Word One: Don’t Be Afraid, Just Believe (Pentecost 5B Gospel)

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by Alan Muck

Download a PDF of the Word One Bible Study for Pentecost 5B Gospel.

Text: Mark 5:21-43 for the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost, Lectionary Series B

OBJECTIVE

Participants will realize that in times of crisis, God is our ONLY strength and hope.

MATERIALS NEEDED

Balloons (various colors)
Permanent markers

BUILDING COMMUNITY

  1. Pass out a balloon to each participant and have them blow up and tie the balloon.
  2. Using a permanent marker, Instruct each youth to write on the face of the balloon, a trouble or stressful situation facing youth today, e.g., school, friends, parents and family.
  3. Ask for a volunteer to come forward and bat his/her balloon In the air. Throw another balloon Into the air with the instruction to always keep both balloons In the air, adding a third, a fourth, a fifth, etc. When needed, Instruct the volunteer to ask a friend to help keep the balloons aloft.
  4. At what point did it become difficult to keep all the balloons in the air? Was help asked for? Before or after the balloons began hitting the ground?

GROUP GUIDELINES

Form groups of 6·8 by using your balloon colors, combining colors if needed.

Note: Collect the balloons for use during the closing.

A TIME TO REMEMBER

  1. Take a trip back to your grade school years. It is recess time on the playground. Your class is getting ready to play a game of dodge ball, kickball or other team game. Captains have been selected. What was your greatest fear as you stood waiting to be chosen? Share one of your experiences.
  2. What was thought about the ability of the last person chosen? Do you remember a time when the last person chosen became the hero?

LOOKING AT GOD’S WORD

  1. The balloon exercise showed how we can become overwhelmed by today’s problems. Our flashback to grade school illustrated how ‘the last choice’ may have become ‘the best choice.’
  2. Read Mark 5:21-43, with each member of the group taking a turn reading several verses.
  3. Jairus was a desperate man. Being a synagogue ruler and a member of the group trying to get rid of Jesus. he was taking a big risk by seeking out Jesus. Why do you think he was willing to take this risk? Did he approach Jesus out of faith or as his ‘last choice or resort’? Defend your
  4. Jesus did not respond immediately to Jairus’ request. In fact, he healed another woman before moving on to the house of Jairus (see verses 25-34). What news was brought to Jairus In verse 35? Did the men bringing the news have a valid point when they told Jairus, “Why bother the teacher any more?” If you were Jairus, what would you do upon hearing the news:
    1. Yell at Jesus for not reacting
    2. Throw up your hands and go home.
    3. Accept the fact that your daughter was dead.
    4. Wait to see what Jesus would say or do.
  5. Describe a time when you have gotten to the point where you did not feel you had any place to turn for help.
  6. Jesus tells Jairus In verse 36, “Don’t be afraid; Just believe: What was Jesus asking? How do you think Jairus reacted when he heard this?
  7. We know that Jesus went on to raise Jairus’ daughter from the dead. Do you think Jesus had planned to do this all along? Why did Jairus have to go through this ordeal?
  8. As in our earlier balloon activity, Jairus was trying to balance too many balloons instead of asking for help. What lesson can you learn from Jairus when you are facing troubles?

Listen to the words Jesus says to you, “Don’t be afraid, Just believe”

REINFORCING WHAT HAS BEEN LEARNED

Complete this statement:

“One area in my life in which Jesus will be my first choice for help is…”

CLOSING

Distribute the balloons used at the beginning of this study. As a closing prayer, go around the group and have each person pray, “Lord, I give you this struggle with (use the word or phrase on the balloon to complete the sentence)”. When all have prayed, to signify Jesus’ helping with our troubles, pop the balloons!

Originally published in Discovery Bible Studies 19, 1996.

Updated for youthESource in June  2015

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