Bible Reading: Mark 12:1-27
This is a difficult lesson because it deals with death and resurrection. Not something a kid gives a lot of consideration to. But I think that while they may not fully understand everything, it is still important to start teaching them the truth while they are young. Then, when they do start to think about it, they will start at the right place.
Thoughts about God for My Grandkids:
It was just weird. The other day I walked into Max’s room (he’s a big blue and yellow Macaw parrot) and he said, “Hello.” I said, “Hello, Max.” And he replied, “Hello, Jim.” Now, I know that Max can talk. But the way he said, “Hello, Jim”, was just plain spooky! Actually, Max can say over 50 words. Such as:
- “What’s up!”
- “Yoda, stop screaming!” (Yoda is our other parrot and Max tells her to be quiet when she starts squawking. Wonder who he learned that from?)
- “Dakota, come here!” (Yeah, Dakota is our Dalmatian. When Dakota was a puppy and Max called her it totally confused her.)
- Jim, Patty, Courtney, Austin, Bradyn, and other names.
Max can say a lot. He’s got a real funny personality and he loves attention. I think that having a parrot as a pet must run in our family because now Austin (our Grandson) has an African Grey named Gandolf.
There is an interesting thing you have to keep in mind when you get a parrot for a pet. It’s probably going to live longer than you live. In fact, Macaws can live 80-100 years. I have had Max for 15 years. I’m not sure how old he was at the time I got him…but let’s assume about 5-years-old. That would make him 20-years-old right now (2018). Okay, let’s spill the beans…I’m 63-years-young. If I live to be 100 years-old…then Max will only be 57-years-old. Therefore, it would appear that at some time in the future someone else in the family just might be getting Max (just a word to the wise…he loves grapes!). Just in case, I’m teaching him to say, “Gandolf”. After all, they are cousins.
Guinness World Records says that the oldest person that has ever lived whose age can be documented was a French woman named Jeanne Calment. She lived for 122 years, 164 days (1875-1997). 117-year-old Nabi Tajima of Japan (born August 4, 1900) is the oldest currently living person in the world whose age has been documented. That is pretty old.
So, how does the average human lifespan compare to the lifespans of other living creatures (let’s stick with animals right now)?
- Galapagos Tortoises live up to 190 years
- Tuataras (a kind of reptile found in New Zealand) can live up to 200 years
- Bowhead whales can live up to 200 years
- A Koi fish named Hanako, that lived in Japan, was reportedly 226 years old
- Greenland Sharks can live to be over 500 years old.
Wow, that’s a long time!
What living creatures that don’t live so long?
- Rabbits live 8-12 years
- Guinea Pigs live 4 years
- Chameleons live 1 year
- A House Mouse lives for 1 year
- A Dragon Fly lives for 4 months
- A House Fly lives 4 weeks (even though we had one in our house that lived a lot longer than that…at least it seemed…cause it really bugged me)
- A Mayfly lives for only 24 hours.
Just imagine if a Mayfly was out shopping and when it got to the store there was a sign that read, “Gone for the day. Come back tomorrow.” Sorry. Tough luck. Not gonna’ happen. Sure hope it wasn’t anything important.
So, anyway, back to humans. The average human lives to be around 80-years-old. Question: what happens after that? What happens when a person dies?
A group of the Jewish people called Sadducees came to Jesus to ask Him a question. While they claimed to believe God’s Word…they had some beliefs that didn’t agree with it. For instance: they didn’t believe in the spiritual world, angels, or demons. And, they did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. The resurrection of the dead is the belief that when a person dies…though their body is dead…their spirit is still alive and goes to be with God. This is called the “afterlife” because it is life after death. They believed that when a person died…that was it. There is no afterlife. Both the body and the spirit die and are gone. Here is an easy way to remember what they believed. The Pharisees (another group of the Jews) believed in the resurrection and the afterlife. The Sadducees didn’t believe in the resurrection and the after life…so, they are sad-you-see. Get it…Sadducee, sad-you-see. Now that’s just funny. Whatever, I’ll bet you remember it.
Several Sadducees asked Jesus a question about the resurrection. They tried to make it a trick question…but Jesus knew what they were doing. It’s funny how Jesus responded. He basically said, “You need to go read your Bible, because you have no idea what you are talking about and you have no idea just how powerful God is.” Then, He continued by teaching them about the resurrection. He knew that they claimed to believe in God’s Word, so, He directly quoted it. That way they would not want to disagree with Him…because they would not want to disagree with the Bible. He quoted Exodus 3:6. There, God said, “I Am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Now look closely. Did He say, “I was the God of Abraham, then next I was the God of Isaac, and then finally I was the God of Jacob”? No. He carefully chose the words, “I Am…”. Why? Because when He said, “I Am…”, it meant that He was the God of all three of them at the same time…not one after the other…not only while they were alive…but even after they died. You see, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were father, son, and grandson. Abraham died after Jacob was born. Then, Isaac died while Jacob was still alive. Think of their lives like these lines…
- at first only Abraham was alive
- then Abraham and Isaac were alive
- then Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were alive
- then Abraham died…and Isaac and Jacob were alive
- then Isaac died…and at last only Jacob was alive.
That means that for a period of time only Abraham was alive and for a period of time only Jacob was alive. Or does it? God said, “I Am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” Then Jesus adds, “He is not the God of the dead, but of the living…” So, if Abraham was dead and gone…there is no resurrection and he no longer existed…then how could God continue to be Abraham’s God after his death while Isaac and Jacob were alive? The answer is that even after Abraham died…he continued to live…there is a resurrection…there is life after death.
What does that mean for you and me? Well, for one thing…I am going to live longer than a Greenland Shark! Really. Because even though one day my body will die…my spirit will continue to live forever. That’s right…”forever”. And the good news is that Jesus said that if I accept Him as my Savior I will live with Him in Heaven forever. Heaven…with God…forever! But there is also some bad news. If someone does not accept Jesus as their Savior…they will also live forever. So, you’re thinking, “What’s so bad about that?” Because even though they will live forever…it’s not in Heaven, but in Hell. That’s right, Hell. Hell is not a good place, at all. Probably the worst thing about Hell is that God is not there. A person who goes to Hell will live forever without God…without His love, without His blessings, without His care, without His protection. It’s not a good place, at all. Every body needs to think real carefully about accepting Jesus as their Savior…because where they will spend forever…depends on if they accept Him as their Savior, now.
Oh, and by the way, I’m still trying to decide who gets Max. Hey, let’s ask him. “Max, who do you want to live with? Just say their name after I say it…Austin? Bradyn? Landon? Gia? Caleb? Taylor? Wesley? I heard him! He said…”
Love you more than bunches and bunches,