Jesus Makes a Promise
Check out these helpful resources
Jesus Makes a Promise
By Dr. Carol J Miller
There once was a little girl who went to Sunday school, we can call her Jenny. She heard her teacher, Mrs. Johnson, say that God wants us to help people who are being hurt or made fun of. Now that made Jenny think about one of the kids in her regular school class. The girl had come in the middle of the year—her family had moved from far away. We can call her Abby. Abby came to school with her hair in a tangle. Sometimes she wore the same clothes three times in the same week. Her shoes were falling apart.
Some of the other girls in class made fun of her. They made sure there was no room for her at their lunch table. Abby had been there for a month and had no friends. [Ask the children if they had ever seen something like this happen to another child at school. Tell them not to say anyone’s name, just what happened. Accept all answers. You may have to help the children to keep their answers brief]. Jenny didn’t tease Abby. When she saw the other girls doing it, it made Jenny feel bad in her stomach; she didn’t like what they were doing.
Jenny stayed for a minute after Sunday school and told Mrs. Johnson about Abby and how it made Jenny feel when she saw Abby being treated badly. Mrs. Johnson said that this was just what Jesus meant when he told us to help people who are mistreated. Maybe, Mrs. Johnson said, it was God’s Holy Spirit that was making Jenny feel uncomfortable when she saw Abby being teased. They were learning about the Holy Spirit—God with us. Maybe it was God encouraging Jenny to help Abby. “But how could I help?” Jenny asked? “Well, said Mrs. Johnson, if it was you who was being teased; if it was you who had no friends, what would you want someone to do for you?” “Be my friend?” asked Jenny in a quiet voice. Mrs. Johnson nodded.
Jenny stood still, thinking for a moment. Then Jenny looked at Mrs. Johnson and said, “I don’t think I can be Abby’s friend”, she said. “If I start talking to Abby and eating lunch with her and things like that, I think they girls will make fun of me, too. I think they will not eat lunch with me, either. I’m afraid. I can’t do it.”
“Jenny,” said Mrs. Johnson, “following Jesus means that sometimes we have to do very hard things. Look at the Bible verse we have been learning about.” Mrs. Johnson read from her Bible,“If you will ask anything in my name, I will do it. If you love me, keep my commandments. I will pray to the Father, and he will give you another Counselor, that he may be with you forever,—the Spirit of truth” (John 14:14-17).
[Ask the children if they know what “commandment” means. Respect all answers. Make sure that the children understand that if you follow Jesus, the things he tells us to do are things we must do—even if they are hard].
Mrs. Johnson said, “One of Jesus’ commandments was that we have to treat other people just the way we would like to be treated.” “I know,” said Jenny, but it’s too hard for me.” Mrs. Johnson smiled. “Jenny, there is one more thing that Jesus says in these verses.” “What?” asked Jenny. Jesus said that he would send someone to help us keep his commandments. Jesus called it the “Spirit of Truth”. That means “The Holy Spirit.” Jesus promised that when we have a hard commandment to do, God will help us do it. You don’t have to do it alone.” [Ask the children what Jesus’ promise to us is. Repeat together the words “God will help us do it”].
“Now, Jenny,” continued Mrs. Johnson, “I have an idea that some of the girls who are teasing Abby feel bad about doing it. Do you think so?” “Maybe,” said Jenny. “I know that Julie and Ashanta go to church; they should know that being mean to Abby isn’t right.” “Try this,” said Mrs. Johnson. “Talk to Ashanta by herself; then talk to Julie by herself. I think that if they feel bad about what they are doing, they will join with you to be Abby’s friends. Then you will have God and other followers of Jesus with you. Do you think you could try that?”
“I think I can,” smiled Jenny and she skipped a little as she went downstairs to church.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2013, Richard Niell Donovan