Tent Time Devotions
Hop Into the Greatest Story Ever Told
What Did You Say?
Gather Bible and Tent Time Devotion, pitch your tent, bring any other items you would like to use to make this family time special.
- Take off your shoes
- The “password” to enter is to tell God something your are thankful for.
- Once everyone has entered, give God a compliment! PraiseHim!
- Open in Prayer. Keep it simple. Something like…
Dear God we thank you for this time that our family has come together to worship you.
We invite your Holy Spirit to join us here in this tent.
Please teach us the way to speak about you and show us the power that comes from your Word. We love you!
Listen to God’s Word – This portion of our devotion is to tell the story or set the stage to what is happening. You can read this to your children or have them read some to you. Feel free to also tell the story in your own words or just read part of the Scripture depending on their ages.
Remember that we have been talking about the events that happened just before Jesus was to finish His mission here on earth. It was God’s plan that if man should sin and separate themselves from Him forever, then Jesus would come to earth as a baby, live as a man, and die on the cross to take the punishment of all our sins. It is sort of strange, but Jesus was a man and was still God. He left His position in heaven when He became a man, but because He listened to God the Father and was filled with the Holy Spirit, He was able to do great miracles that would prove He was the Son of God.
Many people had a hard time listening to what Jesus had to say because they didn’t understand and were too busy thinking about themselves. Other people could see the great things He did with their eyes but couldn’t see who Jesus really was with their hearts.
Today we will talk about what some people were saying about Jesus and why.
What did Peter have to say?
Mark 8:27-30 and Matthew 16:13-20
Jesus went out, along with His disciples, to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way He questioned His disciples, saying to them, “Who do people say that I am?” They told Him, saying, “John the Baptist; and others say Elijah; but others, one of the prophets.” And He continued by questioning them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered and said to Him, “You are the Christ.” And He warned them to tell no one about Him. Mark 8:27 – 30
In the book of Matthew we read that Peter said…
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.” Mathew 16:16-17
Peter was listening to what God was telling him in his heart.
When he listened, he saw who Jesus really was, and spoke it with his mouth. Peter was saying the right thing!
OH NO! Something happened to Peter’s mouth.
As Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came, and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Nazarene.” But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you are talking about.” And he went out onto the porch. The servant-girl saw him, and began once more to say to the bystanders, “This is one of them!” But again he denied it. And after a little while the bystanders were again saying to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean too.” But he began to curse and swear, “I do not know this man you are talking about!” Immediately a rooster crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had made the remark to him, “Before a rooster crows twice, you will deny Me three times.” And he began to weep. Mark 14:66-72
After the religious leaders arrested Jesus, just after He finished praying in the garden, they took Him before the High Priest (the most important church leader). When Jesus told them that He was the Son of God, they blindfolded Him and began hitting and spitting on Him. Peter was afraid when he saw how that they were treating Jesus and didn’t want anyone to know that he knew Jesus.
That is why he lied about it three times. Once he even used curse words!
Have you ever heard the term following the crowd? When someone follows the crowd they are not really making their own decision but instead are just going along with what everyone else seems to be doing. Following the crowd means you want to do what you think is popular.
This crowd can’t make up their mind.
Yes, they believe!
Many people had gathered in the city of Jerusalem for a special feast they had every year called the Passover. It was a time when they celebrated being rescued by God from Egypt and a time to offer animal sacrifices for their sins.
When Jesus came into town that Sunday, the crowd gave Him a big parade. They laid out their coats and palm branches on the ground to honor Jesus as He entered the gates. They also shouted, “Hosanna, Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” They were announcing that God had sent Jesus to save them. It sounded like they believed in Him with their hearts.
No, they don’t believe.
At the end of the week the crowds are all gathered as Jesus was arrested. He went before a government official named Pilate. After talking to Jesus, Pilate didn’t believe that He had done anything wrong but he decided to ask the crowd to decide between Jesus or a very bad criminal named Barabbas. The crowd said to let Barabbas go. Pilate asked what he should do with Jesus and the crowd yelled, “Crucify Him!”
The Thieves and the Soldier
The day Jesus died on the cross there were two other men who were thieves hanging next to Him. One of the thieves believed in Jesus and the other did not. The first thief yelled at Jesus and said that Jesus was not the Son of God. The second one did believe and asked if Jesus would forgive him and remember him when Jesus got back to heaven.
What did Jesus say to the man who believed?
One of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!” But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed are suffering justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
There were many soldiers that helped with the crucifixions. The Bible mentions one soldier called the Centurion. He was called that because he had 100 men who served under him.
The Centurion was at the cross when Jesus died.
He heard Jesus talking to God and asking God to forgive the people. He saw that the sky turned dark in the middle of the day, there was an earthquake, and the graves of many people who loved God that had already died where opened and the people came back to life. When the Centurion saw all of this he said, “Surely, He was the Son of God.”
Discussion – Use this time to talk about what you have read. How did the story make you feel? What was happening or not happening?
Who in this story was using their mouth in the right way?
What about Peter?
Have you ever been afraid others would make fun of you for doing the right thing?
What about choosing not to play certain games or watch certain TV shows or movies?
How does it make you feel if you give in and make the wrong choice?
It is great that Jesus knows how we really feel in our hearts and will forgive us when we make a mistake.
Did Jesus forgive Peter? Yes, He even put Peter in charge after He left.
What about the crowd?
Why do you think some people said they believed in Jesus and then changed their minds and wanted Him to die?
What about the thieves?
Which one do you think felt bad about the wrong things he had done?
How could you tell?
What about the Centurion?
What do you think was the most convincing thing that he saw?
There were lots of other people there that day that saw the same things but didn’t believe.
What would you think if you had been there?
Application – What can we learn from this story? How can we take what we learn and use it to make a difference in our family?
How do you think it made Jesus feel when Peter said that he didn’t know Jesus during the time Jesus needed friends the most?
When is a time you might stand up for a friend who is in trouble?
How can following what the crowd says get you into trouble?
Should we say the things we think are true or just agree with others?
One of the thieves was mean to Jesus and called Him names.
The other thief used his mouth in a better way. He stood up to the thief who was being a bully and was kind to Jesus.
What was the second thief’s reward?
What can you learn from the thieves on how we should treat others?
Like the Centurion when we hear about the great things that Jesus has done or see someone’s prayer answered in a great way, it is important to praise Jesus with our mouths. Why is it important to let others hear us talk about Jesus and His love and power?
Pray and Speak – Spend a quiet moment in prayer and then speak and tell Jesus how great you think He is.
Spend just a minute with your eyes closed. Remember some of the great things that Jesus did in the stories we have talked about for the last few weeks. Take some time to tell Him what you think about those things and thank Him for what He has done.
Closing – From now until you meet again
There are several ways you can close your Tent Time Devotions. Use all of these options or choose the way that is best for your family.
1. You can end with a time of sharing what you heard.
2. Encourage each person to write down what God told them in a journal.
3. Sing a praise chorus together.
4. Share prayer request with one another.
5. Ask if any member of the family needs help with something. How can you serve them?
6. Speak a blessing that God would tell each person “what to say”.
A voice from heaven – Encourage your kids to look at this story on their own sometime this week.
Jesus was teaching before a crowd about how we should serve one another. He also said that He was troubled about something, what was it? He told His Father in Heaven that even though He was nervous about His mission that what He really wanted most was that God would be glorified (That everyone would know how great His Father is). Right in the middle of the crowd, God’s voice came out of the sky and spoke out loud! What did He say? What did the people hear?