Sunday school lesson notes
1st and 2nd grades
Have any of you ever been treated unfairly? What did it feel like? What did you feel like doing about it? We’ve all faced situations in our lives that aren’t fair. It’s something that’s common to every man, woman and child. But what’s not so common is the way that God would have us respond when we are treated unfairly.
Who did you learn about last week? [Jacob and Esau] Does anyone remember what happened? In those days, the oldest child would receive most of the inheritance and – more importantly – the blessing from his dad. Esau was the older brother. The family inheritance was rightfully his. The blessing from his dad was his birth fight. But his younger brother Jacob tricked him and his dad and stole it all. Everything that Esau had dreamed about was gone in an instant. It wasn’t fair, was it? This week we’re going to learn how Esau dealt with being treated so unfairly. And at first, it didn’t start out so well.
Esau was so angry at his brother that eh thought about killing him. Jacob’s mom found out and warned him, so Jacob ran away to his uncle’s farm. And there he lived for many years. He got married, had children, and became a successful farmer himself. But when one day God told him to move back to his family, Jacob was scared. How would his brother treat him? Might he and those with him be in danger? Scared as he was, he followed God’s instructions and headed home.
Along the way, Jacob was told that his brother was coming out ot meet him – and that he had 400 men with him. Jacob, fearing for his life, divided his family and possessions into groups to protect them and had his workers take many gifts to his brother to try to take away his anger. But Esau kept coming. When finally Esau arrived, he ran straight at Jacob. What do you thinking happened next? This may be hard to believe, but Esau gave his brother a big bear hug and kissed him. And not only that, but he told Jacob that he didn’t need the gifts he’d sent, that God had given him enough. In that moment, Esau chose peace.
Does anyone know what peace means? Peace isn’t just a lack of fighting. It’s proving you care more about each other than being right. So often, living in peace means that we have to let go of what’s fair and just love. Do you know who else did this? Jesus.
When Jesus died for our sins, he was (and is) our King. What would’ve been fair is that we all suffered like Jesus. But Jesus didn’t look at it that way. He chose to prove to us that he loved us more than being right.
Our memory verse this week is from another of Paul’s letters. “So let us do all we can to live in peace. And let us work hard to build each other up.” (Romans 14:19)
Jesus, please give us the ability to love others when we are treated unfairly.