Why God Sent Jesus
By Dr. Carol J Miller
Have a picture of a scroll (Google “Wikimedia Commons” then search “Torah Scroll” to see a selection of scroll pictures).
For each child, have a long slip of paper with the words “God has sent me to tell Good News” written on it. Either have each long slip rolled up, half from the left and half from the right––like a scroll, or tell the children, at the end of your talk, to roll their paper up like a scroll when they get home.
Jesus grew up going to worship at a synagogue. A synagogue is like a church; it is where Jewish people worship God. It is sort of a hard word to say; let’s try it together [all say SYN-a-gog].
This synagogue was in a town called “Nazareth.” Let’s try that word [all say Naz-a-reth]. Everybody in Nazareth knew Jesus; the older people had watched him grow up from the time he was a baby. Jesus was a grown man when this story happened. He had been away from Nazareth for a long time.
But the people back in Nazareth had been hearing about all the wonderful things Jesus had been doing.
Then, one day when everyone was at worship in Nazareth’s synagogue, in walked Jesus! Wow! The people were excited! What would he do now? Would he do great things as he had done in other towns? The person in charge of the scrolls that the Bible was written on, got up and gave Jesus the Isaiah scroll.
What an honor for Jesus to read from the Bible at their synagogue!
Scrolls were what people used before books were invented. The one that was given to Jesus was a big scroll. [Show the picture of the real scroll]. Scrolls were big and they were heavy. No one said a word as they watched Jesus place the big scroll on the reading desk. He unrolled the scroll and found the verses he wanted to read.
Jesus read the part where it says: God is with me. God has sent me. God wants me to tell the poor people good news. This is the news: God loves the poor and with God’s power, I will help them. But there was more. Jesus read:
-God has sent me to tell those who are who are trapped in sad lives that God will give them happiness and no more trapped feelings.
-God has sent me to let the blind see.
-God has sent me to help those who get pushed around by bullies.
Jesus has good news from God for the poor, for people trapped in sad lives, for people who get bullied, and, let’s see, who else was there a message for? Who else was he sent to help? [Respect all answers]. Yes, the blind.
This was an old Scripture. The people had heard it many times. But they weren’t sure who Isaiah was talking about. Who was it that was saying, “I am here with God’s message for the poor, the sad, the blind, the bullied and anyone else who is not living the good life God wants them to have”? Who is it that God is sending to do these things?
Jesus finished reading the Bible scroll and rolled it up and gave it back the man who took care of the scrolls. Jesus sat down. Everyone was waiting to hear what he would say.
Jesus said, “I am the one Isaiah was talking about. God is with me and God has lots of good news! I am here to make these things happen, just as God wants.”
Wow! Many, many people will be happy to hear this news! People will see that God loves them and has come to help them. But some people will not be so happy. The bully isn’t going to like this. Some rich people who liked to think that their money means that God likes them better aren’t going to like this. Some will be happy and some will not. But now everyone in Nazareth knew why God sent Jesus––and so do we!
Give each child the long slip of paper with the text on it. It can be rolled like a scroll or ready for them to roll it.
Scripture quotations from the World English Bible
Copyright 2012, Richard Niell Donovan