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Teaching Goal: God’s plan can be seen in the little things we do.
Scripture: Matthew 17:24-27 After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the tax collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?” “Yes, he does,” he replied. When Peter came into the house, Jesus was first to speak. “What do you think Simon?” he asked. “From whom do the kings of the earth collect duty and taxes – from their own sons or from others?” “From others,” Peter answered. “Then the sons are exempt,” Jesus said to him. “But so that we may not offend them, go to the lake and throw out your line. Take the first fish you catch; open its mouth and you will find a four- drachma coin. Take it and give it to them for my tax and yours.”

Materials: Foil wrapped candy “coins” OR a variety of coins

In Advance: Hide candy or coins around the house (vary the difficulty of the hiding places based on the ages of your kids.)

  1. Play theme song

  2. Pray

  3. Review last lesson

  4. Lesson and discussion

Words written in bold are when the leader is speaking. Feel free to use your own words.

A. ACTIVITY #1: Sometimes God asks us to do things in order to prove Himself to us or to help our faith grow. When He wants to perform a miracle in our lives, He wants us to learn to trust Him. It would be very easy for God to just give us what we want or need whenever we asked Him, but that wouldn’t help us learn to trust him. We show our trust and faith by doing what He asks, even if we are scared to do it or think God won’t give us the answer we want.

I have hidden coins around the house. I want you to go find them. You can keep whatever you find in the next two/five/ten minutes? (You can vary the time depending upon how quickly the coins are found. You may also hide coins in separate rooms if the ages of your children would make a combined hunt poorly matched.) After the coins are found, continue the discussion.

Was it hard to run around the house finding the coins? No. Did I ask you to do something you didn’t know how to do or that was too hard for you? No.You’re right! It was easy to find the coins, but I didn’t just give them to you. I am your father (mother/grandparent) and I knew just how to hide the coins so that it wouldn’t be too hard for you. I didn’t just give the coins to you because I knew it would be more fun and interesting to make a game out of it. God could just give us things, but He wants us to be a part of the adventure with Him! When God gives us something to do, he is our heavenly father and he knows just how much to give us so that it won’t be too hard for us. I want to tell you a story about Peter, Jesus’ friend.

B. Tell the story from Matthew 17: 24-27 in your own words, stressing that Jesus and Peter had no money to pay the tax that was due. Jesus asked Peter to go out and fish, then bring back the coin that he would find in the fish’s mouth. Peter was a fisherman; he knew how to fish. Was Jesus asking Peter to do something that was hard for him? No. Do you think Peter had ever found a coin in the mouth of a fish before? Probably not. How do you think Peter felt being asked to go fish and look for a coin in the mouth of the first fish he caught? He may have thought Jesus was crazy for asking him to do this because it wasn’t normal to find money in the mouth of a fish. The coin Peter found was exactly enough money to pay for the taxes for both of them.

God used Peter’s small action of fishing to perform this big miracle. There were 3 miraculous parts: 1) finding money in a fish at all, 2) finding the money in the first fish he caught and 3) that the money was the exact amount needed. God worked out all of the details and all Peter had to do was obey and go fishing! What a miracle of God!

Could Jesus have just spoken and the money would have appeared in his hand? Yes. Why do you think Jesus wanted Peter to fish instead? To let Peter be a part of the adventure. Following Jesus’ instructions helped Peter’s faith grow. Could Peter have said, “No! We need money now, and this is no time to go fishing!” Yes. If he had said that, what do you think the outcome would have been? Peter would have missed out on an important lesson and being part of the exciting miracle. Jesus would have been disappointed that Peter missed out, too. What do you think Peter thought and felt the next time Jesus asked him to do something that may have sounded crazy? He probably felt excited to see what God would do. He had faith that it would turn out just like Jesus said it would.

When I asked you to find the coins that I had hidden around the house, was it hard? No. Was it more fun to hunt for them than if I’d just placed the coins in your hand? Yes. God wants us to be a part of His adventures, too. Sometimes we think if He asks us to do something it will be too hard. Very often, God asks us to be faithful doing what we already know how to do, so that He can perform a miracle. As we obey God in the little things our faith will grow just like Peter’s. It will be an exciting adventure to see what God will do! Don’t be afraid to do something when God asks you – He is your heavenly father and He knows just exactly how much you can do!

5. Memorize:

In things big or small we must obey, God may send a miracle my way.

  1. Close in Prayer

  2. Pass It On: Make an extra copy of this lesson and pass it on to another family.