Jesus Predicts His Own Death (John 12:20-33) Sunday School Lesson and Activities

As we get closer to Easter, we’re following along the final weeks of Jesus’ ministry on Earth.

During His time on Earth, Jesus provided people with many intriguing analogies and explanations regarding who He was and why He came. Some of these can be challenging for young children to understand, but they can also be helpful to describe as we seek to go deeper into the life and significance of Christ. He was much more than a simple flannel-graph figure or miracle worker. He gave up His life for our sake, and because of that we have eternal hope.

Children’s Sermon Demonstration

This message demonstrates how Jesus died in order to give us life. Children will consider plants and seeds as an analogy of Christ’s sacrifice. Plants die in a sense and enter the earth, in order to grow up out of the ground and provide new life and vegetation. In the same way, Christ gave up His life, but rose again and gives life to all. 

Craft Demonstration

Jesus Explains His Purpose (John 12:20-33)In John 12, Jesus is approached by a group of Greeks who want to know more about Him. He uses an agrarian analogy to describe how He must die in order to give others life, just as grain must fall to the ground in order to produce wheat. A glimpse of Christ’s glory is seen as the crowd hears this explanation. These crafts echo that passage. A pop-up card uses textured materials and “popping up” plant art to recall the reference to wheat. A “pop-up plant” features a paper seed and flower in a cup to consider how planted items go down into the ground in order to grow up, just as Jesus was brought low in death, and came back to life for our eternal hope.

John 12:20-33 ESV

Some Greeks Seek Jesus

20 Now among those who went up to worship at the feast were some Greeks. 21 So these came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, and asked him, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” 22 Philip went and told Andrew; Andrew and Philip went and told Jesus. 23 And Jesus answered them, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. 24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves me, he must follow me; and where I am, there will my servant be also. If anyone serves me, the Father will honor him.

The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up

27 “Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” 29 The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” 30 Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not mine. 31 Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” 33 He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.

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