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Childhood Bible Stories
Sermon Series and Study

Rev. Chris Henry explores familiar Bible stories in this sermon series. We invite you into conversation around these stories and the sermons they have inspired. Dr. John Franke provides discussion questions for you to consider or to discuss with your small group.

Story #1: Jesus Welcomes Children

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13 Then little children were being brought to him in order that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples spoke sternly to those who brought them; 14 but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of heaven belongs.” 15 And he laid his hands on them and went on his way. (Matthew 19:13-15)

Questions for Reflection:

  • Why do you think little children were being brought to Jesus so he could lay hands on them and pray? What do you think is significant about this?
  • Why do you think the disciples were unhappy with this? What might have been behind their attempt to stop the children from coming to Jesus?
  • What do you think Jesus means when he tells his disciples to let the children come to him because the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these?
  • How do you understand the “kingdom of heaven” referred to in this story? What is the connection between the kingdom of heaven and Jesus?
  • How do you think the kingdom of heaven “belongs” to the children mentioned in this passage?
  • Does the attempt to keep some people away from Jesus by his followers extend beyond children? Can you think of contemporary examples?
  • Imagine yourself as one of the disciples. What would you have learned about the kingdom of heaven from this incident?
  • What significance so you see in this story for your life and the life of the church?
  • What is particularly significant to you in this story?
  • What questions do you have?

Story #2: The Burning Bush

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Exodus 3:1-15 Listen to the sermon again and read the text carefully in preparation for engaging the reflection questions in a group or on your own.

Questions for Reflection:

  • Why do you think God appears to Moses as “a flame of fire out of a bush” in this narrative? What might be the purpose for this unusual occurrence? What is its effect in the story?
  • How does Moses respond to the appearance of the burning bush in the story? What is the task he receives from the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and how does he react to this calling?
  • Imagine you are Moses in this story. How do you think you might feel in this situation? What questions would you have? What would you do? How would you respond?
  • Do you think God speaks to us today? If so, how do we hear what God says? Have you ever experienced God in ways similar to what we read in this story? If so, how did you respond?
  • What connection do you see between the way God appears to Moses and the command to go to Egypt? Why does God send Moses? How does God prepare Moses for this work? What promises does God make?
  • Do you see any similar challenges in the present to the circumstances faced by Israel in Egypt? If so, how do you think God responds to those situations? What might God do to address them?
  • What significance do you see in this story for your life and the life of the church?
  • What is particularly significant to you in this story?
  • What questions or new insights do you have?

Story #3: David and Goliath

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1 Samuel 17:1-50 Listen to the sermon again and read the text carefully in preparation for engaging the reflection questions in a group or on your own. Ask God to open your heart and mind and speak to you through this story.

Questions for Reflection:

  • What is your reaction to this well-known story? What details stand out to you or seem particularly significant as you read it? Do you find anything surprising or unexpected as you encounter the story today?
  • Who are David and Goliath in this story? What roles do they occupy in the telling of the story and what do you think they symbolize? How are they portrayed and do you see any significance in their respective depictions?
  • Imagine yourself as a participant in this narrative. Where do you see yourself in the context of this story? With whom do you identify and why? How does your choice of identification shape the way you understand the story?
  • Why does God choose David to face Goliath in this battle? What do you think is significant about God’s choice of David and why does it matter in the story? What might we learn about God from this?
  • David chooses to meet Goliath without armor or a sword, instead taking his staff and five smooth stones. Why do you think the storyteller includes these details? What is their significance in the story? What do they tell us about David?
  • What significance do you see in this story of David and Goliath for your life and the life of the church in the present? How does it make a difference for your faith? How does it invite you to live in new ways?
  • What is particularly significant to you in this story?
  • What questions or new insights do you have?