Jesus IS the New Temple!
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Use this children’s Sunday School lesson about Jesus’ rebuilding of the Temp to teach kids that Jesus is the way to God.
Intro Game: Jesus is the Way!Divide students into two teams. Choose one student from each team to be “Jesus” and one student from each team to be “God.” The goal is for each team to tag the opposite team’s “God.” They can’t tag “God,” however until they tag that team’s “Jesus.”
Explain that Jesus and God never run away from us, but that Jesus is the way to God.
LessonTake your students on a trip to the sanctuary, or, if that is not possible during your lesson time, have them close their eyes and picture the sanctuary.
Ask students, What do we do in the sanctuary? (We sing, pray, give an offering, worship God, have a children’s sermon, etc.)
Why do we do that in the sanctuary? Could we do it somewhere else? (Listen for responses.)
Do you remember last week when Jesus got mad at the people in the Temple for selling things there instead of praying and worshiping God? What did Jesus do about that? (He made a whip and started swinging it around to scare the people away. He let their animals loose and knocked over their tables with their money on it.)
Do you think people were mad at Jesus when He did that? (Yes.)
(Read John 2:18.)
“The Jews then responded to Him, ‘What sign can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?’”
The people are asking Jesus to prove that He’s allowed to wreck their stuff like that. What do you think Jesus will say?
(Read John 2:19-22.)
“Jesus answered them, ‘Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.’
“They replied, ‘It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and You are going to raise it in three days?’ But the temple He had spoken of was His body. After He was raised from the dead, His disciples recalled what He had said. Then they believed the scripture and the words that Jesus had spoken.”
Jesus told the people that if they destroyed the temple, He would raise it up in three days. But Jesus wasn’t talking about the Temple building, was He? He wasn’t talking about the church. What was He talking about? What was destroyed and then came back three days later? (Jesus’ body.)
Jesus was saying that He was the new Temple. We don’t have to go to the Temple or to the sanctuary to worship God and pray and sing and do all those things we talked about. If we believe in Jesus, it’s like He is the Temple. He is the sanctuary. And since Jesus is with us all the time, we can pray and sing and worship God at any time.
Because Jesus is always with us, we’re always in church! We only do those things in our church sanctuary because it’s a good place for us all to do it together. But we can worship God anywhere we want to because Jesus is always with us and He’s our Temple, our sanctuary.
Worship Exercise: Mini Church ServiceTo emphasize that kids can worship and pray anywhere, take some time to walk through the elements of a church service. Do any or all of the following:
Sing a praise song.
Choose a student to lead a prayer.
Choose a student to tell what a Bible passage or verse means.
Choose one or more students to give a testimony or praise.
Take an offering.
Choose a student to make an announcement.
Closing PrayerJesus, we thank You that You are always with us. Help us to remember that we can pray to You or sing to You or read Your Word wherever we are. Amen.
Recommended ExtrasThe Complete Illustrated Children’s Bible – for telling the stories with beautiful artwork and Biblical accuracy
The Beginner’s Bible: Timeless Stories for Children – for telling the stories to younger children
Jesus in the Spotlight (Discover 4 Yourself series) – an in-depth Bible study book for older children based on John 1-10