Jonah 1-2 Lesson (step 3) Think about it

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The following lesson is for an older elementary class using Bible study methods to help students learn to study God’s Word for themselves.  It’s the third step in the process which is to think about the key words and phrases the students marked in Jonah 1-2 during their last session.
The lesson is a guide and can be adapted for your ministry’s needs. Click here to see the first lesson in this series or or browse all our lessons from the Book of Jonah.

Bible Story: Thinking about Jonah 1 – 2
Scripture: Jonah, chapters 1 & 2
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Supply List:  Copies of Jonah 1-2 for each student,  colored pencils,
Learning Goal:  Students will practice looking at the key words and phrases in the Bible passage and ask who, what, where, when, why and how questions that will cause them to think deeper about what the passage is teaching.
Learning Activity #1:  While waiting for other students to arrive allow students who didn’t complete marking the key words and phrases from the last session (or were absent/visiting your class) to complete this method of studying to be prepared for the next step when class begins.
Learning Activity #2: Worksheet with sample questions for students to write what they learn from the key words/phrases you have time to focus on. (Optional questions:  1.  Go back to each verse in Jonah 1-2 that you marked God.  Write three things of what you learn about God from these verses. 2. Go back and look at the verses in Jonah 1-2 you marked Jonah.  Write three things that you learn about Jonah from these verses.  3. Do the same thing that you did with God and Jonah and write what you learn about the sailors and the captain.)
Memory Verse:   John 16:13a “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.”

Bible Lesson:  Think about it (Jonah 1-2)

This is our third week learning steps to studying God’s Word.  We began studying Jonah 1-2 by looking at the big picture (method-Zoom).  The next step was to zoom in and look closer at what Jonah 1-2 by marking key words and phrases.  This week we are going to look at the key words and phrases and think about what we learn from them.  A way for us to think about what the passage is saying is to ask ourselves who, what, when, where, why and how questions.

Anytime we study God’s word the first step we should always take is to stop and pray.  Last week’s memory verse was a good example of what we can ask God before we study His Word.  Let’s review Psalm 119:18:  “Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in Your law.”
Today’s memory verse is another Scripture that we can use when we pray before we study.  Let’s read it together:  John 16:13a “But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth.”  Which Person of the Trinity is this verse talking about?  (The Holy Spirit)  The Holy Spirit teaches believers what God’s Word is saying.  He guides believers in truth.  What that means for us is that we have a Helper who is living inside our hearts who helps us learn and understand as we study God’s Word.
I will give you an example of how we can use our memory verse to pray before we begin to study God’s Word.  Let’s bow our heads and close our eyes.  “Father thank You for sending Your Holy Spirit to teach us.  As we begin to study Your Word please open our eyes to Your truth and help us understand.  In Jesus’ Name we pray, amen.”
Because our time is limited we will focus on God and Jonah by asking who, what, when, where, why and how questions.
On your sheet of paper you have questions to answer.  Let’s work through them together and share our answers with one another.
The first question:  Look at each verse where you marked God and read them again.  Write 3 things that you learn about God from these verses.  If you need help here is a question to get you thinking:  What can God do?  (He speaks, He controls His creation)  (Give the students time to work on this question and help those students who seem to be struggling with what they are supposed to do.)
Let’s share what we learned about God from this passage.  I would like for each of you to share at least one thing you learned about God.  It’s ok if someone has already said it I still want us to all participate and share.  (As they share record their answers on white board for everyone to see.   Affirm/encourage the students’ responses.)
Next let’s look at the verses we marked Jonah.  Write down 3 things you learned about Jonah from these verses.
(If time allows have them continue by looking at the sailors and see what they learn about them.)
Gospel Connection:  In Jonah’s prayer in 2:9 he says, “Salvation comes from the Lord.” Listen to the definition of salvation:  1. the act of saving or protecting from harm, risk, loss, destruction, etc.  2.  the state of being saved or protected from harm, risk, etc. 3.  a source, cause, or means of being saved or protected from harm, risk, etc.  4.  Theology . deliverance from the power and penalty of sin; redemption. (
Salvation comes from the Lord.  Each man, woman, boy and girl has sinned against God.  That means each of us has broken God’s commandments.  The punishment for our sin is death.  Jesus took our punishment for our sins by dying on the cross for our sins.  He was buried and rose again the third day and is now living at the right hand of God the Father.  All who believe in Jesus are saved from their deserved punishment for sins and rescued from eternal separation from God.
Have you been delivered from the power and penalty of sin?  If not, today God can be your salvation through His Son Jesus.
Close in prayer.

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