What did Jesus teach? Lesson plan

Jesus with two children. What did Jesus teach? Lesson plan.
Jesus with two children. Image by ariyandhamma from Pixabay

This teacher’s copy of the What Did Jesus Teach lesson plan is printer-friendly.


  • A blindfold and a piece of cotton or grass.
  • Some items to bash together to sound as if something big has fallen over.
  • To perform the ‘I am the Resurrection sketch’, bandages or loo roll and these characters need to be found:
    Narrator, messenger, Jesus, disciple 1, disciple 2, disciple 3, and Martha.
  • Print off the ‘I am the Resurrection sketch!


The world champion boxer, Mohammed Ali, used to describe himself as ‘floating like a butterfly and stinging like a bee’.

Q. What did he mean by that?

He moved easily around the boxing ring, effortlessly like a butterfly. His punches were hard, stinging like a bee.

Perhaps you could describe a certain footballer as being like a bull because they are big and strong and unstoppable.

Q. What if someone was described as a ‘fox’ what would they be like?

Q. What if someone was described as a ‘lion’ what would they be like?


Jesus likened Himself to certain things so that we could learn more about Him.
We are going to look at some of these now:

[1] Jesus said: ‘I am the good Shepherd.’

Now before we get the wrong picture in our minds, we need to look at what a shepherd was like back then.
The most important difference was that the countryside was like a desert.
There was very little grass, so the sheep would soon eat off the available grass and the shepherd would have to lead them to another area, which had enough grass and water for them to survive.
If the shepherd failed to do this, then the sheep could easily have died.
Another danger in this wilderness was from hungry lions, bears and wolves.
So the shepherd stayed with his flock all day and all night to protect them.
There were no fences, so the sheep could have wandered off and they would have become an easy target for a wolf.
But generally, they didn’t wander off because they trusted their shepherd.

Q. So what qualities did the shepherd have that Jesus wanted to describe Himself?

(1) Jesus is a guide to any who wants to believe in Him.

He wants to lead us in the right direction in our lives.
Jesus described the shepherd’s work in guiding his sheep and then He related that to anybody who wanted to believe in Him.
He said that the shepherd:

goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his
voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

John 10:27 NIV

(2) Jesus protects those who believe in Him, from the danger of the invisible powers of evil that are in this world.

Here He describes this evil as the wolf:

I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
The hired worker is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it …
I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me …
and I lay down my life for the sheep …
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”

John 10:11-15 and 28

Christians want to stay with Jesus and follow Him because they can trust that Jesus will look after them.

[2] Jesus also said, “I am the bread of life”.

That doesn’t mean that He looked like a loaf of bread.
Bread is food, and if you don’t get food you get very hungry.
Food is essential for us to live and survive.

Q. Is it possible to ‘hunger’ for things which aren’t to do with food?

Yes, someone can be ‘hungry for love’, or ‘hungry for ambition’.

Q. What word, or words could describe this sort of hunger?

Desire. Longing for something.
We could long to be loved, or we could long to be famous.
But Jesus wasn’t talking about that.
He was talking about having a longing, a desire for spiritual things.
In most people, there is a spiritual desire, a spiritual need and Jesus was saying that he will satisfy that spiritual hunger.
He will satisfy that longing, just like bread, or any food, which will satisfy our hungry stomach. Jesus said:

I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry,
and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”

John 6:35 NIV

Jesus is saying that he is essential for us to live our spiritual life – he feeds us, and he will satisfy our inner longing and hunger.

[3] Jesus also said, “I am the Resurrection”.

Q. What does the word ‘resurrection’ mean?

To be raised back to life after they have died.
We are going to do a short sketch to illustrate when Jesus said this.

[Act out the: I am the Resurrection sketch.]

In the sketch, Jesus said: “I am the resurrection and the life! Anyone who believes in Me will live even though they die!”
And the narrator said: “That means that anyone who believes in Jesus, their body, at the end of the world, will be raised back to life as a new spiritual body, which will never die again!”

Q. Do you think that God would be able to do that?

Christians believe that God made the universe out of nothing, so raising bodies back to life at the end of the world, is no problem for him!

Then in the sketch, Jesus said: “And whoever lives and believes in Me will never die!”
And the narrator said: “That means that anyone who believes in Jesus, their inner spirit – the real them – will live on, even after their body has died!”

Q. Do you think that will happen?

Christians believe that the soul of a person will live forever and that what we do and who we trust, will have consequences on our soul’s state beyond the grave.
The Bible promises that at death, the soul of a person if they are a believer, will go to be with Jesus in heaven.

[4] Jesus also said, “I am the Light of the world”.

Imagine you have gone into a room which you’ve never seen before, and there are no lights and it is totally dark.
I need a volunteer to feel what this is like:

[Teachers note: Blindfold the volunteer in the area where there is the most amount of space. But when they are blindfolded silently put the rubbish bin and some chairs in their way. Be next to them so you can prevent them from hurting themselves!]

You can’t see anything, so you are moving very slowly with your hands out in front of you and you walk slowly into things.
Then suddenly your face goes into a cobweb!

[Teacher’s note: Gently move some cotton or a blade of grass across their face]

Horrible! You imagine a big, hairy spider is somewhere on that web, so you pull the cobweb off of your face. You then bump into something.

[Teachers note: Bump something solid into them and then a second or two later make a crashing noise of something big falling over].

You haven’t got a clue what is in front of you, or what the room looks like.
Then you remember you’ve got a torch in your pocket. On goes the light!

[Teacher’s note: Remove the blindfold. The volunteer has now finished]

And what a difference it makes!

Q. What difference did the light make?

Jesus describes Himself as light, He said:

I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness,
but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12 NIV

Later Jesus said:

I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.”

John 12:46 NIV

Q. What could this darkness be?

Darkness means ignorance.
If you have been ‘kept in the dark’, that means that you don’t know something because no one has told you.
So on the other hand, knowledge is light.
If you have a ‘bright’ idea, it is like the light going on, and you find a solution to your problem.
In the Bible, it tells us that:

God’s Laws are perfect. They protect us, make us wise, and give us joy and light.”

Psalms 19:7 (The Living Bible)

Also, the Bible speaking about God says:

Your words are a torchlight to light the path ahead of me
and keep me from stumbling.”

Psalms 119:105 (The Living Bible)

But this light can be rejected.
Someone can refuse to get the torch out of their pocket, so they stumble along in the dark, tripping over things.
So the light of the knowledge of God and Jesus can be rejected.

We’ve looked at how darkness prevents us from seeing where we are going.

Q. What else does the darkness prevent?

It prevents others from seeing what we are doing.
If someone is planning to do something wrong, and they don’t want to be found out, then they probably will carry out the crime at night.
They love the night because it hides the bad things that they do.
In a similar way, Jesus came into the world as a light, but those people who wanted to carry on doing wrong wanted to get well away from him so that their deeds wouldn’t be exposed.
Jesus speaking about himself said:

the Light from heaven (Jesus) came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the Light, for their deeds were evil. They hated the heavenly Light because they wanted to sin in the darkness. They stayed away from that Light for fear their sins would be exposed and they would be punished. But those doing right come gladly to the Light to let everyone see that they are doing what God wants them to.”

John 3:19-21 (The Living Bible)

Q. How wise do you think this is – to love the darkness?

Q. Do you think it is possible to hide from God?

The answer is in the Bible:

If I try to hide in the darkness, the night becomes light around me. For even darkness cannot hide from God; to You the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are both alike to You.”

Psalms 139:11-12 (The Living Bible)

Q. How does this thought affect our actions and behaviour?

(That God can see everything – even when it is done in the dark).


By looking at these four things that Jesus described Himself as;

  • the good Shepherd
  • the bread of life
  • the Resurrection
  • the Light of the world

We can learn a lot more about Jesus’ character, and what He expects from us.

Q. Do the things that Jesus says, help us to give meaning and purpose to our lives?

Either take a short time to discuss this question, or leave it with them.

(Teachers note: There is a What did Jesus teach worksheet and ‘I am the Resurrection sketch to accompany this lesson plan.
See also What did Jesus teach RE resources).