This free Bible lesson for children is from John 2: 1-11 where Jesus changes water into wine. This lesson is the first lesson in a series of five that explore the theme “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?” through Bible stories that each involve the sharing of a meal.
This lesson would work for Sunday School or Children’s Church. The introduction or story section could each be used alone as a children’s sermon. Estimated length, is 45-60 minutes.
We’ve also created a Bible Sequence coloring page that goes along with this story. Use it to help children understand and remember the events of this miracle. It would be a perfect add-on activity or could be helpful as a visual illustration. For younger children, we recommend the preschool Bible lesson on this passage.
- Children will learn about Jesus’ power and the abundance he brings to our lives through exploration of the story of Jesus turning water to wine.
- Children will compare and contrast magic and miracles by exploring several magic tricks and stories of Jesus’ miracles and then discuss the similarities and differences.
Target Age Group: Children age 5-12 years
Bible Story: John 2:1-11 Jesus Turns Water Into Wine
Explanation: The big idea is that when we gather together around food and drink, Jesus is with us too, and this unites and strengthens our Christian community. For churches that regularly observe the sacrament of Holy Communion, each of these Bible stories and lessons can be connected to the story of The Last Supper and the belief that Jesus told us to eat bread and drink wine together and remember him.
The story explored in this lesson, Jesus turning water to wine at the wedding in Cana, tells of the first of Jesus’ miracles, and is significant because it shows how Jesus revealed his power to the people, as well as how he brings abundance to our lives. Jesus is truly all we need and can always fill our void.
When teaching young children about miracles, the use of magic tricks can provide valuable examples. Miraculous things do in fact seem magical to us! However, it is important to distinguish that Jesus wasn’t a magician doing tricks. He really does have the power to make miracles happen.
- Birthday Supplies (party hat, gift bag/box, noise maker, balloon)
- Two Pitchers (one clear and one opaque)
- Powdered Drink Mix
- Miracle Coloring Pages
- Crayons or Markers
- Magic Trick Supplies (may include glass, paper, coin, playing cards, toothpick, handkerchief, water, soap, pepper, and cups)
Introduction: Ask the children what we would need to have if we were going to have a birthday party. After some discussion, use your “birthday supplies” and say something like, “I think I have everything I need here to throw a great birthday party. I have a present and I have favors, like this hat and noisemaker. I can use this balloon for decorations. Wow, I am ready to go! Do you think I have everything I need?” Listen to what the children think might be missing and validate their answers. Hopefully, someone will think of cake. If this answer isn’t offered, lead them in that direction by “wondering” if you need food or maybe dessert. Then say, “Hmmm…the party definitely seems incomplete without cake. This reminds me of today’s Bible story. It’s about a party too, not a birthday party, but a wedding party. Listen closely to hear if you can find out what was missing at this party.”
Story: Read the story of Jesus turning water to wine from John 2: 1-11 in the Bible. You could also use a children’s Bible like The Beginner’s Bible published by Mission City Press. After you finish the story ask, “What was missing? Did you find out?” Continue the discussion with questions like: “So what happened? How did Jesus do that? What did the people find out about Jesus?” During the reading of the story or while you are asking discussion questions, pour water from a clear pitcher into your second pitcher. Prepare the second pitcher in advance, by putting powdered drink mix in the bottom. Pour the water back into the clear pitcher to show the change in color. Discuss, “Did I just do a miracle or was it more of a magic trick? When Jesus changed water to wine, was it a miracle or magic? What’s the difference?” Say something like, “Wow! Jesus really made up for what was missing. He always seems to make up for what is missing and he really showed the people his power.”
Activity: Provide several magic tricks and several different coloring pages with pictures showing Jesus’ miracles for children to explore. Depending on group size, you may want to create several stations and split the children into smaller groups, having each one learn one magic trick and color one coloring page. It will work best to have a copy of the magic trick directions and an adult or older child to demonstrate at each station. If time allows, each group may show and teach their magic trick and tell about their coloring page. Rotate around during and make sure each group knows what their miracle picture is about. Refer to the stories in a regular or children’s Bible if needed. Following the activity, make sure to review the difference between magic and miracles and explain that Jesus did miracles to show the power he was given from God and to serve others. The things he did were real, not tricks. Here are three possible magic tricks and links to several coloring pages, but you could certainly use others.
- Disappearing Coin http://www.kidzone.ws/magic/coin_trick.htm
- Disappearing Card http://www.kidzone.ws/magic/card_trick_5.htm
- Moving Pepper http://www.kidzone.ws/magic/pepper_trick.htm
Miracle Coloring Pages:
- Jesus Feeds Five Thousand – http://ourpreciouslambs.files.wordpress.com/2008/09/feeding5000_2.jpg
- Jesus Heals A Blind Man – http://www.sermons4kids.com/healing_blind_man.gif
- Jesus Calms The Storm – http://www.kidz-under-construction.com/stories/story2b.gif
Snack Option: If you include a snack time in your lesson, provide children with cups of water, powdered drink mix, and spoons and let them transform their own water into something new.
Communion Connection: Jesus fixed the problem at the wedding. He turned water into wine. Jesus fixes us when we are broken too. He forgives us when we sin and become far away from him. When we share Communion at church, we remember Jesus and are reminded of his forgiving power.
Prayer: Consider using a “repeat after me prayer”. Pause between every few words, allowing the children to echo what you have said. Dear God/Thank you/for giving us Jesus/with all of his power/to give us everything/we really need/Amen.