Each Sunday I post one of my favorite Bible-based activities. These activities are tried and true, usually super simple, and make a lasting impression on the kids. They are also easily altered, and, for the most part I’m only going to post the activity and just add some suggestions for how to incorporate it into an overall lesson. I hope you can use some of these in your own ministry – be it homeschooling or church.
Magic Jesus Cup
First off, let me say that there are just a few things you should know before I go into this lesson:
- This is my absolute favorite lesson. I just love how it catches the kids by surprise.
- You’re going to need some background on my beliefs. Though I don’t typically like to post about various denominations, I am a Baptist. How does this relate to this lesson? It really only matters in two key points: I believe in baptism by immersion and I believe that baptism is an act of showing your salvation, but not an act that can save you.
- While I normally do not post lessons specific to a certain denomination, this one clearly reflects my own Baptist beliefs. However, even though this lesson is geared toward that, please understand that it is VERY flexible, and can be done without the part on baptism. It is still a VERY powerful and eye-opening lesson. So please, I encourage you to, despite denominational differences, please give it a shot, you won’t be disappointed 🙂
- I’m going to show you the video, then explain the lesson, so don’t read ahead unless you want to know the secrets 😉
Bible Verses: Acts 16:31; Romans 3:23, Romans 6:23
Items Needed: 7-10 clear (and I mean crystal clear) cups [glass or plastic, it won’t matter], water (a couple of pitchers full), about 1/8-1/4 cup bleach, iodine, sharpie marker, a container for “used” water
The Set Up:
Before the lesson, and before the kids see you, set up the cups in the following way:
- Label all but one or two of the cups with a “person” (e.g. Yourself, Mom, Dad, Brother, Sister, Best Friend, Teacher, Church Leader, Preacher)
- If you want to include the Baptism portion, label one cup “Baptism”
- Fill each labeled cup with water, but leave a little room to add more water later in the lesson
- Label the remaining cup “Jesus” pour the bleach in it, and top it off with water. This should be a diluted bleach mixture, I never really measure how much bleach I put in the cups, but it’s never more than 1/4 a cup. You want the mix to look like plain water – too much bleach will give it an “off” color.
- Line the cups up where all the kids will be able to see them, but won’t be able to drink from them. Be sure to put the Jesus cup last.
Basically, You will be using the iodine to represent sin. Explain to the kids that iodine will stain their clothes and will stain their skin, just like sin stains our hearts.
You’ll then explain to the kids that you’ve got several cups of water and each cup represents a different person – explain that if that person sins, the iodine will stain the water.
One by one, ask the kids if the person listed on the cup sins (be sure to leave the Jesus cup for last). As the kids answer, pour in some iodine. Be sure to explain that EVERYONE sins, even their parents, their teachers, and the preacher. Then explain that Jesus never sinned, add the iodine to His cup – it will not stain.
[If you’re talking about baptism, now’s the time to insert that aspect. Otherwise, continue on]
Then explain that when we believe in Jesus, and accept that he died for our sins, he can clean away our sins. Slowly pour a bit of the Jesus water into each of the stained cups (about a tablespoon will do it). Watch as the cups clear!
Note: you can only do this once per set of water. Once “Jesus” is added, the water will not stain again – there’s a deeper message there I’m sure…
Anyway, the kids will most likely want to see it again, so be sure to bring a container for the cleansed water and fresh water to reset the trick. Also be sure to make enough Jesus water that you don’t have to refill it in front of the kids.
That’s it! Isn’t it great?!
And just in case you couldn’t tell, it’s my favorite!!