Ordinary and Extraordinary

Posted by Karah


What needs do you have right now? Acknowledge those needs before God and trust that He will provide for you.

“But, so we won’t offend them, go to the sea, cast in a fishhook, and take the first fish that you catch. When you open its mouth you’ll find a coin. Take it and give it to them for Me and you.”
—Matthew 17:27

Read Matthew 17:24-27 in your Bible. Think through the following:

Jesus indicated that He didn’t have to pay the tax because He was God’s Son, and that His followers didn’t have to pay the tax because the king doesn’t tax his sons. This emphasizes the voluntary nature of giving to God, consistently highlighted in the New Testament. This particular tax was collected by the temple; however, we must remember that Jesus also instructed us to obey the laws of the land.

• What is so extraordinary about the way Jesus provided the coin? Explain.

• Would Jesus and Peter experience difficulty paying the tax? Why or why not?

• Peter had to trust Jesus to provide for them, and trust that the first fish he caught would have the coin for the temple tax. If you were in Peter’s position, what would you do? Explain.


• In what ways have you seen God provide for your needs, or the needs of your friends and family? Has He ever provided for you in a way that seemed extraordinary? Using the headings below, list a few ways God has provided for you.

Ordinary                                                                                Extraordinary


• Invite God to meet your needs in whatever ways He sees fit, and pray that He gives you the faith to see His care for you no matter what method He uses.

• For further study on God’s provision, read Jeremiah 29:11; Matthew 6:26; and Philippians 4:19.


The coin found in the mouth of the fish would have been a stater, which equaled the value of four drachmas—enough to cover the two-drachma tax for both Jesus and Peter. The Jews paid a required tax of one-half-shekel for the upkeep of the temple (Ex. 30:13-14). This was equal to approximately two days’ wages.¹


Sometimes Jesus provides for our everyday needs in extraordinary ways.


¹Holman Christian Standard Study Bible (Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers, 2010). Acessed via

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A Few Loaves and a Willing Heart

Posted by Karah


Chris Tomlin’s song “Enough” (Not to Us, 2002) speaks to the all-sufficient nature of Jesus. Thank God that we can be eternally satisfied in him.

“Then Jesus took the loaves, and after giving thanks He distributed them to those who were seated—so also with the fish, as much as they wanted.” —John 6:11

Read John 6:1-13 in your Bible. Consider the following:

Although Jesus asked the disciples to come up with a solution for feeding a multitude of people (v.5), verse six indicates Jesus already had a solution in mind.
• Read Philip’s reply in verse seven and Andrew’s reply in verses 8-9. Restate each response in your own words.

Philip                                                                                             Andrew


Notice both disciples were focused on how impossible the task seemed—they doubted they could find enough food for such a large group of people.
• How would you respond if Jesus asked you for a solution? Explain.

Verse 11 tells us that Jesus gave the people as much bread and fish as they wanted, and verse 13 says the disciples collected 12 baskets of leftovers. They had more than enough to feed the people. The disciples tried to solve the problem with logic, but Jesus has the power to do more than we can imagine.


The young boy offered five loaves and two fish to feed a crowd of about five thousand, but the disciples didn’t see how such a small gift would help their predicament. We all have something to offer to the kingdom of God: time, talents, money, or even a social media platform. Maybe those gifts seem small, but no matter how insignificant you believe they are, God can use them for His kingdom.

• List two gifts you can use for the kingdom of God.
• Look at the list you created. Pray for the faith to give your gifts completely to the Lord and expect Him to multiply them for His glory.
• For further study on God supplying plenty out of a little, read 2 Kings 4:42-44.


This particular sign was considered as a link between God’s provision of manna to Israel in the wilderness and Jesus’ provision in the New Testament. In Numbers 11:13, Moses asked God where he could get enough meat to feed the people of Israel. In today’s passage, Jesus asked His disciples where they could buy bread for so many people. In both instances, God provided an overabundance of food for the crowd (John 6:7-9,11-13; Num. 11:22,31-32).


Jesus has the power to do great things through us with what we have to offer, but we must have willing hearts.

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Power and Peace

Posted by Karah


Listen to “Praise You In This Storm” by Casting Crowns (Lifesong, 2005). Thank Jesus that He faithfully helps us in times of need.

“He got up, rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Silence! Be still!’ The wind ceased, and there was a great calm. Then He said to them, ‘Why are you fearful? Do you still have no faith?’” —Mark 4:39-40

Read Mark 4:35-41 in your Bible and consider these questions.

• Imagine yourself in the disciples’ predicament: you’re in a boat, the wind starts whipping, the waves are crashing into the boat, the boat is starting to sink, and the One who can save you is asleep. How would you react?

Mark’s gospel account of Jesus calming the storm mentioned Jesus was in the boat, “sleeping on the cushion” (v. 38). Although the disciples had not seen the storm coming, nothing about their situation caught Jesus off guard. He had confidence in His Father’s power and was able to sleep.

• Highlight the question “Don’t You care…?” (v. 38). Consider Jesus’ response in verses 39-40. How does His response indicate His concern for His disciples? How did this situation strengthen their faith? Explain.

Jesus commanding the wind and waves demonstrated His ability to handle anything; even bringing peace to anxious hearts. We have to believe in God’s incredible power and ability to take care of us— there’s nothing He can’t handle. However, we also have to remember that faith in God requires more than simply believing He exists; it requires trusting in Him completely.


• Close your eyes for a minute and think about your life. What tough things are you facing at school or at home, with your friends and your family? List a few in your journal.

• Much like He calmed the storm recounted in Mark’s gospel, Jesus has the power to bring calm and peace to your life. He knows what you’re going through now and what you’ll face ahead. How can you trust Him to be with you during difficult times? What are some ways He’s proven faithful in the past? Journal your thoughts.

• For another perspective on this story, check out Luke 8:22-25.


The sea of Galilee has always been prone to sudden, violent storms; it’s waters are shallow and surrounded by mountains. In that day, many of the fishing vessels had low sides, so waves such as
the ones mentioned in this passage could easily fill the boat with water as indicated by Mark’s use of the phrase “the boat was already being swamped” (v. 37).


By calming the wind and the waves, Jesus demonstrated that He controls all things, including nature.

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The First Miracle

Posted by Karah


Pray that you would see God’s glory displayed in the miracles we study this week and His works in your own life.

“Jesus performed this first sign in Cana of Galilee. He displayed His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.” —John 2:11

Read John 2:1-11 in your Bible. Ask yourself:

• Highlight the phrase “do whatever He tells you” (v.5). How does this show Mary’s faith in Jesus? How does this instruction apply to you today?

• Each jar contained _____ to _____ gallons, and there were ____ jars. These jars were “filled…to the brim” (v. 7). In sum, the amount of water Jesus turned to wine was at least 120 gallons; it wasn’t like Jesus turned a few small pitchers of water to wine. Jesus demonstrated His authority over nature by doing something that seemed impossible—changing water into wine. Biblical scholars suggest that the sign could also be considered a manifestation of His glory.

• Knowing this, what was the point of Jesus turning water into wine at the Cana wedding?

• What was the result of Jesus’ displaying His glory (v. 11)? How does reading this account help you to see His glory? Explain.


• The general definition of glory includes words like magnificentrenown, and honor. In your own words, describe actions that display these characteristics today.

Magnificent                                     Renown                                        Honor


• When have you seen God’s glory through something He accomplished in your life? Journal about that experience.

• For further study on the glory of God revealed through Jesus, read Philippians 2:9-11.


The word for “glory” in John 1:14 is doxa, from the Old Testament word kabod, “which implies the mighty power of God evidenced in epiphanies or perceived manifestations of that power.”¹ Jesus’ display of glory in turning water into wine demonstrates His deity and the truth that God acted through Him in the New Testament.


Jesus’ works displayed His glory.


¹Gerald L. Borchet, New American Commentary – Volume 25A: John, (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman, 1996), WORDsearch CROSS e-book, p. 157-158.

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