Miracles of Provision

Goal: To teach the children about the miracles and to show how He still does the same things today.

Lesson Scripture: Matthew 17:24-27 The coin in the fish’s mouth

 24After Jesus and his disciples arrived in Capernaum, the collectors of the two-drachma tax came to Peter and asked, “Doesn’t your teacher pay the temple tax?”

 25“Yes, he does,” he replied.
      When Peter came into the house, Jesus was the 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?”

 26“From others,” Peter answered.

   “Then the sons are exempt,” Jesus said to him. 27“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.”(NIV)

 Story Suggestions (depending on the age of your students) 
Tell the story directly from the Bible but include interesting things like a picture of a drachma coin.
See Wikipedia for more on the drachma coins and photos  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_drachma

For older children include some of the history of the Temple Tax from http://www.historicjesus.com/glossary/templetax.html
Temple Tax
The enormous Jewish religious establishment of synagogues, the temple, Levites, and priests was supported by an elaborate system of offerings and taxes. The offerings were sometimes in kind: sheep, cattle, doves, and grain that were offered as sacrifices at the -various festivals or in fulfillment of individual vows. The first-born male of each species, including a family’s first-born son, was to be given to the priests. The son could be “redeemed” for a set fee. Sometimes the offerings were of money or of valuable pieces of gold and silver work. Such offerings were put into receptacles in the .temple court known as “the treasury. “The Law required offerings to equal a tithe or a tenth of a person’s gain. Understandably, the definition of what should be considered “gain” became a matter of extensive litigation and regulation. Every male who turned twenty was required to pay an annual “temple tax” of an amount equal to a half-shekel. This tax had its origins in a tax Moses levied on all males after a census, when he sought precious metals for the materials in the Tabernacle (Exod. 30.13 and38.26). Originally a shekel was a unit of weight (about 10 grams); later a coin of that weight was called a shekel.

For younger children, I found a great story about this passage  which I used for my group told by Tasha the fish http://matneywoodard.home.att.net/Tasha.htm
Tasha the Catch of the day.

Suggested Songs:
Jehovah Jireh
Fishers of Men

Suggested Crafts:
                        Clay drachmas – Sculpey Clay has a silver colored clay for about $2 per block which is available at most craft stores.
Each child needs a small ball the size of a quarter (about 1/8 of a block of clay) Have them make it into a ball, then flatten it. Use various objects to make impressions in the clay to look like a coin. You may use a tooth pick to write the date on it. Flip it over and gently make another impression on the other side. (Side one will flatten out a little more, but if you’re careful, it should remain clearly visible.)
                   Bake as directed on the package. and you will have a “drachma” coin.

I used this fish both as an illustration and a craft.

 – To make this fish, you need to draw a simple fish shape. 
 – Cut 2 exactly alike for a back and front.
 – Print out the memory verse (I used Philippians 4:19) and cut it out, punchinc a hole in one end of the rectangle.
 – Tie a piece of yarn onto the verse. This will be your fishing line. Then sandwich the yarn between 2 pennies about 8 inches from the memory verse.- hot glue then together.
 – Lay the yarn betwee the pieces of the fish’s body so that the coin is hidden inside the fish’s mouth. Then staple the two body pieces together, leaving the mouth open. The yarn will extend beyond the tail.
 – Punch out circles using a round paper punch (I used a 1 5/8 inch circle) from any colors or type of paper you have on hand – construction paper, wrapping paper, tissue paper, scraps of scrapbook design paper or cardstock. Glye circles like scales to the sides of the fish.
 – When you tell the story, gently pull on the string to pull the coins out of the fish’s mouth. Open the mouth of the fish to reinsert the coins so the kids can tell it to their parents at home.

Game Suggestions:
 – Fishing: Cut out small fish for a fish pond. Put one of the words for the memory verse on each fish and try to “catch” them in order using a dowel pole, yarn line and magnets.

 – Memory Game: Hide a chocolate coin under some styrofoam  or paper cups. decorate the cups with fish shapes. Have the children see if they can find the chocolate coin.

Snack Suggestions:
Chocolate coin candies
Sweedish fish inside cupcakes

Happy teaching!

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