Can you find the picture of the castle in the poster? The image below is what you will find on the poster.
NOTE: Side instructions to leader will be noted in parenthesis and in a different font color. Today’s picture is not a sheep or a goat but a castle that will help build a foundation for all of the lessons going forward. Also, the poster has the castle late in the order of discovery. Here online, where we provide some teaching, the castle is on Day #1. All of the other pictures will be in the same order as the poster.
What do you think the picture is trying to teach you about the Kingdom of God?
A long time before Jesus, this guy named Isaiah wrote a book in the bible called Isaiah. Can you guess what one of the main themes of Isaiah is? Kingdoms! Isaiah writes about one kingdom, Israel, being conquered by other kingdoms, Assyria and Babylon. He also writes about the hope of a new Kingdom that will one day come to replace all kingdoms and the King who will govern it all. It will be a Kingdom that lasts forever.
600 years later this new Kingdom arrives! But it does not arrive in the way people expected. This big powerful kingdom called Rome was hurting the kingdom of Israel and Israel wanted this new Kingdom they had been waiting for to defeat Rome. The new Kingdom, however, did not come with swords and shields and armies. It came with something else; peace. It was upside down from what people expected.
The verses being quoted here are from Isaiah 9:1-7. (Note: Older learners may read and discuss Isaiah 9:1-7.) Jesus decides to start teaching about this new Kingdom that people have been waiting for. How must He have felt when He spoke the first words about this new Kingdom? Excited? Nervous? After 600 years the new Kingdom had finally arrived and Jesus was the new King!
Over the next 29 lessons you will learn about this new Kingdom, also called the Kingdom of God or Kingdom of Heaven, and why it is often called the Upside Down Kingdom. It was upside down from what people expected then, and what people expect today. You will be able to recognize the Kingdom when you see it and have a better understanding of its great value. May God bless you as you begin to explore this new Kingdom.
Read Matthew 4:12-17 again.