Note to the Teacher
The scripture we read today is the story of Jesus appearing to his disciples after the appearance on the road to Emmaus. The ice breaker is a lighthearted game allowing students to grapple with trying to figure out what someone is saying by only watching the mouth move. The discussion encourages students to not be disappointed in themselves when they don’t understand something in scripture. The final activity allows students to spend some time soaking in God’s Word as they write down attributes of Jesus. Times are based on a fifty-minute lesson period but may be adjusted.
1. Ice Breaker: What did you say? (10 minutes)
In this ice breaker, students will have fun trying to understand what someone is saying. First, choose the person who will be the “speaker.” The speaker will try to get everyone else to guess what he/she is saying, even though the speaker is not making a sound. The object of the game is to get the group to guess what the speaker is saying within the time allowed. If the group is meeting in-person, the speaker must be able to remove his/her mask to play this game. If you are meeting virtually, you will need to text or message the speaker what that person is to “say.” Each speaker will get thirty seconds to try to get the group to guess what he/she is “saying” by just moving his/her lips. No words may be spoken out loud. The speaker should make no sounds at all. If the group guesses before the time is up, the round ends, and a new student becomes the speaker. Here are a few phrases you could use the speaker might use. Feel free to add your own.
- Can you hear me?
- What did I just say?
- Want me to try again?
- How did you hear that?
- I’m really confused.
- Do you read your Bible?
- Why is this so hard to do?
- One more spring break please!
Have everyone clap for one another and thank them for participating in this game. Transition to the scripture reading by telling the group that it’s OK not to understand everything you see and hear. We will see this happen today with the disciples in our reading.
2. Read Scripture (5 minutes)
Our scripture reading today comes from Luke’s account of Jesus appearing to the disciples after his Resurrection. This story appears after Jesus meets the disciples on the road to Emmaus. You may want to read back through that story on your own and summarize it for the group before you jump into the reading today.
3. Discussion (15 minutes)
- What sticks out to you the most about what we read today?
- At the beginning of the story, the disciples are talking; all of a sudden, Jesus says out of nowhere, “Peace be with you.” How would you feel if Jesus randomly showed up with us right now?
- How did the disciples react? [Answer: Verse 37 says, “They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost.”]
- In verse 38, we see Jesus asking the disciples about their doubt. Last week, we learned about Thomas’s doubts. Why do you think there was so much doubt with the early disciples? How do you think doubt gets expressed in our world today?
Thinking back to last week, what is different in these two interactions between Jesus and the disciples? [Answer: In Luke, Jesus asked the disciples if they had anything to eat (v. 41). Then they give him some broiled fish and Jesus ate it (verses 42-43).]
- What do you think is significant about Jesus eating the fish? (Possible answers could include: the history of fish/fishing between Jesus and the Disciples, remember the early stories about Jesus helping them catch more fish? Feeding of the thousands using fish? Pulling a coin from a fish’s mouth? Also, Do ghosts eat? There must be something about Jesus having a body if he is eating. Sharing a meal is a universally human experience.)
- Verse 41 says, “While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering.” Have you ever been in a similar situation? That is, have you been disbelieving, wondering, and joyful all at the same time?
- In our reading today, the word “ghost” is mentioned twice. Why did Jesus want the disciples to know he wasn’t a ghost? What is important that they know that Jesus is just as real as they are? What does this tell us about the person of Jesus?
- Looking back over the story, what is still confusing? What doesn’t make sense?
- Even the disciples were scared and confused from time to time. When was the last time you were scared or confused about your faith?
As followers of Christ, we will encounter things in scripture and in our world today that just don’t make a lot of sense. Jesus calls us to remember that he is real, and he wants us to treat him like a person rather than like a ghost or a character in a story.
4. Activity and Discussion: Bookmarks of Wonder (20 minutes)
For our activity today, play some soft music in the background, and make sure everyone has a Bible, a sheet of paper, and a pen or pencil. As you close, allow students to have some time to read scripture. Give students about ten minutes to look around in the Bible for verses that help them better understand who Jesus is. Some will feel good about looking around on their own, but for those who want to start somewhere specific, give them this list of verses.
- John 1:14
- Isaiah 9:6
- Philippians 2:5-7
- Hebrews 4:15
- Luke 8:25
- John 18:37
- John 3:16
After the ten minutes is up, ask if anyone would like to share one verse or story he/she wrote down. After everyone has had the opportunity to share, thank the group for sharing and tell them to fold up their papers and put them somewhere they’ll remember.
Tell them that there will be times in their lives when they will need reminders about who Jesus is to them. What they have written today can become one of those reminders.
Close your time together in a manner that is typical for you. Consider taking joys and concerns, then asking for a volunteer to close in prayer.
Total time: 50 minutes
- Sheet of Paper
- Pens and pencils