BIG IDEA: JESUS GIVES US NEW LIFE
AIM: The ‘Transformed By His Life’ Childrens Lesson on Nicodemus aims to teach children that they can have new life in Jesus.
- ‘Totally Transformed’ by Jana Alayra
- ‘The Bold Song’ by Ken Blount
- ‘My Lighthouse’ by Rend Collective
- ‘This is Amazing Grace’ by Bethel Kids
- Chocolate Button Challenge. How many chocolate buttons can you stick to your friend’s face? Children can try to out-do their opponents in this fun upfront game.
- Donut Nibble. Children compete to eat a donut as much as they can without eating the whole thing. They must leave the hole. The child with the smallest donut at the end of the game is the winner.
- Bubble Blow. Children compete in blowing a bubble across the room. If their bubble bursts then they must go back to the beginning and start again. Application: The bubbles only last for a moment, but today we’ll be talking about something that lasts forever!
BIG VERSE: If anyone belongs to Christ, then he is made new. The old things have gone; everything is made new! 2 Corinthians 5:17.
SET the Scene:
Read John 3:1-21. Nicodemus comes to Jesus in the middle of the night. It seems that among all of the Pharisees who did not believe in Jesus, Nicodemus knew that Jesus had come from God because “No one can do the miracles you do, unless God is with him.” (v2). Jesus responds by telling Nicodemus that he must be born again. Nicodemus doesn’t appear to understand. He takes what Jesus says literally. Yet Jesus explains that there is a spiritual rebirth that everyone must go through if they are to be in God’s Kingdom (His rule and reign forever).
- ‘Jesus Met Nicodemus’ by Experience_ECCO
- ‘Special Friends’ by Gracelink
- Jesus Teaches Nicodemus
- Jesus and Nicodemus
- Why did Nicodemus go to see Jesus?
- Why did he go in the night-time?
- Why did Jesus think Nicodemus had come?
- What did Nicodemus find really hard to understand?
- Why did Jesus say that he had come into the world?
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) I CAN HAVE NEW LIFE IN JESUS
Use a clip or a picture of a Disney character (such as Beast from Beauty and the Beast) to discuss how we can have new life in Jesus. Alternatively you could use the Ugly Duckling song/picture/video to talk about new life in Jesus. You could also use the Hungry caterpillar story to talk about the life Jesus gives.
Say: Jesus wants to transform our lives! He wants to make us completely new! [Show one of the above examples of how something transforms.] The demonstration that we have used (see above) shows what happens when something transforms – it completely changes! Jesus wants to transform our lives by giving us new life.
When we come to Jesus and ask him to come and take the lead in our lives – something happens inside of us. Our old life – the life where we lived for ourselves and what we want has to die. Now, that doesn’t mean we have to die! It doesn’t mean when we accept Jesus we die… but it does mean that we stop doing certain things and it does mean that things stop having power over us, but that we have power over the things that once controlled us. That’s why our big verse says “The old things have gone” (2 Corinthians 5:17) because the things that we did before we lived for Jesus are not as important to us anymore and some things we will stop. The old things such as hate, bitterness, anger, fear, sin no longer have to rule our hearts.
Without Jesus, the bible tells us that we are all spiritually dead because of our sin (Ephesians 2:1,5, Colossians 2:13). All life is in God and without Him there is no life. Our physical bodies; the bodies we see are alive, but our spirit inside us is dead. It is only when we ask Jesus – the One who has all life – to come into our lives that our spirit comes to life.
We become a new creation! Jesus told Nicodemus:
Unless you are born from water and the Spirit, you cannot enter God’s kingdom. A person’s body is born from his human parents. But a person’s spiritual life is born from the Spirit. Don’t be surprised when I tell you, ‘You must all be born again.’
When we ask Jesus to come and take control of our lives there is a complete change in our heart and in our mind. It is like we have been born again – because we suddenly see things in a different way. It is no just like being born again, but we are spiritually born again. To be born again means to be totally transformed by Jesus! It means that Jesus gives us new life – life to the full! It means we can start living for Jesus and seeing the world how Jesus sees it – full of opportunity and purpose. We can all have new life in Jesus – all we have to do is ask him to come and take control of our lives and he will give us that new life in Him!
2) THE LIFE JESUS GIVES IS ETERNAL
Use the Shampoo Prank video.
Say: Is there something that you would like to have an eternal supply of? Imagine if you had a supply of a) chocolate b) Homework c) Money d) ‘Life’ Cereal e) Life that never ran out? How would it feel? Would you enjoy it? In the shampoo prank video it seems that the boy did not enjoy his never ending supply of shampoo! It’s hard to imagine what it would be like to have something that never ends, because everything in this life eventually stops or dies. Nothing lasts forever, or so it seems.
Yet Jesus promises us life. He doesn’t just promise any old life, he promises new life and life to the full – life everlasting (John 10:10)! Through Jesus we can have eternal life. That means life that lasts forever and ever, so even after we die we will live in heaven with Jesus! Wow! This kind of life is utterly amazing and is something we don’t want to miss! Eternal life is a gift that only God can give. He is the source of all life – in Him we live and breathe and have our being (acts 17:28). Everything is held together by Jesus (Colossians 1:17). To know and love and have Jesus as the leader in your life – your friend and Savior – is to know and have eternal life.
Do you know Jesus?
[At this point you may want to use the prayer from the SEEK God section of the lesson.]
SEARCH the Scriptures:
DIAPER DIVE. Put the bible verses below on individual slips of paper. Melt chocolate and put it inside a number of different diapers. Place a bible verse inside each diaper’s chocolate (you might want to laminate them first). Choose two volunteers to compete in retrieving the bible verses. However, the catch is that they much not use their hands. Children must dive into the diaper with their mouth!
Bible Verses that talk about life in Jesus:
John 10:28-30. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.
John 3:16. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:36. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.
Romans 6:23. For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1 Timothy 6:12. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called and about which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
1 John 5:13. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life.
John 6:35. Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst…”
John 8:12. Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
John 11:25,26. Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?”
John 14:6. Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me…”
1 John 5:20. And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.
John 10:10. A thief comes to steal and kill and destroy. But I came to give life—life in all its fullness.
- What do the bible verses tell us about life in Jesus?
- What do you think eternal life is like?
- What do you think it means to be ‘born again’?
- Do you think you are born again?
SENSE How You Feel:
How does it feel to have new life in Jesus?
- Create the Nicodemus scene.
- Make the Nicodemus 3D scene.
- Make a bracelet or necklace using different colored beads to represent how you would feel.
- Paint a picture of a butterfly to remind you of what it means to have new life.
- Make butterfly finger prints as a reminder of the new life Jesus gives.
This session is a perfect opportunity to ask the children if they would like Jesus to give them new life – life that is eternal! Pray with them:
Jesus thank You for Your new life. I believe that You are God’s Son and that You lived a perfect life. I believe that You died so that I might live forever with You. I believe that You rose again. Please forgive me for the wrong things that I have done, come into my life, give me Your new life and help me to live for You. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Nicodemus liked to ask Jesus questions – and Jesus loved to answer them! We don’t always know the answers to every question, and sometimes God doesn’t give us an answer, but it’s great to ask him our questions – He might just surprise you with His answer!
Give the children some time to think about any questions they want to ask Jesus. Ask the children to write these questions on post-it notes and stick on a board. If time, discuss some of the questions. Keep the questions to discuss in future weeks.
For more thoughts and children’s ministry ideas check out the Calvary Chapel children’s resource on John 3 here.