This Sunday School lesson was designed for parents to use with their children at home on the week of May 10, 2020. Everything is included in the PDF download below (teaching notes, coloring pages, craft directions, game ideas, and worksheets). Use what is most helpful for your kids and ignore the rest. Families can also watch our children’s message, suggested music, and craft demonstration in the video playlist below.
“Jesus is the Way”
Home Sunday School Lesson on John 14:1-14
“How do I do it?” Children are quite inquisitive about the world around them, and are also eager to learn how to do things for themselves. They want to know the way to do things and to explore methods of how things operate. They want to know how to achieve what they want. In the Gospel story we focus on here, the disciples asked Jesus how to get to the Father. They asked Him to show the way, and Jesus gave a simple answer: HE was the way. God is an amazing, enormous, unfathomable being…but He became a human, so that we could draw closer to Him. The way to life is through Christ. For kids, this comes back to the tried and true Sunday school principle: the answer is always Jesus!
Lesson focus: We have sinned, disobeyed, and become separated from God. We don’t always understand God, and on our own power we cannot be saved or come to the Father. But Jesus lived, died, and came back to life so that we could have a way to be with Him. Jesus is one with the Father, and He is our guide, “map,” and “key” to eternal life. We can believe and trust in what He says, because He loves us and gave Himself for us. He’s preparing a place for us to be in Heaven someday!
Bible Passage: John 14:1-14
Target Audience: Kindergarten-6th grade (or whoever you might have at home!)
Materials Needed: Construction paper, markers, stickers, paper plates, brad fasteners, scissors, pipe cleaners, hole punch, map, compass, keys, Bible (all optional, depending which activities you choose to use).
Game Idea and Lesson Introduction
Lesson Opening: The “way” and the life…what does this mean? Jesus tells us that He points the way to life. There are other things that might “point” us in the right direction, too, and this lesson will explore some of those concepts. To get started, select from one of the following openers, or make up one of your own!
- Make a road map! This could be a simple map of your town, showing given locations, or it could be a treasure hunt of sorts. You might even make an old-fashioned pirate map!
- Look at a real compass and identify how it points North. Discuss how Jesus shows us the way to life.
- Make a “treasure hunt” in the house or backyard. Provide instructions for kids to follow to find a special treat.
- Hide something in a room of the house and play “hotter/colder” to find it.
- Which key? Make your own mini “escape room” using a combination of locks, keys, or puzzles.
After a couple of fun activities, explain that the disciples often asked Jesus questions about who He was and what He came to do. The Gospel lesson we are visiting here involves some of those questions, and things that Jesus said about Himself.
Ask: Who do you think Jesus is? What does He mean to you? (This may be a deep question for younger children, but it’s a good concept to contemplate at any age!)
Bible Lesson (John 14:1-14) Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life
As always, how you choose to experience the story will vary according to the ages and abilities of your children (and how many are participating). For younger children, you may wish to use a children’s or storybook version of the Bible, and explain details as you go. Older kids can take turns helping to read the story. You can discuss what the passages mean and, for older students, perhaps reference other related verses.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” -John 14:1-4
Ask: Where do you think this “house” might be? What is Jesus talking about?
Explain that Jesus is talking about preparing a place in Heaven. This wasn’t just for those disciples, but for all of us!
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” -John 14:5-7
Here comes Thomas with questions again. This thought might have been on the minds of the other listeners, too…he wants to know the way to this “house.” How can we come into a relationship with God? What’s the answer Jesus provides? HE is the answer! He is the way. Most houses have doors that must be passed through in order to enter. Jesus is saying He is the doorway. He is the map, the route, the way to get to eternal life.
Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. -John 14:8-11
It’s almost like Jesus is saying here, “haven’t you been listening to what I’m trying to tell you?” He has established that He is one with God, and yet the disciples still don’t quite understand. In fact, they still have trouble grasping this concept, even after the death and Resurrection! But this certainly should take care of any doubt we might have about the Trinity. Jesus is the Son of God, but He declares here that He is one WITH God, also. He is God made man…anyone who knows Jesus knows God, and Christ is the way to God.
*Ask: Is this confusing? (It’s okay if it is!) Are there other things you have learned about Jesus or God that are difficult to understand? How can we approach those questions?
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. -John 14:12-14
What does this mean? Jesus is giving us a great promise. If we believe in Him, and who He says He is, He will grant us great things. However, this does not mean we will suddenly work miracles or fly or be able to ignore other details in life…Jesus has already given us something amazing through His death and Resurrection. He has already given us life! These verses remind us that our own works do not save us. Jesus saves us. He is one with the Father (God) and is preparing an eternal home for us. He wants us to pray and to stay close to Him.
We pray for things “In Jesus’ Name” because He told us to do so! He loves us and wants a relationship with us. And we know that He will listen when we call. We don’t need a map, a compass, or a key to get into Heaven. Jesus is the way, and He gives us life, now and forever!
Bible Craft Ideas:
See our Jesus is the Way crafts (included in download above)
Christian Coloring Pages
We’ve included several of our free coloring pages in the combined PDF lesson download above.