Luke 9:57-62, New International Reader's Version
The Cost of Following Jesus
Once Jesus and those who were with him were walking along the road. A man said to Jesus, “I will follow you no matter where you go.”
Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens. Birds have nests. But the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.”
He said to another man, “Follow me.”
But the man replied, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.”
Jesus said to him, “Let dead people bury their own dead. You go and tell others about God’s kingdom.”
Still another person said, “I will follow you, Lord. But first let me go back and say goodbye to my family.”
Jesus replied, “Suppose someone starts to plow and then looks back. That person is not fit for service in God’s kingdom.”
Good morning! Over the past few weeks, we have been writing a poem based on the Bible passages we have shared. Today is the day that we will put it all together and read the entire story. I have copies for each of you to take home so that you can read and retell the story and power of the Holy Spirit with others.
Today, I will read from the Bible from the Gospel of Luke. (Read the passage directly from the Bible. You may want to have the children help you find the chapter by asking questions, such as, “Old or New Testament?”).
Did you hear animals named? (Allow children to respond. Affirm words such as “foxes” and “birds.”) Did you hear anything that sounds like a game we might play? (Allow children to answer—follow the leader, follow the Son of Man, reluctance to follow Jesus.)
This passage teaches us about following Jesus…immediately. What does the word immediately mean to you? (Allow children to respond.) Immediately means something happens right away, in an instant. Jesus calls us to follow him without looking back. Notice that some said, “I will follow you, but first…” I wonder what is more important than following Jesus. (Pause but answer that question yourself.) I can answer that. Nothing! Nothing is more important than following Jesus. Don’t you agree? I wonder if we are following Jesus when we listen to our parents? Is following Jesus always easy? (Allow children to respond to the questions.) When we follow Jesus, we are showing others that we are standing up for what we believe. How can you show others you are a follower of Jesus? (Allow children to offer ideas.)
Today is the day we will read our entire poem. As I read, remember all the things we talked about in previous weeks. And of course, at the conclusion of my reading, we will all say “Amen” together. Remember that I have a copy of our poem for each of you. (Download the PDF and have enough copies for each child).
They came from near, they came from far
They came however from wherever they are
Strong winds blew when they all came
Tongues of fire, flashes of flame
They came from the north; they came from the south
Many languages were spoken out of everyone’s mouth.
Each one was different and unique
But all heard the Spirit speak.
What does this day Pentecost really mean?
God through the Spirit was felt and seen.
Holy Spirit, through us say
To the church “Happy Birthday”.
The voice of the Spirit is so true
To be a guide and give to you,
Speaking not on its own
But rather what is heard and shown
The Spirit tells you what life will do
What it receives from me will be shown to you.
Elijah, O’ Elijah, what do you do?
God, O’ God, I’m devoted to you
Go up on the mount way up tall
I will pass, and you will hear my call
Powerful winds blew and trees did shake
To the ground rocks fell, and the earth did quake
Then the flames flew aloft,
But Elijah heard through a whisper soft
Only then did Elijah hear
The whispered voice that God is near.
On the way to Jerusalem,
Jesus said to follow him.
Follow me and do not wait
If you want to enter heaven’s gate.
But we’re not foxes nor not birds
And we should follow the Son of Man’s true words.
Suppose he says to you,
“Follow m”, what do you do?
Would you follow Jesus’ command?
And show to others where you stand?