using balloons for a bible lesson

using balloons for a bible lessonDuring this blog post, we’re going to go over the first part of the parable Bible lesson focusing on The Pharisee and the Publican.

It’s very hard for kids to be humble, especially in school, where droves of kids are rivaling for positions that will get them noticed in every way–socially, academically, and in sports and
clubs. A story of ”pride coming before a fall” may help drive home the importance of humility and the story of the humble publican and the not-so-humble Pharisee.

Scripture: Luke 18:9-14

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and despised others: “Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, `God, I thank thee that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week, I give tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, `God, be merciful to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Lesson Materials

. 1 pin
. 2 balloons, two different colors

Bible Lesson

**Everything in bold is what you, the teacher, will say out loud**

It’s a very hard thing to be humble in school. Everyone wants to be good at something.that’s natural. But look at what happens when somebody ”pushes it,” trying to look great.

Let’s look at Tyler and Anthony. Tyler is not being careful about what he says and does. “Oh, that history test today? Piece of cake. I’m going to ace it.” Blow into balloon so that it swells a bit.

“What do you mean, you studied all night?” Tyler says to one girl. ”I was done in ten minutes.” Blow into balloon so that it swells a bit more.

“People who have to study hard in history are really stupid. It’s just facts. It’s not like math or science.” Blow into balloon so that it swells a bit more.

“I write perfect essays. It’s an essay test? Bring it on.” Blow into balloon so that it swells a bit more.

“Once I ace this test? I’ll be able to join up the kids-helping-kids study program. It means I’ll get out of Spanish. And I’ll get service points, and I’ll get to tell the stupid people what to do.” Blow into balloon so that it swells a bit more, so that it is now very swollen. Tie a knot in it.

All the while, Anthony has been listening. He thinks, ”eeek. I’m not very smart in history at all.” Blow up balloon #2 just a little.

“Maybe Tyler can help me. I can never remember those facts. They just don’t stick in my mind.” Blow another tiny breath into it.

“But then again, if I ask him, I’ll feel really stupid because he’s obviously so smart.” Blow another tiny breath into it.

“Well…I’m pretty good at spelling and English. I could start bragging about that, I guess. It doesn’t appear to be hurting Tyler, all his bragging.” Blow another tiny breath into it.

“But, I donft know. It seems to me that when people brag, bad things can happen…it’s like they get ’bad lucked’ or something.” Blow another tiny breath into Anthony. At this point, he should be about half the size of Tyler. Tie a knot.

Hold up both balloons.

Who looks like the bigger person right about now? Tyler.

You’ll see a lot of people ”vying for greatness” in school. There’s grades, but there’s also popularity, fashion, sports ability, leadership…it’s natural to want to shine, to feel important and appreciated for who you are. However, you have to let it happen naturally. In God’s timing.

1 Peter 5:6 says, ”Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.” God knows your feelings. He designed man to feel special, because man is special.

Jesus also tells us in this way:

“When someone invites you to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for a person more distinguished than you may have been invited. If so, the host who invited both of you will come and say to you, ’Give this man your seat.’ Then, humiliated, you will have to take the least important place. But when you are invited, take the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he will say to you, ’Friend, move up to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all your fellow guests. For again: everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” That’s Luke 14:8-11.

Tyler may look big. Actually, Tyler is just full of hot air. And he’s not nearly as safe as he suspects he is. As the saying goes, ”Pride cometh before the fall,” or in this case, “Pride cometh before the ‘pop.'”

Take the pin and ”pop” Tyler.

Tyler got a 65 on his history essay test. The teacher wrote, “Your answers aren’t thoughtful. You’re rushing, and some of your facts aren’t even right.” Obviously Tyler didn’t get asked to be a part of the peer mentoring program.

Lay down the popped Tyler; hold up Anthony.

Anthony would be a lot less likely to ”pop” if I stuck this pin right up to him. Why is that? He’s not so full of hot air. He’s not so ”full of himself.”

But I won’t pop him. Why not? Anthony has a lot of humility. He’s willing to be invisible for a while and not rifle through people to be seen as great. He doesn’t deserve to be popped!

Come back later this week for the second part of this Bible lesson, which consists of a couple of activities that your students are sure to love.

If you think that your students will get a lot out of this Bible lesson, make sure you follow me on Twitter, where I share lots of children’s ministry pointers and tips!