This week we will learn more about the beginning of Jesus’s ministry. A Pharisee named Nicodemus visited Jesus seeking answers to his questions. (John 3:1-21) Some of the key points we will study are–
- Spiritual life vs. Physical life
- Doing good things is not enough. Nicodemus obeyed the law, but he needed to trust in Jesus.
- God loved the world so much He gave us Jesus to have eternal life.
Jesus and Nicodemus – Lesson Guide
Talk to your child about questions. Point out that some questions are easier to answer than others e.g. what is for dinner is easy to answer, but why questions might be harder to answer. Explain that Nicodemus had big questions to which he needed answers. Point out that Nicodemus went to Jesus to receive answers to his questions. Talk about how we can go to Jesus to answer our difficult questions, too. Explain that sometimes the answers are in the Bible, and sometimes we just need to trust that God knows the answer and He is in control.
Explain that Nicodemus was confused about the difference between spiritual things and physical things. Explain that spiritual things cannot be touched like physical things. Point out that your child’s hand can be touched, but his soul cannot be. You may continue to speak about things we can see and things we cannot by asking the child to identify which an object is. Give your child a hug and point out that it is physical (we can see it) but explain that it is also a sign of the love you have for them.
If it is a windy day, you may go outside. You may also use a fan or a hairdryer. Ask the child if they can see the wind. They cannot. Ask the child if they can see what the wind does. Point out that we can. Explain that we might not be able to see Jesus in someone’s soul, but we can see the signs that He is there in their words and actions. You may choose to read the fruits of the spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23.
Point out to the child that doing good things isn’t enough. We need to trust in Jesus and have him clean our souls. Talk about how Jesus came into the world to save our souls, make us clean, and give us eternal life.
Get a jug. With your child’s help, fill it with dirty things like old coffee grinds, teabags, left over food etc. Fill water over the top and stir to make a dirty mess. Then ask the child if the water looks good to drink. If your child is very young, you may have to help them realize that the dirty water is not good to drink. Point out that the water is like our souls without Christ—dirty and unclean. Now, take a spoonful of clean water and add it to the pitcher. Ask the child if the spoonful of water made the dirty water clean or if the dirty water made the clean spoonful dirty. You may continue to add spoonfuls of clean water, each time pointing out that it is not making the dirt go away. Point out that just like the spoonfuls, our good actions cannot remove our bad actions.
If the child is old enough, ask them to help you figure out how to make the water in the pitcher clean. You may help them in realizing that they must remove all the dirty water and bits, then scrub and clean the jar. Allow them to help you wash it. While you do so talk about how Jesus cleans the sin out of our souls and washes us clean. Then fill the pitcher with clean water and point out that Jesus fills our souls with His righteousness.
Pour yourselves each a glass of water from the clean pitcher and talk about how God loves us so much, He send Jesus to makes us clean.
Pray and thank Jesus for coming into the world to save sinners.
Free Printable Bible Story
Games and Activities
Fly a kite or make a Windmill
If possible, go outside and fly a kite. Another alternative is to make a simple windmill. There is a template page included in this lesson. But you could also use a plastic bottle. Speak about how we can’t see the wind, but we know its there because we see its power.
Don’t get caught
Have one player face the wall. Everyone else should line up behind them on the other side of the room. The idea of the game to for the players to sneak up and tap the person facing the wall on the shoulder. The person may turn around at any time, and anyone seen moving, must return to the start. Remind them how Nicodemus didn’t want to get caught talking to Jesus.
I-spy in the Dark
This is a typical game of i-spy, but in the dark. Depending to children’s age, you could use letters or colors.
Speak about how it’s much more difficult to see things in the dark and this why Nicodemus decided to speak to Jesus during the night.
Bible Coloring pages – Jesus and Nicodemus
For God so loved the World – Includes free template
What you need:
- Template pages (print one map page only. Include your country).
- Colouring pencils
What to do:
- Colour in the template pages.
- Cut out the world, hands and heart.
- Glue hands onto side of world. Fold heart and glue down centre. Fix into middle of world.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16
Recommended links and videos
- For God So Loved (John 3:16) – https://youtu.be/HJPi6uDIaL4
- God So Loved – Hillsong kids – https://youtu.be/BdzWhNp4cjk
- John 3:16 – https://youtu.be/k2iHNzNJkJw
Download the lesson