Jacob’s New Name

Key Passage: Genesis 28:15 “Look, I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.”

Big Picture Question: What new name did God give Jacob? God changed Jacob’s name to Israel.

Christ Connection: Jacob’s meeting with God changed his life as reflected in his new name, Israel. Jesus came so that we might have a changed life, forgiven of sin (2 Cor. 5:17). Jesus’ death and resurrection provided sinful people with the way to be adopted into God’s family. When we are adopted into the family of god we also receive a new name—children of God (John 1:12).

Dear Parent(s) or Guardian(s),

This week in The Gospel Project for Kids, kids heard a story about what happens when God changes someone’s heart. Jacob, you may remember, didn’t start off very well. He was a lying deceiver who looked out only for his own interests. Nevertheless, God changed Jacob through quite a challenging circumstance.

Jacob separated from his brother and lived away for 20 years. During that time he had a family—a very large family! God compelled Jacob to return to his hometown in order to see Esau. Jacob learned that Esau was coming but that he had a large contingent of men with him. Jacob sent his family ahead of him and camped by a river.

During the night, Jacob wrestled with an angel who turned out to be God. In that meeting with God, God changed Jacob. In the morning, Jacob crossed the river. Instead of hiding behind his family in case Esau’s approaching group attacked, Jacob led his family to what was a glorious reunion.

Jacob’s meeting with God changed his life as reflected in his new name, Israel. Jesus came so that we might have a changed life, forgiven of sin (2 Cor. 5:17). Jesus’ death and resurrection provided sinful people with the way to be adopted into God’s family. When we are adopted into the family of God, we also receive a new name—children of God (John 1:12).

Family Activity: Conduct a family arm wrestling competition. Remind kids that Jacob wrestled with God and Jacobs wouldn’t let God go until He blessed Jacob. Look online to discover the meaning of each family member’s name. discuss if the name is a good fit for each person.

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