The Miracle of the Jars – Children’s Sermon
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Jar cutouts, such as this one
Baby oil or mineral oil
Food coloring if desired
Various jars of different sizes, including a small one with oil in it to show how it looks
Lesson: The Miracle of the Jars
Once there was a prophet named Elisha. He was a man whom God had given special abilities to do miracles and help people. He was a messenger and worker for God.
One day, a woman came to Elisha and cried out to him. “Your servant, my husband, is dead. You know that your servant honored the Lord with fear. But the man to whom he owed money has come to take my two children to make them serve him.”
The mother was very worried and sad because she did not want her children to be taken from her. But she was very poor and did not know how to pay back the man’s money.
Elisha with God’s help had a plan.
Elisha, with God’s help, had a plan. He asked her, “What can I do for you? Tell me, what do you have in the house?” And she said, “Your woman servant has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.”
(Show the children the small jar of oil. You can demonstrate how oil moves slowly in the jar, and how it is thicker than water.)
Just Like in the Bible
Just like in the Bible, people use oil today for lots of things, like cooking. In the Bible, oil was so important that it was used almost like money. It was an expensive but common thing to have in your home.
This was the last bit of wealth the woman had in her house. Elisha knew that with more of it, she could pay her debt. He also knew that God was giving him power to do a miracle.
So he told her, “Go around and get jars from all your neighbors. Get empty jars, many of them. Then go in and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour the oil into all these jars, and set aside each one that is full.”
Now, the woman had many kind neighbors that loaned her jars to fill with oil. (Show the children the collection of various jars.)
But none of the jars had oil in them already. They were all empty. How would one little jar of oil fill all of these jars until they were full?
Faith in God
Because the woman had faith in God, she trusted Elisha. She did as he told her to do, collected jars, and shut the door to her house.
In secret, she and her sons began to fill jars with oil. One after another the jars filled up with oil. Finally, she told her son, “Bring me another jar.” And he said to her, “There is not one jar left.” Then the oil stopped flowing.
It was a miracle! Her one small jar of oil filled all of the other jars. So, “She came and told the man of God. And he said, ‘Go and sell the oil and pay what you owe. You and your sons can live on the rest.’”
Sometimes God does miracles to show how powerful He is. Sometimes God does miracles to show how loving He is. When He made the oil continue to flow, He showed the woman both. God loved her and her sons, and He wanted her community to know He is a mighty God.
God didn’t just provide enough to pay her debts, either, but He provided enough oil for her family to live on the rest of the money they would make from selling the oil.
God wants to provide for us when we call on Him. When we trust Jesus to help us, He will be faithful.
This doesn’t mean we always get what we want, but God does promise to “supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (Phillipians 4:19).
The woman had a need. She wanted to protect her children and provide them a home. God answered her prayer through Elisha and through the amazing miracle of flowing oil.
We can remember this loving miracle by making our own jar fill with oil.
(Show the kids the cutouts.)
We can paint our jars with oil to “fill them up” and then hang them in a window to remember how God provides for our needs.
(Have the children paint the baby oil or mineral oil onto the jar cutouts with paint brushes. If you want, you can add food coloring to the oil to make it different colors. The oil will soak through the paper, making it somewhat translucent. In a window, light will shine through.)