Bigger Than Your Box (OBJ LESSON)


Time

20 minutes
Description

This object lesson teaches that Jesus is bigger than many have thought Him to be.  Some thought He was just a carpenter or a teacher or a prophet or a miracle worker, but He is bigger than all of these.  He is God, and He won’t fit inside any box we try to put Him in.

 

Scriptures

  • Matthew 16:13-20

 

Materials

  • 5 boxes of different sizes with different labels.  All the labels should be on one side with large lettering so that they can be seen clearly by the audience:
    • A small box (maybe palm-sized) labeled “Friend,” “Brother,” “Neighbor,” “Carpenter’s Son.”
    • A noticeably larger box labeled, “Rabbi” “Teacher”
    • A noticeably larger box labeled, “Prophet” “Miracle Worker”
    • A noticeably larger box labeled, “King of the Jews”
    • A large box (big enough for a grown man to sit inside and close), labeled with ALL the other labels from the other boxes.  The man put inside this box will break out of it at one point.  You should cut through the seams and then tape them back together from the inside.  This will allow Jesus to break out of the box explosively.
  • Utility knife (to cut the seams of the largest box)
  • Masking Tape (wide – 1 roll)
  • Permanent marker (black – thick tip – 1)
  • Costume for Jesus character (optional)
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Recruit someone to play Jesus, and have him dress in costume if you would like.
  • Recruit two strong people to lift “Jesus” and try to put Him into the box each time.
  • Share the general flow of the object lesson with all your volunteers so that they know what will be expected of them.
  • Hide the boxes out of sight from the audience.
  • Have the masking tape and the permanent marker close-by, where you can access them quickly.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “Jesus once asked His disciples, ‘Who do people say that I am?’” (You might have a volunteer read this Scripture (Matthew 16:13-20) out loud if you like.)
  • “Before Jesus started doing miracles and teaching, people just knew Him as Joseph the carpenter’s son.”
  • “They liked Him that way, because they thought they knew everything about Him.”
  • “He was safe and easy to understand.”
  • “We have a term that describes what we are doing when we make judgments about someone.”
  • “It’s called, ‘putting them in a box.’”  (Pull out the smallest box, and hold it where everyone can see it.)
  • “If you can ‘put someone in a box,’ you make them smaller in your mind.”
  • “When we think we have people figured out, they seem smaller and easier for us to deal with.”
  • “The people who knew Jesus growing up had a very small box for Him.”
  • “It was a box that thought of Jesus as just a ‘Friend,’ a ‘Brother,’ a ‘Neighbor,’ or a ‘Carpenter’s Son.’”
  • “Those things were true, but they weren’t the only things that were true about Jesus.” (Motion for your volunteers to come up.)
  • “This is Jesus, and these are people who knew Him.” (Put the box on the ground where everyone can still see it.)
  • “They thought He would fit inside this box.” (Have the volunteers lift Jesus up by the legs and arms and try to fit Him in the box.  He should sit on it and crush it.)
  • “Guess Jesus was bigger than their box!” (Have volunteers stay in front with you.)
  • “When He started going around teaching in the Jewish churches (synagogues), everyone recognized that He spoke with authority unlike any other teacher.”
  • “They realized that they needed a bigger box.” (Bring out the second-smallest box.)
  • “They decided that Jesus was more than just a ‘Friend,’ a ‘Brother,’ a ‘Neighbor,’ or a ‘Carpenter’s Son.’”
  • “Now, they realized that He was a ‘Teacher’…a ‘Rabbi.’”
  • “This was an important role in Jewish culture and came with lots of honor.”
  • “They thought Jesus should be satisfied with this box.”  (Have volunteers lift Jesus as before and set Him down on the box, crushing it.)
  • “Guess He was bigger than that box, too!” (Volunteers stay.)
  • “You see, Jesus didn’t just teach.  He also did miracles like healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, and raising the dead.”
  • “He condemned the religious leaders for not leading the people well.”
  • “When everyone saw Jesus do these things, they decided that they needed a bigger box.”  (Bring out 3rd smallest box.)
  • “He wasn’t just a ‘Teacher,’ or a ‘Rabbi.’ He was a ‘Miracle Worker’ and a ‘Prophet.’”
  • “Miracle Workers and Prophets are only sent by God.  This made Jesus a REALLY important person!”
  • “They felt that Jesus should be really happy with this box!” (Have volunteers lift Jesus as before and set Him down on the box, crushing it.)
  • “Hmmm, This doesn’t seem to be working!” (Volunteers stay.)
  • “It wasn’t working, because Jesus was more than just a Miracle Worker or a Prophet, and people began to see that.”
  • “One day, He rode into Jerusalem on a donkey to the cheers and adoration of all the people.”
  • “They shouted, ‘Hosanna to the son of David!’ and “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’”
  • “Now it was obvious to the religious leaders and all the people.”
  • “They realized that Jesus wanted to be King of the Jews!”  (Bring out 4th smallest box.)
  • “But this was too much for the religious leaders.”
  • “They didn’t like Jesus, and they didn’t want Him to be their king.”
  • “So, they decided to destroy this box themselves.  They arrested Jesus, tried Him illegally, turned Him over to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, and convinced him to crucify Jesus.”  (Have Jesus character spread his arms wide and hang his head to represent his crucifixion.  Have the other two volunteers stomp on and otherwise destroy the ‘King of the Jews’ box.)
  • “The religious leaders destroyed the King of the Jews box by killing Jesus.”
  • “And in doing so, they thought that they had finally found a box that would hold Him.” (Bring out the largest box, and have the volunteers put Jesus inside of it.)
  • “They put His body in a tomb in a garden, closed it off with a giant stone and sealed it.  Then they stationed Roman soldiers to guard the tomb so that no one could steal the body.”  (Have the volunteers tape Jesus in the box with the masking tape.  They should do several strips across the front where they can be seen by the audience and then write, ‘JUST A MAN!!’ several times across them.  They should be careful not to tape across the seams, because that will make it difficult for Jesus to break out.  While you are talking, Jesus should carefully peel back some of the tape from the inside.)
  • “Even Jesus’ closest followers were convinced that this box would hold Him.”
  • “They were devastated that their Friend, their Teacher, Their Prophet, The Miracle Worker, their King was gone forever.”
  • “But what they didn’t realize is that Jesus put Himself in that box.”
  • “He did it for you and for me and for everyone who has ever lived or will ever live to take the punishment for our sins so that we could join Him in heaven some day.”
  • “Jesus put Himself in the box of that garden tomb….and three days later….He took Himself back out!”  (Have Jesus volunteer break out of the box as explosively as possible for the greatest impact.)
  • “Jesus rose from the dead and appeared to all His followers to let them know that there was no box that could hold Him.”
  • “Jesus is bigger than any box we could try to put Him in.”
  • “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘He’s bigger than any box!’”
  • “Touch your other neighbor and say, ‘You can’t put God in a box!’”
  • “Be careful not to limit God.  He’s a BIG God.  He’s bigger than your problems; He’s bigger than your fears; He’s bigger than your hopes, and He’s bigger than your dreams.”
  • “There is nothing that God can’t do.”
  • “If you have been limiting God in any way in your life, I encourage you to take your box to Him and let Him crush it for you.”
  • “He’s bigger than your box!”
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