February 3, 2019 – John 18:28 – 19:15

Lesson Date: February 3, 2019

Focal Scripture Passage: John 18:28 – 19:15

AIM: To lead students to determine the reason Pilate condemned Jesus to be crucified, and to examine their own lives for evidence of compromised convictions.

 

Before class: Read the notes on John 18:28 – 19:15 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book. Prepare the index cards described in the “Conclusion” step.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Read the following case studies to the class, or enlist volunteers to read them:

Paul is a city councilman. A local bar owner has petitioned the city council for a permit to have nude dancing in his bar. Paul feels that nude dancing is wrong and that it will bring harm and other bad influences to the community. He planned to vote against granting the permit, until the bar owner approached him privately and offered to give him a new car if he would vote to grant the permit.

Sandra’s teenage daughter Grace was giving her fits. Sandra believed most popular new movies were fleshly and a bad influence so she kept her family from attending movies. But now the one boy in school Grace has been dying to date has asked her out. He asked her to go with him to a popular new movie. Grace is afraid if she turns the boy down, he won’t ask her out again and she will be the laughing stock of the school. Grace begged her mom to let her go to the movies just this once. Finally Sandra agreed.

Scott is a faithful worker who is trying to do well at his job. One day, he witnessed his co-worker Dean stealing money from the company. Dean was a close friend to the boss. Dean and the boss often did things together socially, so it was evident to everyone in the company that Dean was the boss’ “favorite.” Scott wanted to report Dean’s theft, but Dean threatened to go to the boss and have him fired if he did. With Dean’s connections, Scott knew he could make good on his threat. Scott decided not to report the theft.

Ask the students what is common to each of these stories (someone compromises their convictions). Tell them today’s lesson is about compromise and the dangers of it.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Remind the students that we are studying the Gospel of John.
    • Ask a volunteer to read John 20:31.
    • Ask: “Why did John write this account of Jesus’ life?” (so his readers would believe that Jesus is the Son of God and have everlasting life by trusting in Him).
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (contrasting the boldness of Jesus with the fearfulness of Peter, and asking the Lord to make us bolder witnesses).
    • Ask if any of the students had an opportunity to be bold for Jesus Christ this week.
    • Write the following headings on the marker board or chalkboard to create three columns: “Pilate’s Questions,” “Pilate’s Words,” and “Pilate’s Actions.”
    • Tell the students that throughout today’s lesson they will fill in the columns and try to discover the reasons Pilate condemned Jesus Christ.
  2. Jesus was Taken to Pilate.
    • Ask a volunteer to read John 18:28-32.
    • Ask: Where did the Jewish religious leaders take Jesus? (to Pilate’s judgment hall, which was probably in the Antonia Fortress adjacent to the Temple; locate the Antonia Fortress on the map).
    • Tell the students that Pontius Pilate was the Roman governor of Judea.
    • Ask: “Why didn’t the Jews go into Pilate’s judgment hall?” (this was the day before the Passover; if a Jew went into the house of a Gentile he would be considered ceremonially unclean and forbidden to eat the Passover meal).
    • Direct the class’ attention to the three headings on the board and ask them to find what Pilate asked, said, and did in verses 28-32.
    • Write their answers on the board under the proper headings. Their answers should match those in the completed table at the end of this lesson plan.
    • Summarize: Jesus was taken to Pilate, who quickly realized He had done nothing worthy of death.
  3. Pilate Questioned Jesus.
    • Read John 18:33-40.
    • Ask the students to find what Pilate asked, said, and did in verses 33-40.
    • Write their answers on the board under the proper headings. Their answers should match those in the completed table at the end of this lesson plan.
    • Tell the class verses 39-40 reveal that the corrupt Jewish religious leaders wanted a guilty criminal released instead of the innocent Son of God.
    • Summarize: Pilate questioned Jesus, determined that He was not guilty of any crime, and tried to release Him.
  4. Pilate Scourged Jesus and Declared Him Innocent.
    • Ask a volunteer to read John 19:1-8.
    • Explain to the class that scourging was a terrible punishment in which the prisoner was beaten with a lash made of leather thongs with bone or metal imbedded in the ends. Flesh and muscles were often ripped from the prisoner’s back. Many prisoners died during the beating.
    • Ask the students to find what Pilate asked, said, and did in verses 1-8.
    • Write their answers on the board under the proper headings. Their answers should match those in the completed table at the end of this lesson plan.
    • Summarize: Hoping to appease the bloodthirsty Jewish religious leaders, Pilate had Jesus scourged. Pilate twice declared Jesus innocent, but the angry Jews still demanded that He be crucified.
  5. Pilate tried to Release Jesus, but Finally Condemned Him.
    • Read John 19:9-15.
    • Ask the students to find what Pilate asked, said, and did in verses 9-15.
    • Write their answers on the board under the proper headings. Their answers should match those in the completed table at the end of this lesson plan.
    • Tell the class that in verse 16 Pilate finally gave in and delivered Jesus to be crucified.
    • Ask: “Why did Pilate decide to have Jesus crucified?” (because the Jews threatened to report him to Caesar as a traitor if he didn’t).
    • Summarize: Bowing to pressure from the Jewish religious leaders, Pilate finally condemned Jesus to be crucified, in spite of the fact he knew Jesus was not guilty of any crime.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Summarize the lesson by telling the class that Pilate was convinced Jesus was innocent. Three times (John 18:38; 19:4, and 19:6), he publicly announced that Jesus was not guilty. He tried all sorts of maneuvering to release Jesus, but failed at every turn. Ask: “Why did Pilate finally give in to the Jews and crucify Jesus Christ?” (he compromised his convictions for the sake of his career and his safety).

Ask: “Are we as Christians ever put in positions where we are pressured to compromise our convictions?” (the pressure to compromise confronts all of us). Ask the students to name some situations in which modern Christians are pressured to compromise.

Ask the students to examine their own lives to see if they are compromising in any areas. Lead a closing prayer time, giving students a moment to silently confess the sin of compromise and to commit themselves to living up to their Christian convictions in every area of life. Voice a closing prayer of commitment.

 

CONCLUSION: Give each student an index card on which you have written the words, “Don’t Compromise.” Ask them to place the card somewhere they will see it every day this week. Encourage them not to compromise their convictions this week. Tell them to always stand up for right and not to go along with the crowd.

 

Completed table:

 

Pilate’s Questions Pilate’s Words Pilate’s Actions
“What is the charge against this man?” – v. 29 He told the Jews to judge Jesus themselves – v. 31 He went out to talk to the Jews – v. 29
“Are you the King of the Jews?” – v. 33 He said Jesus was not guilty of any crime – v. 38 He went in to question Jesus – v. 33
“Am I a Jew?” – v. 34 He went out to talk to the Jews – v. 38
“What have you done?”

– v. 35

“Are you a king?” – v. 37
“What is truth?” – v. 38
“Do you want me to release the King of the Jews?” – v. 40
Pilate didn’t ask any questions in these verses “I find no fault in Him” – v. 4 He had Jesus scourged

– v. 1-3

He told the Jews, “You take Him and crucify Him!” – v. 6 He brought Jesus out to the Jews – v. 4
“I find no fault in Him” – v. 6 He was afraid when he learned that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God – v. 8
“Where did you come from?” – v. 9 “Behold your King!” – v. 14 He took Jesus back into the judgment hall – v. 9
“Aren’t you going to answer me?” – v. 10 He tried to release Jesus – v. 12
“Don’t you understand that I have power to either crucify you or release you?” – v. 10 He brought Jesus back out to the Jews – v. 13
“Shall I crucify your King?” – v. 15 He sat on the judgment seat – v. 13

 

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