"As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 'Come, follow me,' Jesus said, 'and I will make you fishers of men.' At once, they left their nets and followed him." Matthew 4:18-20
'Wait, you mean Jesus wants us to catch people? For what? Did Jesus want to eat people? Did he want us to eat people? As I was teaching I realized the IMPORTANCE of context!
So as I vamped, we discussed the fact that Jesus wants everyone to go to heaven, but first we had to discuss why anyone would want to go to heaven? Here's the answers we came up with:
No one ever gets sick (like the flu.)
No one ever dies (like our dogs or grandparents.)
There are no stores in heaven b/c we'll have anything we ever needed (gold streets, and NO we can't take the gold.)
Everyone will be loved and feel wonderful (like how mommy & daddy make us feel.)
After that it was easy to see why you would want to tell everyone about heaven and how you get there. We want to see all our friends in heaven, (and all our pets too--this I'm not sure of--but I'm pretty sure we won't need four wheelers there and so the pets thing seemed just too mean to take away from someone who had his little heart set on a four wheeler in heaven.)
Actually, the kids did all the work--we just talked about fish, and pets and heaven. One little boy was concerned that his dog, who was naughty, would go to hell (whispered of course, so no one would hear him use this word.) What better way to talk about the fact the ALL of us have been naughty and none of us have been good enough for heaven? Jesus took our punishment for us! We all agreed this was pretty cool--none of us had ever had anyone take our time-out, OR spanking for us. So since Jesus made it possible for EVERYONE to go to heaven, he wants EVERYONE to come, and so he wants to have us help him invite everyone. That makes us fishermen! We're Jesus helpers, praying for our friends (and pets) and telling them about heaven and the cool thing Jesus did so we could go there.
These brilliant little ones helped me write their friends names on the fishes so that we could pray for them. We got to pray for all our friends that God would catch them like fish--and invite them to heaven. It was so sweet to see young minds capture the powerful love that Jesus has for all of us? Makes me wonder how we can take something so simple and make it so hard These little children got it--and thankfully they're praying for us.