Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Peer Pressure Sunday School Lesson - John the Baptist is Beheaded

Use this Peer Pressure Sunday School lesson to teach kids about standing up for what they know is right. 

Needed: Bibles

Lesson: (Note: Always allow students enough time to think about and to give their answers to the questions before clarifying the teaching.)

Ask students, Can anyone think of a time when one of your friends, or maybe a brother or sister, wanted you to do something wrong? (The teacher should share a story here as well, in order to encourage the students to share.)

Can anyone think of a time when you wanted to do something wrong to show off for your friends? (Again, the teacher should share as well.)

Well, today we’re going to read about a man who did something very wrong because someone else wanted him to and because he wanted to show off to his friends.

(Have students take turns reading Matthew 14:3-4, or read it yourself.)

King Herod had arrested John the Baptist because John kept telling the king that the king shouldn’t steal his brother’s wife and marry her. It would be like if your uncle stole your mom away from your dad and married her. That’s a wrong thing to do.

Do you think the king liked it when John told him he was doing something wrong? (No.)

The king didn’t like it when John told he did something wrong, but John knew that he had to say what was right, even if the king put him in jail for it.

(Have students take turns reading Matthew 14:5-8, or read it yourself.)

So the wife’s daughter, King Herod’s niece, did a dance for him on his birthday. He liked the dance so much that he said he would give her anything she asked for. What did she say she wanted? (She wanted the king to cut off John the Baptist’s head and give it to her.)

Why did she say she wanted that? (Because her mom, the king’s wife told her to say it.)

The king’s wife was doing something wrong too. She left her husband so she could go marry the king. John the Baptist said it was wrong for her to do that, so she wanted to kill him.

Do you think King Herod should cut off John the Baptist’s head just because the girl asked him to? (No.)

(Have students take turns reading Matthew 14:9-11, or read it yourself.)

Why did King Herod agree to cut off John’s head? (He made a promise that he would give the girl whatever she asked for and because he wanted to show off in front of the guests at his birthday party.)

Do you think God wanted King Herod to cut off John’s head? (No.)

Sometimes our friends ask us to do things that are wrong, or we want to do things that are wrong just to show off for other people, but we have to remember that doing the right things that God wants us to do is more important than doing what other people say, or showing off for other people. The most important thing is what God wants us to do.

If your friends ever ask you to do something that’s wrong, what can you say to them? (Suggestions: No, God wouldn’t want me to do that, That’s not a good thing to do, That could hurt someone’s feelings, Suggest a better idea, etc.)

(Have students take turns reading Matthew 14:12-13, or read it yourself.)

When John’s followers told Jesus what happened, what did Jesus do? (He went off by Himself.)

Why do you think He wanted to be by Himself? (Because He was sad that John died.)

Jesus is sad when bad things happen to people and they die. But one day, Jesus will bring John the Baptist and everyone else who believes in Him back to life and we will never die again.

Find more Sunday School lesson ideas on our Free Children Sunday School Lesson Helps page.
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