Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lesson - The Jews Search For Jesus

VERSES:  John 11:53-57

MEMORY VERSES:   John 11:54  "Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Nehemiah.  Write "Nehemiah" on small slips of paper and hand out at the end of Bible class, so the students may memorize another Old Testament book at home.

PRAYER:   Thank God for sending His son to this earth to die on the cross, so that we might have eternal life if we obey His commands.

SPECIAL SONG:   No, Not One (see June 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #6 on this blog. Click on orange circle for tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Bible Map of Palestine, showing Judea, the Dead Sea, Jordan River, Ephraim, Bethel, Jerusalem, Bethany, Bethlehem, and Hebron.  Large Activity (see Activity below)

  • After Jesus had raised his friend, Lazarus, from being dead for four days and made him come to life again, many of the Jews believed that Jesus was the Son of God, but there were still some who did not believe. Some of those Jews who did not believe were the Pharisees. The Pharisees were Jews, but the Pharisees had a little power and prestige and thought they were better than other Jews. These were the ones who did not believe in Jesus and they talked together about putting Jesus to death. From then on, Jesus did not walk freely among the people like He had been. Instead, He and His disciples went and stayed in the wilderness city of Ephraim.
  • It was almost time for one of the Jews' special feasts called the Passover. Every year, all of the Jews stopped what they were doing and observed the Passover. On the Passover, the people remembered the time when God delivered His people out of the hand of the Egyptians by plaguing them with ten plagues:  The water turned to blood, frogs, lice, flies, murrain which was a cattle disease, boils, hail, locusts, darkness, and finally the death of the firstborn. It was the tenth and last plague that made the hardhearted Egyptian Pharaoh let God's people go. Every house that did not have the blood of the lamb on the doorpost and the sides of the doors was plagued that night. A son or daughter who was born first in that house's family died. When there was a great cry in Egypt, even in Pharaoh's own house, over the death of the firstborn, Pharaoh told Moses and God's people to leave Egypt and they did, leaving very quickly. (For the whole story, see May 2014 - Lesson - Plague #10 on this blog).
  • It was this Passover feast that was coming soon and the Jews were getting ready. Many of the Jews traveled up to Jerusalem before the Passover for their purification or to cleanse themselves. Then, their thoughts turned to Jesus. As they stood in the temple, they looked for Jesus and talked among themselves. They said to each other, "What do you think? Will Jesus come to the feast or not?" The chief priests and the Pharisees had ordered a command that said if anyone knew where Jesus was, then they should tell them, so they could arrest Jesus. 
"Older Student" Tips:
  • In six days, Jesus would be arrested, tried, sentenced by Pilate, and put to death on the cross. The chief priests and Pharisees were committed to finding and killing Jesus..
  • The chief priests and Pharisees should have been thinking about the Passover and how God's people were freed from Egyptian slavery, but they, instead, were thinking about killing Jesus, God's only begotten Son. (John 3:16)
ACTIVITY:   The Jews seek Jesus.
Materials needed:   9" x 12" light brown construction paper, 2" x 7" yellow construction paper, 1.5" x  5" red construction paper, marker, crayons, scissors, glue.

  1. Hand out light brown paper.
  2. Draw lines to resemble Judea. Look at Bible map for guidance or the finished map at top.
  3. Cut on lines EXCEPT the Dead Sea .
  4. Label Dead Sea.
  5. Color Dead Sea.
  6. Cut out other country (old Philistia where the giant, Goliath, used to live) on left, if it is not cut out already.
  7. Add line and label Jordan River.
  8. Write "The Jews Search For Jesus" and "John 11:53-57 at top of light brown paper.
  9. About two inches from the bottom of the brown paper, write "Judea" in large print.
  10. Hand out yellow paper.
  11. Fold yellow paper into sixths.
  12. Cut six circles, using most of the paper.
  13. Fold top edges of circles.
  14. Write "Ephraim," "Bethel," "Jerusalem,"."Bethany," "Bethlehem," and "Hebron" in the middle of the yellow circles.
  15. Look on map to find the cities listed above.
  16. Glue TOP EDGE ONLY of circles and place in appropriate places.
  17. Under Ephraim, write "YES!" in red crayon. Write small enough, so that when the yellow circle is pushed down, the word is hidden.
  18. Write "NO" under all the other yellow circles.
  19. Below the word "Judea," write in small print, "Jesus...went...unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called Ephraim..." v.54."
  20. Hand out red paper.
  21. Fold top edge of red paper.
  22. Glue EDGE ONLY of red paper.
  23. Place red paper over small printed words.
  24. On top of red paper, write, "Jesus...walked no more openly among the Jews, but..."
  25. The way it works:  Yellow circles that with different cities are scattered around the mad of Judea. Circles can be pushed up or down, revealing where Jesus might have been. Finally, Ephraim is pushed up, showing that Jesus and His disciples were staying in this small city near the wilderness. Also, the red paper may be pushed up to reveal the answer from the Bible.