Needed: (Optional: The Visual Bible, kernel of wheat)
Show the passage from The Visual Bible if you have it. If not, skip down to the reading.
Have your students take turns reading John 12:20-36.
Read verse 24 again. Ask, What does Jesus mean about a kernel of wheat having to die to make more seeds?
A stalk of wheat won’t produce more wheat if it’s still growing. The stalk has to die first. When it dies, the seeds fall to the ground, are buried, and eventually grow as new seeds. (Illustrate with your wheat.)
What does this have to do with Jesus?
Jesus was gathering followers while He was alive, but it wasn’t until He died that Christianity really started spreading. Jesus could teach us the true way of God while He was alive, but He couldn’t take away our sins until He died. So Jesus had to die for Christianity to really get its start and begin growing.
(Read verse 25 again.) What does Jesus mean that if we love our life, we’ll lose it, but if we hate our life, we’ll gain eternal life? Is Jesus saying that we really have to hate our life if we want to go to Heaven?
No, God wants us to enjoy our lives. Life and all the good things that happen to us are a gift from God. God made life. But when the Bible talks about love and hate like this, it’s talking about preferences. Jesus is saying, Do you prefer your life now, or would you prefer to go to Heaven and live forever? Because if you prefer your life now, then you don’t have to listen to Jesus’ teachings or believe in God or anything. You can just keep living your life for yourself and when it’s over, you’ll die and lose your life when you go to Hell. But if you’d rather go to Heaven when you die, then you can’t just keep living your life for yourself and doing what you want to do. You have to live your life for God. Then He’ll reward you by giving you eternal life.
(Read verse 26 again.) Jesus says that if we serve Him, we will get to go where He is. That means we’ll go to Heaven when we die. And when Jesus comes back to Earth to make everything new again at the end of the world, we’ll come back here with Him too. Wherever Jesus goes, we’ll get to go with Him.
(Read verses 27-29 again.) God spoke, but not everyone understood what was happening. Some people thought it was thundering. Why do you think some people couldn’t hear God talking?
The reason the people couldn’t hear God talking is because they weren’t used to listening God speaking to them. God speaks to us every day, but if we’re not used to listening to God’s voice, we’ll miss it.
What do you think are some ways God could talk to us?
God can speak to us through prayer. Remember that prayer is a two-way conversation. When you pray, don’t do all the talking. Ask God if there’s anything He wants to say to you.
God can talk to us through the Bible and through the teaching at church if we really study it and pay attention.
God can talk to us through the things that happen in our lives. When something happens, ask if God is trying to tell you something through it.
If we get into the habit of listening for God talking to you, you’ll be able to hear Him more often and more clearly.