Sample Lesson: Day 1
Building Background

Lesson Objective: To understand what a gallon is and understand the size of the water jars at the wedding in Cana.

Scripture: Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. John 2:6

Lesson Steps:

1. Go over the definition of a gallon. A gallon is a unit used to measure the amount of space a liquid takes up. One example is a gallon of milk. If you have a milk jug that is a gallon, show your children this.

2. Go over equivalents of a gallon. A gallon is equal to 4 quarts, 8 pints, 16 cups, or 128 ounces. Show a representation of each of these if possible. One easy way to show a gallon is by getting a measuring cup and having children fill it up 16 times, pouring that liquid into a large container or a bathtub with the drain closed.

3. The next step is to show the amount of water contained in one of those large stone water jars. This can be done by filling up a milk jug 25 times to the brim with water and pouring it into a bathtub with the drained closed or a small swimming pool or plastic sandbox. This will give the children an opportunity to visualize the enormity of these water jars. For fun you can put a few drops of both blue and red (purple) food coloring in the tub before pouring the water in to make it look like wine.

4. It is estimated that the water jugs had a circumference (the distance around a circular object) of 88 cm. During this step take a measuring tape and measure and cut an 88cm piece of yarn or string. Then tie the end and make it into a circle. This will give them some perspective on the size of the jars. If you are near a lot of trees, you may want to put the length of string around the trunk of a tree until you find one with a similar circumference.

5. The last step is to make conversions. The water jugs could hold 25 gallons of water. How many quarts is that? How many pints is that? How many cups is that? How many ounces is that? Here are ways to find out those numbers:

Quarts- Multiply 25 by 4
Pints- Multiply 25 by 8
Cups- Multiply 25 by 16
Ounces- Multiply 25 by 128

Further research: Look up Diocese museum. They claim to have one of the water jars. You can find a photograph there. Whether it is authentic or not, it’s helpful in understanding what this jar may have looked like.
Sample Lesson: Day 2
Key Vocabulary/ Scripture Reading (John 2:1-11)

Key Vocabulary: Cana, Galilee, gallon, banquet, bridegroom

Cana- A city in Galilee not far from Nazareth, the city Jesus was born in. There are disputes to where the city exactly the city is located. Some suggest it’s either in a site that’s called Kafra Cana, four miles northeast of Nazereth or Khirbet Cana, a site nine miles north of Nazareth. This city is only mentioned in the gospel of John.

Other Biblical references: John 4:46 and John 21:2

Galilee- A large country in northern Israel, east of the Mediterranean Sea and north of Samaria. It was traditionally divided in two regions: upper and lower. It is a rocky terrain with high mountains. Upper Galilee get a lot of rainfall and has a great diversity of plants. Galilee is where Jesus lived and taught. Famous Biblical cities like Nazareth, Bethsaida, Capernaum, and Cana are in Galilee.

Other Biblical references: John 7:41, 2 Kings 15:29, Matt 2:4 and 22, Luke 3:1, Acts 1:11

Gallon- A unit of measure for volume. A gallon is equal to 4 quarts, 8 pints, 16 cups, or 128 ounces.

Banquet- a time where people come together to celebrate a person or event. People at that time did not sit on chairs, but reclined by the table. People were usually seated by prominence. Sometimes bread was used as a napkin; guests wiped their hands with it and threw it on the ground. A Jewish wedding in the first century lasted for 7 days with a banquet every evening. The Master of the Banquet was the head of the ceremony and pronounced the blessing each evening over the couple.

Other Biblical references: Esther 2:18, Luke 14:13

Bridegroom- a man that is going to be married. Jesus is often refered to as the bridegroom and the church is called the bride.

Other Biblical references: John 3:29, Matt 9:15

Sample Lesson: Day 3
Play Performance

Jesus Turn Water into Wine (John 2: 1-11)

Characters: Narrator, Jesus, Mary, Servants (acting role only), Master of the Banquet, Bridegroom (acting role only)

Setting: Wedding in Cana in Galilee

Props: water pitcher (doesn’t need to be clear), clear glass or plastic cup, and red and blue food coloring

Set-Up: Before the play begins put several drops of red and blue food coloring on the bottom of the water pitcher. Red and blue together make purple, a wine color.

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Narrator: On the third day a wedding took place in Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone Jesus’ mother spoke to him.

Mary: They have no more wine.

Jesus: Dear woman, Why do involve me? My time has not yet come.

Mother: (Jesus mother turns to the servants) Do whatever he tells you.

Narrator: Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.

Jesus: Fill the jars with water. (The servants fill the water pitcher to the brim.) Now draw some water out and take it to the master of the banquet. (The servants pour the water into the glass and take it to the master of the banquet)

Narrator: The master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it came from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. The master of the banquet called to the bridegroom.

Master of the Banquet: Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best til now.

Narrator: This, the first of the miraculous signs Jesus performed at Cana in Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.

Sample Lesson: Day 3
Discussion Questions

1. Where does the story take place?

2. How did people and his disciples get to the wedding?

3. What is the problem in the story? How is it resolved?

4. Mary tells the servants to do whatever Jesus says. Is that good advice?

5. Why do you think the apostle John includes this story?

6. Some people that have special abilities are show-offs, but not Jesus. How does Jesus show that he is not about getting recognition in this story?

7. The Bible is full of symbolism. Jesus is called the bridegroom of the church. Why? Think about what a bridegroom and Jesus have in common.

8. How are banquets different now compared to back in Jesus day?

9. Jesus was fully God and fully man. He did things that no man could do, but he also did ordinary things, like attend weddings. Jesus is the kind of person that shows up to places, like weddings- even your wedding. Do you believe Jesus is approachable? Why or why not?

10. People run out of wine at the wedding. How would you feel if you ran out of something very important to people at your wedding, like cake or water?

Sample Lesson: Day 4
Review

Fill in the Blank

Read the paragraph carefully to yourself with as many words as you know without looking at the story. See how many you can get. Don’t worry about spelling. That can be corrected at a later time.

On the third day a wedding took place at __________ in _____________. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his ______________ had also been invited to the ____________. When the __________ was gone Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more _________.” “Dear, woman why do you __________ me?” Jesus replied. “My time has not come yet.” His mother said to the _____________, “Do whatever he ________ you.” Nearby stood six stone _________ ________, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty ____________. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with __________; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told
them, “Now draw some out and take it to the ____________ of the ____________. They did and the master of the banquet tasted the ____________ that had been turned into __________. He did not realize where it had come from, though the ____________ who had drawn out the water knew. Then he called the ___________ aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice __________ first and then the cheaper wine out after the __________ have had too much too ____________; but you have saved the __________ until now.” This, the first of his miraculous ___________, Jesus performed in __________ in ____________. He thus revelaed his glory, and his disciples put their _________ in him.
Directions: Please read this letter before performing lesson 5.

Note to Parents:

At one time it was assumed that our leading scientists, teachers, and professors upheld the view that there is a God that created and loves people, but this is no longer true. Many leaders of our educational institutions- even Christian ones- make the God of the Bible to be mythical and irrelevant to life. Evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins writes in his book The God Delusion, “The only watchmaker (reference to God) is the blind forces of physics.” Astronomer Carl Sagan says, “Life is but a momentary glimpse of the wonder of this astonishing universe, and it is sad to see so many dreaming it away on spiritual fantasy.” This is the sentiment of the so called “great thinkers” of the 21st century. We came a long way since George Washington declared, “The Hand of providence has been so conspicuous in all this, that he must be worse than an infidel that lacks faith, and more than wicked, that has not gratitude enough to acknowledge his obligations.” Washington understood that it took much more faith to deny God than to believe in Him. God is real and left his fingerprints all over so that there is no excuse for unbelief. The apostle Paul writes in Romans 1:18-20, “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of people who suppress the truth by their unrighteousness because what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world his invisible attributes – his eternal power and divine nature – have been clearly seen, because they are understood through what has been made. So people are without excuse.” I believe there is few greater endeavors than to teach our children to see the fingerprints of God in their life so they can live in the confidence that they are stand up to those who try to discredit the faith. The fingerprints of God are not just revealed through scripture, but through astronomy, history, anthropology, cosmology, biology, and every subject known to man. If people care enough to find God, they will see Him. Lesson 5 is one of the most important aspects of the week. This is an opportunity for the children to do a hands on learning or serving activity to understand how what they read applies to everyday life. The aim of this activity is to help them to see the fingerprints of God in their everyday life and to develop a stronger personal relationship.

Blessings to you,
Randy Saller

Sample Lesson: Day 5
Application

Lesson Objective: To recognize that the wedding at Cana where Jesus performed his first miracle is a historical fact and not a myth.

Background: One of the great branches of science that is useful for defending the historical authenticity of Bible stories like the wedding at Cana is archaeology. Archaeologists have done digs where Cana was thought to be and have found evidence of a large settlement, along with pieces of pottery thought to be the stone jars mentioned in the John 2 account. This site is at Kafr Cana, an Arab town 7 km northeast of Nazareth.

Activity: Find piece of piece of pottery or gather some large stones to represent pieces of the stone jars in Cana. Find a location and bury the pieces. Have your children pretend they’re archaeologists on a dig. When they have found all the pieces, have them answer the questions below verbally or in writing.

1. What did you find on your archeaological dig?_____________________________________

2. What did these pieces of pottery or rock represent? _____________________________

3. How is the archeological dig that you completed like the real archeological dig done in Cana?

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4. Imagine you have a friend that claims that Jesus is a myth. He tells you that the wedding at Cana was make believe. What can you say to defend the historicity of the wedding story at Cana story?

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About the Author

My name is Randy Saller. I am a special education teacher at Gavin Central in Lake Villa, Illinois. I have a BA in Special Education and an MA in Curriculum and Instruction. I have been married to Amy Jo for the last 18 years. God has blessed us with three wonderful children- Jonah, Gilbert, and Sadie. Some of my interests include spending time with family, running, fishing, and writing. I have written for Turtle Magazine, Chicago Parent, and The Old Schoolhouse. My wife and I are Christians with a passion for homeschooling and family discipleship. Two of My favorite verses are: He will turn the hearts of the fathers to their children, and the hearts of the children to their fathers..... (Malachi 4:6). I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth (1 John 3-4). Amy and I believe that there is no more important ministry than the family ministry. It is our passion to help parents understand the importance of their role in helping their children understand and know God. Although parents will always be imperfect, God has chosen the broken vessel of parenting to have the most influential role (humanly speaking) in the spiritual life of a child. I invite you to explore some of the free resources on this website.

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