Published: September 22, 2023
Today’s preteens have nearly seen it all—whether it’s unnerving news reports, violent video games, outrageous reality TV, special effects, or superpowers. If you ask kids, they’ll easily offer reports of wild and crazy things they’ve seen. But if you ask them to tell you about a miracle they know of, you might just get blank stares.
Our modern world pushes back against the concept of miracles, and kids have probably heard that miracles don’t happen anymore. In fact, one of the most common challenges to their faith is this: If God is real, why doesn’t he do big miracles like in the Bible? This lesson offers an excellent opportunity to discuss the modern-day reality of miracles with preteens.
- Why do you think some people don’t believe miracles happen anymore?
- Explain whether you think miracles still happen today like they did in the Bible.
Say: Let’s read about some miracles in the Bible.
Have kids form five groups (a group can be one preteen if needed, and preteens can represent more than one group if needed). Distribute pages 17-20 from the Bold Action Student Book to each preteen, and assign each group a miracle from those pages. Each group will read its miracle, then take a turn describing it to the larger group. After they’ve described it, they’ll attempt to re-create the event for everyone following the directions in the Bold Action Student Book.
- Part the Red Sea (Try to rip the Bold Action Student Book page in half—without touching it.)
- The Fiery Furnace (Tear off a tiny corner of your paper. Try to color in the entire piece—without getting any ink or pencil marks on you at all.)
- Feed the 5,000 (Take one piece of food from today’s snack and hold it in your hand. Try to turn it into 10 pieces that are all the same size as the original.)
- Calm the Storm (Point out the window and try to get the weather to change just by speaking.)
- Heal the Sick (Find someone in your group who has a cut or scab, and try to get it to go away by putting your hand on the person’s head.)
Congratulate preteens on their attempts to replicate the miracles.
Say: Well, we weren’t very successful at making these miracles happen. Sometimes because we can’t make miracles happen, it might seem like they’re impossible.
- Explain whether you doubt any of these stories really happened in the first place.
- Why do you think we couldn’t replicate the miracles?
- Do you think it’s possible for these miracles to happen again today? Explain.
- If you could ask God one question about one of these miraculous stories, what would you ask?
Say: When we read about these miracles, it’s easy to assume big miracles happened all the time back then. But these events took place over a very long stretch of time. Many of the people who lived during Bible times didn’t experience miracles at all.
Invite a willing preteen to read aloud Exodus 34:10: “The Lord replied, ‘Listen, I am making a covenant with you in the presence of all your people. I will perform miracles that have never been performed anywhere in all the earth or in any nation. And all the people around you will see the power of the Lord—the awesome power I will display for you.’”
- What do you think this verse tells us about God’s miracles?
Say: In our world, many people don’t believe miracles still happen. They feel like because we don’t see big miracles from God, maybe he’s out of the miracle business. But God is at work today. Even after Jesus left the earth, his followers kept performing miracles to show God’s power.
Invite another willing preteen to read aloud John 14:12-13: “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father.” Have preteens find a partner and work on “Is It a Miracle? You Decide!” on page 21.
- What’s your definition of a miracle?
- Which of these situations made it onto your miracle list? Which didn’t?
- Why? What did you base your decision on?
- Explain whether you think it can be easier for us to dismiss things today as “not miracles” than it was for people in Bible times.
Say: Here’s the truth: God is at work today, just like he always has been and always will be. It’s common for our culture to dismiss miraculous things because we see a lot of pretty amazing things, like a spacecraft launching to Mars and surgery on babies inside their mothers’ bellies before they’re even born. Miracles also come in small ways, like in someone’s kind act at just the right moment or in finding out you already did your page of homework and just forgot. Some miracles don’t seem all that big—but they make a big impact on individuals. So, big or small, those things are miraculous. (Share your own story here about a small miracle in your life and how it impacted you.)
Say: Look again at the situations from the page. All those situations have happened. And sometimes people do pay attention when miracles happen. Movies and books have been made to tell the world about certain miraculous events.
- Describe what you’d consider a big miracle. How about a small one?
- Which kind of miracle do you think is more likely to impact your life, and why?
Say: If we stop and pay attention, miracles are happening all around us because God is at work today.
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