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Jesus

and Global Citizenship


IN T his a c ti v it y the participants consider examples
of globalization in Jesus’s Galilee and look for lessons
about active global citizenship in the story of the feeding
of the five thousand.
R E q u i re d t i m e : 3 0 MI N UT E s
INTENDED FOR GRADES 9-12
Mat er ial s

» Bibles, one for each small group of five or six


N eed ed

» three sheets of newsprint


» a marker
» a roll of masking tape

Activity Steps
1 ASK T H E PA RT IC IPANT S to consider what aspects of globalization, as we know it today, might
be found in Galilee in Jesus’s time. Have them explain or elaborate. Share the following examples:
» Imperialism: The Roman “world order” imposed its values and structures on local culture,
customs, and politics. Some collaborated, while others, such as the Zealots, plotted to over-
throw it, hoping Jesus might help their cause.

» Resource Depletion: Fishermen sold their catch for export even as local stocks became depleted.

» Crippling Debt: Farmers produced food for the Roman Empire, not themselves, and paid
Roman taxes on the proceeds. Forced into debt, some sold their lands and became poor
laborers on the estates of wealthy land owners.

» Consider the following people in Jesus’s day:


» poor tenants and laborers

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» lepers and cripples

» fishermen casting their nets but not catching fish

» Roman leaders; wealthy tax collectors

» collaborators with Rome; the Zealots who plotted to overthrow Rome

» Who would be their equivalents in today’s world? What parallels can you draw between

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globalization in Jesus’s time and globalization today? What insights can you gain?

In v ite t h e pa rtic ipa nt s to form small groups of five or six. Provide each small group
with a Bible. Ask that one person in each group read aloud Mark 6:30–44.

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In v ite t h e gr o ups to discuss the story using the following questions (write these on a sheet
of newsprint and post it where all can see):
» How do you think the disciples felt when seeing the crowds arrive?

» Jesus says, “You give them something to eat.” Why did the disciples find this alarming?

» How do you think everyone was really fed?

» Why do you think the leftover pieces were picked up?

» Put yourself in this story. Whom would you most likely be? How do you think you
would have acted?

4 G at h er t h e pa rtic ipa nt s into the large group and ask what this story tells us about the
hallmarks of a global citizen. Allow for a few responses. Then write “Global citizens . . .” on a
sheet of newsprint and post it where all can see. Have the participants complete the sentence. Invite
several participants to offer their responses aloud. [Answers may include: Global citizens take
responsibility for people in need, believe that there is enough for all, have an attitude of gratitude
and a desire to help others, are good stewards, understand that working for change is difficult but

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take action anyway.]

A s k t he pa rti c ipa nt s to gather back in their small groups and share their responses to the
following questions (write these on a sheet of newsprint and post it where all can see):
» What is God saying to you about active global citizenship?

» What are you willing to do in response?

Allow some time for the small groups to share their responses, and then gather back as a large
group and ask for a summary from each small group.

6 C o n c l ude t h e ac ti v it y by inviting the participants to bow their heads in prayer as


you pray:
» God of all, help us to recognize all of our sisters and brothers in the global community. Open

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our hearts to them that we might live in solidarity with this extended family. God of justice
and peace, help us to be committed to change unjust structures and to be peacemakers in a suf-
fering world. Empower us to be Christians not only in word but also in compassionate action.
Give us the courage to speak out for truth and justice and to prayerfully and patiently call for
transformation. May global solidarity and peace be achieved through the power of compas-
sion, understanding, and love. In the name of Jesus, Prince of Peace, we pray for global justice.
Amen.

(“Global Education, Global Citizenship Prayer Service,” found at www.educationforjustice.org. Copyright


© 2006 by Center for Concern. All rights reserved. Used with permission. Copyright © 2008 by World Vision
Resources, Mail Stop 321, P.O. Box 9716, Federal Way, WA 98063-9716 wvresources@worldvision.org. All
rights reserved.)

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About World Vision
W o r ld Vis i o n i s a Christian relief, development, and advocacy organization dedicated to helping
children and their families break free from poverty. Our work is motivated by our faith in Jesus Christ. We
see a world where each child experiences “fullness of life” as described in John 10:10. And we know this can
be achieved only by addressing the problems of poverty and injustice in a holistic way. That’s how World
Vision is unique: We bring nearly sixty years of experience in three key areas needed to help children and
families thrive: emergency relief, long-term development, and advocacy. And we bring all of our skills across
many areas of expertise to each community we work in, enabling us to care for children’s physical, social,
emotional, and spiritual well-being.

W o r ld Vis i o n Re s o u r c e s educates Christians about global poverty, inspires them to social justice,
and equips them with innovative resources to make a difference in the world. By developing biblically-based
materials for educators and ministry leaders on the causes and consequences of global poverty, World Vision
Resources supports the organizational mandate to move the church in the United States to more fully embrace
its biblical responsibility to serve the poor.

For more information about


our resources, contact:

World Vision Resources


www.worldvision.org
wvresources@worldvision.org

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