Bible Lesson / Teen Bible Lesson.
Spiritual Alternative to Halloween. / Teen Bible Lesson.
This time of year, ghosts and goblins appear everywhere. I have selected 13 real-life stories from the Bible for those of you who want an alternative to the scary fiction floating around. Or if you want to use this time of year as an opportunity to focus attention on Christ.
I have also included discussion starter questions for each episode. All Scripture references are from the Easy-To-Read Version of the Bible. There is no expiration date for the multiple-choice (poll) questions. And of course, if you wish to share your thoughts or comments on this blog, you are more than welcomed to do so.
Get ready to hoot and howl! Part 3.
One day Elisha went to Shunem, where an important woman lived. She asked Elisha to stop and eat at her house. So every time Elisha went through that place, he stopped there to eat.
The woman said to her husband, “Look, I can see that Elisha is a holy man of God. He passes by our house all the time. Please, let’s make a little room on the roof for him. Let’s put a bed in this room and a table, a chair, and a lampstand. Then when he comes to our house, he can have this room for himself.”
One day Elisha came to the woman’s house. He went to this room and rested there. Elisha said to his servant Gehazi, “Call this Shunammite woman.”
The servant called the Shunammite woman, and she stood in front of Elisha. Elisha told his servant, “Now say to her, ‘Look, you have done your best to take care of us. What can we do for you? Do you want us to speak to the king for you, or to the captain of the army?’”
She answered, “I am fine living here among my own people.”
Elisha said to Gehazi, “What can we do for her?”
He answered, “I know! She does not have a son, and her husband is old.”
Then Elisha said, “Call her.”
So Gehazi called the woman. She came and stood at his door. Elisha said, “About this time next spring, you will be holding your own baby boy in your arms.”
The woman said, “No, sir! Man of God, don’t lie to me!”
But the woman did become pregnant and gave birth to a son that next spring, just as Elisha had said.
The boy grew. One day the boy went out into the fields to see his father and the men cutting the grain. The boy said to his father, “Oh, my head! My head hurts!”
The father said to his servant, “Carry him to his mother!”
The servant took the boy to his mother. The boy sat on his mother’s lap until noon. Then he died.
The woman laid the boy on the bed of Elisha, the man of God. Then she shut the door to that room and went outside. She called to her husband and said, “Please send me one of the servants and a donkey. Then I will go quickly to get the man of God and come back.”
The woman’s husband said, “Why would you want to go to the man of God today? It isn’t the New Moon or Sabbath day.”
She said, “Goodbye!”
Then she put a saddle on a donkey and said to her servant, “Let’s go, and hurry! Go slow only when I tell you.”
The woman went to Mount Carmel to get the man of God.
The man of God saw the Shunammite woman coming from far away and said to his servant Gehazi, “Look, there’s the Shunammite woman! Please run now to meet her! Say to her, ‘Are you all right? Is your husband all right? Is the child all right?’”
She answered, “Everything is all right.”
But the Shunammite woman went up the hill to the man of God. She bowed down and touched Elisha’s feet. Gehazi came near to pull her away. But the man of God said to Gehazi, “Leave her alone! She’s very upset, and the Lord didn’t tell me about it. He hid this news from me.”
Then she said, “Sir, I never asked for a son. I told you, ‘Don’t trick me!’”
Then Elisha said to Gehazi, “Get ready to go. Take my walking stick and go! If you meet anyone along the way, don’t even stop to say hello to him. If anyone says hello to you, don’t answer. Put my walking stick on the child’s face.”
But the child’s mother said, “I promise, as the Lord lives and as you live, I will not leave without you!”
So Elisha got up and followed her.
Gehazi arrived at the house before Elisha and the Shunammite woman. Gehazi laid the walking stick on the child’s face, but the child did not talk or show any sign that he heard anything. Then Gehazi came back to meet Elisha and said, “The child will not wake up!”
Elisha went into the house, and there was the child, lying dead on his bed. Elisha went into the room and shut the door. He and the child were alone in the room now. Then he prayed to the Lord. Elisha went to the bed and lay on the child. He put his eyes on the child’s eyes, his mouth on the child’s mouth, and his hands on the child’s hands. He lay there on top of the child until the child’s body became warm.
Then Elisha turned away and walked around the room. He went back and lay on the child until the child sneezed seven times and opened his eyes.
Elisha called Gehazi and said, “Call the Shunammite woman!”
Gehazi called her, and she came to Elisha. Elisha said, “Pick up your son.”
Then the Shunammite woman went into the room and bowed down at Elisha’s feet. Then she picked up her son and went out.
Jesus and his followers went across the lake to the area where the Gerasene people lived. When Jesus got out of the boat, a man came to him from the caves where the dead are buried. This man had an evil spirit living inside him. He lived in the burial caves. No one could keep him tied up, even with chains. Many times people had put chains on his hands and feet, but he broke the chains. No one was strong enough to control him. Day and night he stayed around the burial caves and on the hills. He would scream and cut himself with rocks.
While Jesus was still far away, the man saw him. He ran to Jesus and bowed down before him. As Jesus was saying, “You evil spirit, come out of this man,” the man shouted loudly, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you in God’s name not to punish me!”
Then Jesus asked the man, “What is your name?”
The man answered, “My name is Legion, because there are many spirits inside me.” The spirits inside the man begged Jesus again and again not to send them out of that area.
A large herd of pigs was eating on a hill near there. The evil spirits begged Jesus, “Send us to the pigs. Let us go into them.” So Jesus allowed them to do this. The evil spirits left the man and went into the pigs. Then the herd of pigs ran down the hill and into the lake. They were all drowned. There were about 2000 pigs in that herd.
The men who had the work of caring for the pigs ran away. They ran to the town and to the farms and told everyone what happened. The people went out to see. They came to Jesus, and they saw the man who had the many evil spirits. He was sitting down and was wearing clothes. He was in his right mind again. When they saw this, they were afraid. Those who had seen what Jesus did told the others what happened to the man who had the demons living in him. And they also told about the pigs. Then the people began to beg Jesus to leave their area.
Jesus was preparing to leave in the boat. The man who was now free from the demons begged to go with him. But Jesus did not allow the man to go. He said, “Go home to your family and friends. Tell them about all that the Lord did for you. Tell them how the Lord was good to you.”
So the man left and told the people in the Ten Towns about the great things Jesus did for him. Everyone was amazed.