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.