February 17, 2019 – John 20:1-31
Lesson Date: February 17, 2019
Focal Scripture Passage: John 20:1-31
AIM: To confront students with the reality of Jesus’ resurrection by leading them to discover what eyewitnesses did after they saw Jesus, and to lead them to decide how they should respond to the reality of the resurrection.
Before class: Read the notes on John 20:1-31 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Get enough copies of “The Jerusalem Times” handout for your anticipated attendance. Be sure to have some pens or pencils on hand for those who might not bring one to class. Prepare the index cards described in the “Conclusion” step.
INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Ask: “Where were you when you heard about the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in 1986?” (allow time for responses). Ask: “How did you learn about the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001?” (allow time for responses). NOTE: If the students in your class are not old enough to remember those events choose some big news items that occurred more recently.
Ask: “What did you do when you heard about that major disaster (or attack or event)?” (they probably told someone else). Tell the class we have a natural tendency to tell others when we learn really big news. We might call or text a friend or family member and tell them to go online or turn on the TV to see for themselves. When big news happens, we want to tell others.
Tell the class that while the examples mentioned above were big and important events, today’s lesson is about the biggest news that ever happened.
HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):
- Tell the students we are near the end of our study of the Gospel of John.
- Ask: “Why did John write his Gospel?” (so his readers would believe that Jesus is the Son of God and have everlasting life by trusting in Him – John 20:31).
- Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (Jesus was crucified in exact fulfillment of many Old Testament prophecies).
- Ask if any volunteers would be willing to recite last week’s memory verse (Isa. 53:6).
- Jesus Arose From the Dead.
- Give everyone a copy of “The Jerusalem Times” handout, and offer a pen or pencil to anyone who needs one.
- Read the first two paragraphs of “The Jerusalem Times” to the class.
- Point out the fact that there are many blanks in the remainder of this news article that need to be filled in.
- Ask the students to fill in the blanks in the third paragraph, as you read John 20:1-10.
- Read the third paragraph aloud, asking the class to supply the missing words (stone, taken, Peter, John, in, home, believed).
- Summarize: Mary Magdalene was the first to discover that Jesus’ tomb was open. Peter and John went to investigate, finding that Jesus’ body was gone.
- Jesus Appeared to Mary Magdalene.
- Ask the students to fill in the blanks in the next three paragraphs, as you read John 20:11-18.
- Read those three paragraphs aloud, asking the class to supply the missing words (angels, weeping, Jesus’, weeping, who, gardener, Mary, go, brethren or disciples, seen, Lord).
- Summarize: Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene, instructing her to go tell His disciples that He was alive.
- Jesus Appeared to the Disciples, but Thomas was Absent.
- Ask the class to fill in the blanks in the next two paragraphs, as you read John 20:19-23.
- Read those two paragraphs aloud, asking the class to supply the missing words (feared, Jesus, peace, you, hands, side, glad, Father, sent, sending).
- Summarize: Jesus appeared to His disciples, instructing them to take the Gospel to others.
- Jesus Appeared to the Disciples, with Thomas Present.
- Ask the class to fill in the blanks in the next three paragraphs, as you read John 20:24-29.
- Read those three paragraphs aloud, asking the class to supply the missing words (nails, hands, hand, side, believe, Jesus, hands, finger, hand, side, faithless, believe, Lord, God, saw, believe, seeing).
- Ask the class to fill in the blanks in the next paragraph, as you read John 20:30-31.
- Read that paragraph aloud, asking the class to supply the missing words (believe, Christ, God, life).
- Summarize: Jesus appeared to Thomas, offering convincing physical evidence that He was, in fact, alive again. John wrote his Gospel to help people believe in Jesus and receive Him as Savior.
PERSONAL APPLICATION: Read the last paragraph of “The Jerusalem Times” aloud to the class. Ask: “What did the eyewitnesses of the risen Christ do after they saw Him?” (they believed in Jesus, they worshiped Jesus, and they told others about Jesus).
Tell the class that the resurrection of Jesus Christ is one of the best-documented facts in human history. In fact, there is “more evidence that Jesus rose from the dead than there is that Julius Caesar ever lived or that Alexander the Great died at the age of thirty-three.”
Ask: “What should we do in light of the reality of Jesus’ resurrection?” (we should do what the disciples did: believe in Jesus, worship Jesus, and tell others about Jesus).
Urge any who have never been saved to place their faith in Jesus and trust Him as their Savior right now. Urge Christians to worship Jesus and to tell others about Him. Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes. Encourage them to silently tell Jesus they believe in Him, they worship him, and they commit to tell others about Him. Voice a closing prayer.
CONCLUSION: Give each of the students an index card on which you have written the words of John 20:21:
“Then said Jesus to them again, ‘Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.’”
Ask them to memorize that verse this week and to try to tell someone about Jesus’ resurrection. Urge them to demonstrate their commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ by coming to Sunday School next Sunday.
 The Reason for My Hope, Copyright © 2013, William F. Graham, Jr., p. 82.
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