Scripture: John 3:1-21
- Students will learn there were a few Pharisees like Nicodemus who believed in Jesus.
- Students will learn that even though some leaders believed in Jesus, they were afraid to admit it (John 12:42-43) because of what others might think of them and/or do to them.
- Students will learn God wants us to be brave enough to admit we believe in Him.
- Students will participate in a game where they learn about the meaning of various Biblical terms.
Guiding Question: How can understanding Biblical terms help us learn more about God?
Materials: Index cards, markers
Procedure: Share the story of Nicodemus from the scriptures above. Tell the students that Nicodemus was special because he was one of the few Pharisees who believed in Jesus. It must have been hard for Nicodemus to admit to believing in Jesus when those around him did not. Explain that sometimes it may be scary to talk about Jesus around those who do not know Him or believe in Him. It is important to remember that God wants us to be brave and trust that He will give us courage to talk about Him with others. Tell the students they are going to learn about words and phrases in the Bible like some that Nicodemus was confused about.
Prior to the lesson, write various Bible words and phrases like faith, baptism, salvation, righteous, born again, etc. on index cards (one word per card). Create an identical stack of cards for each team (2 teams). Before starting the game, go over the vocabulary words and their meanings. Split the students into two teams and have the teams line up. When you read a definition, the first player in each team will run to the stack of words and find the word matching the definition you read. The students will then run back to their team and hand it to the next person on the team who runs the word to you for verification. If it is correct, you can award points. If not, that person needs to go back to the word pile to find the correct word. After each team has found the correct word, a new definition can be read and the process repeated. To make the game more difficult return words to the pile at the end of each round. To make the game easier allow teams to work together for 20 seconds to decide what word should be found before saying go and letting the first person in line search for that word.
Additional Questions: How does practice help others learn to share their faith?
Supplemental Activity: Have the students get into partners and prepare a skit where one is a person who does not know Jesus or does not believe and the other person talks to them about Jesus. Have the students perform the skits and after each skit, the class can give suggestions to add onto other ways to share their faith in that situation.