Be Careful Who You Follow
Jesus warned to watch for false leaders who would deceive us.
None needed. The children will play a game called "Hana, Hana, Hana, Kuchi." (If you choose, you could substitute a game of "Simon Says.")
Jesus said to them: "Watch out that no one deceives you. Many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am he,' and will deceive many. Mark 13:5-6 (NIV)
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How many of you know how to play the game "Hana, Hana, Hana, Kuchi?" You don't? It is a Japanese game that is a little bit like a combination of "Simon Says" and "Follow the Leader." Hana is the Japanese word for nose and Kuchi is the word for mouth. I will touch my nose three times as I say, "nose, nose, nose," but when I say "mouth," I will touch some other part of my body such as my ear, eye, or chin. You have to touch the part that I say -- not the part I touch. If you touch what I touch instead of what I say, you are out of the game. Let's try it once just for practice.
"Nose, nose, nose, mouth." (Touch your ear when you say mouth.)
Uh-oh! I caught a few of you. Well, that was just for practice, so nobody is out of the game. Let's try it again.
"Nose, nose, nose, ear." (Touch your mouth when you say ear.)
Well I caught a few of you again, didn't I?
(Continue to play the game as time permits, then continue with the lesson.)
When we were playing that game, I was trying to trick some of you into doing the wrong thing. It was only a game and we were just having some fun, but there are times when people try to trick us into doing the wrong thing. Jesus warned about people like that.
One day Jesus told his disciples to be careful not to let anyone deceive them. He warned that there would be many false teachers who would come teaching in his name and claiming to be him. Jesus said that many would be fooled.
It was fun to try to trick you in the game of "Hana, hana, hana, kuchi," but it isn't any fun to see people follow false teachers instead of following Jesus. It is important to read the Bible and know what it says so that we won't be fooled.
Dear Father, help us to read our Bibles each day and follow Jesus and his teachings. In Jesus' name we pray. Amen.