I wrote a children's Sunday School lesson once where I discovered some cool things about the number 9. Here is an excerpt from that lesson:
"Not only do words have significance in the Bible, but numbers often do too. Today we will learn about one number in particular.”
“The Name ‘Jesus Christ’ means ‘Jesus, the anointed one’. The word ‘anointed’ means ‘to smear or cover’. In Bible days, when someone was going to become a king or prophet, they were anointed with oil. The oil was poured and smeared all over the person to show they were being equipped to do what they needed to do. It’s like playing baseball. It’s not going to be a very fun game if you show up without your bat, ball, and glove, is it? You need your equipment in order to play. What was Jesus equipped to do?”
- Student reads Matthew 4:23. (Teach, preach, heal)
- Student reads Matthew 9:35. (Teach, tell good news of kingdom, heal)
“In other words, Jesus did a ‘show & tell’ ministry! He not only told the people about the Kingdom of heaven, He showed them what it was like!
The anointing oil was a picture of what was to come when Jesus went back to Heaven. Who did He send to His followers? The Holy Spirit. The anointing of the Holy Spirit is what makes the impossible possible! The Holy Spirit enabled Jesus to show and tell about the Kingdom and since Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to us, we have been anointed or smeared with the Holy Spirit and are able to show and tell about the Kingdom as well. Listen to what the Holy Spirit equips us to do:”
- Student reads Matthew 10:7-8. (preach the Kingdom, heal the sick, raise the dead, force demons to leave, help people)
“Last week we used the sponge as an illustration. We said that we are like a sponge.” (Hold up dry sponge.) “When we spend time with the Holy Spirit, we soak up His presence, (Soak sponge in water.) then we go out in power and authority to bring His Kingdom of light into this kingdom of darkness. It’s like the Holy Spirit leaks out of us onto those we minister to in His Name, (Squeeze water out of sponge) then we get to go back to Him again and again for more and more refills of His presence. You know, it would truly be enough to just get to sit and enjoy His presence, but God is so generous that He wants to give us gifts! These gifts are the equipment we need to do what He’s called us to do. Let’s find out what the gifts are. Listen carefully and see if you can count how many gifts are listed in this scripture.”
- Teacher reads 1 Corinthians 12:4-11. “How many gifts did you count?” 9
“Now listen to this next scripture and count how many things are listed.”
- Teacher reads Galatians 5:22-23. “How many qualities of the fruit of the Spirit are listed?” 9!
Do you remember the story of how John the Baptist baptized Jesus? Do you remember what form the Holy Spirit took when he rested on Jesus? A dove. Listen to this amazing fact! Many types of doves have 9 primary feathers on their wings!”
I sooo love when the Lord reveals Himself through His creation! I love all the hidden gems in His Word, like numbers and such.
What I am praying for the Mozambique team is that they are smeared with the Holy Spirit, that they use the spiritual gifts they have been given to bring Him glory, and that they bear much fruit in the days leading up to the trip, while on the trip, and after they return home. I pray that they will feel Him resting on them like a dove and will hear Him say, "This is my beloved son/daughter with whom I am well pleased."
I pray that just like Jesus they will teach, preach, heal, raise the dead, force demons to leave, and help people in His Name. I pray they will live out the show and tell Gospel, which is loving The ONE and loving the one.