Big Idea: The victory of God’s Kingdom may seem delayed, but it is certain.
Key Verse: Matthew 14:9
We live in an instant society. We pull into a hamburger restaurant and complain that the lunch which would have taken us half an hour to make at home takes nearly ten minutes. Our impatience with minor inconveniences is multiplied many times over when we are forced to realize that we cannot put God on our timetable. He will accomplish His will in His time, and His view of perfect timing might be quite different than our own.
John the Baptist had done everything right. He answered God’s call to preach, baptized myriads of people, proclaimed the identity of Jesus as the Lamb of God and ultimately been thrown into prison for calling out the sins of the powerful. He had sent word to Jesus, asking whether He was the promised Messiah, and Jesus had called John the best man ever born of woman. Yet, this Messiah who raised the dead and healed the lame did not break John out of prison. The Messiah that he placed his faith in continued to teach and preach while John sat in prison. John was executed with Herod still on the throne, his faith in a coming kingdom still unrealized.
Of course, John’s faith was not misplaced, and Jesus’ Kingdom will be established. God has not fallen asleep or abandoned His promises, He simply is not bound by our ideas of expediency. We might not see God’s promises fulfilled in our entire lifetime, but we can know by faith that they will be.
Older kids: Ask the kids about the fear of death, and how it affects our ability to trust God with what happens after we draw our last breath. It is only possible with the security of salvation and eternal life.
Younger kids: Talk to younger kids about a time when they were impatient, but eventually got what they needed.
Discussion idea: How do you think John the Baptist could reconcile the idea that Jesus was the true King of Israel with the fact that Herod was still on the throne?
Prayer focus: Pray for the kind of faith in the middle of struggles that gives us real patience.