This is the Way! Sunday School Lesson: Jesus is the only Way to Heaven
How do you get to Heaven? This is a question that has been asked throughout the ages, but the answer is spelled out quite clearly in Scripture. Jesus asserts that Himself, explaining that HE is the only way to salvation and eternal life. He explains that He is one with God the Father, and that He is the source of all truth. Some things in life have multiple methods or instruction manuals, but the directions to Heaven are direct and simple!
There are people who claim that there are many ways of obtaining salvation or accessing God. However, Jesus Himself here reminds us that there is only one way to the Father, and that is through Him. We do not and cannot somehow “earn” salvation on our own. Nothing we do will help us. The death and resurrection of Christ is the only way to life, but it’s quite an easy one! He has done the tough work for us. We simply believe and receive His blessings.
See this John 14:1-14 Sunday School Lesson for Kids
Passage: John 14:1-14
Target Audience: Kindergarten-6th grade
Materials Needed: Construction paper; glue; markers or crayons; tape; scissors; decorative supplies; paper towel tubes; aluminum foil; cookbooks; maps; locks and keys; Bibles.
Lesson Opening: This lesson focuses on how Jesus is the key to eternal life, the only way to Heaven and the way we reach God the Father. He is our way, truth, and life, and we can rely on His love! Start this important Gospel lesson with a few simple games or activities to start the conversation. Here are a few suggestions:
- How do we get there? Have some fun with directional activities. For older students, invite them to look at a map and mark a route to find a place. Have younger students draw a map showing how to move around in their houses. You could also consider a “treasure hunt” of sorts with directions to follow to arrive at a point in the building.
- Blind drawing: have students sit back to back with a paper, pencil, and clipboard for each student. Have one student at a time explain carefully to the other person how to draw a certain picture of their choosing. See how accurate the illustrations are based on vocal directions alone!
- Mini escape room: Have various locks (combination locks, padlocks, letter or numbers, etc.). Invite students to use keys or combinations to unlock them. Explain that Jesus is our “key” to unlock salvation and bless us with every need in life.
- This is the way: Have groups of students brainstorm methods of doing various tasks, and encourage them to get creative and come up with as many ways as possible (for instance, finding a recipe, doing a chore, working out, etc.). Explain that many things have multiple ways of getting done, but there is only ONE way to Heaven.
- Traffic signs…look at some examples of traffic rules and signs. Why are rules important on the road? If there’s a “one way street” sign, why should it be followed? Like a one-way street, Jesus is the one way to be saved!
- A-Maze-ing grace: provide students with mazes at appropriate ability level. To make things competitive, have them race to see who can complete first.
Today’s passage describes important instructions that Jesus gave concerning Himself. In these verses, we will learn the way to Heaven, which is actually quite simple!
This passage is a wonderful conversation that Jesus has with His disciples before His death. His followers needed a little explanation to understand His words, and students likely will, as well. Take turns reading verses, or read them out loud for younger children.
“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4 And you know the way to where I am going.” -John 14:1-4
Explain to students that Jesus is talking with His disciples and telling them about His plans to bless them with a future Heavenly home. This is one of the last conversations Jesus had with His disciples, right before being arrested and condemned. It’s no wonder they would be troubled, as He had told Him they’d all fall away!
In these verses, He comforts His friends by explaining that He is going to prepare a place for them. Like a host preparing for guests, He will get everything ready. He assures them that there will be room for them, and they know how to get there. His words were somewhat confusing to them, however.
Ask: What do you think Heaven is like? How can we get there?
Thomas said to him, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” 6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7 If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.” -John 14:5-7
Thomas was naturally confused, and voiced this. He thought Jesus was just talking about going to another place, like a different town. Jesus didn’t promise to show them the way. He said that He IS the way. He is the way, and the truth and the life. He also clearly states that He is the only way to the Father. Some people say that there are many ways to get to Heaven, but this is pretty blatant: no one comes to God except through Jesus. He gives us life and truth and salvation.
Ask: How would you answer someone who asked you who Jesus is?
Have you heard anyone say there are ways to get to Heaven without Jesus?
8 Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” 9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? 10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. 11 Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves. -John 14:8-11
Philip has been close to Jesus for a while, but still doesn’t quite understand Him. Maybe some of us are the same way! Knowing who Jesus is and what He said doesn’t necessarily mean we truly know Him. Philip wants to see God. How do we know what God looks like? Jesus basically asserts here (truthfully) that He is one and the same as God. Jesus then calls on the disciples to have faith. He invites them to believe in Him. Faith means believing that what Jesus says is true, and in this case Jesus asks His followers to believe in Him and trust that His words and actions are backed by God the Father.
Ask: Are there any things that Jesus said or did that you find difficult to believe?
Do you have questions about faith or church?
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me[ anything in my name, I will do it.
Jesus is giving the disciples a job, a reason to do it, and a promise of blessing. He encourages the men to trust in Him and what He has said and done. He also asks them to continue His work in the world. He wants them not to give up and go back to fishing, but to keep telling others of Him and spreading His love through the world. He promises that they will do great and wonderful things, and through their faith and efforts, God will be glorified. (We’ll see this come to fruition in the book of Acts!)
Ask: How can we continue to do the work of Jesus today? Who can you tell about His love?
Close with prayer, thanking God for giving us Jesus as the way to eternal life.