John 3.1-8, 16
Nicodemus came to find Jesus at night, and Jesus said a very surprising thing to him. Nicodemus was taken aback that he needed to be born again to see the kingdom of God! This lesson helps to explain why we need to be born again and what that means.
“If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.” – 2 Cor 5.17 (ESV)
Lesson Intro (effects of the wind)
Prop: A kite, or a pin wheel
Ask the kids if they’ve ever seen the wind. We can’t see the wind, but we can see when the wind has an effect on other things, like trees blowing in the wind, or laundry moving on a line, or a kite flying on the wind. We can even feel the wind blowing on our skin. There are things that we can’t see, but we know that they’re there because of the effect that they have.
Now, ask the kids if they remember how God created Adam. It says that God formed him from the dust of the earth and then breathed life into him. Like Adam, each one of us is alive because God has given us a soul and a spirit. All of those things make up who you are.
Even though you can only see your body, you also have a spirit, which is like the wind. You cannot see your spirit, but it’s the deep part of us that talks to God. Listen up in today’s story for where you might hear the word spirit, and where you hear the word wind.
Tell the story from John 3.1-8
Things that you may want to emphasize/explain along the way:
- Nicodemus was a Pharisee. (vs. 1,2) Pharisees were people who thought that they were right with God because they followed all the rules. Most of them didn’t like Jesus, which is possibly why Nicodemus came to speak to Jesus at night. He might not have wanted to be seen.
- Kingdom of God (v. 3) God reigns in heaven and he is coming to bring his reign to earth. Only those who are born again can see God’s kingdom but what does that mean?
- that which is born of the Spirit is spirit (v. 6) Jesus was telling Nicodemus that there’s a part inside of him that is dead. Even though he was following the rules and he was an important leader, he didn’t know God and wasn’t really living for him.
- the wind blows where it wishes (v. 8) When our spirit comes alive in Jesus we’re given new life and the Holy Spirit can lead us into the kingdom of God. That means that we start seeing God’s kingdom come here on earth just as in heaven!
Explain that these things were difficult for Nicodemus to understand and Jesus had to keep explaining for some time. Nicodemus had to stop trusting himself himself and learn to trust in God! The important thing for us to know is that God loves each one of us and he wants us to be truly alive through Jesus, so that we can know him and live for him!
Read John 3.16 for the kids.
Feel free to incorporate and adapt this object lesson if you want to explain our need for Jesus in a simple and engaging way.
Prayer: Thank you Jesus that you care about the deepest part of us, and that you know our deepest thoughts and prayers. Lord, we know that you are the one who gave us life and we thank you that you give us new life when we believe in you! We believe in you this morning and we put our faith in you Jesus! Amen.
- When did Nicodemus come and speak to Jesus?
- Why was Nicodemus an important person?
- What did Jesus tell Nicodemus he needed to do to be able to see the kingdom of God?
- What did Nicodemus think that Jesus meant?
- How can we be born again?
Image credit: Christ Instructing Nicodemus Crijn Hendricksz, 1604