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A Spiritual Lesson In Toon Language: Lesson 41

Topic: Through Locked Doors

Series: Monster Rancher

Episode: Don't Give Up Ducken!

Lesson PDF link: 41.pdf


I have at least heard from my mom that this might be a fairly unique topic to teach on - for this I don't have a good answer on why. This lesson shows that even when we are defensive and shut-in in our hearts and maybe even physically, Jesus has a way of showing himself to those seeking Him. Even if our lives are in danger by some force of the devil, we still take solace in knowing that Jesus is our true friend. I use clips from the Monster Rancher episode: 'Don't Give Up Ducken!' to relay this point to you the Toon Language student.

*Note About This Cartoon Series--Monster Rancher is a series similar to Pokemon (and I am sure it is a 'clone'), in the fact that it is based on finding, befriending, and then using friends of different special abilities (some hidden), also in this series finding and unlocking discs (reanimating them into their respective creatures). Like Pokemon, this series is based on a collection game. Overall, I find Monster Rancher a relatively powerful series with its storylines.

Scriptures Used Include: John 20: 19-23; 24-31

Today, we discuss a topic that a lot of people study just after the Easter season. Jesus has been crucified and just resurrected from the grave. However the disciples didn't know that and that is where this lesson comes in. Have you been paralyzed with fear; maybe to the point where you think you could be killed? This could mean being struck by lightning, hit by a car/truck or getting deathly sick. We are going to discuss a kind of paralyzing fear and how God works with it.

Cartoon Clip #1 Monster Rancher: "Don't Give Up Ducken!":

Monster Rancher: "Don't Give Up Ducken!": Direct link for video/webm

What do you think of Ducken?

As you can see, he is scared of these 'Baddies.' He feels if they catch him that he will get hurt or worse. Why do you think that he helped Mocchi?

Mocchi was in Ducken's private living space with the bad guys close. Ducken probably helped at this point to keep his hiding place secret.

Cartoon Clip #2 Monster Rancher: "Don't Give Up Ducken!":

Monster Rancher: "Don't Give Up Ducken!": Direct link for video/webm

What do you think of Ducken and his fear now? Do you think Mocchi is a good influence on Ducken? Why or Why not? Mocchi had a strange plan to get his friends away from Ebony and his Mocks. He was disguising himself as a Mock to get his friends free. This was dangerous. Was this a bad or good plan ' was he smart or foolish with this plan?

Evidently, this plan wasn't very smart as he gets chased back into Ducken's living quarters. Ducken is paralyzed with fear as stated a little above. How would you react; would you give permission to go through your carefully mapped tunnels and chance that this will not be the end of you? Ducken had a lot of courage surprisingly and as it turns out helps him out of his shell later.

We are going to see Jesus vs. The Locked Door. Obviously Jesus wins.

The Bible States In John 20: 19-23:

Jn 20:19 On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you!'

Jn 20:20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord.

Jn 20:21 Again Jesus said, 'Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.'

Jn 20:22 And with that he breathed on them and said, 'Receive the Holy Spirit.

Jn 20:23 If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.'

Linking to the cartoon, what do these scriptures mean to you? This is proof to the disciples that Jesus did indeed raise from the dead and the grave was beaten. Maybe in the cartoon, Mocchi is making some kind of an impact on Ducken because he is giving special permission to use his tunnels. No matter what and like it or not, Ducken is committed. When the disciples believed and received the Holy Spirit, they too were committed no matter what. Jesus rose from the dead regardless of the beliefs of the people around these disciples and the consequences the disciples would experience because of their commitment to Him.

Cartoon Clip #3 Monster Rancher: "Don't Give Up Ducken!":

Monster Rancher: "Don't Give Up Ducken!": Direct link for video/webm

What did Ducken learn and we from Ducken and Mocchi? Ducken learned that friendship makes us stronger and that friends don't go away just because you're afraid (maybe even that paralyzing kind). Ducken had to have guts to fight the good fight and win the day. In case we need a little more coaxing though, Jesus keeps breaking through locked doors.

In our next passage, Jesus still appears to his disciples even though he did once already. Jesus went to the same place that he appeared at last time. This time he was aiming at Thomas. Thomas was a doubter, a skeptic. He wouldn't take the disciples word for it that Jesus was and is alive. So, Jesus goes to the trouble of appearing at the same place, to the same people a week later just so Thomas would believe.

The Bible States In John 20: 24-31:

Jn 20:24 Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came.

Jn 20:25 So the other disciples told him, 'We have seen the Lord!' But he said to them, 'Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.'

Jn 20:26 A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, 'Peace be with you!'

Jn 20:27 Then he said to Thomas, 'Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.'

Jn 20:28 Thomas said to him, 'My Lord and my God!'

Jn 20:29 Then Jesus told him, 'Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.'

Jn 20:30 Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book.

Jn 20:31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Linking to the cartoon, what do these scriptures mean to you? Jesus took a lot of time to make sure that the disciples knew that He wouldn't give up fellowship with His followers. Friendship is very powerful. Ducken realized that his friendship with Mocchi was a real one. Ducken gained courage from Mocchi and fought Ebony and his Mocks seemingly with ease. He didn't have his cowardice problem because this friendship made him strong.

With Jesus as our friend, no matter what we will win even if we are physical casualties in this spiritual war because God redeems us into glory by his Son's blood via His sacrifice on the cross and then His resurrection. Then, to top it off, God keeps us in His Holy Spirit and power. This will give all believers the courage to use their special abilities to fight the good fight and win the war that God promises is already won. We just have the remaining tricks and traps the Devil has laid out. God knows where they are and we will overcome through Jesus's blood. Locked doors are not necessary because God knows where we are and comes anyway. When it comes to persecution, we will have it. God will get us through. If God tells us to hide somewhere while He takes care of a life-threatening obstacle, by all means, do it. But, God will call you out of hiding when necessary. Don't be scared because God is with His people. May God lead us to victory!

What have we learned today? How will we apply it to our lives? We have learned that seemingly impenetrable fear stops the right things from getting done and torments to no end because being safe is comfortable. God doesn't call us to total comfort; he calls us to ministry and the right things. These sometimes come with uncertainty and sometimes, a great cost of time and effort. Yes, sometimes the cost is a life. God calls us to risk sometimes, but the purpose is definite ' to extend His kingdom and Word. Cowardice isn't an option. We are called to bravery. May God's kingdom come; may we serve it faithfully to the end and never give up!