Maps & Mysteries

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Lesson 122

“What is that?” Jessie pointed to a piece of folded paper sticking out of a dusty, old trunk. It was Saturday afternoon. Justin and Jessie had climbed up to Justin’s attic looking for something to do.

Justin grabbed the paper and unfolded it.

“Anything exciting?” asked Jessie.

“Well, it might be.” Justin scratched his head. “It looks like an old map. I just can’t tell what it’s for. The top’s been torn off, and I can’t see where the path goes.” The kids studied the map closely. There was dotted line leading from a house at the bottom of the page up to the tear at the top.

“Whose house is this?” Jessie asked. “Yours?”

“It looks sort of like ours.”

“I wonder what’s at the end of the path,” said Jessie.

Justin smiled. “Let’s see if we can figure it out.”

The kids bounded down the stairs, through the kitchen, and out the back door.

“Looks like we need to cut through the yard and head that way.” Justin hopped off the porch, motioning for Jessie to follow. He glanced down at the map again. “The dotted line leads past another house,” he said. “Must be Jeremy’s house. Seems like it’s that direction.” He held the map out so Jessie could see then led the way up the sidewalk.

“Wait,” said Jessie. “Didn’t I see a picture of water?”

Justin stopped and looked again. “I think that’s a pond,” he said.

Jessie frowned. “Jeremy’s house doesn’t have a pond.”

Justin had the sinking feeling that they were on the wrong track.

“I don’t get it,” he said. “The only pond I know about is at the park.” He shook his head, feeling a little disappointed. “Let’s just go back to my house.”

When they got back, Justin’s dad was trimming the hedges around the front yard. “Look what we found, Dad.”

“Let’s see.” Dad laid the trimmers on the ground and stared at the old paper for a moment. “Wow! I’d forgotten all about this. Where did you find it?”

“In the attic. Is it yours?”

“It sure is. I drew that when I was about your age.”

Justin thought for a minute. “But you didn’t live here when you were a kid, so. . . this couldn’t be our house on the map. No wonder we couldn’t figure it out!”

Justin’s dad chuckled. “Did you two try to follow it?”

“Yeah.” Justin felt slightly embarrassed. “I should’ve known. I feel kind of silly.”

“Don’t feel silly,” said his dad. “Come back inside for a minute. I have something else to show you.”

Justin’s dad led them back up to the attic where he opened the old trunk. He pulled out an old box filled with all kinds of papers and trinkets. He sat down and carefully looked through them, stopping and smiling every now and then.

Justin was getting impatient. “Uh, Dad? What were you going to show us?”

“Oh, sorry. It should be in here somewhere. . . . Ah! Here it is.” He pulled out another old piece of paper and handed it to Justin.

“It’s the same map!” The drawings weren’t exactly the same, but Justin could tell it was supposed to be the same place.

He looked at the words at the top as Jessie read them out loud, “Map to the Hidden Treasure.”

“Cool! A treasure map!” Justin looked to see where the dotted line ended. It stopped at a red X underneath two trees standing beside each other.

“Hey! Are those the two dogwood trees with the pink flowers on Grampa’s farm?

“That’s right!” Justin’s dad nodded.

“And that’s not Jeremy’s house. Is it a barn?” Jessie asked.

“Yup!” Justin’s dad replied.

“You hid treasure, Dad? What was it? Mounds of candy and chocolate bars, I hope!”

“That’s silly,” said Jessie. “Treasure wouldn’t be candy. It’s like piles of beautiful jewels in blue and pink and yellow . . .!”

“Oh, brother!” said Justin, grinning.

“Well, it wasn’t candy or jewels,” said his dad. “Honestly, I don’t even remember exactly. But I do remember working very hard on drawing and copying my map.”

“That kind of reminds me of what we talked about in Sunday school last week,” said Jessie.

Justin was confused. “How could this remind you of Sunday school?”

“Remember when Mrs. Jacobs talked about copies of the Bible?” Jessie reminded him.

“Oh, right.” Justin remembered now. “God kept copies of the Bible safe so people could look at them and figure out the true message.”

Justin’s dad began refolding the two maps. “I guess it is kind of like that. You compared both copies of my treasure map to see what was the same and what was different so you could figure it out.

“That’s sort of like people studying old copies of the Bible. When they compare them, they can figure out exactly what the writers meant,” said Justin.

“Yeah . . . and that’s one way we know it’s true,” said Jessie, “because there are so many copies, and they’re all telling us about Jesus.”

Justin pointed to the maps. “I still want to know what you buried, Dad.”

“Do you? Well, I’d like to know, myself. How about we all go down to the farm next weekend and dig it up?”

“Yippee!”

Justin’s dad handed him the folded maps. “And keep these safe until then.”

A Fun Part of Answers Bible Curriculum

Justin & Jessie show kids how the Bible applies to real life! These weekly stories are part of Answers Bible Curriculum, our full-Bible, chronological Sunday school program for all ages.