If we have God, we have everything.
Jesus is our help.
So, trust God.

Anyway, as you try to do God’s will, God will start to prepare you.
God may open some doors for you to go so that you can be prepared and follow your calling.
God may surround you with those who encourage you to move forward.
The more God prepares you, the more God can use you.

Jesus also discovered his calling in life.
Jesus said yes to God’s invitation to save the world.
Jesus made that decision.
Jesus made that decision because he loves people.

Jesus loves people.
Following Jesus means loving people.

Let’s see how Jesus follows his callings.
Following his calling, Jesus made a lot of decisions.
Each decision shows how he thinks.

(1) For example, Jesus chose his own disciples.
Then Jesus taught them.
Jesus trained them.
Then Jesus sent them to teach other group of people.
In this way, Jesus wants to expand his movement.

(2) Another decision is that Jesus prays in the mountain, being alone.
Sometimes, when he students were in a deep sleep, Jesus left and went to pray.
Jesus lived a contemplative life.
Jesus practiced listening to God in stillness.
Then Jesus learned things after spending many hours in mountains, praying.

It is possible that in this way, Jesus realized about the Sabbath.
Jesus realized that God wanted to make people free.
Jesus remembered that God made the Sabbath for people.
People came first.
Jesus understood this clearly.
So, Jesus taught this and preached this.

There are other decisions that Jesus made.
Jesus decided not to worry, not to doubt, not to be anxious.
Jesus decided not to hate anyone, not to be negative, and not to feel defeated.
Jesus decided to think in terms of hope, love and faith.

(2) Because he thinks like this, when Jesus healed this man, he simply says in faith:
“Stretch out your hand!"
Then he expects good outcome.
Jesus believes that God can do this.
So, he was able to heal this man.
In his way, Jesus moves forward.

(2) When Jesus knew what God wanted, he obeyed.
Jesus obeyed when the religious teachers made a setup.
Even at this place, Jesus wanted to inform them the right teachings.
Meaning, Jesus wanted to change their thoughts.
Jesus wanted to free people to do all the right things, even on Sunday or any days, right?

Let us pray:


Matthew 10:26-33 (1)


Living courageously for God
Reading: Matthew 10:26-33
Additional readings: 1 Pet. 2:23, Hebrews 12:2, Isaiah 53:10
Blanks: speak, proclaim, acknowledges
Words: let the children explain words.

(1) Jesus said something like this to his students:
“There are times, when you need to tell people what I told you.
Tell them all our secrets.
Let everyone know my teachings.
Because everything will be known anyhow.
It doesn’t matter whether they people don’t want to listen to you to not.
Everything will be known.

“But still some people might not want to listen to you.
They might ask you to stop preaching.
They might make you afraid of them.
But they cannot do anything against your soul.
They cannot determine your future, either.
God can decide about your future.
God has power over your life.
So, fear God and be afraid of God, because God is so good and kind.
Move forward with God.
Courageously try to do what God asks you to do.”

Jesus was saying like this because God wanted to accomplish something good in this world.
So, Jesus is asking:
“Let’s be courageous.
Let’s move forward with God’s good plan.”

(3) I think Jesus was a very courageous person.
That is why Jesus was able to do whatever God asked him to do.
Jesus spoke for God.
He was fearless.
People tried to kill him.
But Jesus still spoke for God.
Jesus knew that if he kept on speaking for God like this, he would die on the cross.
But still it didn’t stop him.
He was courageous.
So, let’s think about that moment, when he was crucified.

(3) It was after three years of ministry.
Jesus was about to be captured.
Judas Iscariot was bringing soldiers to where he was.
Without Judas, they would be able to catch Jesus.
But because it was Judas, his friend, it was more painful for him.

But because Jesus knew why he had to die on the cross, he didn’t run away.
He was courageous.
But then Jesus prayed honestly to God.
He said something like this:
“God, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me.
But then I know through the cross, this cross, there is a greater victory.
I will experience the resurrection of my body.
I will rise again.
“Then I can show my students who God really is.
My students will know who I really am.”

(5) After praying like this, Jesus waited for the soldiers to come.
Jesus could have run away, again.
But Jesus chose to be captured.
Then he suffered alone, because his students all ran away.
But Jesus still believed in God.
(2) Jesus surrendered all to God.

At this time, Jesus might have said something like this to himself:
"Even though they might kill my human body, I will live again in the power of God.
My God is the miracle maker.
My God can heal me and raise me from the dead.
God will somehow protect my soul.
I am safe in God.
I know that I am valuable to God.
So, it is ok with me.
I want to do what God wants me to do.”

(3) Then he was nailed on the cross.
Why did Jesus have to be nailed on the cross?
If anyone has done something wrong, if they have sinned, they might need to suffer because of their wrongdoings.
So, Jesus suffered for them, instead, because Jesus wanted to take away their sins, and all our sins like this.
So, Jesus endured the cross alone.
Jesus endured its shame alone.
Like this, he showed his faith.
Like this Jesus forgives all our sin.

(6) But then there was another crisis at the cross.
So, Jesus cried out in a loud voice:
“My God, my God, why have you forsaken/abandon me?” (Pause)

What is going on?
Well, God might have answered something like this:
“My son, because you are taking care of all the sin of this world at this time, even I cannot be with you.
Now I have to turn away from you.
So, you have to bear it alone.”

Jesus was able to bear it alone because he was the Son of God and the son of man.
But still Jesus didn’t lose his heart.
Jesus didn’t give up, even though he was tempted in every way.
If he wanted, he could have called out all the angels in heaven to come and take this nails away and lift him up.
(2) But instead, he chose to obey God, at the cross, because God is most wise.
Then at the end, Jesus said:
“It is finished.”
Then he died.

(1) Then after three days, Jesus rose from the death.
Then he said to his students:
“Because I live, you will live also.
Because I live, you will enter into heaven with me, even if you die.
(3) In fact, I need to go away for awhile, because I need to prepare your rooms in heaven.
So, in the meantime, I give you my Holy Spirit.
Have a great time with the Holy Spirit.
Then you will be ok.”

Jesus likes to help his students to learn to live his life on earth.
After that, Jesus can have them live in heaven, because he forgives all their sin.

(2) Jesus was courageous.
When God wants to say anything to people, he spoke for God.
He lived this life even when they and his students didn’t understand him.

Looking at this Jesus, his students learn what God really wants from them.
Jesus also said something like this to them:
(3) “Don’t worry about what people think of you.
Worry about what God thinks of you.
Fear God who loves you so much.
God has the real power over your life.
When you obey God, you will see God’s power.”

Jesus wants them to have courage.
They didn’t need to be afraid of anybody.
They didn’t need to be afraid of death and dieing.
With Jesus, they can pass through the death.
With Jesus, they can rise again.
With Jesus, they will live forever.
So, they can have peace in their mind and in their heart.

But Jesus didn’t believe that they or we could live courageously by our own power.
So, Jesus gives them and us the Holy Spirit.
When the Holy Spirit comes, the Holy Spirit will try to organize our life for God.
So, let’s think about this.
When the Holy Spirit comes to us, the Holy Spirit may work like this in our heart.

So, I am going to show you two pictures.
Think about what it might mean.
(1) Here is the first picture. (5)
(2) Here is the second picture. (5)
What do you think of them?
What are these pictures explaining to you?
First one (5) and second one. (5)

(1) This room is like our hearts.
The Holy Spirit wants to come in and live with us.
But this guy wants to clean his room first.

(2) But then the Holy Spirit is just asking him to just open the door because the Holy Spirit has all the equipments for clean his room. You see all these equipments.
The Holy Spirit can come and help him to clean his rooms.

Like this, the Holy Spirit may ask us to open our hearts so that the Holy Spirit may come in and clean our hearts.
The Holy Spirit may want to come in and organize our life wisely together with us.
After the Holy Spirit cleans our hearts, we may be able to do what God wants us to do.
The Holy Spirit is coming to prepare us so that we can serve God.

How does the Holy Spirit prepare us for God?
The Holy Spirit does that by explaining the life of Jesus.
Because Jesus lived a good and perfect life.
Because Jesus lived such a courageous life.
The Holy Spirit wants us to learn of Jesus.
Then we can live the life of Jesus, right?

Let us pray:
God, prepare us so that we can live the life of Jesus.
In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.


Matthew 5:21-26 (2)


Using our mind to bless
Reading: Matthew 5:21-26 (2)
Blanks: reconciled, Settle
Words: raca – worthless in Hebrew, altar – a table on which sacrifices may be offered.

Have you ever mad at someone?
Have you ever angry at someone?
Have you ever been in this situation where it is difficult to live peacefully with someone?

I am sure you don’t have any experience like this.
But let’s pretend.
(1) Let’s say that there is someone who is so mean to you.
So, with their friends, they have been spreading rumors about you.
And because you are being talked about, your friends are now turning against you or become less friendly to you.

(1) At this moment, Jesus may ask the same questions:
“Have you ever mad at someone?
Have you ever angry at someone?

Then we may say:
“Uh, maybe. Yeah, sometimes.
We may get upset or angry at someone sometimes.
It can be because of misunderstanding or miscommunication.
Or it can be because someone has done something wrong.”

Then, Jesus may ask a strange question like this:
Have you ever killed someone?
Then we may say: “What? No! Never!”

But then Jesus may say:
“If you were mad at someone, or if you were angry at someone, you were killing that person.
Then we may say: “What?? No, it is not.”

Then Jesus may say:
“It is because even when you don’t know, you may wish that something bad may happen to them.
It may happen to them.
Or you may call names in your mind.
I think that is killing a person.
You are doing something terribly wrong.
It is called sin.
So, if you live like that, you will feel miserable.
(2) You may feel like living in a prison.
This prison may be called the prison of hatred and anger.
You need to get out of that prison.
Because that prison is very close to hell.”

Can you understand why Jesus says things like these?

(2) Jesus is saying that because our mind has a power, we need to use it well.
God has given us a great mind.
Jesus asks us to use our mind to make people well.
Jesus asks us to use our mind to bless each other.

It may be like this.
Have you ever make other people happy by saying some nice words or by just listening to them? (Pause)
(2) For example, if you say to your parents that you love them, how would they feel?
Even though they may not show it, they would be very happy inside, right?

Likewise, if you pray for someone, you may be able to bless that person.
Because of your prayer, they may live a new life.
They may experience the Holy Spirit in their life.

(5) So, Jesus is saying when you are upset about someone, you may need to pray for them.
They may need your prayer.
They may need your blessings.

So, when you find yourself mad at someone, you may pray like this:
(3) "God bless them.
Give them what they want in life.
Give them everything they desire in life.
Listen to their prayer.
May they live a good and healthy life.

“Make their life joyful.
Make their life move smoothly.
Bless them in every area of their life
May they understand the story of Jesus as well.

(1) “May their family be blessed.
May their loved ones be blessed.
Nurture them.
Guide them.
Provide them more than enough.
Give them wisdom and power.
So, in return, may they also bless everyone around them as well.
We pray this in your name, Jesus. Amen.”

Then God will answer your prayer.
God will bless both of you.
And Jesus will be very happy.

(1) After this prayer, you may do something else to forget about this situation.
Find something that makes you happy.
Do some activities that give you joy.
Find something that takes your mind off this situation.

But then this kind of situation may happen.
You feel it is too much for you.
You feel that you have to express your feelings.
(1) You want to go and talk with them.
Then, make sure that you are cooled down first.

If you are still upset, try to get away awhile from there.
When you are upset, you may not be able to think well.
Then, you may say something that you will regret later.

(1) So before you talking with them, you may find a place where you can be alone for awhile.
Make sure that no one can hear you.
Then you can ask God like this:
“God, this is not a prayer.
I just need to let these feelings out.
I need to express my feelings before you so that you may heal me and sooth my emotion so that I can calm down.”
Then your may express your feelings alone.
You may hit your pillow.
You may scream.
You may say what you want to say.
Afterward, you may feel better.
You may feel good enough.

But then there can be an opposite situation.
We are not perfect.
So, we may make mistakes, even when we don’t know.
So, we may have made someone mad at us.
We may have bothered someone or annoyed them.

Then what would happen?
They might be upset and couldn’t think well.
Then they may judge us, and say that we are bad in their minds.
Then they may not be able to do what God asks them to do, because they were too upset or mad at you.
In this way, they may be killing us in their mind.
We shouldn’t make them a murderer.

So, if we have done something wrong, we need to apologize, saying “I am sorry.”
If someone was so upset and wanted to have a break from you, give them a break.
In the meantime, we may be able to pray for them.
We may bless them.
In this way, we can use our mind nicely and beautifully for God.
In this way, we can serve God, using our minds.

(3) Jesus is asking that we live peacefully without any enemies.
Jesus is asking us to become good friends to people around us.
Jesus is asking us to become good friends to everyone.
Jesus is asking us to try to understand people who are a bit different from us.
Jesus is asking us to become easy to love.
In this way, we may live our life for Jesus Christ.
And God will help us in this, right?

Let us pray:
Jesus, we want to bless everyone.
May God bless everyone and keep them safe.
In your name, we pray. Amen.


Mark 7: 24-30


Humble faith
Reading: Mark 7: 24-30
Blanks: secret, children, eat

(1) Do you have any friends who are Jewish?
Do you know what Jewish means?
Old Testament talked about many Jewish people.
Jewish people are children of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and Judah and David and so on.

But do you know that Jesus was also Jewish?
Yeah, Jesus chose to be born as a Jew.
Why is that?
I mean Jesus is God, right?
So, Jesus could be born as a Korean or an American.
Why was Jesus born as a Jew?

(1) Well, God has been working very hard on Jewish people.
If you read the Old Testament, that is, if you read the first part of the bible, you can learn about that.
(1) God wanted to bless Jewish people so that through them, God could bless the people of every nation.
It didn’t work very well.
But God wanted to try continually.
(2) So, two thousand years ago, God sent Jesus to Israel.
So, Jesus was born in Israel.
Jesus grew up there.
At that time, most Jewish people lived in Israel.

(3) Then when Jesus started to preach, he preached to Jewish people.
Jesus healed many Jewish people.
His disciples were Jewish.
Jesus helped them to understand God better.

(4) Then Jesus understands that his disciples will spread his story to other nations.
They will tell his story to all nations.
Also the disciples of their disciples will share the story of Jesus with others.
They will help other people to understand God.
In this way, the gospel will be preached to all nations.

That was God’s plan.
So, Jesus served mainly Jewish people.
(5) But then today, Jesus went to this place where a lot of people of other nations live.
Not many Jewish people were here.

Then some people may wonder why Jesus went there.
Jesus went there to rest.
He wanted to rest awhile.
(5) Besides, at this time, Jewish religious leaders already wanted to get rid of Jesus.
So, Jesus thought that it was not a good time for him to die and rise again.
He needed to teach his students more.
His students were not ready.
Jesus wanted to prepare them and show his faith more clearly.
So for awhile, Jesus decided to visit some other nations.
Then after things cooled down, Jesus wanted to come back and finish his ministry.

(4) That is why Jesus was in this town of Lebanon.
But in this town many people already believed in Jesus.
They believed that Jesus could heal people.
They believed that Jesus could drive out the demons.
You know, their hearts were already ready to accept Jesus.

Particularly, in this city, there was a lady.
She was not a Jewish woman.
(4) But, she had faith.
Then, she was looking for Jesus, because her child needed a healing.
Then as she found him, she fell at his feet and asked Jesus to heal her child.

Jesus knew that this lady would come.
In fact, he was waiting for her.
But Jesus said something strange.
He was like:
“I need to take care of my Jewish people, first.
I need to take care of my children, first.
You know, I cannot take my children's bread and give it to the dogs, when they have not finished eating yet.
You know what I mean.”

It is a very strange answer from Jesus. (smile)
Jesus healed everyone who came for healing.
He never said no.
Jesus healed many people who were not Jewish before.
But now Jesus pretended that he didn’t.

(6) Also, have you noticed that Jesus compared her with a dog?
Jesus came to die for her, too.
Jesus loved her and her people.
But Jesus was pretending that he wanted to refuse her request.

Jesus knew everything about her.
Jesus knew how she was going to handle this.
Jesus knew that this lady was a mother and this mother would not give up.
Jesus knew that this lady had enough faith.
It seemed that Jesus was trying to give her a chance to show her great faith so that everyone could see it.

Now let’s hear how she responded.
She said something like this:
(4) "Ok. But even the dogs can eat what is fallen from the table.
So, everyone can be healed because of you, then.
Now, can you please remove this bad spirit from my child?”

This lady was humble and calm.
This lady laid down her own national or racial pride before Jesus.
She laid down her pride, because she loved her child.

She accepted that God has been working among the Jews.
And she wanted to be part of what God was doing.
In this way, she entered into the life of faith.
Then Jesus became the answer of her prayer.

(4) Seeing her great faith, Jesus didn’t need to do anything.
He didn’t need to go and see the child.
Instead, Jesus just said something like this:
“You got it, child.
Now you may go.
Your daughter is completely healed.
Your faith has healed your child.
You have such a humble faith.
I am so encouraged by it.”

Then when she went home, she found her child totally healed.
She was so grateful.

Jesus knew that this story would be told over and over and over.
This story would be told everywhere.
So, Jesus wanted to create a story so that everyone could see her humble faith.
Because of her faith, even Jesus was rejuvenated and strengthened.

(9) Now let’s think about Jesus again.
Jesus was God as well as a Jewish man.
He started his ministry in Israel.
Jesus was called to share his gospel with Jewish people first.
But time to time, he was called to preach to other people, and help people of other nations, too.
Jesus was ok with it.
Because he knew that his gospel eventually would be preached to everyone.
It is because God does not give up on anyone.
God wants everyone to experience God’s love.

So, here is something to think about.
(1) Jesus may also ask you to go to a nation and tell them about his story.
Jesus may ask you to go and preach to some specific people.
Jesus may ask you to preach to the Jews.
Jesus may ask you to reach out to young people like you.
Jesus may ask you to reach out to Asian people.
Jesus may ask you to preach the gospel to African people.
Jesus may ask you to share his story with Americans.

But then, time to time, Jesus may ask you to preach to other group of people, too.
You may not know them very well.
You may have not been prepared for them very well.

But then since Jesus ask you to, you may try to help them.
You pray for them so that they may have humble faith and understand the love of Jesus.
Then as you share his gospel, you may find that they are ready to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ.
They are ready to have faith and live in Jesus.

So, you don’t need to do much for these people.
You may just go and help them a bit.
Then, they may live a wonderful life of Jesus Christ.

(4) It seems that is what happened in our text today.
Jesus was there.
He didn’t do much.
But Jesus helped everyone to discover that this lady was also the child of God.
Jesus was just so happy about it.

Let’s pray:

Jesus, help us to serve wherever we are.
Help us to have this humble that you have.
Help us to share that faith with others.
Thank you, Jesus. In your name, we pray. Amen.


Matthew 14:22-33 (1)


Walk in humble faith
Reading: Matthew 14:22-33

After teaching people awhile, Jesus paused a bit.
Then, he feed his big crowd miraculously.
Everyone ate spiritually and physically.

Then Jesus had his students get into the boat to leave first.
Jesus asked them to go on to the other side, first.

Then Jesus dealt with his crowd.
He dismissed them to go home.

Then Jesus went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.
He stayed there alone, until four o’clock in the morning

Meanwhile, the boat was far out to sea.
Then the wind came up against them.
They were struggling with the waves.

Then after Jesus finishing his prayer, late into the night, Jesus came toward them, walking on the water.

They said, “It’s a ghost.”
They were screaming in fear.
They were terrified.

But Jesus quickly said to them:
“It is me.
Don’t be afraid.”

Peter replied:
“Jesus, if it’s you, tell me to come to you on the water.”
Jesus said:

Why did Peter want to walk on water?
Just because he sees Jesus walks on water.
He wants to copy Jesus in everything he does.
Then, Jesus invites Peter to come and walk on water.
Jesus said that Peter could come and walk on water.

Then Peter got out of the boat.
Then he walked on the water toward Jesus.
When Peter put his faith in the word of Jesus, he could walk toward Jesus.
When he believed in him, he could walk and live based on the words of Jesus.

But then he saw the strong waves and felt the power of the wind.
Then, he was afraid.
As soon as he was afraid of this, he began to sink.
But as soon as his faith was shaken, he was sinking.
When Peters couldn’t trust in Jesus, he sank.

Then he cried out:
“Jesus, save me!”

At once Jesus reached out his hand and caught him.
Jesus said:
“You of little faith. Why did you doubt?”

Then they climbed into the boat.
Then the wind died down.
Then those who were in the boat bow down to him and say:
“Truly you are the Son of God.”

Maybe it is like this.
We can tell this story like this.
Often God says something to us.
Sometimes, God gives us good promises.
If we believe these promises, we may obtain it.
If we say amen in faith, we may have it.
If we humbly trust that God will keep the promise, we can have it.

We experience a miracle, if we believe that.
If we put our faith in it, we can walk toward Jesus.
If we have the faith of Jesus, we may live based on his words.

We may go through some difficulty.
But if we humbly believe what God speaks to us, we may be able to go to a place where God wants us to be.
We may be able to live in humble faith.
But if we don’t have this humble faith, we may sink.

(1) When Peter was not afraid, he went straight to Jesus.
He was walking on water just like Jesus.
He was walking when there were the stormy waves that were hitting his side.
But when he became fearful of them, he couldn’t come to Jesus.
When he became fearful, it was impossible for him to follow Jesus.

Maybe this is like our life.
Jesus calls us to do something.
If we believe, we can do it.
If we humbly trust that God will take care of our future, our circumstance or our people, we may be able to follow Jesus.
But if we are fearful of any of them, we may not be able to follow Jesus.
Then what happens?
We sink.
As soon as we are fearful, we sink.

But even in that moment, if we pray, Jesus helps.
Sometimes, we may not be able to remove our fear.
We may not be able to trust in Jesus.
In those moments, we can still say our prayer.
If we don’t have enough faith, we can call out for Jesus to help.
Then Jesus comes and helps us.
Jesus will be with us.
But then Jesus will teach us to have enough faith to walk with him humbly.

Just like Peter was not able to walk on water.
We may not be able to walk humbly with God sometimes.
Then Jesus teaches us so that we may walk in humble faith, without fear.
Then we may learn to have this faith: the faith of Jesus Christ.
Then we may be able to live like Jesus.
We may learn to live in this humble faith that Jesus taught us.


Matthew 13:1-9


Understanding the teachings of Jesus
Reading: Matthew 13:1-9
Blanks: Soil, Root, Produced

(1) At this time, many people gathered around Jesus.
So, Jesus got into a boat and sat on it.
Then people stood on the shore being ready to listen.
Then Jesus told them many stories, hoping that they would understand them and live a good life for God.

Today, we have read one of those stories.
This story was about hearts.
Let me explain.
Jesus said:
(2) A farmer went out to sow seeds.
He is scattering the seed all over the places.

Now let’s guess who is this farmer?
This farmer is Jesus.
This farmer is spreading the seeds.

(3) Then what do these seeds represent?
The seeds are the teachings of Jesus in this story.

(4) If some people open their hearts and receive this seed, this seeds will start to grow under the ground, in their heart.
Then it grows and grows because its soil has good minerals and nutrition.
Then slowly and slowly the seed will become a plant.
Soon this seed will bear good fruits, like this.

So, now Jesus goes everywhere to teach.
It means that Jesus is spreading the seeds everywhere.

(5) But then this kind of things may also happen.
Some seeds might fall on the road.
(6) Then the birds might come and eat them.

What does it means?
It explains our spiritual world.
Jesus taught something.
That is, Jesus gave his seeds.
So, some people heard that message.
They liked it.
They liked this kind of spiritual experiences.
But they couldn’t really take it to their heart.
So, they didn’t really understand what Jesus meant.
So, they didn’t cherish it.
Soon, they forgot about it.
They lost it.
So, they could not produce any good fruits out of that seed.
Still, they didn’t know what to do with their lives.
They didn’t know how to live according to the teachings of Jesus.

(7) Next, some seed fell among rocks and stones.
These seed didn’t have much soil to work with.
Then, the seed sprung up quickly.
But they didn’t have space to put their roots down because of rocks and stones.
Without roots, they couldn’t grow anymore.
(5) They needed more soil.
But then the sun shined on it.
It was too hot for them.
Then this plant was dehydrated and destroyed.

What does it mean?
It explains a situation.
Some people hear the teachings of Jesus.
They receive it with joy and enthusiasm.
But then they didn’t think deeply about what Jesus said.
Jesus is trying to build some good characters out of them.
But they didn’t give Jesus enough space to work with.
They couldn’t give because rocks and stones in their hearts.

When these people experience some trouble, problem, or persecution because of Jesus, they questioned God and doubted God.
They complained that they didn’t understand what was happening to them.
Then, they stopped believing Jesus.
Because they experienced some sufferings, they gave up on Jesus.
And they left Jesus.

(3) Next, other seed fell among thorns and weeds.
These thorns and weeds were bothering the seeds and stopped them from growing.

What does it mean?
Some people listened to Jesus.
But they were not interested in understanding what Jesus was really saying.
Because they were not really ready to listen to Jesus.
Because they worried about their life.
They wanted more money, good reputation, fame and toys.
So, they wanted to get everything in life.
They were very competitive.
They wanted to have everything what others have.
These were so important for them.
So, they cannot pay enough attention to Jesus.
Jesus was enough for them.

So, they might try to use Jesus to get everything.
But it seemed Jesus was not interested in that.
So, they might follow some wrong teachings.
Then because of that, they couldn’t produce good fruits in their lives, because of weeds and thorns.

(4) Next, other seed fell on good soil.
(5) These seeds produced a harvest, many, many, many times more than what was sown.

What does it mean?
Some people have a great heart.
When they listen to Jesus, they are very thankful for his words.
So, they think about it.
They pray about it.
They write down in order to remember it.
Then they think about it more.
They try to understand more.
The more they understand Jesus, the more they rejoice in Jesus.

When they realize its meaning, they practice it.
The more they practice it, the more they understand.
(5) Then they produce a lot of good fruits.
They produce good fruits because they succeed in understanding and practicing the teachings of Jesus.

But sometimes, they may find something they don’t understand.
They may wonder why Jesus said something like that.
Then they work hard to understand its meaning.
They stick to it.
They write it down again.
They think about it and meditate on it.
They memorize it.
Then as they try to understand what Jesus is saying, they become a good land that can produce good fruits.
Then God will also help them to endure long enough to produce good fruits.

(4) So, today, we learn that there can be four kinds of lands or four kinds of hearts.
I hope that we are the good land with much soil.
I hope that we have the good hearts that can understand what Jesus has to say.
I hope that we are the ones who remember it.
(6) Then as we live accordingly, we will produce good fruits.
Because we understand, we can live according to the teachings of Jesus.
Then we can live a good life for God.

It is like this.
If we think God is kind and loving, we may also be kind and loving.
That is our fruits.
If we know that our savior has risen from death, we may also live boldly believing this savior.
If we know that Jesus lives within our hearts, we may try to listen to him more often.
Then as we try to follow the teachings of Jesus, we will produce good fruits.
We will learn to live peacefully with everyone.
(6) Then because of you, the good teachings of Jesus will be spread all over the world.
Then God will be very happy with you, right?
May you have wonderful fruits in all your life.

Let us pray:
God, help us to be a good land that produces good fruits.
Help us to have a good heart that understands your words.
In your son’s name, Jesus, we pray. Amen.

In this way, we may live continually in the full realization of our oneness with the life of God. Then everything else will follow.