Object lesson: Jesus will return to separate the good from the bad.
Preparation: For this object lesson you’ll need two clear, plastic cups; one needle; 6-pound, clear fishing line; and two small packages of craft beads (one dark color and one white).
In the bottom of one cup, poke small holes that are large enough for fishing line to pass through. Cut four 12-inch lengths of fishing line. Insert each end of the line into separate holes in the cup with equal lengths of fishing line coming through each hole. Tie a knot in the string. Repeat until there’s a fishing line running through each hole.
Next, thread the white beads onto each strand of fishing line inside the cup. Tie a knot at the end of each strand making sure the length of the strand doesn’t extend beyond the cup’s mouth. Remove any excess fishing line. Place the dark colored beads in the other cup.
Hold up both cups of beads.
As you tell the story of the enemy sowing bad seed with the good seed from Matthew 13:24-30, pour the dark beads into the cup containing the white beads. Continue telling the story while shaking the cup that now contains both colors.
Move both cups behind your back and keep them hidden as you pour the dark beads back into their original cup. Of course the white beads stay in their cup because they’re connected by the fishing line.
Say: One day Jesus will return to separate the good from the bad…the Christians from the non-Christians. We don’t know when that’ll be.
When you bring both cups from behind your back, the beads have “amazingly” been separated.
Dean Stone is the former executive director of the International Network of Children’s Ministry.