Dig in at Home - 26 March

The Plot to Kill Jesus

Mark 14:1-11

The religious leaders are plotting to kill Jesus. One of Jesus’ 12 disciples, Judas, finds the religious leaders and offers to help them. They offer him money to help them arrest Jesus, and Judas agrees. Jesus knows what it’s like to be hurt by a friend.

Now Jesus was deeply troubled, and he exclaimed, ‘I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me!’ John 13:21.

Family Together Time

Use this fun game to get your kids talking about their struggles in friendships.

- Have everybody draw or write about mean things friends have done to them.

- As you write or draw, talk to each other about what you’re putting on your paper.

- Ask your kids follow-up questions, and avoid judgmental statements.

- Crumple all the papers and throw them at a target, such as a door or window.

- Talk about how it feels to be the target of mean words or actions, especially from friends.

- Remind your kids that Jesus knows what it’s like to be a target.

- Encourage your kids to keep talking to you and God as they face challenges in friendship.

- Remind your kids that home is a safe place to share.

Talk About This…

- What’s the meanest thing a friend could do to you?

- Tell about a time you had to make a choice to be loyal to a friend—or not. Share your own example first.

- What would’ve been in it for Jacob if he’d gone to hang out with Brian?

- What would it have cost Jacob to hang out with Brian instead of Ethan?

Watch and Discuss

In today’s Bible story, Jesus’ friend Judas went behind Jesus’ back to hurt him. He worked with Jesus’ enemies! Jesus knows what it’s like to be hurt by a friend.

Let’s watch a video about a boy who had a choice like that. Let’s see if he chooses to betray his friend, like Judas did, or stick with his friend.

Watch “Friendship Ride.”

Brian was one of the cool kids. Jacob could’ve been more popular if he’d chosen to betray his friend. But he would’ve lost his best friend! That’s kind of like Judas—he lost his best friend just to make a little money. In the end, it wasn’t worth it to him. But because Jesus went through that, Jesus knows what it’s like to be hurt by a friend. If you have friends who choose being “cool” over hanging out with you, you can turn to Jesus because he understands.

Digging Into the Life of Jesus. Copyright © Group Publishing, Inc. Permission to reproduce granted for local church use.

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Dig In at Home - 25 March

Jesus’ Triumphant Entry

Matthew 21:1-11

Jesus and his friends head to Jerusalem. Two disciples get there first and borrow a donkey colt for Jesus to ride. He rides triumphantly down the road, and the crowds spread branches and robes in his path. They call out praises, declaring that Jesus is the King.

For, at just the right time Christ will be revealed from heaven by the blessed and only almighty God, the King of all kings and Lord of all lords 1 Timothy 6:15

Through the Week

- One day this week, lay some old towels along a hallway or common area of your house.

- Whenever you pass by or walk on the path, remember that King Jesus lives in your house!

- Praise him!

- At the end of the day, pick up the towels and talk together about how you can honor Jesus as a King all the time.

- What would be the best part about being a king or queen?

- What do you see?

- What do you hear?

Talk About This…

Watch and Discuss

Today we’re learning about the time Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey. People praised Jesus because they realized that Jesus is the King!

Close your eyes and imagine the scene of Jesus riding into Jerusalem.

Let’s watch a video where a couple of kids re-create the scene. We’ll see how they picture it.

Watch “Small People Productions.”

- How did this production compare to what you pictured?

There probably weren’t rubber chickens on Palm Sunday. And I’m pretty sure a giant dog…er…colt…didn’t try to eat Jesus! But people did praise Jesus and put their coats on the road to treat him like a king. And we can do the same because Jesus is the King!

Digging Into the Life of Jesus. Copyright © Group Publishing, Inc. Permission to reproduce granted for local church use.

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Dig In at Home - 18 March

Jesus Calls Disciples

Mark 1:16-20; John 1:35-51

Jesus calls four fishermen to follow him. They immediately leave their nets to follow him. Jesus also calls Philip, who recruits his friend Nathanael. Nathanael is impressed by Jesus’ knowledge of him. Jesus changes all of these men’s lives, and Jesus can change our lives, too.

This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 2 Corinthians 5:17

A New Creation

Repurpose trash to show how Jesus can make us new.

- Go through your trash and recycling to find clean trash items. No banana peels or dirty tissues!

- Grab some tape, glue, and scissors.

- Make new creations out of the old trash.

- Read together 2 Corinthians 5:17.

- Show off your new creations and talk about:

- How did you think of ways to use old things in a new way?

- What are some ways Jesus makes us new?

Through the Week

Here’s an activity you can do throughout the week.

- To start, cut out 1-inch squares of paper in different colors, and arrange them like pixels to create artwork. Tape the pixels onto a wall or fridge by rolling up tape on the back.

- Throughout the week, family members can rearrange the pixels to make new art.

- At the end of the week, talk about what you saw, using these questions.

- What are some changes you noticed in our art throughout the week?

- What are some changes you made?

- Which changes were your favorite?

- What are some things you’ve seen Jesus change about you?

Family Discussion

- What’s exciting to you about change?

- What’s scary to you about change?

- What do you think Jesus might want to change in your life?

Watch and Discuss

As you think about change, what are changes that seem scary to you?

- Each share about a change that might seem scary to you.

- What about a good change? Each share a kind of change would seem good or even exciting to you?

What seems like a scary change to some people might seem fun or exciting to others. Whether or not we like change, it’s all around us! Let’s watch a video to help us see what change might look like.

Watch “Reflections on Change.”

We could see changes in nature through this video—and it was fun to see how fast things changed! But what about that last question on the video? It said, “Jesus can change our lives. What does that look like?”

- What do you think it looks like when Jesus changes your life? Is it something you can see or not? Share your thoughts.

Now, play video again, and this time as you watch things changing in nature, talk to God about what he might be changing in your life. Ask him about what he’s changing and thank him that he has the power to make changes in our lives.

Digging Into the Life of Jesus. Copyright © Group Publishing, Inc. Permission to reproduce granted for local church use

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​Dig In at Home – 11 March

Satan Tempts Jesus

Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13

Before he starts teaching and healing, Jesus takes 40 days of quiet time in the desert. When he's weak and hungry, Satan comes to Jesus and tries to tempt him in three ways. But Jesus shows us the right way, and he uses Bible verses to say no to temptation.

Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. Proverbs 3:6

Choose Your Own Ending

Make up a story together to learn how other people make choices.

- Make up the beginning of a story together. For example, "I was walking down the street when I saw a $20 bill."

- Have each family member add a quick ending to the story.

- Each person will choose which one he or she likes best.

- Discuss how and why you made your choice.

- Repeat the activity a few times.

Talk about this question:

- What helps you make the right choice when you must choose between right and wrong?

Through the Week

Here's an activity you can do throughout the week.

- Cut arrows out of paper. If you'd like, have everyone help decorate them. You'll need enough arrows so that you have one for every room in your house.

- Hang the arrows around your house, in your car, or other places you frequently go.

- When you need a reminder that Jesus shows us the right way, look at one of the arrows and ask him for help showing you what to do.

Family Discussion

- What's the biggest temptation our family faces?

- What can you learn from how Jesus handled temptation?

- How can Jesus help you do the right thing when you're tempted?

Watch and Discuss https://vimeo.com/162131421

Sometimes we really, really, really want to do something that we know is wrong. We might feel tugged back and forth between doing what we know is right and doing what we know is wrong. That’s temptation!

We’re learning about a time Jesus was tempted. Let’s watch this video to see what happened.

Watch “The Temptation of Jesus.”

I’m going to ask a few questions about what’s important and what’s not important. If you think the answer to the question is “very important,” put your thumbs up, and if you think the answer is “not important,” put your thumbs down, or thumbs to the side/ middle if you aren’t sure. Jesus used parts of the Bible to help him get away from temptation.

- How important do you think it is to know parts of the Bible? Thumbs up or Thumbs down?Invite sharing about why.

- How important do you think it is that Jesus was tempted? Thumbs up or thumbs down? Invite sharing about why.

The devil sure is sneaky, and he twisted the truth to try to trick Jesus. It’s a good thing Jesus knew the truth and wasn’t tricked when the devil tried to tempt him. Jesus knows how it feels to be tempted because he was tempted, too, and Jesus shows us the right way when we’re tempted.

Digging Into the Life of Jesus. Copyright © Group Publishing, Inc. Permission to reproduce granted for local church use.

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Dig In at Home - 4 March

John Baptizes Jesus

Matthew 3; Luke 3:21-22

In today's Bible passage, John the Baptist baptizes people and preaches about Jesus. When Jesus comes, John baptizes Jesus. At Jesus' baptism, the skies open and God the Father announces that Jesus is his Son

Key Verse: And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy” Matthew 3:17

We're Alike

Jesus is God's Son, so they are alike in many ways. See what similarities you can spot with household items.

- Gather 10-20 random items from around your house.

- Have family members take turns selecting two objects from the pile and saying ways they are alike. For example: They're both made of plastic; they're both kitchen tools.

- Talk about these questions:

- What are some ways each of us is like our parents?

- What do you know about Jesus now? How does that help you know about his Father, God?

Big Blessings

Try this at bedtime each night. Put your hand on your child's head and say, "You are my dearly loved [son or daughter], who brings me great joy."

- Ask your child what it means to hear a blessing from you.

- Talk about what it means that God said those words about Jesus.

- Read Galatians 3:26 as a family. Imagine God saying your name and telling you you're his son or daughter and that you bring him joy.

Family Discussion

- What does it mean to be a son or daughter of God?

- Imagine God saying, "[Your name], you are my dearly loved child." How do you feel about that?

Discuss and Watch

We’re learning about a guy named John who was a little bit different from other people—and who had a pretty amazing experience with Jesus. Let’s watch this video to see John’s story.

Watch “John Baptizes Jesus.” https://vimeo.com/162131414

- John shared the message “Prepare the way for the Lord’s coming! Clear the road for him!” What do you think this means?

- Why do you think God wanted everyone to hear this message?

- Jesus is God’s Son. When we get to know Jesus, we get to know God. What do you know about Jesus that is also true about God?

John wanted everyone to have their hearts ready for Jesus. He wanted them to start thinking about what they were doing and how they were living. But it sounds like he was a little surprised when Jesus came and wanted to be baptized. Jesus said that this was what God wanted, so John agreed to baptize Jesus.

It must have been amazing when the sky opened up and a dove came down and landed on Jesus! And it must have been really amazing when everyone heard God’s voice say, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”

It’s exciting to know that we can get to know God by getting to know Jesus. We know for sure that Jesus loves us—and that means God loves us, too!

Digging Into the Life of Jesus. Copyright © Group Publishing, Inc. Permission to reproduce granted for local church use.

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Dig In at Home - 25 February

Jesus Speaks With the Religious Teachers

Luke 2:41-52

At age 12, Jesus is at the Temple for a festival and gets lost. His parents look for him for three days and find him in the Temple, wowing the people there because Jesus is wise. After he returns home, he continues to grow in wisdom.

Jesus grew in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and all the people Luke 2:52

Wise Answers

Jesus amazed the religious teachers with his understanding and answers. See how amazing your family is at answering tough questions!

- Find a trivia board game or app where you can see just a list of questions.

- Working as a family, see how many questions in a row you can answer correctly.

- Missed one? Start over and try to break your record!

- Discuss: What's the difference between knowing facts and being wise?

Just because Jesus wowed the teachers doesn't mean he was a trivia king. Jesus wowed the teachers because he was wise. You don't have to know a lot of facts to be wise. You just need Jesus to help you make good choices!

Through the Week

Here's an activity you can do throughout the week.

- Talk about choices each person made that day that required wisdom. For example, maybe one family member chose to help someone who was sad or chose to tell the truth even when lying was easier.

- Discuss other options and how to tell if you've made a wise choice.

- Pray for wisdom in making the next day's choices. Ask Jesus to give you some of his wisdom.

- Talk about how your prayers have helped you know what Jesus would choose to do.

Family Discussion

- Tell about a time you showed wisdom.

- Tell about a time you didn't show wisdom.

- When do you need Jesus most this week for wisdom?

Watch and Discuss

The Bible tells us about a time that Jesus and his parents were at a celebration, and when it was time to go home, Jesus got left behind. What would you do if you got left behind at church? We might figure out ways to camp out at church or to call our parents to come and get us. But let’s see what Jesus did!

Watch “Sticky Story.”

Jesus didn’t panic when he got left behind. He hung out in the Temple—which is what church was back then.

- What surprises you about how Jesus responded when he got left behind?

- Jesus was only 12 at the time this happened. How do you think he became so wise?

It must have been surprising to Mary and Joseph and the Bible teachers that Jesus knew so much. The Bible tells us he was listening to the teachers and asking questions, and that everyone was amazed at the answers Jesus was giving. Jesus is wise.

The Bible tells us that after this happened, Jesus went home with his parents and that he kept growing—he grew wiser and he grew in size from a boy into a man. When we spend time with Jesus, we can grow in wisdom, too!

Digging Into the Life of Jesus. Copyright © Group Publishing, Inc. Permission to reproduce granted for local church use.

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Dig In at Home - 18 February

Wise Men Worship King Jesus

Matthew 2:1-18

A group of wise men who’ve studied the stars notice an unusual star and follow it, looking for the newborn king that had caused the star to rise. When the wise men find Jesus, they worship him because Jesus is the king. Hearing of this, King Herod wants to kill Jesus, but God leads both the wise men and Jesus’ family to keep Jesus safe.

Where is the newborn king of the Jews? We saw his star as it rose, and we have come to worship him. Matthew 2:2

Reigning King

Jesus is the only true king. All other kings and queens will come and go, but Jesus is the king forever! Play this game to help your family learn that Jesus is the king forever.

- Have everyone walk around balancing a piece of paper on his or her head—no hands.

- The last person with the paper still on his or her head is the reigning king or queen!

- Play a few rounds, trying to get a new king or queen each time.

Talk about these questions:

- Why don’t regular kings and queens reign forever?

- What makes Jesus a special king?

- What comes to mind when you think of a king?

- Which of those words describe Jesus?

- What can you do to treat Jesus like a king?

Have everyone color a picture on their paper that shows a gift they could bring Jesus, their king.

Through the Week

Here’s an activity you can do throughout the week.

- Stop and pick up any coins you find, no matter how busy you are.

- Look through your car, couch cushions, or other places you might find change.

- Collect all the change in a jar.

- Consider if there are any normal purchases you can skip this week, and use the jar to save the money you would have spent on those things.

- At the end of the week, discuss how you can use that money to worship your king, and give it as a gift to him.

Family Discussion

Discuss and Watch "Kings and Kingdoms"

- Can anyone name a country that has a king or a queen ruling there?

- How do you think someone gets to be a king or queen?

The Bible tells us in Revelation 19:16 that Jesus is the King of all kings and Lord of all lords. Jesus is the king of everyone and everything. Let’s watch a video about kings and kingdoms.

Watch “Kings and Kingdoms.”

- What do you think of when you hear the word kingdom?

- If you were king or queen, what would your kingdom be like?

- How do you know if a king is a good king or a bad king?

Angels came to tell the shepherds about Jesus. They don’t do that for just anyone. In fact, they’ve never come to tell about any other king in history—only Jesus! After the shepherds visited baby Jesus, they had no doubt he truly was the king. They just had to tell everyone.

Most of us will never get a chance to talk to a human king, but we can talk to Jesus, the king of everything, anytime we want. Isn’t that amazing? Think about what you would like to say to the person who is the king of everything. Would you want to ask him something, or kneel down and honor him, or give him something? It’s up to you what you want to say.

Pray – and privately talk to the king—Jesus.

Digging Into the Life of Jesus. Copyright © Group Publishing, Inc. Permission to reproduce granted for local church use.

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Dig in at Home - 11 February

Simeon and Anna See Jesus

Luke 2:21-40

Mary and Joseph bring Jesus to the Temple to dedicate him. While there, they meet Simeon and Anna, who have been waiting and waiting for God’s gift of the Messiah. They praise and thank God that Jesus is God’s gift.

He is a light to reveal God to the nations, and he is the glory of your people Israel! Luke 2:32

Praise Collage

- Simeon and Anna praised and thanked God for the gift of Jesus. Do the same by making a family praise collage.

- Cut up small pieces of wrapping paper. The bigger variety of patterns, the better!

- Write praises to Jesus on each piece of wrapping paper.

- Glue the praises to a piece of poster board.

Talk about these questions:

- What have you done to thank people for birthday or Christmas presents?

- What similar things can you do to thank God for the gift of Jesus?

Through the Week

Here’s an activity you can do throughout the week.

- Get a gift bag and put a small present inside. It could be as simple as a snack, a sticker, a nice note, or a handmade item.

- Pass the gift on to someone in your family.

- When someone gets the gift, he or she will thank the person who gave the gift and will then put a new gift in the bag and pass it on to someone else.

- At the end of the week, talk about how nice it was to receive gifts throughout the week and what a great gift Jesus is.

Family Discussion

- How do you decide what would be a good gift for someone?

- When have you given a gift you knew the recipient would love?

- What makes Jesus a good gift?

Discuss and Watch

In today’s Bible account, we learned that Simeon and Anna had waited a long, long, long time for Jesus. They knew that Jesus would be God’s gift to the world, and they kept waiting for Jesus. Waiting can be hard.

Think and talk about a time you had to wait patiently for something you really wanted.

- Was it worth the wait once you got that thing? Why or why not?

Watch “Waiting for Cookies.”

- Why did the girl think it was worth the wait for those cookies?

When we pray, we often ask Jesus to do something that is important to us, like heal someone, or help us with a friendship, or help us with a test.

- What is something you have prayed about and are waiting for God to do in your own life?

- Pray for each other for a minute, asking Jesus to help each other as they wait for Jesus.

When someone prays for us, that is a gift to us. When Jesus helps us, it is a gift to us. Even greater than both of these is knowing that Jesus himself is a gift to us. It must have been hard for Simeon and Anna to wait for Jesus to come. The good news for us is that we don’t have to wait for Jesus—he’s already here with us and we can talk to him anytime we want. What a wonderful gift!

Digging Into the Life of Jesus. Copyright © Group Publishing, Inc. Permission to reproduce granted for local church use.

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