Inductive Study for Kids, John 3:14-15

Inductive Study for Kids, verse by verse through the Gospel of John, chapter 3, verses 14 and 15.  Simple ideas to teach kids the Word of God.

Welcome to more of our Inductive Bible Study for Kids through John! We are going slowly, slowly through the Gospel of John together as a family. It’s been years…literally!

But what is crazy about this is my kids can tell you so much about the first two and a half chapters of John! We are hiding God’s Word in our hearts together – diligently.

This week I am going to share with you just a couple of verses. We did these two verses over two separate days. By the end of the two day intensive on these two verses, my kids can walk through the verse by heart. All told the two day study took about 30 minutes.

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Talking about Moses – Day One

At this stage my kids have some background on Moses, just from reading Bible stories. They couldn’t really write a biography of him or anything, but when I say his name, they have a context for him – the Old Testament, leader of Israel, recipient of the Law direct from God.

Getting to Moses

We start every day of our Bible study with a quick review. Simple questions with easy answers provide quick wins for my kids, who delight in “knowing.”

  • What book are we studying?
  • Who wrote this book?
  • What is Jesus doing?
  • Who came to Jesus? And what did he say to Jesus?

To drill down into the heart of what we are talking about, I talked to my kids about how Nicodemus didn’t understand the whole “born again” thing. But Jesus decided to talk to him about something and someone he does know about – Moses!

We read verse14 together:

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;

John 3:14

I asked the questions and wrote the answers on our chalkboard table:

Who does Jesus mention? Nicodemus.

What did Moses do? He lifted up a serpent.

Where did he do this? In the wilderness.

A Bible Story

Instead of diverting our Bible study to the Old Testament and digging into the story of the serpent in the wilderness, I used one of my go-to Bible resources for teaching the Bible to kids – Egermeier’s Bible Story Book.

I used Egermeier’s to read and discuss the story of Moses and the fiery serpents in the wilderness. As we read the story, I drew a picture of what we were reading on the table.

At the end of the story we talked about what had happened. This is the practice of narration we use in our Charlotte Mason inspired homeschool – so this is something my kids are super familiar with.

If narration is new to your kids, you might ask some of these questions to get them thinking about the story:

  • What was the people’s sin?
  • What did God send into the camp?
  • If a person was bitten by a fiery serpent, what would happen?
  • Who did the people turn to in trouble?
  • What did the people ask Moses to do for them?
  • When Moses went to God on the people’s behalf, what did God instruct him to do?
  • What is the solution to the fiery serpents?
  • How did a person who was bitten avoid death?
  • What saved the people?
  • Did they have to do anything other than look?

My kids noticed that in order to be saved, these people only needed to look at the bronze serpent. They didn’t have to do anything else. But I wanted to make sure they understood this was actually two things – obedience and faith. The people had to do what God told them to do. I finished our discussion with one last question – what happened to those who refused to obey? They died.

Inductive Study for Kids, verse by verse through the Gospel of John, chapter 3, verses 14 and 15.  Simple ideas to teach kids the Word of God.

Back to John

Here we went back to the verses in John which led up to our discussion of Moses and the bronze serpent. We read verse 12 again:

If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how shall you believe if I tell you heavenly things?

John 3:12

I asked the kids if the story of Moses was an earthly story? Did it really happen? Is it in the history books? Yes! {I wrote the word earthly next to this story.}

Then I asked them to read over verse 14 again, drawing attention to the phrase “even so.” This is a comparison. Jesus is drawing a parallel between what happened when Moses raised the serpent in the wilderness and what event? Jesus dying on the cross! {I drew a cross on the table.}

I asked them if they see some parallels between these two events. They noticed the fact that men have to look to Jesus in faith. They have to believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus in order to be saved. But is this something which Nicodemus or anyone other than Jesus would have known about? NO! That is why it is heavenly – only one who has come from heaven knows these things. Who came from heaven? Jesus! And what does He call Himself here? The Son of Man.

Hiding God’s Word in our Hearts – Day Two

Today we walked through verses 13-15 using some of the tools we use in our homeschool to memorize information. My goal was for my kids to understand the verses and be able to recite at least a portion of this passage. We used hand motions and simple definitions to help us hold the information in our hearts and minds. We laid down a little bit, then reviewed it and added another portion, repeating the process until we could recite it collectively.

We started back with verse 13 where we had previously used our hands to point up for ascended and point down for descended. This was review, so this was our starting point.

Then we read verse 14:

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;

John 3:14

As we talked about Moses we used our hands with a pointed fist to raise our hands up. Then as we mentioned the Son of Man, we pulled our hands up to form a cross.

Then we read verse 15

that whoever believes may (will) in Him have eternal life.

John 3:15

I pointed out the word that and asked my kids what question this verse answers. Is it the answer to a who, what, when, where, why, or how question? A why question. Why must the Son of Man be lifted up? So that…whoever believes. Wait. Who is “whoever?” Anyone. Can you be whoever? {I made a list of all our names, we can all be part of that group of “whoever”}

For whoever, we decided to open our hands like we are referring to a group of people, spreading our hands in demonstration. We went back to the beginning of our verses and recited what we could remember, using our simple hand motions.

What does it mean to believe?

This simple question I asked my kids. I was blown away by their responses. One started by saying it was to know truth. I asked the others if they had anything they wanted to add to that. My oldest compared true belief to those who do not believe in the true God – those who worship idols. My little guy added it was believing in the real God.

It is so good to take the time to ask kids for their definitions of words. It insures they know what they are talking about when they recite a verse. So there is no confusion later.

We came up with a fun little hand motion because I can’t do it. I am not coordinated enough to rub my tummy and pat my head. So I challenged them to rub their heart – signifying where belief comes from, and tap their heads with their forefinger – signifying the head knowledge, too. They can do it, but I still really have to focus to add this motion to the mix.

We went back to the beginning and recited up to this point.

Inductive Study for Kids, verse by verse through the Gospel of John, chapter 3, verses 14 and 15.  Simple ideas to teach kids the Word of God.

About Eternal Life

I asked my kids about the next word: What tense is the verb will? Is it past, present, or future. Future. It is a helping verb.

Here the construction of this sentence is a bit odd, instead of moving on to the action or the state of being verb which will helps, we have a preposition – in Him. In who? Him. Who is Him? Jesus! What has He called Himself here? The Son of Man. We decided to put our hands up in our sign of the cross from the previous verse.

Whoever believes in Him, will… what? Have eternal life! At this point my kids were ready to tell me what eternal life was! They know that it means those who believe in Jesus will live with Him forever! Praise GOD! What wonderful truth.

To demonstrate eternal life, we put our hands together pointing outward in the center of our bodies and moved them away from each other to arm width apart.

Thank you for following along with our Inductive Bible Study for Kids! I truly love doing this study with my kids and sharing it with you. Thanks for your patience as life happens around here. I am hoping to make some real progress with this study this summer.

Blessings to you!

Inductive Study for Kids, verse by verse through the Gospel of John, chapter 3, verses 14 and 15.  Simple ideas to teach kids the Word of God.

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