TEXT: Luke 8:26-40
The students will describe how Jesus has power to defeat Satan.
BIBLE LESSON OUTLINE
Introduction: Make two simple figures from paper, one considerably larger than the other. Have students hold each figure, and stretch a string between them. Tell your class that the two figures are going to have a tug-of-war. Which one do they think will win? Why? Explain that God and Satan are on opposite sides, but God is stronger and has more power than Satan.
- Jesus arrived in Gadara, and outside of the city He met a man living in the tombs who was possessed with devils.
- The possessed man fell down before Jesus and called out to Him, recognizing Him as the Son of God.
- Jesus asked him his name and he said, "Legion," for there were many devils in him. The devils begged Jesus not to command them to go out into the sea.
- They asked that they be allowed to enter into the swine which were feeding on the mountain.
Climax: Jesus caused the devils to leave the man, and they entered into the swine, which ran down the mountainside into the sea.
Conclusion: Jesus' power was greater than that of the devils in this man. Today, too, His power is greater than Satan's.
Response: The students will be able to describe the events surrounding the healing of the devil-possessed man. They will be able to relate ways in which we can see evidence that God's power is greater than Satan's in our day.
The Sea of Galilee is approximately 13 miles long and 8 miles wide at its widest point. Jesus and His disciples crossed where it was about 5 miles across and entered an area where there were many limestone caves used for tombs. It was there that Jesus met this man who was tormented by so many demons. (Scripture tells us that his name was Legion: his name being indicative of the vast number of demons in him. A Roman legion consisted of 6,000 men.)
As the man watched the swine (there were about 2,000—Mark 5:13) disappear into the sea it must have been a tremendous testimony to him that he was indeed free from the power of Satan.
Jesus sent this man back to his home in Gadara to tell what God had done for him. Jesus had told many in Judaea and Galilee not to tell what had happened to them, probably to avoid the ever-increasing crowds, but this man was given freedom to proclaim all that Jesus had done because it would not hinder Christ's earthly ministry.
- Show some pictures of sick people, explaining that this is what Satan has power to do. But Jesus has the power to heal us. Bring a picture of Jesus. Tell the children how He knows if we are sick or have a hurt on our body. Jesus cares for us more than anybody can care for us.
- As you discuss the fact that God's power is greater than Satan's, you might wish to illustrate varying degrees of power. To portray this, stage an arm wrestling match between the teacher and one student.
- Bring a rock and a piece of clay shaped in approximately the same size as the rock. Show how the rock is more powerful than the clay, just as God is more powerful than Satan.
- Outline the shape of a man on a piece of white paper. Sprinkle the inside of the drawing with metal shavings. Tell your students that the shavings represent the demons that were in the demoniac. When you describe how Jesus commanded the demons to leave, use a magnet behind the paper to draw the shavings outside of the drawing of the man.
- As a variation of the above activity, draw an outline of a man on a piece of paper. Inside the drawing put a number of small circles (could be from a paper punch) on which you have drawn sad faces. Tell your class these circles represent the demons inside the man. When you tell how Jesus commanded the demons to leave, blow on the paper and scatter the small circles.
- How do we know that Jesus cares how we feel?
- Who has more power: Satan or God?
- How does God help us defeat Satan?
- What do we do to resist Satan?
- Do you think Jesus knew about the sick man who needed healing and that that was the reason He went to Gadara? Why or why not?
- What reasons are there to believe that Jesus knows each one of us and just what our needs are today?
- How does our knowledge of the miracles Jesus performed when He was on earth, help our faith?
- Why did Jesus need to cast out the demons before the possessed man could have peace?
- Who is the Giver of peace? Is there room in a person's heart for the devil and for Jesus at the same time?
- Do you think the devil knows who Jesus is? Why or why not?
- In what ways does Christ defeat the devil in lives today?
- How do we know that the man who was healed was thankful to Jesus? In what ways can we show Jesus we are thankful for the good things He has done for us?
- Did very many people listen to what the healed man had to say? How did those people receive Jesus when He came again to their area? What do you think this shows regarding the effectiveness of personal witnessing?
- Spread a thin layer of cornmeal on a baking sheet that has an edge. Let your children take turns drawing in it the sad face of the man before he met Jesus, and then his happy face after Jesus healed him.
- Focus on Jesus' power to take out scary thoughts and things that make us feel bad inside. Use a large paper figure with a paper "pocket" heart. In the pocket put sad faces. Empty them out and put in happy faces to represent the change Jesus makes.
- Make a series of simple, stick-figure pictures (see Patterns) illustrating the story, each on a separate piece of paper. After telling the story, allow your students to arrange the pictures in proper order, and retell the story to you.
- For each of your students make paper plate puppets representing the man Jesus healed . Use two paper plates for each puppet. Draw a sad face on one plate, a happy face on the other. Use yarn for hair or draw on with marker pen. Staple the two plates together around the edge. Leave room at the bottom of the circle for the hand to be inserted.
Have a bed with a "sick" person on it. Show things that are used when someone is not well: i.e., lots of water, thermometer, bandages, a telephone to talk to a friend. It's not fun to be at home sick when everyone else is out playing. Jesus knows when we're sick. We can pray to Him and call our Sunday school teacher to pray for us too. We don't have to be sick a long time because Jesus can heal us.
Stage a balloon burst as a method of review. Emphasize questions on the day's lesson, typed on ten small pieces of paper. One is inserted in each balloon and the balloon is blown up. Give each question a point value from 10 to 100 points (the more difficult the question, the higher the point value). Call a child to come and burst any balloon. The question in the balloon must then be answered by the child. If the answer is correct he is awarded the point value of the question. If the answer is wrong, the point value is zero. After all the balloons are burst, the person with the highest point value is the winner and receives a prize; or do it with teams, and the team with the highest point value gets the prize.
On a chalkboard or a piece of posterboard, draw a large head. Draw a number of "dream balloons" (like speech balloons) around the head if you are using the chalkboard, or prepare them on additional pieces of posterboard if you are using that method. Talk to your group about how we like to think of happy things, but this man had only scary, unhappy thoughts in his head. In the dream balloons, draw things representing scary thoughts: scared eyes, eyes with tears, the word "fear" in block letters, etc. Then tell how Jesus took out the scary thoughts and put in happy thoughts instead. Replace each scary dream balloon with happy things: smiling face, the word "happiness" or "joy," etc.
- The Great Physician — Pict-a-graph, Standard Publishing