Sunday School Lesson: Jesus Turned Water Into Wine
Published: April 27, 2015
Use this free Sunday school lesson about Jesus turning water into wine from FaithWeaver Now to teach children that Jesus did miracles to show us he is God.
Early in Jesus’ ministry, Jesus and his disciples were invited to a wedding. While they were at the party that followed the wedding, the wine began to run out. Such an error would have been considered a significant social blunder at that time. Even a poor groom was expected to provide plenty of wine for his wedding party. This setting provided the occasion for Jesus’ first miracle.
Mary may have been helping to serve at the wedding; thus, her appeal to Jesus was for herself as well as for the host of the party. Though some suggest that she was asking Jesus to go out and get more wine, it is more likely that she expected Jesus to do something miraculous.
When Jesus addressed his mother as “dear woman,” he was not rebuking her, as it may seem; rather, his words demonstrated respect. The rest of that sentence, though the exact translation is debated, appears to mean “Your concern and mine are not the same.” When he said, “My time has not yet come,” Jesus was likely indicating that the proper time had not yet come for his first miracle, though it was coming. The point was that he would not be hurried, not even by his mother. The time for Jesus to be revealed as the Messiah and then to be crucified had not yet arrived.
When the master of the banquet tasted the wine, he was astonished. The quality of the wine simply reinforced the wonder of the miracle. And Jesus’ “disciples put their faith in him” (John 2:11b).
Scripture: John 2:1-11
Bible Point: Jesus did miracles to show us he is God.
Weaving Faith Into Life: Children will trust and believe in Jesus because he did miracles to show he is God.
Easy Prep for Teachers
- Gather an assortment of wedding items, such as rings, a bouquet of flowers, a veil, ring pillow, boutonniere, goblet, candles, a cake topper, and wedding bells. You may also want to bring in wedding pictures if you have them available.
- Put the wedding items and pictures in a large box or bag.
- Bring the biggest jar you can ﬁnd, and place the jar out of sight.
Water to Wine
- Place powdered drink mix in the bottom of one pitcher to make enough juice for kids to have some later in the lesson. Don’t add water yet.
- Fill another pitcher with plain water. Set these aside for kids to use when they act out the Bible story.
You will need these materials to make the basic modeling dough:
- 4 cups ﬂour
- 1 cup iodized salt
- 1¾ cups warm water
Mix all ingredients in a bowl, and knead for 10 minutes. This will make enough for about eight children, so you will need to adjust the recipe to make enough for your class size. (from Mudworks by MaryAnn F. Kohl, Bright Ring Publishing, 1989)
1: Wedding Memorabilia
When kids arrive, have them share with a partner how they followed through on their Daily Challenges last week.
Say: I brought some wedding items for you to look at today. Have a volunteer choose an item from the box or bag. Have the volunteer tell how the item is used in a wedding. If the volunteer doesn’t know or is unsure, have the rest of the class help. Then let another child choose something from the box. Continue until kids have seen all the items.
Say: I have one more wedding item to show you. Bring out the jar, and show it to the class.
Say: A jar played a part in our Bible story today. In Bible times, people served wine at their wedding celebrations. The wine was a very important part of the celebration. It was served to show the wedding guests that the host of the wedding party appreciated and respected them.
- What do you think would happen if the wedding host—in Bible times—ran out of wine?
Say: Today we’ll learn what happened when the host of a wedding ran out of wine and how Jesus used six big stone jars—kind of like this one (hold up jar)—to help him. And we’ll learn that Jesus did miracles to show us he is God.
2. Bible Exploration: Water to Wine
Say: Our Bible story today is found in John 2:1-11. Open your Bible, and show kids the passage.
Say: This Scripture is about a wedding that Jesus attended. Let’s pretend we’re at the wedding, too. Here’s what’s happening: The wine at the wedding is completely gone. The wine was a very important part of the celebration. Wine was served to show the wedding guests that the host appreciated and respected them. It was a bad thing for someone to run out of wine to serve the guests. All of the guests expected to have wine at a wedding, and it was a very serious matter that all of the wine was gone. You’re all the guests at the wedding, so I want you to pretend you are at a party. Have kids pretend to be at a party. Encourage them to talk to one another and pretend to drink and eat.
Say: Now let’s pretend that the host of the party has just told you he has nothing left for you to drink but water. How would you react? Have kids show what they would do in this situation. Kids could act as if they are complaining about how thirsty they are and how they can’t believe the host actually has nothing left but water to drink. Some may even say they want to leave. After a few minutes, have kids stop and sit down.
- What would you do in this situation?
- What do you think Jesus did in this situation?
Jesus’ First Miracle
Read the rest of the passage.
- How do you think the servants felt when Jesus told them to ﬁll the jars with water?
Say: The servants ﬁlled the jars with water as Jesus told them to. Pull out the pitcher containing powdered drink mix and the pitcher of water. Ask for volunteers to be the servants. Help the servants pour water into the pitcher containing the powdered drink mix.
Say: Then Jesus told them to draw some of the water out and take it to the master of the banquet. The master of the banquet tasted the water, but it wasn’t water anymore! It was wine! This was Jesus’ ﬁrst miracle. In changing the water to wine, he revealed his glory and that he was the Son of God. The disciples put their faith in him. Pour a drink for each of the kids, and serve them.
- How do you think the servants felt when they realized that the water Jesus had them ﬁll the jars with had turned to wine?
- Why did Jesus do miracles?
Say: Now that we’ve learned about Jesus’ ﬁrst miracle, turning water into wine, let’s take a look at our Key Verse to ﬁnd out more about how Jesus did miracles to show us he is God!
3. Weaving Faith Into Life: I Believe
Have kids open their Bibles to John 20:31.
Say: Our Key Verse today is found in John 20:31. Let’s read it together. Read the verse. Jesus did miracles to show us he is God.
- From the Bible, which of Jesus’ miracles do you know about?
- Has Jesus ever done a miracle in your life? What happened?
- Why do Jesus’ miracles help you believe in him?
Create a Stone Jar
Have kids create their own stone jars from modeling dough. You may need to help kids shape the jars. Encourage kids to do the best they can; the jars don’t have to be perfect. After they’ve finished their jars, give kids each a toothpick and have them etch on their stone jars something that they believe about Jesus. They could etch words or pictures, but their etchings should be meaningful to them. For example, if some children are scared of the dark, they could etch pictures of light bulbs to show that Jesus is their light when they’re scared of the dark. As they work on their jars, ask kids to choose one way they can commit to growing in their faith this week and remember that Jesus is God:
- Talk to a parent or a teacher about Jesus; share what you believe and what you doubt.
- Draw a picture of a miracle that Jesus might do in your life right now.
- Give your stone jar to a friend who doesn’t believe in Jesus. Tell your friend what you believe about Jesus.
Encourage kids to take home their stone jars as reminders of Jesus’ first miracle and to help them remember they can believe that Jesus is God. Also make sure you choose a Daily Challenge as well, and tell the kids what you chose. Kids will be more inclined to follow through on their commitments when they see you doing the same!
Say: In Jesus’ ﬁrst miracle, he showed concern and love for the wedding host. Not only that, but this miracle also proved Jesus is God’s Son. We can believe in Jesus, God’s Son!
4. Closing Prayer
Pray: Thank you, God, for sending your Son, Jesus, to save us from our sins. Thank you for the miracles he did and for the love he showed. Thank you for showing us why we can believe in Jesus! Help us to always remember who Jesus is. We pray in Jesus’ name, amen.
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