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Free Workshop Rotation Model Lessons - Season 2

Children’s Sermon

John 12:20-33

Jesus Explains His Death And Resurrection

March 17, 2024

Fifth Sunday of Lent

Lectionary Year B

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ASK    (a.k.a The On-Ramp)

  • Good morning!
  • Can you tell me what this is? [show image #1 or real acorn(s)]
  • Yes, very good - they are acorns!
  • So...can you tell me what acorns “grow up” to be? [ oak trees ]
  • And what do you think -- If we dug up an oak tree, do you think the roots would look like this: [Hold up image #2] or like this [Hold up image #3]?
  • More like this second picture (image 3), right?
  • Can you tell me [hold up image 3 again] where you think the actual acorn went? (it grew up; the acorn doesn't exist anymore)
  • So – what do you think, does an acorn have to stop being an acorn so that it can live as an oak tree? (Yes!)
  • Yes, I think you are right – it does!

TELL    (a.k.a. The Freeway)

  • An acorn having to “stop” being an acorn so that it can live as an oak tree is a lot like the story we heard Jesus tell in today’s scripture passage.
  • In the story, Jesus tells the disciples about a grain of wheat.
  • He tells them that that grain of wheat can't do what it is supposed to do -- which is grow into a plant -- unless it stops being a grain of wheat.
  • Jesus says that it’s like the grain of wheat died.
  • Now, this is a sad thing, that the grain of wheat has to die. But, living as a plant sounds much better than living as a tiny grain, as a seed.
  • The plant can offer things the seed can’t, like shelter, shade, and food.
  • It can even grow more seeds – just like an oak tree grows more acorns.

SHARE the Good News   (a.k.a. The Destination)

  • The reason Jesus is talking to the disciples about a grain of wheat dying so that it can become a plant is because Jesus knows that he will soon stop being Jesus in the way his disciples know him.
  • Jesus knows he’s going to die and then be resurrected. But once he’s resurrected, he’s going to be different.
  • Jesus, then, wants his disciples to think about his life, death, and resurrection in the same way they would think about a seed turning into a plant.
  • He wants them to know that his resurrected life will be like a plant that keeps growing and has new seeds.
  • Which is what his disciples will become – seeds that are part of his new life. Seeds that will share God’s love and healing just like Jesus did.
  • And, if we choose to accept Jesus' invitation to follow him, then we, too, can be seeds that are part of Jesus’ new and better life that we can then share with others.
  • And that’s the good news for today. Let’s pray.


  • This is a repeat-after-me prayer.

Dear God,

Dear God,

Thank you for Jesus…

Thank you for Jesus…

…who shows us…

…who shows us…

…how to grow in you.

…how to grow in you.

Thank you and Amen

Originally posted March 15, 2015

Updated on February 17, 2024
Written and edited by Nathanael Vissia

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This material is the copyrighted property of and Nathanael Vissia. It is also free. Please use, improve and share this material. But you may not sell it or require any personal information for it.

Supplies: Pictures at end of this .pdf file. Or, you can use real acorns, if you can find any.

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