Lesson: Knowing Jesus Through … The Sense of Taste (Matthew 26:17-30)

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Lesson Title:   Knowing Jesus Through the Five Senses: The Sense of Taste
Bible Reference: Matthew 26:17-30; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26
Target Age Group: Elementary
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 45 minutes
Focus Verse: While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” Matthew 26:26
Gospel Connection: Jesus’ death was not a surprise to Him.  He knew it was coming because He had been preparing for it and His resurrection His whole life.  He also wanted His disciples to be prepared for what was coming and so He used His last supper before the Crucifixion to prepare them for His death.  This is known as the Lord’s Supper.  Today, your students will use their sense of taste to connect to this story and learn about this important ordinance of the church.
Learning Aim:  Jesus used the Lord’s Supper to prepare the disciples for what is coming.  We observe the Lord’s Supper to remember the sacrifice that He made for us.
Basic Supply List:

  1. Bible
  2. Bread
  3. Paint
  4. Paper
  5. Spaghetti Noodles
  6. Penne Pasta Noodles
  7. Napkins
  8. Baby Wipes
  9. Oranges
  10. Cups
  11. Sugar Packets
  12. Spoons
  13. Water

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: While student’s arrive have table toys and activities ready for their entertainment until it is time for class to start.  Greet each child as they arrive.  Ask the class to explain what their sense of taste is and why they are thankful to have it.
Optional: In the weeks leading up to this lesson have a classroom food drive and ask for canned food donations to be brought in on the day you teach this lesson.  Ask each child to share some of their favorite foods as you discuss the importance of giving food to those in need. Donate the food to your church’s food pantry or another charity of choice.
Biblical Evidence: Begin by reviewing the sense of smell lesson from last week.  Say, Last week we learned that God created a world for us to live in that is full of wonderful things.  Unfortunately, sin entered the world when Adam ate fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  Now, Jesus is the only one who can save the world.  Today we will learn about a very special meal that Jesus ate with His disciples before He died to save the world. 
Read Matthew 26:17-30.  Ask the class to imagine that they are one of the disciples.  Say, These men had followed Jesus wherever He went and they were some of His closest friends.  Having dinner with Jesus was probably not that unusual for them.  They knew that He was the Messiah and that He would save the world but they may not have understood how this would happen.  As they ate dinner that night they were shocked to hear that one of their own would betray their Jesus, their champion.  Jesus then took the bread and broke it and gave it to each disciple as a symbol of the way that Jesus’ body would be soon broken.  He also gave them a drink from the cup as a symbol of His blood being spilled to cover sin.  Lastly, He tells the disciples that He will not eat with them again until they are in His Father’s Kingdom, which means Heaven. 
Spend some time discussing the passage and it’s meaning with your class.  Explain that Jesus was telling the disciples what was coming because He knew that He would be betrayed and killed soon.  Ask the class to imagine what the disciples were thinking and feeling when they heard all of this and invite them to share with the class. Then, ask them to share how they feel about the story of the Lord’s Supper.  Remind the class that sin entered the world because of one man and that no man could save the world.  The only sacrifice good enough to save it would be Jesus (Ephesisans 5:2). Say, The disciples tasted the food when they ate it, but for this meal that was not the important part.  This meal was important because it symbolized Jesus’ coming death.
Review Questions:  

  1. How many disciples did Jesus have?
  2. What did Jesus say at the Lord’s Supper that shocked everyone?
  3. Who, does it seem, will be the one who will betray Jesus?
  4. What did Jesus do with the bread?
  5. What did the bread symbolize?
  6. What did Jesus do with the cup?
  7. What did the drink symbolize?
  8. When did Jesus say He would eat with them again?
  9. Why did Jesus have to be betrayed and crucified?
  10. What is sin and how did it get into the world?

Craft: Get several different kinds of bread from the bakery section of your grocery store and let the kids sponge paint with it. If you are feeling really adventurous let them paint with pudding on a paper plate and eat their masterpiece and tools when they are done.  Ask them to recall what bread symbolized at the Lord’s Supper.
Game:  Give each child one uncooked spaghetti noodle and five uncooked pieces of penne pasta.  The class must race to see who can pick up the penne pasta with the spaghetti noodle the fastest.  The can only use one hand to hold the spaghetti and may not touch the penne pasta at all.
Make Juice: Before making the juice, ask the class to explain what juice symbolized at the Lord’s Supper.  Give each child a napkin, an orange (quartered), a packet of sugar, cup, and spoon for mixing.  Start with clean hands and a clean surface.  First squeeze the orange juice out of the orange and into the cup.  Then add some water and sugar (if desired) and stir.  The more juice you add the better it will taste.  Have rags and baby wipes ready to clean sticky hands.
Optional Activity: If you are going to continue with the Sense of Sight lesson next week, write today’s verse on the board as review next week.
Closing:  Close the lesson by bringing the class together.  Say, Today we learned about the Lord’s Supper.  Now we know why the disciples and Jesus ate the Lord’s supper, but why do we take the Lord’s Supper in Church? Allow for student answers then read 1 Corinthians 11:23-26. Say, We observe the Lord’s Supper in church to remember what He did for us.  Jesus was the only person to ever walk the Earth who never sinned so He was the only one who was good enough to save the world from sin.  He was more than just a man, He was God’s son.  Next week we will see how He saved the world.  Close the lesson in Prayer.

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