Have you seen any magic tricks recently? Perhaps a younger sibling has been showing off a new trick with a card or a coin, or you’ve seen a professional on a TV show such as America’s Got Talent. Seeing a magic trick in action can be quite an amazing thing. When you don’t know the secret for how the trick is done, it looks as if the magician is doing the impossible. On the flip side, successfully impressing an audience with magic feels very rewarding. It means everything has gone as planned. Let’s see an example:
Play the following video [5:14]:
Kids learn magic from a magician
- How did the children in this video interact with the magic trick, before and after learning the method? (Accept all reasonable answers. They displayed amazement at the unexplained illusion, curiosity about the method, and participated in learning and demonstrating the trick. Their appreciation for the magic and confidence in the magician remained the same before and after.)
- What role did faith play in this magic trick? (Accept all reasonable answers. The children believed in the magician and the magician believed in the secret that made the illusion work. Once they learned the trick, the children had faith in the ingredient, the teacher, and to some extent themselves. Faith in the plan and the seemingly impossible is key to getting the desired effect.)
- What about the little boy whose attempts at the magic trick failed? Why wasn’t his “faith” strong enough for the trick to succeed? (Answers will vary; be sure your students understand that anything we put our faith in other than God can fail, but God never fails.)
- In real life, have you ever experienced something that seemed impossible—something miraculous—that couldn’t be explained away as a magic trick? (Answers will vary. It could be something like an unexpected recovery from illness or injury or family friends who were told they couldn’t conceive and then did. Perhaps it is something more like overcoming a fear, making new friends after a move, or anything else they once felt was impossible.)
God can help us through even the most impossible situations. But God works through miracles, not magic. He does not use tricks or illusions. Through God’s own power, He brings about true and holy change. Somewhat like magic, we may not always see how God is at work answering our prayers, but in time, we will see the effects of God’s hand. Today we will hear of one of Jesus’ most unusual miracles, and what it can teach us about fruit, faith, and prayer.
Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?
You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. For upper elementary, middle school, and high school your Step 4 appears below. For adult, use the Step 4 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.
- Internet access
- Colorful circle stickers
Jesus used the fruitless fig tree as an example to encourage His disciples to have faith as they pray, but to bear other fruit as well. People connected to God can bear fruit such as love, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, and self-control.
- Which of these fruits would describe your words and actions? (Answers will vary. Students will know whether they are rich in love for others and demonstrate their love in action, or whether they are ones who boldly champion goodness in the world, or whether they’ve come through trials having developed or demonstrated patience or self-control.)
- What type of fruit might you pray to develop? (Answers will vary and build on the conversation from the previous question. Some may struggle to find a sense of peace for themselves or to bring peace to others. Others may find themselves impatient when going through trials or waiting for answers. Still others may find it difficult to love those they dislike.)
- What type of fruit might you pray that our church would be known for? (Answers will vary. It would be nice for every church to bear every fruit, but perhaps there is something in particular that resonates. You might pray that your worship services would be a place of peace in a chaotic world, or that your service teams would be known in the community for their kindness and generosity to those in need, or that you’d be known as a people with faith enough to pray big prayers. Encourage students to think of the needs in and around them and develop their answers from there.)
Hand out paper and writing utensils. Having discussed these questions, have each student draw a picture of a tree or other flowering or fruit-producing plant. The plant can represent themselves, their church, or another group they are part of that they pray would be a witness for Christ in the world.
Hand out colorful circle stickers for them to fill in and affix to their tree depicting the type of spiritual fruit they hope their “plant” produces (or have students draw fruit to represent their prayers for spiritual fruit). These pictures can be used as a prayer prompt in the week ahead, as students look to the pictures and remember their prayers for how they/their church/etc. might grow in faith and fruit.
Close in prayer.
(For our adult customers: we are not affiliated with and do not endorse any website or any other media listed on these pages. At the time of writing, our editors carefully review the referenced material and non-references web page content. However, due to the nature of the Internet, non-cited content on the website [including pop-ups, links, and ads] changes frequently and is beyond our control. Please review carefully before showing links in the classroom.)
(For our upper elementary, middle school, and high school customers: David C Cook is not affiliated with and does not endorse any website or any other media listed on these pages. At the time of writing, David C Cook editors carefully review the referenced material and non-referenced web page content. However, due to the nature of the Internet, non-cited content on the website [including pop-ups, links, and ads] changes frequently and is beyond our control. Please review carefully before shoeing links in the classroom.)