Lesson: Knowing Jesus Through…The Sense of Sight (John 18:1-14)

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What do you see there?
Lesson Title:   Knowing Jesus Through the Five Senses: The Sense of Sight
Bible Reference: John 18:1-14; 19-23; 28-40; John 19:1-16
Target Age Group: Elementary
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 45 minutes
Focus Verse: As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!” But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him.  As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”  John 19:6
Gospel Connection: Last week, we used our sense of taste to learn about Jesus’ Last Supper before the crucifixion with His disciples.  Today, we will learn about the events from Jesus’ arrest to His crucifixion.  After His arrest, Jesus is taken to Annas and the High Priest Caiaphas.  When they saw Jesus, all that they could see was a man.  They couldn’t see that He was also the King of the Jews.  Next He sent to the Roman Governor, Pilate.  Pilate questions Him and cannot find a basis on which to crucify Him.  He wants to let Jesus go, but the crowds are shouting that He is a traitor because He claims to be the King of the Jews but all they see is a man.  All of these people, Annas, Caiaphas, Pilate, and the crowds, saw Jesus as a man not a King.  From this lesson we will learn that while our sense of sight is an amazingly wonderful gift, it can sometimes be deceiving.  There is more to Jesus than what meets the eye.  This lesson strives to teach children to see Jesus for Who He truly is.
Learning Aim:  When Jesus was on the Earth, many people saw Him and thought that He was just a man, but He is so much more than that, He is our Savior.
Basic Supply List:

  1. Bibles
  2. Blindfolds
  3. Tray
  4. Small items from classroom
  5. Paper
  6. Crayons/markers/colored pencils
  7. Paper Towels
  8. Salt
  9. Sugar

Note: In the teaching plan below the words in italics are meant to be read aloud. The regular text is simply directions for the teacher.
> > > > Basic Teaching Plan < < < <
Introduction: Have each child it at the table and place a paper towel in front of them.  On one side of the paper towel place a small amount of sugar, on the other salt.  Ask the kids to look at the two foods and determine which is the sugar and which is the salt.  This is hard to do by just looking at it. Tell them to guess at which is the sugar and point at it.  Now, have them taste it.  Now they are in for either a sweet treat or a salty surprise.  By sight, it is hard to tell the difference between salt and sugar. Similarly, the people who sentenced Jesus to death could only see Jesus as a man, and their Savior.  Say, Two weeks ago, we used our sense of smell to learn that Jesus was the one and only fragrant offering that is worthy of saving us from our sins. Last week we used our sense of taste to learn about Jesus’ Last Supper before His death.  Today we will use our sense of sight to see Jesus as He truly is.  He may look like just a man, but He is so much more than that. 
Biblical Evidence: Begin by reviewing the sense of smell and taste lessons.  Say, We know that God created a world full of good things that were tainted by sin.  We also know that Jesus died willing as a sacrifice for those sins.  We know that Jesus is the Savior of the World, but why did the Roman people who saw Him on Earth want Him to be crucified?  The answer is simple; they only saw Him as a man and not the Savior.    
Read John 18:1-14. While you read, ask the class to close their eyes and imagine that they are seeing this part of the story.  Say, Here we see Jesus being arrested.  He is not afraid because He knows that this is what He came to Earth for.  Ask, When the soldiers saw Jesus, what did they see?  Did they see Him as a King?  What about the disciples?  Allow for student responses.  Say, The soldiers arrested Him because all they saw was a man, but the disciples, such as Simon Peter, saw Him as the King so they tried to protect Him.  In the end, Jesus goes willingly with the soldiers.
Read John 18:19-23 and 28-40. Again, close your eyes and imagine what is happening in the story.  Say, In this part of the story, Jesus goes before Caiaphas and Pilate so they can judge Him as guilty or innocent.  Caiaphas, the High Priest is mad a Jesus and sends him Pilate, the Roman governor.  Pilate is afraid of what might happen to him if he crucifies Jesus.  He tries to release Jesus or send Him back to Caiaphas but he is unable to.  The people want Jesus crucified.  What does Pilate see when he looks at Jesus?  What about the crowd? Allow for student answers.  Say, The crowd definitely saw a criminal.  Pilate seems to be a little bit more confused. He doesn’t seem to think Jesus is the King of the Jews but he also doesn’t think that Jesus deserves to die. 
Read John 19:1-16. Say, In the end, Pilate gives Jesus to the crowd to be crucified.  Jesus goes willingly because He knows that He is the King and He will Rise from the dead.  What do you think Jesus saw when he looked at the crowd? Allow for student answer and discussion.  Any other person may have been angry to be accused of a crime, but Jesus saw the people as sinners and was still willing to die for them, even as they accused Him of blasphemy.
Review Craft: Ask the children to close their eyes and imagine what the crowd saw and what the disciples saw when they looked at Jesus.  Give each child a piece of paper and fold it in half.  On one side of the picture draw Jesus as the crowd saw Him, just a man.  On the other side of the paper draw Jesus as the disciples saw Him, the King of the Jews and their Savior from sin.    Ask the class to think about how they see Jesus.  Is He just a man to them, or is He the Savior?  Discuss how their lives might look different if they see Jesus as their Savior, instead of just as someone they learn about at church.
Blindfold Bible Drill (For older children): One student is blindfolded and given a Bible.  Another student is their guide.  The guide may not touch the Bible. The teacher says a Bible verse reference and the student holding the Bible will turn pages under the direction of the guide until they reach the page that the verse is on.  The first guide to read the verse aloud is the winner.  Here are some good verses to use:
John 19:6
Matthew 26:26
Ephesians 5:2
Psalms 146:8
Isaiah 35:5
Luke 4:18
Luke 24:31
John 3:3
John 9:39
Acts 26:18
2 Corinthians 3:16
Ephesians 1:18
1 Peter 2:9
What do you see? (For Younger Kids) : Place several small items on a tray.  Let the class study the try for 3 minutes then take it into another room.  The child that can recall the most items is the winner.
Optional Activity: If you are going to continue with the Sense of Touch lesson next week, write today’s verse on the board as review for next week.
Closing:  Close the lesson by bringing the class together.  Say, Today we learned about how people saw Jesus.  We cannot actually see Jesus until we get to Heaven, but we can see things that He has down for us and those around us.  How do you see Jesus?  Do you see Him as a King?  If so, then you should live your life as if you are trying to please this King.  Close in prayer, asking God to help each child see Jesus as the King that He truly is.
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