January 07, 2016

My Substitute Teacher; A Bible Lesson for Children

My substitute teacher
A Bible Lesson
for Children

Mia's Teachers

“Mrs. Ziegler is my favorite teacher!” Mia excitedly told her Aunt Jana one day.

“Why is that?” asked her aunt.

“Well, you see, she always treats us so nice and does fun things with us!” replied Mia.

However, one day when Mia arrived at school, she found that her teacher was not there. Instead, there was a different teacher – a substitute teacher! Mia wanted to cry, but she didn't want to embarrass herself in front of her classmates. Mia was very sad.

Then the substitute teacher walked to the front of the class and announced that they could call him Mr. Wei. He then continued by saying, “Mrs. Ziegler is ill today. I am not sure when she will be back again, but I will take her place for now.

Now Mia was really sad. She couldn't hold back her tears any more. The tears just streamed down poor Mia's face! She was sobbing so loud, that Mr. Wei could here her, even though she was sitting in the far back corner of the classroom!

Her substitute teacher walked over and asked, “What's the matter my little dear?”

“I just want my regular teacher back,” sobbed Mia.

“She'll be back, just as soon as she gets well,” assured Mr. Wei.

After a few days, Mia began to rather like her substitute teacher, or sub, as they would sometimes call him for short. It didn't take long and Mia became her old energetic self again! Though, deep down, she really did miss Mrs. Ziegler a lot, but now she new that soon she'd be back. That is, as soon as she could get better!

A couple weeks slipped by, and then one fine day, Mr. Wei told the class, “I won't be coming in any more, Mrs. Ziegler will be back in tomorrow! She has gotten well at last!”

Mia didn't know what to think, she had come to rather like both teachers. Actually, I think her sub had gotten to quite like the class too! He was a very kind teacher!

Another Substitute

At this time, I would like to tell you about another substitute. I want to tell you about someone who also likes children very much – in fact – he loves them! His name is Jesus.

Now, we know from the Bible that Jesus is God. This Jesus, being God the Father's Son, left Heaven to come to this Earth as a person – though He was still God at the same time. You know, kind of like someone can be a mom and a nurse at the same time!

Well, while Jesus was on Earth, the children were coming to Him. We read, “And they were bringing children to him that he might touch them, and the disciples rebuked them. But when Jesus saw it, he was indignant and said to them, 'Let the children come to me; do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God. Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it. And he took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them.” (Mark 10:13-16)

You know, I believe that Jesus really loves children a lot! Just how much? Well, we'll see in a little bit. Just hang in there!

Do you remember how the teacher needed a substitute? Do you remember why the teacher needed a substitute? The teacher, Mrs. Ziegler, needed a substitute because she was sick! Now, did you know that you also need a substitute? Oh, not because you can't teach, or because you are sick! No, there is a different reason. Let us see why that is.

Now, I'm sure that the school you are in, has certain rules, right? What happens when someone doesn't listen to one of those rules? Ah, they get into trouble! Now, listen, how many rules does one have to break to get into trouble? That's right, just one rule! We could say, that there are consequences for bad behavior, right? Yes, there are always consequences for bad behavior!

Well, God also has rules, and if we break even one of His rules we are in trouble too! You see, just like your teacher is in charge of your class, so God is in charge of the whole world! Just like you have to answer to your teacher, so you also have to answer to God!

So what are God's rules? Well, He has 10 special rules, known as the 10 commandments. We won't look at them all – just a few. We find these: “You shall have no other gods,” “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain,” “Honor your father and your mother,” and “You shall not steal.” (See Exodus 20:1-21) I ask, have you always listened to your parents? Have you ever taken something that did not belong to you?

Hmmmm, I wonder now, what would happen if you broke one of those rules? Well, God tells us in the Bible He gave us, that, “The wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) Now, that doesn't sound very good at all, does it?! No, I don't think so either. Yet, God must punish our sin, He can't pretend it didn't happen. Understand too, that this “death,” is talking not just about us dying. It is really talking about us being separated from God because of our sin. You see, God is holy, and a holy God cannot be with people that aren't holy.

Now, remember that time when you looked in the mirror, and you saw just how dirty your face was? Wow, that may have been a real surprise to you! So God's rules work like a mirror too. Oh, we don't see a dirty face, but we see how bad we are. We see how often we have broken God's rules. You see, we are in BIG trouble with God because of our sin! No, God cannot be with such sinful people as us. Oh, whatever are we to do! We are in such BIG trouble!

Do you think if you tried really hard to be good that that might help? Well, God says that all the good we try to do, are like “filthy rags” to Him! (**Isaiah 64:6) That is, all that good, is like extra dirty clothes to God! Oh, you see, no matter what we do, we just can't fix ourselves, so that God can be with us again! No, we failed God's test. We flunked!

But, you know what? God still loves you – even when you have been so bad! Remember, that I said we would see later, just how much God loves us? Well, that is what we want to look at right now. Do you remember how the substitute came in to take the teacher's place? I ask now, did the teacher have to teach you and answer all your questions and help you, while you had your substitute? No. She didn't need to do anything! Now, listen carefully. You also need a substitute. You need someone who is willing to be punished for you naughtiness instead of you! That is, as your substitute. Listen, this is exactly what Jesus came to do for you! He came to be punished by death on the cross for all of your sin! That is how much He loves you! Incredible isn't it! And neither is there anything you have to do – Jesus did it all for you, just like the substitute teacher did everything for the teacher that couldn't be there because he was ill!

Look, Jesus says that he wants to be friends with you right now! He doesn't want to see you get punished for your sin. He wants you to be able to forget about it. He wants you to be joyful! He wants you to be with Him forever in His awesomely beautiful Heaven! Don't you want that? No, nobody wants to go to the awful place of fire, called Hell, when they have to leave this Earth. No, God does not want that for you at all. That is why He was willing to be your substitute! That is what He did for you by coming and dying on that awful cross! He took your place!

The Bible says, “For God so loved the world [including you!], that he gave his only begotten Son [Jesus], that whosoever believeth in him [including you!] should not perish, but have eternal life.” (**John 3:16)

Look, Jesus just wants you to trust Him, that what He did for you on the cross was enough! Listen, there is nothing you have to do, to try to be good enough for Heaven – it is God, who makes you good enough for Heaven!

His Promises

Listen to this promise: “For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:13) Here is yet another wonderful promise from Jesus: “Whoever comes to me I will never cast out.” (John 6:37b)

One last thing. We can “know” for sure that we'll be in Heaven if we trust Jesus as the one who is able to save us completely. For, we read, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.” (1 John 5:13) This only makes sense, because if Jesus was already punished for all your sin, then how could God punish you again for the same thing?! Makes no sense! You are indeed safe, if you trust Jesus as the one who is able to save you!

Victor J. Reimer

    *Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version (ESV), copyrighted © 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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