TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 2: 39-52
TO CHEW ON: "And the child grew and became strong; he was filled with wisdom and the grace of God was on him." Luke 2:40
Jesus’ family spent a few years in Egypt. One night God told Joseph in a dream that it was now safe to go back home. So Joseph, Mary and Jesus traveled back to live in Nazareth where Joseph and Mary had lived before Jesus was born.
Every year, Jesus’ family went to the temple in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. The year Jesus was 12, his parents were already on their way home when they realized Jesus wasn’t with them or their friends. When they went back to Jerusalem, they found Him in the temple.
4. He was __________ (gnitlsnei) and 5. ___________ ( isgkan) questions. (Luke 2:46)
“Why did you look for me?” he asked his anxious parents. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Of course, they didn’t understand that the Father He was talking about was God."Jesus Found in the Temple" (Standard Bible Story Readers Book One)
After this, though He knew He had a special job to do on earth, He went home and obeyed His earthly parents...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 5:27-31
TO CHEW ON: "Jesus answered them, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.'” Luke 5:31,32
One day Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi (also called Matthew) sitting at his tax booth. “Follow me,” Jesus said to him. So Levi left his tax booth and went with Jesus."The Calling of Levi" - James Tissot, 1886 - 1896
Levi liked Jesus so much he wanted others to meet this new friend. He prepared a banquet and invited all his tax collector friends and Jesus.
Not everybody would have been comfortable at Levi's dinner. Most people hated tax collectors. One reason was they collected taxes for the Roman rulers. The Jews hated the Romans ruling over them.
Even worse, tax collectors usually asked for more than the Romans charged. Then they kept the extra to get rich themselves. People called them thieves and thought of them as sinners.
When the Pharisees and religious teachers saw Jesus at Levi’s party, they criticized Him. If He was such a wise teacher, how could He not know these men were sinners?...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 1:26-38
TO CHEW ON: "The angel went to her and said, 'Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.'” Luke 1:28
Has anyone ever told you that you’re special? Perhaps your teacher singled you out as the person who did a great job of the project. Maybe your parents were surprised at how thoroughly you cleaned your room. Your friends may say things like, “I love being with you, because you make me laugh.”
Imagine getting such a message from God! That’s what happened to Mary. He sent an angel to her. The angel told her she was highly favored. Then the angel told her about an assignment that God had just for her."The Annunciation" by James Tissot - 1886 - 1896
She would have a special baby. She was to name Him Jesus. He would be called the Son of the Most High because God would be the baby’s father. He would be a king of the family of David. He would reign forever.
Mary was puzzled. She wasn’t even married. “How will this happen?” she asked.
“God’s power will bring it about,” the angel told her.
"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 19:11-27
TO CHEW ON: "He replied: 'I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.'” Luke 19:26
One day Jesus told the story of a king. Before the king went on a trip, he gave ten servants one mina* each. He told them to put the money to work for him.
When the king got back, he asked the servants for a report. Servant One had made ten minas with his one mina. Servant Two had made five. But Servant Three only had the original mina.
This made the king angry. He took the mina away from Servant Three and gave it to Servant One."Servants reporting to the king" - Artist unknown
This parable teaches us:1. Life isn’t fair.2. It pays to be greedy and get all we can.3. If we don’t use the things we’ve been given, we’ll lose even those things.
I think it’s number 3 - don’t you?
Jesus' stories are not only interesting but they teach us about God and what is important to Him. In this story we learn about how God wants us to use what we have.
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 15: 1-7
TO CHEW ON: "...Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep." Luke 15:6
When you lose a favorite toy, do you:- say, “Oh well, I still have lots of other toys,” then find something else to play with?- look for that toy for a while, then give up and play with something else?- look for your favorite toy until you find it?"The Parable of the Lost Sheep" by Alfred Usher Soord
Jesus told a story of a shepherd with 100 sheep. One day one of his sheep got lost. He left the 99 sheep and looked for the lost one until he found it....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 4: 1-13
TO CHEW ON: "Jesus answered, 'It is written ...' ... Jesus answered, 'It is written ...' ... Jesus answered, 'It says ...'” Luke 4: 4, 8, 12
Has this ever happened to you? Your friends are getting involved in an illegal or dangerous activity. Your parents have forbidden you to join in. One day your friends really put big pressure on you to join them. But you don’t want to. What is the best thing for you to do?- Discuss and argue with your friends about why it’s not a good activity?- Simply tell them, “ My parents say I’m not allowed”?
The last way is a bit like what Jesus did.
After Jesus was baptized, the Holy Spirit led Him into the desert. There He stayed by Himself for days, fasting (not eating)."Christ in the Wilderness" by Ivan Kramskoy - 1873
But He wasn’t alone. For Satan was with Him, tempting Him to sin. After forty days, when Jesus was famished with hunger, Satan’s temptation was especially strong. “If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread,” he said....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 10:29-37
TO CHEW ON: "...so he asked Jesus, 'And who is my neighbor?'” Luke 10:29
One day when Jesus was teaching in the province of Judea Mr. Scripture Expert came to Him with a question. He looked proud of himself as he asked, “What do I do to get eternal life?”
“What’s written in the law (Bible)?” Jesus asked.
“Love the Lord with all your heart ...and love your neighbor as yourself,” Mr. Expert replied.
“Do this and you’ll get that life,” Jesus told him.
“And who is my neighbor?”
Jesus answered that question by telling a story (today’s “Read”). In it bandits robbed and beat up a Jewish man. As he lay unconscious beside the road a priest came along. He saw the beat up traveler and crossed to the other side of the road. A Levite did the same thing. Then along came a Samaritan....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 2: 21-38
TO CHEW ON: "It had been revealed to him (Simeon) by the Holy Spirit that he would not die before he had seen the Lord's Messiah ....She (Anna) never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying." Luke 2: 26 & 37
When Jesus was still a tiny baby (40 days, about six weeks old) Joseph and Mary brought him to the temple in Jerusalem and gave him to the Lord. They also had to bring a sacrifice - doves or pigeons. They were obeying a command God gave Moses hundreds of years earlier.
There were probably many people in the temple the day Joseph and Mary took Jesus there. Perhaps some stopped Mary to take a look at her new baby and say how cute He was. The temple workers (Levites) probably saw Jesus when they helped Joseph and Mary with their sacrifice. But only two people recognized that Jesus was not just an ordinary baby....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 5: 1-11
TO CHEW ON: "He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat." Luke 5:3
Would you lend it?
~ Your friend asks to borrow your bike to deliver papers.~ Your sister needs to use your markers to finish her homework.~ Your mom needs to borrow change from you for the parking meter.
Would you lend these things? Your answer will probably show if you’re the kind of person who easily shares your things or likes to keep them for yourself.
Simon must have been a sharer. One day Jesus got into Simon’s boat, asked him to row it a way from the shore and then used it as a platform for teaching the people. Never once did Simon say: “Why should I let you use my boat?”"Jesus teaching from a boat" - James Tissot
Later, after the people went home, Jesus thanked Simon in an amazing way. Though Simon and his partners hadn’t caught any fish the night before, Jesus told Simon to try fishing again. What happened when they let down their nets now? (Luke 5:6)...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 2: 8-20
TO CHEW ON: "And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby...An angel of the Lord appeared to them and the glory of the Lord shone around them..." Luke 2:8,9
Some shepherds were in the fields outside Bethlehem looking after their flocks. It was night. Some of them were asleep. Others were sitting close to the cozy fire talking and trying to stay awake."Shepherds Watching Flocks" by O. A. Stemler & Bess Bruce Cleaveland, illustrators Standard Bible Story Readers by Lillie A. Faris
Suddenly a dazzling light shone around them. They were terrified. A shining white being said, “Don’t be afraid. I have good news for you and everyone on earth. Today in the town of David (Bethlehem) a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 19:1-9
TO CHEW ON: "Jesus ... said to him, 'Zacchaeus...I must stay at your house today'...All the people saw this and began to mutter, 'He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.'” Luke 19:5,7
What are taxes? You probably know they are amounts of money people in cities, provinces, states and countries must pay. Government workers collect this money. They use it to pay for things used by everyone - like roads, schools, firefighters and the police.
In Jesus’ time, the Roman rulers charged taxes. They got people in each neighborhood, to work for them. These people were called tax collectors. They usually charged the people more than the Romans asked. They kept the extra money for themselves. Everybody thought of them as traitors, cheats, sinners, and hated them. Zacchaeus was a tax collector.
One day Zacchaeus heard Jesus was coming to town. He wanted to see Him. But Zacchaeus was too short to see above the crowd. Besides, he didn't much like being in crowds because he was so unpopular. So he climbed into a tree and watched as Jesus and the crowd walked by.
Jesus didn’t care how the crowds felt about Zaccheus. When He came to the tree...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Matthew 28:1-10
TO CHEW ON: "He is not here; he has risen just as he said ..." Matthew 28:6
Something mysterious happens when people die. The invisible but living part of a person – the moving, breathing, thinking, feeling, loving part – leaves the body. The body – the physical shell which did the breathing, talking, laughing and hugging – is still there. But it is empty - the real person is gone. We call them dead.
Physical death is final. Even the most clever doctor can’t capture the living part of a person and stuff it back into a dead body to make the person come alive again.\
It was now three days after Jesus had died and been buried. Some of His women friends went to the tomb on the morning after the Sabbath.
When they got there, everything was different than they expected. The large stone that had stood in front of the cave tomb wasn’t there.
"The stone was rolled away" - Artist unknown
A shining angel greeted them. The angel said, “I know you’re looking for Jesus. He’s not here, He’s risen. Come and see where He was lying....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 2:1-7
TO CHEW ON: "While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born." Luke 2:6
After the angel’s visit, Mary got pregnant. God, the Holy Spirit, was the baby’s father.
Joseph, the man she was planning to marry, thought she had cheated on him. He was all set to break their engagement. But an angel came to him in a dream. He told Joseph to take Mary as his wife and to be an earthly father to the baby she would have.
Now it was months later. The baby was due to be born any day. That's when Caesar Augustus passed a law about registering for a census. So Joseph and Mary had to take the long trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem where Joseph needed to register. Talk about bad timing!"The Journey to Bethlehem" by Unknown Artist
They didn’t have planes, cars or buses for the trip. Instead they had to walk the 46 to 50 kilometers (or 28 to 31 miles) from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Maybe Mary rode on a donkey. Not only was the trip uncomfortable, but when they got to Bethlehem, the inns were full....
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 6:46-49
TO CHEW ON: "As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock." Luke 6:47-48a
Which part of a house is built first:
- the walls?- the roof?- the rooms?- the front porch?- the foundation?- the basement?
You probably know that the foundation of a house is the very first thing a builder makes. He usually starts building that foundation by digging a hole. If he can dig down to bedrock and fasten the house’s foundation onto rock, the house will be almost immovable. But if a house’s foundation rests on earth or sand, it can be swept away by floods, toppled by earthquakes and smashed by storms.
One day Jesus told a story of one man who built his house on a rock. Another man built his house on sand. When the storm came, which house stayed standing?
"The house upon the rock and the house upon the sand" by William James Webb
Jesus explained the story. He said those houses on their different foundations are like our lives. When...
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TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 22: 14-20
TO CHEW ON: “...do this in remembrance of me.” Luke 22:19
Do you have a collection of special keepsakes? Suppose in your collection you have a teacup from your grandma, a baseball hat from when you were little, and a trophy.
Those keepsakes wouldn’t be special to someone else, but they are to you. Why? Because each one is a picture or symbol of someone or something important to you. The teacup might remind you of grandma and the interesting stories she told. The baseball hat could remind you of the friend you played with when you wore it. The trophy reminds you of your team and how hard you worked to win the tournament.
Jesus, during his last meal with His disciples, gave them just such a way to remember Him. He took a piece of bread, said grace over it, tore it apart, and handed the broken pieces to them. He told them to eat it and when they did, to remember Him and how His body would be nailed and pierced (broken) for them."The Last Supper" by Leonardo da Vinci - 1498
Then he took a cup of wine. Again he asked a blessing on it, handed...
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The Geography of the Bible
Popular Bible Maps
The Journey of Abraham
Moses and the Exodus
Joshua and the Land
The Kingdom of David
The Kingdom of Solomon
Israel in Jesus' Time
Paul's First Journey
The Land of Israel
The Land of Egypt
The Land of Assyria
The Land of Babylon
The Land of Persia
The Land of Greece
The City of Rome
Noah's Ark and Mt. Ararat
The Tower of Babel
The Old Testament World
The New Testament World
Moses and the 10 Plagues
The 10 Commandments
The 12 Tribes of Israel
The Ministry of Jesus
Bible Stories with Maps
Coloring Book Images