Complete-A-Project Bible Search: What Do You Say When Jesus Calls?

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by Alice Pfeifer, CSA

This Complete-A-Project Bible Search activity is for teacher and students (grades 4-6) working together. Use the Bible to answer the questions on the activity sheet [CLICK HERE]. This Bible Search is based on Mark 1:14-20.

* Jesus begins his mission after the arrest of John the Baptist to help people clearly see that he is bringing a new age in salvation history. John attests to this when he says that a prophet “mightier” than he is coming, one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit not just water (Mark 1:7-8).
* The mission of Jesus is to witness to the love and power of the Father. That’s why Mark says that Jesus comes to Galilee “proclaiming the gospel of God” (Mark 1:14).
* Telling people to prepare for the Kingdom of God is quite different from announcing the end of the world. As many of the parables of Jesus reveal, the Kingdom of God dawns upon the world gradually. The world becomes more heavenly as people choose to turn toward the love of God and neighbor and away from sinful ways.
* “Repent and believe” is Jesus’ very first teaching because that is what people most need to do when they first hear the gospel. As a prophet even greater than Moses, Jesus sees that people have strayed from God’s laws. Some Jews, for example, think that it is more important to abstain from work on the Sabbath than it is to help a person in need.
* In the Gospels, we see persons of all personality types drawn to Jesus. The brothers Peter and Andrew, for example, are opposites; Peter is bold, outspoken, and impulsive, and Andrew is quiet, careful, and deliberate.
* Bible scholars tell us that fishermen on the Sea of Galilee in the time of Jesus are what we would call small businessmen. Peter owns a fishing boat on which his brother, Andrew, and some hired men serve as crew members. Zebedee owns a boat manned by his sons James and John and some additional hired men.
* The fishermen ask no questions of Jesus and entertain no doubts about following him because they are men of faith who sense something special about him. According to a footnote in the New American Bible, “Jesus’ teaching with authority, making an absolute claim on the hearer, was in the best tradition of the ancient prophets.”

Answers: 1. after John’s arrest   2. Gospel of God   3. Kingdom of God   4. repent and believe
5. Simon and Andrew   6. nets   7. fishers of men   8. nets   9. yes   10. no

Guide and activity sheet by Alice Pfeifer, CSA. Art by Ansgar Holmberg, CSJ.

* Copies of the activity sheet [CLICK HERE], one copy for each student
* Bibles (The Search is based on the New American Bible.)
* Pencils or pens
* Ten playing cards, an Ace through 9
* Chalk board (or poster board)

1. Have students read the opening to the story about Tyler and Jon. Point out the choice the boys had: to join the special team or not. Then explain that the Gospel is also about a choice, one that Jesus presents to four fishermen. Read the Gospel or have a student read it while students follow along in their Bibles.
2. Ask students to list the similarities and differences between the choice facing Tyler and Jon and the choice facing the four fishermen. Here are some ideas they might offer.

*The boys ask a question. The fishermen ask no questions.
*The boys are asked to do something familiar. The fishermen are asked to do something completely unfamiliar.
*The boys know the person who called them (their coach). The fishermen don’t know the person who called them (Jesus).
*The boys won’t need to change their lives forever. The fishermen will have to leave behind their jobs and families.

*Both choose to say “yes.”
*Both are given a choice while in the middle of their routine activities.
*Both are very good at what they do.
*Both are asked to do something that will help others.

3. Have students close their Bibles and work individually or in pairs to answer the ten questions on the activity sheet. Then read the correct answers and let students see how many they got right.
4. To deepen the students’ knowledge of the Gospel, read Background to them (or summarize it in your own words).
5. Have a student read the conclusion to the story of Tyler and Jon.
6. Reinforce the details of this Gospel with the following memory exercise: Spread face down on a table ten playing cards, the Ace (for number 1) through the nine, in random order. (The number on each card corresponds to the same numbered question on the activity sheet.) Have students take turns picking a card and answering the corresponding question.

Copyright 2012, Bayard, Inc. All rights reserved. This article is protected by United States copyright and other intellectual property laws and may not be reproduced, rewritten, distributed, redisseminated, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast, directly or indirectly, in any medium without the prior written permission of Bayard, Inc.

This article was written by the Catechist Staff and appeared in Catechist magazine, December 2011.

Image Credit: Shutter Stock 6709591

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