Scripture: John 11: 33-35
Props: Someone with a calloused hand, preferably a carpenter
Do any of you know what a callous is? Have you ever had a blister? Do you know what causes a blister? That’s correct – when your hands are soft and you work harder than you normally do, like raking leaves, then the skin gets a blister and gets really sensitive. It hurts just to touch it. Someone who works a lot with their hands, like [______________] develops a callous so their skin is not so sensitive. The callous is really tough and it would take a lot more to make that spot hurt than some other place on the hand. Young boys of Jesus time normally learned to do the same jobs as their fathers. Do any of you know what Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph, did? That’s right – he was a carpenter. Some people say that he probably worked more with stone than wood like today’s carpenters do because most buildings in that area were made with stone. But in either case, Joseph’s hands (and probably Jesus’ hands) were calloused from working hard.
Sometimes people will get a calloused heart. Do you know what that means? How do you feel when you are around someone who gets hurt or is really sad? You get sad too, don’t you. Adults have a big word for that. They call it compassion. In our Bible verses today, Jesus knew what was going to happen. He knew He was going to bring Lazarus back to life so everything was going to be all right, but still He got really sad when He saw how sad that Lazarus’ family was – and He cried. Jesus had been around many people who were hurt or sad but He still had compassion for them each time. Sometimes people who work in hospitals where people are sick or in shelters where people are really sad, the workers have to be tough and strong so they can help the other people. But it’s important that we are always like Jesus and care about other people. We need to have compassion for them. We need to be sorry they are sad or hurt. We can still be strong and let them know that Jesus will help them get through whatever is wrong, but we can’t let our hearts get calloused and hard so that we don’t care any more.
Prayer: God we know you love us. We know you will help us get through whatever hurts we may have. Help us be strong for our friends when they are hurt, but don’t let us get callouses on our hearts. Help us to always care about others. Amen.