This workshop leader’s Bible study
is a historical, theological, and contextual introduction to the A Walk on
Water rotation of Kirk of Kildaire’s Faith
Quest workshop rotation program.It is
intended to provide workshop leaders with:
·A historical context for understanding the Bible
·A Biblical context for reading and teaching the
·The theological basis for the concepts to be
taught to the children.
In Kirk of Kildaire’s
Faith Quest program, workshop leaders attend a one-hour Bible study two weeks
prior to the start of a new rotation.This Bible study helps workshop leaders understand how the concepts to
be taught to the children are derived from the Bible story and how the lessons
in the rotation fit together to reinforce the concepts.It also provides an opportunity for the
workshop leaders to grow in their own faith and understanding of the Bible.
It will be helpful to have a
chalkboard, whiteboard, or flip chart for writing down questions or
observations during the Bible study.
Note:This is not a comprehensive study of the
text, but only a few notes to help provide context and background for workshop
leaders.Consult titles cited in the
reference list at the end of these notes for more information.
Memory verse for this rotation:
gives me the strength to face anything."Philippians CEV
qJesus, as the son of God, is powerful.
qJesus gives us the power to do God's work in the
qFaith is believing God is with us.
qIf we focus on Jesus, our faith is strengthened.
Prayer Concerns & Prayer
·If workshop leaders do not know each other, give
them an opportunity to introduce each other and say which workshop they will be
·Begin the Bible study by praying for God’s
guidance as teachers begin a new rotation.
Reading the text
Ask a workshop leader to read the text
aloud.Since this rotation focuses on an
entire chapter, you might want to divide the reading among three or four workshop
Ask the workshop leaders what
questions came to mind as they heard the story or read it before the Bible
study.Write down any questions that
arise and will need to be answered during the Bible study.
Theological, and Biblical Contexts
falls in a section of Matthew ()
in which the author follows Mark very closely (Boring, 316).The story of Jesus walking on water can also
be found in Mark 6:45-52 and John 6:16-21.
– the disciples are on the Sea of Galilee
again.They go without Jesus –
unusual and important!
– Jesus goes alone to the mountain to pray – again reminiscent of Moses
– The battered boat reminds us of the calming the storm story.The boat, representing the church is
being battered by the waves (literally translated, “being tortured”)
(Boring, 327).“The sea itself in
biblical thought connotes the forces of chaos . . . representing all the
anxieties and dark powers that threaten the goodness of the created
order.To be at sea evokes images
of death . . .. The sea here is a barrier that separates the disciples
from Jesus, who represents the presence of God.In the midst of the chaos of the world,
they are left alone in the boat/church, with only their fragile craft
preserving them from its threat, buffeted by the stormy winds of conflict
and persecution” (Boring, 327).
- Early = the fourth watch =
– “It is I” can also be translated “I am” which is reminiscent of God’s
(Yahweh’s) self-identification to Moses and others.By walking on the water Jesus
demonstrates that he has the power to overcome the chaos represented by
the sea (“walking on”=conquest) (Boring, 328).Also, “in biblical thought, only God
walks on the sea” so with his words and his actions Jesus is identifying
himself with God (Boring, 328).God
in Jesus is with the disciples on the sea.
Verses 28-31 were added by Matthew
to Mark’s account and they emphasize the “ecclesial aspect” of the story by
showing that Jesus “shares his power and authority with his disciples” (Boring,
Peter is representative of all the disciples and of us.
- strong wind mentioned again.“Lord save me” reminds me of the Calming the Storm story.
– “You of little faith” - this is used many times in Matthew to describe
the disciples.Peter showed his
lack of faith in needing proof and reassurance from Jesus.When Jesus provided it for him, Peter
did not stay focused on Jesus and began to sink.The word used by Jesus to mean doubt
“connotes vacillation, not skepticism” (Boring, 328).
– there is that wind again!
– The disciples worship Jesus and call him the Son of God.Matthew’s ending to this story is quite
different from Mark’s and “reflects the response of a grateful church that
experiences the impossible presence of Christ with it in its mission – as
promised” (Boring, 328).
Conflict of Kingdoms and the nature of the kingdom
of God: The sea represents evil and chaos which
Jesus triumphs over by walking on it.
identity of Jesus Christ: Jesus
identifies himself saying “I am” which reminds us of God’s own
disciples call him the Son of God.
identity of the true people of God:Peter is representative of disciples as a whole.As in the story of the calming of the
storm, the boat represents the church or faith community.
Ask each workshop leader to
summarize his or her workshop.As they
do so, point out the concepts that each lesson reinforces.Ask workshop leaders if they have any
questions about the logistics or practical application of their lesson.
AntiochArcade:The children will play Where’s Jesus,
a game that will illustrate the importance of focusing on Jesus in their lives
and they will think about how they can do God’s work in the world.
Apostles’ Playhouse:While exploring how to balance their bodies
in different positions, the children will learn about how important it is to
stay focused on Jesus when trying to live faithfully.
Creation Station:The children will discuss how in this miracle
showed the disciples the power of God and taught them to have faith that God
will take care of them.They will then
create scratchboard drawings of Peter and Jesus on the water.
Good News:The children will discover how when Peter trusted Jesus and stayed
focused on him he was able to walk on water.They will play a trusting game as they walk across the GoodNewsLake
and will do a science experiment to see if an orange floats or sinks.
Holywood:The children will review the concepts and the story by watching a video
that depicts the miracle of Jesus walking on water.
Bread of Life Café:Through a cooking demonstration where the
leader makes Baked Alaska, the children will learn about how God cares for us
and gives us strength and power that we could not have on our own.
Return to the questions that were
gathered at the start of the hour.Have
they been answered?Are there any
further questions about the Bible story or about the lessons?
Close the Bible study with a
Boring, M. Eugene.
“Matthew.” New Interpreter’s Bible, vol. VIII. Leander Keck, et al.
editors. (Nashville, Abingdon Press, 1995).pp. 89-124 and pp. 222-231.
Spivey, Robert A.
and D. Moody Smith. Anatomy of the New Testament. (New Jersey,
Prentice-Hall, 1995). pp. 97-129.