Category Archives: Jesus

Solid Foundation (OBJ LESSON)


Building with LegosTime

20 minutes
Description

When you are building a house, it’s essential to have a strong foundation.  Jesus illustrated this in the parable about the wise and foolish builders and made it clear that the “house” is a metaphor for our life.  If we build on the Rock (Jesus), our lives will withstand every storm of life.  In this object lesson, children will build three different foundations and then test them to see if they will stand the test.

 

Scriptures

  • Luke 6:46-49

 

Materials

  • Sugar cubes (1 box per group – make sure they are fresh so that they will dissolve quickly in water)
  • Marshmallows (1 bag of large marshmallows per group)
  • Legos or Duplo building blocks (about 100 small blocks or 50 large blocks per group)
  • A small house made from half of the Lego’s or Duplo blocks
  • Watering can or 3 bottles of water
  • Water (enough to fill you can or bottle)
  • Clear plastic containers (3  – about 8-10 inches tall and large enough for kids to build their foundations in)
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Build a small house out of the Legos or Duplo blocks, but save about half of your blocks for building one of the foundations.
  • Put the sugar cubes in one plastic container, the marshmallows in another and the rest of the Legos or Duplo blocks in another.
  • Fill the watering can with water (if you are using one)
    • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “Jesus told a story about a wise and a foolish builder.”  (Have a volunteer read Luke 6:46-49.)
  • “Jesus isn’t really talking about houses.  He’s talking about something much more important.  When He says ‘house,’ He really means life.”
  • “Jesus is saying that we should build our life on a strong foundation so that when bad things happen (like the flood and the torrent, which is a fast-moving stream), our house – our life – will not be destroyed.”
  • “So what is this foundation that Jesus is speaking about?  Does anyone know?” (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “In Scripture, the term ‘foundation’ is often used to mean truth.”
  • “In the story Jesus told, He said that the wise builder dug down deep and laid his foundation on the rock.”
  • “In the Bible, rocks are usually references to Jesus, the Rock.”
  • “So, what Jesus was saying is that the wise builder built his life (his ‘house’) on the truth (the ‘foundation’) that Jesus (‘the Rock’) is Lord and Savior.”
  • “If you build your life on any other foundation, it won’t stand up during the storms of life – the difficult times.”
  • “Let’s do an activity that will show what Jesus means.”  (Divide the group into three small groups, and give each group a container with different building materials. Give them 3 minutes to build a foundation out of their materials.  When everyone is finished, set the small house on top of the sugar cubes.)
  •  “Let’s see what happens when the storms of life happen to a house built on this kind of foundation.”  (Get a volunteer to poor water over the house to simulate a storm and flood.)
  • “What is happening to this foundation?” (Acknowledge responses.  Get another volunteer to shake the plastic container to simulate an earthquake.)
  • “Now what’s happening?” (Acknowledge response. Repeat the process for the marshmallow and Lego/Duplo foundation, but when you put the house on the Lego/Duplo foundation, attach it so that it sits firmly and will withstand the “earthquake.”  After you’ve finished the activity, discuss the Debrief questions below.  You can use the Rhyme Time to reinforce the main teaching point.)

 

Debriefing Questions

 

  1. If the Legos/Duplo blocks represent the Truth that Jesus is Lord and Savior, what do you think the sugar cubes and marshmallows represented?  (An answer that you are looking for is that they represent what the world says is true.  These are fake truths.)
  2. What are some examples of fake truths that some people build their lives on?  (Some responses might include “money, power, fame, pleasure… are the most important things in life” or “other religions” or “if you are good enough, you can get to heaven.”)
  3. What happens when people build their lives on these truths?
  4. What truth do you want to build your life on?

 

Rhyme Time

A life built on the Rock

Will withstand every shock!

 

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Filed under Jesus, Object Lesson

Learning Links (OBJ LESSON)


LinksTime

15 minutes
Description

This object lesson teaches that we learn by linking new ideas to old ones and demonstrates that this is the method Jesus used to teach about the Kingdom of God.

Scriptures

  • Mark 4:26-32 (man who throw seeds; mustard seed)
  • Luke 13:20-21 (yeast)

Materials

  • Large paperclips, carabineers or toy chain links (50 or more)
  • Slips of paper to mark places in the Bible for the verses you will share.
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Form a chain of your paperclips, carabineers or toy chain links.  It should include 30-40 links, so that you can create a large “ball” of links when you hold them all in your hands.
  • Have your other links separated individually and at the front of the teaching area.
  • Write the Scriptures you want read on individual slips of paper, and put them in the Bible at the appropriate places.
  • Practice the script.

Procedure

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

  • “When Jesus taught, He used a teaching technique called a parable.”
  • “A parable is a simple story that teaches a spiritual lesson.”
  • “The word, ‘parable’ means, ‘to throw alongside of.’” (from the Greek – para, means ‘beside,’ and bole, means ‘a throw’)
  • “With His parables, Jesus was placing two ideas right beside each other.”
  • “He would always use one idea that the listener already knew, and it was usually about farming or fishing or everyday living.”
  • “Then, He would compare what the listener already knew to something they didn’t know about, like the Kingdom of God.”
  • “Let’s look at a few examples.”  (Ask volunteers to read the following Scriptures: Mark 4:26-32, Luke 13:20-21.)
  • “In these Scriptures, Jesus uses examples about farming and cooking to make comparisons to the Kingdom of God.”
  • “In other Scriptures, He uses children, camels, childbirth, light, salt, parties (feasts or banquets), weddings, masters and servants, and fig trees to teach about the Kingdom.”
  • “Let me show you why Jesus taught in this way.”  (Ask a volunteer to come forward, and hand him/her a single link.)
  • “The people Jesus was teaching about the Kingdom of God didn’t know anything about it, but they did know some things about fishing and farming and weddings and trees…”
  • “This link (ask volunteer to hold up their link) represents the knowledge that the people already had about ordinary things in their lives.” (Hold up your “ball” of links.)
  • “This giant ball of links represents everything that Jesus knew about the Kingdom of God.”
  • “If Jesus had tried to give them the entire ball of knowledge all at one time, they wouldn’t have been able to handle it.”  (Toss the ball of links to the volunteer.  It’s okay if he/she doesn’t catch it.  That will illustrate your point.)
  • “Jesus knew that he had to start small and start with what they already knew.”  (Take your ball of links back, and remove one link.)
  • “So, He taught in parables and said this thing that you already know (point to the link in the volunteer’s hand) is like the Kingdom of God.” (Hold up the ball of links) in this way (hold up the single link that you removed from the ball. Then, connect it to the link in the volunteer’s hand.)
  • “The Kingdom of God is like a man who throws seeds.” (Remove another link from the ball and connect it to the volunteer’s links.)
  • “The Kingdom of God is like a mustard seed.” (Remove another link from the ball and connect it to the volunteer’s links.)
  • “The Kingdom of God is like yeast that works its way through the dough.” (Remove another link from the ball and connect it to the volunteer’s links.)
  • “Unless you become like little children, you cannot enter the Kingdom of God.” (Remove another link from the ball and connect it to the volunteer’s links.)
  • “In the Kingdom of God, there will be a great wedding feast!” (Remove another link from the ball and connect it to the volunteer’s links.)
  • “Just like you see new leaves on the fig tree when summer is coming, you will see certain signs that tell you when the Kingdom of God is near.” (Remove another link from the ball and connect it to the volunteer’s links.)
  • “You cannot enter the Kingdom of God unless you are born a second time in your spirit.” (Remove another link from the ball and connect it to the volunteer’s links.)
  • “By teaching in this way, Jesus helps understand something very big and difficult to understand.” (Hold up ball of links.)
  • “And this is the way all learning works.”
  • “We connect something we know to something we don’t know, and it helps us to understand it better.”  (Thank and dismiss your volunteer.)

 

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Filed under Jesus, learning, Object Lesson, Teaching

My Latest Book – Peter’s Path


I’m very excited to announce that my new book just went live on Amazon!  It’s called:

Peter’s Path:

Lessons, Skits and Games for Teaching About the Life of Simon-Peter

It’s a collection of all my object lessons, Bible lessons, games, and drama skits about the life of Peter, the Apostle.  You can find all the lessons here on the blog for free, but if you’re lazy like me, you might prefer to have them collected for you.  And for $3.99 (Kindle Edition), it’s worth the time savings.

Hope you like it!

If you would like to purchase the hardcopy version, click this link: Peter’s Path – Hardcopy

If you would like to purchase the Kindle version, click this link: Peter’s Path – Kindle

 

Blessings….Michael

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Filed under Book, drama, Game, Jesus, Lesson, Object Lesson, Peter

Restored (GAME)


Time

15-20 minutes
Description

Peter denied knowing Jesus three times.  After Jesus rose from the dead, he reinstated Peter to leadership of the church by giving him three opportunities to express his love for Jesus.  In this activity, children will try to knock down three cans labeled, “I don’t know him!” with beanbags or balls labeled, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you!”

 

Scriptures

  • John 18:15-18
  • John 18:25-27
  • John 21:15-17

 

Materials

  • 3 canned foods labeled, “I don’t know him!”
  • 3 beanbags or balls labeled, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you!”
  • Note cards or duct tape to use to label the cans and the beanbags/balls.
  • 1 permanent marker for labeling
  • 1 surface (like a overturned bucket or table) to set the cans on
  • Masking tape
  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Label the cans of food and the beanbags or balls.
  • Select a space to play the game.
  • Stack the three cans (two on the bottom and one on the top) on the bucket or table.
  • Use the masking tape to lay down a “throwing line” about ten feet away from the cans. (The children will stand behind this line to make their throws.)
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “We’re going to play a game called, ‘Restored.’”
  • “It’s about Jesus and Peter.”
  • “Peter told Jesus one time that even if everyone else left Him, he never would.”
  • “Peter even carried around a sword in case he needed to defend Jesus against an attacker.”
  • “But one night, the Jewish leaders sent their guards to arrest Jesus.”
  • “Peter attacked with his sword, but he hurt a servant instead of the guards.”
  • “Jesus healed the man that Peter had cut and then let the guards arrest Him.”
  • “Peter and all of Jesus’ best friends got scared and ran away.”
  • “Peter followed the guards from a distance as they took Jesus to the Jewish leaders.”
  • “The guards took Jesus to the house of the top Jewish leader and put Him on trial for crimes He didn’t commit.”
  • “Peter waited in the courtyard while the trial was going on, and people started to notice that he looked like one of Jesus’ followers.”
  • “They asked him three times if he was one of Jesus’ followers, and he denied it each time.”
  • “Jesus wasn’t surprised, though.”
  • “He had told Peter that he would deny knowing Jesus three times before the rooster crowed.”
  • “Sure enough, when Peter denied he knew Jesus for the third time, a rooster crowed, and Jesus looked directly into Peter’s eyes.”
  • “Peter was so ashamed that he ran away and cried and cried.”
  • “When Jesus needed Peter the most, Peter wasn’t a very good friend.”
  • “But even though Peter wasn’t a very good friend to Jesus, Jesus still wanted Peter to lead His followers.”
  • “After Jesus rose from the dead, He met with Peter to let him know that he was forgiven.”
  • “Then, one morning, Jesus did a strange thing.”
  • “He asked Peter three times if Peter loved Him.”  (Have volunteer read John 21:15-17.)
  • “By asking Peter this question three times, Jesus was letting him know that Peter was forgiven and restored to a leadership position for Jesus’ followers.”
  • “Each ‘I love you, Lord,’ was like a big eraser getting rid of the ‘I don’t know Hims!.’”
  • “So, this game is like the Bible story.”
  • “Each of these cans is labeled, ‘I don’t know him!’ and represents the three times Peter denied knowing Jesus after Jesus had been arrested.”
  • “Each bean bag (or ball) is labeled, ‘Yes, Lord, you know I love you!’ and represents the three times Peter was given a chance to express his love to Jesus after Jesus rose from the dead.”
  • “Everyone will take turns throwing three bean bags (or balls) at the cans from a distance of about ten (10) feet.”
  • “If you knock the cans down, it will be like erasing Peter’s denials with his confessions of love for Jesus.”
  • “Want to play?”  (Let the children line up and take turns trying to knock over the cans.  Each child gets three throws before you reset the cans for the next child.  After each child has had at least one chance to knock the cans over, discuss the following debrief questions.)

 

Debrief Questions

  1. How do you think Peter felt after denying Jesus three times?
  2. Do you remember why Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me?” three times?  Why did He do that?
  3. How do you think Peter felt after Jesus gave him three chances to confess his love for Jesus?
  4. Do you believe God forgives you for every bad thing you do?  Why or why not?

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Filed under Church, forgiveness, Game, Grace, Jesus, leadership, Peter, Relationships

Miraculous Catch (GAME)


Time

10-15 minutes

Description

One of the times that Jesus called Peter to follow Him was after He did a miracle that allowed Peter to catch so many fish that the weight of them made his boat and his friends’ boat began to sink.  Jesus told Peter that from that moment on he would catch men instead of fish.  This activity lets children try to catch a “miraculous catch of fish.”

 

Scriptures

  • Luke 5:1-11

 

Materials

  • Sheet or large piece of fabric to act as the “net.”
  • Bucket filled with balls (the type you find in a “ball pit” in a children’s play area)
  • Bible 

 

Preparation

  • Select a space to play the game, and set up your materials.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

  • “One of the times that Jesus called Peter to follow Him was after He did a miracle that allowed Peter to catch so many fish that the weight of them made his boat and his friends’ boat began to sink.”  (Ask volunteer to read Luke 5:1-11.)
  • “Did you hear that?”
  • “Jesus told Peter that from that moment on he would catch MEN instead of FISH.”
  • “That had to sound strange to Peter.”
  • “But it was also a good way to explain to him how his life would change after this moment.”
  • “Jesus used fishing language to help Peter understand what was going to happen.”
  • “So, who do you think is the better fisherman?  Peter or Jesus?”  (Acknowledge responses.)
  • “Right!  Jesus is much better, because He created the fish and can command the fish to get into the net.”
  • “Peter can’t do that.”
  • “Jesus was helping Peter to understand that He was God by using fishing – something Peter understood very well.”
  • “Peter was an expert fisherman and had spent all night fishing but caught no fish.”
  • “So, when Jesus knew right where and when to put the net into the water, Peter realized this wasn’t just good luck.”
  • “This was God.”
  • “Let’s play a game to help us remember the story.”
  • “I would like for everyone to grab an edge of this sheet.”  (Hold up sheet, and help children to find a place to grab along the edges.  Makes sure there are children all around the sheet and that they use both hands.”
  • “You are all the fishermen, and the sheet is your ‘net.’”
  • “I’ll play Jesus.”
  • “I have a bucket full of ‘fish.’ They are really balls, but we are going to pretend they are fish.”
  • “When I dump out the ‘fish,’ you should try to catch all of them in your ‘net.’”
  • “If you drop some fish, you can collect them, put them back in the bucket and try again.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions?”  (Answer questions, and then start the game. Pretend to dump the fish several times before actually dumping them, and try to make it a little challenging so that the children have to work together to capture all the fish in the net. Play several rounds, and allow some of the children to play Jesus if you like. Then ask the Debrief Questions below.)

 

Debrief Questions

  1. Why do you think Peter said to Jesus, “Get away from me, Lord! I am a sinful man!” after they caught all the fish?
  2. What do you think Jesus was trying to teach Peter and the others?
  3. What did Jesus mean when he said that they would now fish for people?
  4. Why did the fishermen leave everything (even all the fish that they had just caught) to follow Jesus?
  5. What would you have done?

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Filed under Evangelism, faith, Game, Great Commission, Jesus, Peter

Fish Tax (GAME)


 

Time

15 minutes
Description

Peter was worried about not being able to pay the required tax to the Temple.  Jesus knew what was bothering him even before Peter could say anything and told Peter to go fishing, which is what Peter did best.  In the mouth of the first fish Peter caught, he found a coin that allowed him to pay the tax for both Jesus and himself.  Children will “go fishing” in a pool and try to catch all the fish with coins before they catch too many without coins.

 

Materials

  • “Fishing pole” (You can use a simple dowel rod with a string attached and a magnet at the end of the string.)
    • Dowel rod
    • String (about 3-foot long)
    • Strong magnet
    • Tape to stick the string to the magnet (unless there is a way to tie them together)
    • Children’s plastic pool (the kind toddlers can sit in)
    • Flat, toy or paper fish with strong magnets attached (24 total – 8 of which should have coins taped or glued to the bottom)
      • Fish (24)
      • Magnets (24)
      • Coins (8)
      • Tape
      • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Create the fishing pole.
  • Tape magnets to all the fish.
  • Tape coins to eight of the fish.
  • Place all the fish at the bottom of the pool with the coins on the bottom.  Make sure to mix them up so that it won’t be too easy to find the fish with coins.  It’s okay for some to overlap.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

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

·      “One day, the tax collectors (the guys like Matthew, one of the apostles) from the Temple came up to Peter and asked, ‘Does your teacher pay the temple tax?’”

·      “Peter answered, ‘Of course he does!’ but the truth was, he wasn’t sure.”

·      “So he quickly went to see Jesus and ask Him about it.”

·      “But before Peter even had a chance to speak, Jesus knew what he was about to ask.”

·      “Jesus said, ‘Peter, so that we won’t offend the tax collectors, go down to the lake and throw in a fishing line.  Open the mouth of the first fish that you catch, and you will find a coin.  Take the coin and pay the tax for both of us.’”

·      “So Peter did just as Jesus said.”

·      “He went down to the lake and threw in a fishing line.”  (Pretend to cast your fishing pole.)

·      “Almost immediately, he felt a fish on his line, so he tugged at it as hard as he could and pulled the fish in.”  (Pretend to struggle reeling the fish in.  Be careful not to accidentally reveal one of the fish with the coin attached to the bottom.)

·      “When he opened the fish’s mouth, he found a four-drachma coin! (That’s a coin they used back then.)”

  • “That was just enough to pay both Jesus’s and Peter’s tax!”
  • “That’s amazing, right!”
  • “Well, let’s play a game based on this story.”
  • “Here’s how it works.”
  • “Each one of you will get three chances with this fishing pole to try to catch a fish with a coin attached.”
  • “If you catch a fish without a coin attached, you should put it back into the pool.”
  • “If you catch a fish with a coin, you can pull it out.”
  • “After three turns, we will let someone else try.”
  • “There are eight (8) fish with coins attached.”
  • “We will keep fishing until we catch all of them.”
  • “The one who catches the most wins.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions?”  (Answer any questions.  Then let the children play.  The first person to try can be the person with the next birthday.  After you’ve played the game, you can use the debrief questions below to reinforce the teaching points.)

Debrief

  1. Have you ever caught a fish with a coin in its mouth?
  2. Why do you think Jesus had Peter go fishing in order to pay the Temple tax for Peter and himself?
  3. What was Jesus trying to help Peter understand about who Jesus was?
  4. What should this experience teach Peter about worrying about things?
  5. What should we do when we are worried about some problem in our lives?

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Filed under faith, Game, Integrity, Jesus, Peter, Witness

Would You Die for a Lie? (LESSON)


 

Time

30 minutes

 

Description

This lesson makes the case to prove Jesus’ resurrection by stressing the commitment of the apostles to defending it as truth.  Aside from Judas, they were all eyewitnesses of Jesus’ resurrection, and ten of them died a martyr’s death because they wouldn’t renounce it. (All the gory details about the martyrdom of the Apostles is provided in this lesson, but care should be given to the age of the children when deciding how much information to share.)

 

Scriptures

  • Acts

 

Materials

  • The following supporting materials can be found at www.teachingthem.comon the Lesson and Material Downloads page.
    • “Would You Die for a Lie? – Apostles Faces” (Pictures of the Apostles that volunteers can hold up while you tell about them.)
    • “Would You Die for a Lie? – Where the Apostles Preached” (A PowerPoint slide that shows a map of Europe, Africa and the Middle East and all the places that the Apostles took the Good News.)
  • Computer, LCD projector and screen (to show the map)
  • Paint stir sticks or large Popsicle sticks (12)
  • Paper plates (12)
  • Glue

 

Preparation

  • Print apostle face pictures.
  • Glue pictures to paper plates and then to paint stir sticks to make handles.
  • Put these face pictures near the front of your teaching area, where you can easily reach them.
  • Set up projector and screen and get the map ready to project.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script, or modify to suit your needs:

  • “Do you ever wonder what happened to the twelve apostles who followed Jesus?”
  • “Well, the Bible only tells us about a few of them.”
  • “Most of what we know comes from historians who wrote about the time of Jesus and the beginning of the Christian Church.”
  • “So, here’s what we know.”  (Project the map in the file, “Would You Die for a Lie? – Where The Apostles Preached.”  Invite 12 volunteers to come up, and hand them the face signs you created. Have them hold the signs up to cover their faces.  Line them up in this order: James (the Greater), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew (Nathanael), Matthew, Thomas, James, Simon, Thaddeaus, Judas, John, Peter.  As you tell about each man’s martyrdom, have the volunteer take a seat.)
  • “It all started in this tiny piece of land, called Israel.”  (Indicate Israel on the map.)
  • “Can you believe how small that is?” (Point out Africa, Europe and the Middle East on the map so that the kids will get an idea for where Israel is in relation to them.)
  • “Jesus trained 12 Apostles to take the good news (the Gospel) to all the world.”
  • “The Apostles took their job (the Great Commission) seriously, as you will see!”
  • “Let’s start with James – he was one of the ‘Sons of Thunder’ and one of Jesus’ closest friends on earth, but he became the first Apostle to become a martyr – which is a person who dies for what they believe.”
    • “Herod Agrippa I had James arrested, and when he saw that the Jewish leaders hated James, he had him beheaded.”
    • “This made Herod so popular that he thought he might do the same thing to Peter, but Peter was freed from Herod’s jail by an angel.”
    • “So, James didn’t travel to any of the other places on the map.” (Have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “But then there was Andrew– he was the Apostle who was always bringing people to Jesus.”
    • “He brought Peter, he brought the young boy with the loaves and the fishes, and he brought some Greeks to Jesus.”
    • “After Jesus rose to heaven, Andrew took the Gospel (which is the “good news” about Jesus) north into Russia and then into Scotland.”  (Advance slide.)
    • “After angering a Roman governor by leading his wife to Christ, he was crucified in Greece on an X-shaped cross.”
    • “Instead of nailing him to the cross, they tied him to it so that it would take longer for him to die.” (Have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “Philip – he publically doubted that Jesus could feed the 5,000.”
    • Eight years after James was put to death, Philip was stoned to death at Hierapolis in Asia Minor.” (Advance slide, and have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “Bartholomew – he ministered in Persia, India and Armenia, and tradition says that he was tied up in a sack and thrown into the sea.” (Advance slide, and have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “Matthew – he was a tax collector and the most hated of all Jews, but after following Jesus, he wrote his Gospel for the Jewish people.”
    • Though we don’t have reliable records, it is believed that Matthew ministered in Ethiopia, Persia, the kingdom of the Parthians, Macedonia and Syria.”  (Advance slide.)
    • We think he was burned at the stake.” (Have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “Thomas – he was the Apostle who doubted that Jesus had returned from the grave and said he would have to put his finger into the nail scars before he believed, but when Jesus appeared to him, he made the strongest proclamation that Jesus is God.  (“My Lord and my God!”)”
    • Thomas carried the Gospel to India, and he died when he was run through with a spear.” (Advance slide, and have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “James, the Less – we think that James took the Gospel to Syria and Persia, but we are not entirely sure how he died.” (Advance slide.)
    • “It was either by stoning, beating or crucifixion.” (Have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “Simon, the Zealot – he started as a dangerous terrorist, who probably participated in attacks on the Romans and on tax collectors, but after following Jesus, his heart was changed.”
    • He took the Gospel to Egypt and as far as the British Isles and was killed for his beliefs, though we don’t know how.” (Advance slide.)
    • “Some say crucifixion; some say beheading.” (Have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “Thaddaeus – his name means something like “momma’s boy,” but he really grew up while following Jesus.”
    • We think he took the Gospel to Mesopotamia, near Turkey, and he once healed the king of the city of Edessa.”  (Advance slide.)
    • He was also said to have preached in Iran, and he was clubbed to death for his faith in Beirut, Lebanon.” (Have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “Judas, the Traitor – He never believed that Jesus was God, so Judas has the saddest story of all.”
    • He sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver and then had an attack of his conscience.”
    • He hung himself from a weak tree limb that broke and dropped him on some jagged rocks, where his guts spilled out.”
    • Out of the Twelve, he was the only one who died for his lack of faith.” (Have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “John – he was James’ brother and another ‘Son of Thunder.’”
    • “He, too, was one of Jesus’ closest friends on earth.”
    • “He is actually the only apostle who wasn’t killed for his faith in Jesus.”
    • “He lived many years, but it had to be sad for him to hear that all his closest friends were killed.”
    • “John pastored a church in a city called Ephesus in Asia Minor, but then the Roman Emperor Domitian got angry with him and sent him to live on an island for prisoners (Patmos off the west coast of Turkey).” (Advance slide.)
    • “He had to live in a cave, but there he was able to do some writing.”
    • “During his lifetime, he wrote one of the Gospels, three letters that we find in the Bible and the last book of the Bible (Revelation), which tells about when Jesus will come again.”
    • “John eventually died of old age.” (Have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “And finally, there was Simon-Peter– he had the most dramatic transformation after following Jesus.”
    • “Simon eventually earned his name that means ‘listens and obeys.’”
    • “And he also earned his name of Peter, which means ‘rock,’ because Peter became a solid leader who led the early church.”
    • “Peter preached powerfully at Pentecost (a Jewish holiday celebrating the harvest of the crops) and led 3,000 people to the Lord.”
    • “He was so powerful spiritually that people were healed when just his shadow fell on them.”
    • “He raised Dorcas from the dead, introduced the Gentiles (non-Jewish people) to the Gospel and wrote two books of the New Testament.”
    • “He eventually went to Rome, Italy, and witnessed to the Roman emperor, Nero.” (Advance slide.)
    • “Peter and his wife were both crucified for their beliefs, but Peter begged to be crucified upside down, because he didn’t feel worthy to die in the same way Jesus did.” (Have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “So, that’s what became of all of them.”
  • “John was exiled; Judas killed himself and the other ten were put to death because they claimed that Jesus is God.”
  • “Don’t worry, though.  God isn’t asking all of us to die for our faith.”
  • “The Apostles were so powerful that God’s enemy, the Devil, fought very hard against them.”
  • “God protected each of them for a long time, but there came a time in each of their lives that they had completed the work God had for them to do.”
  • “When it came time, they each decided that they wanted to give God as much glory as they could when they died.”
  • “By dying for their belief in Jesus, they told the world that He is really God.”
  • “Let me ask you a question.  If you told a lie, and someone powerful said that you either had to admit you were lying or they would kill you, what would you do?” (Listen for response.)
  • “You wouldn’t die for a lie, would you?”
  • “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘I wouldn’t die for a lie!’”
  • “No, just like me, you would admit that you had lied so that you could go on living.”
  • “Well, the people who killed these men accused them of lying about Jesus.”
  • “They demanded that the Apostles admit they were lying about Jesus being God or else they would be put to death.”
  • “But these men chose to let people kill them rather than admit they were lying about Jesus.”
  • “Why do you think that was?” (Expected response: “They weren’t lying!”)
  • “Right!  They weren’t lying!”
  • “These men didn’t die for a lie.”
  • “Nobody is dumb enough to do that!”
  • “They died for the Truth!”
  • “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘They died for the Truth!’”
  • “They let themselves be put to death, because they knew that death was not the end of their story.”
  • “They knew that it was just the beginning!”
  • “They knew that death was just the end of their physical life on earth, and they were looking ahead to what Jesus promised them – eternal life with Him in heaven.”
  • “Probably none of us will have to die for the Truth that Jesus is alive and Lord of all creation.”
  • “But there are sooooooo many people out there that don’t know the Truth.”
  • “We’ve got to be like the Apostles and tell them about Jesus.”
  • “Don’t let them die believing a lie!”
  • “Tell them the Truth – Jesus is alive!  He loves them, and if they will follow Him, they can live with Him forever in heaven!”
  • “So don’t let them die believing a lie.”
  • “Touch three people and say, ‘I won’t let them die believing a lie.’”  (You can use the Rhyme Time below to reinforce the lesson’s teaching point.)

 

Rhyme Time

The Apostles died,

But we don’t grieve.

They gave their lives

So we’d believe!

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