Object Lesson 15: "Rise Above It"
Focus on salvation.
Do not be concerned with labels or titles given to you on this Earth. Do not be attached to the possessions of this Earth. Our greatest concern should be our sin, the dirt that keeps us from salvation. Jesus died to remove this sin, which if accepted, will light us up and allow us to rise up with Christ and be seated us with him in the kingdom of heaven. In this experiment, we will use a simple tea bag to represent our lives here on Earth and our ability to gain the light of God and ‘rise above’ our sin (burning tea bag flies into the air like a rocket).
Are you ready to accept Jesus Christ as your savior?”
Are you ready to ‘rise above it’?
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
“For it is by Grace you have been saved, through faith, and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God, not by works so that no man can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9
“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Tagged tea bag (Test first as not all brands of teabags will float when lit)
Two small plates
Clear glass of hot water
Matches or a lighter
Fire extinguisher (for safety)
Care should be taken when using matches or a lighter. In addition, the burning ash / tea bag has the potential to start fires, so perform the lesson in rooms with high ceilings and with minimal flammable materials (e.g. church gym), with a fire extinguisher within reach for safety. Under no circumstances shall ‘Mad About Jesus Laboratories’ be liable for any damages or injury that result from the use of, or misuse of, this or any other object lesson or experiment. The use of this experiment is at your own risk. For future details please note the legal disclaimer on the website (www.madaboutjesus.net).
Place the tea bag in the center of the display table. The two plates, lighter / matches, glass of hot water, and spoon can be placed within reach on the table. The fire extinguisher should be placed under the table out of sight, but remain accessible in the event of a fire.
1. “Hi kids, I want to start today’s lesson by showing you one of the best props a Christian teacher can ever use.”
2. “Can anyone tell me what is in my hand?” Show the tea bag.
3. “Yes, it is a tea bag.”
4. “But why do you think I am showing you a tea bag?”
5. “Do you think I am going to make us all a nice cool cup of tea?”
7. “Well, why would a mad scientist bring in a tea bag?”
8. “Oh, there must be something very cool we can do with a tea bag.”
9. “But, let’s get to that later.”
10. “For now, let’s focus on the tea bag.”
11. “So, what is so special about a tea bag anyway?”
12. “It is simply a bag filled with brown dirty leaves, a piece of string, and a label.”
13. “Well, let’s take it apart and see for ourselves.”
14. Remove the label, hold it up, and state: “This label tells us what kind of tea it is.”
15. "This labels says (read the label)”
16. “Just like this tea bag, we all have labels.”
17. “Even Jesus had labels.”
18. “He was called Christ, Son of God, Messiah, and the Good Shepherd, to name a few.”
19. “Even at his death he was given a label, King of the Jews.”
20. “But all these labels were put on Him from those around him.”
21. “For Jesus did not seek the glory or fame, the riches or power of this world.”
22. “He could have used His power and been CEO of the world, more powerful and more famous than President Obama, Oprah, Bill Gates, or Donald Trump."
23. “But He was not concerned with titles, with labels.”
24. “Instead, He made himself a servant, even washing his disciples’ feet to show that He wanted nothing to do with this world’s fame, power, or glory.”
25. “For you see, Jesus did not come for himself.”
26. “Jesus came for one purpose, for us.”
27. “He came for salvation, beyond this world’s goals.”
28. “So He made Himself nothing in this world.”
29. “He made Himself a servant.”
30. “He was focused on doing the will of God.”
31. “In doing this, Jesus was an example to all of us.”
32. “He lived His life the way that He wants us to live our lives, with no care about labels.”
33. Remove the string, hold it up, and state: “You know what one of the biggest problems people face on this Earth?”
35. “People often become attached to things on this Earth.”
36. “Often people become attached to their possessions, like their home, cars, motor boats, and huge color TVs.”
37. “How many people do you know always want the next big thing; a new bike, a new video game, or even their own room.”
38. “Now, there is nothing wrong with having these things, as long as we do not lose our focus.”
39. “For our possessions on this Earth are blessings from God.”
40. “Unfortunately, it is easy to lose sight of that simple fact.”
41. “Instead of focusing on God as the source of our blessings, we think they come from ourselves.”
42. “We have a nice home and you have none because ‘we earned it’.”
43. “We have two cars and you have none because ‘we earned it’”.
44. “I have a new bike and you have none because ‘my family earned it.”
45. “We have all our possessions of this Earth because ‘we earned it’”.
46. “These possessions make us better than you.”
47. “This is the philosophy that drives the world, the need for greed.”
48. “The need to be better than your neighbor.”
49. “But, this is not what Jesus did.”
50. “He did not come to this Earth with possessions, nor did he leave with them.”
51. “He died with only the shirt on His back, owning no home, owning no live stock, and having no money.”
53. “If Jesus was the Son of God, why did He not come to this Earth dressed in heavenly robes, adorned with jewels, and living in a castle made of solid gold?”
54. “It’s actually quite simple.”
55. “You see, Jesus was not attached to these things.”
56. “He was focused on doing the will of God.”
57. “He was living His life as an example of how we should live ours, for God’s purpose not our own.”
58. Remove and discard the staple. Carefully open up the tea bag without tearing it and state: “This bag represents our souls, the heavenly spirit that resides in each of us.”
59. “But there is something besides the bag in my hand.”
60. “It is the tea that pulls down on this bag, making it heavy.”
61. “But, it is more than just heavy, it is dirty.”
62. “See, if I remove some and drop it in this glass of water it turns the water dirty.” Pinch a small amount of tea and drop in into the glass of hot water. Mix it with the spoon until the water becomes murky.
63. “Now look back at the tea bag.”
64. “It is full of this dirt.”
65. “So, what do we call the dirt that holds down our soul?”
66. “Yes, it is sin.”
67. “‘For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.’” Romans 3:23
68. “But, Jesus came to remove this sin.”
69. “He died to remove it from us.”
70. “‘For it is by Grace (we) have been saved, through faith, and this . . .is the gift of God’” Ephesians 2:8-9
71. “All we have to do is accept Jesus as our savior and the sin, the tea, is removed from our lives.” Pour out the contents of the tea on the first plate.
The Cleansed Soul
72. “Now that we are cleansed of this sin, we can stand tall in God’s sight.” Open the tea bag completely into a long tube (about the size and shape of the tube from a toilet paper role) and carefully stand it upright on the second plate.
73. “What’s more, without this sin you become a light of God.”
74. "The bible says in Matthew 5:16 ‘Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.’” Using the lighter, evenly light the top part of the tea bag on fire and allow it to burn down.
75. While still burning state: “As you continue to shine for Jesus in your walk of life, you shall become closer to God, so that when the day comes that your life ends in this world, your soul will join Him in heaven."
76. Pause and wait for the burning tea bag to take flight, then say: “Just as Christ rose and went to the Father, if you live your life unconcerned about labels, unconcerned about the possessions of this world, but most of all with true love for our Lord Jesus Christ, you will ‘rise above it’ and be with God in heaven.”
77. "Ok, let’s calm down and focus on what we have learned today.”
78. “First, can anyone tell me what Jesus thought about labels?” Wait for a response.
79. “He was not concerned about them, was he?”
80. “Jesus did not seek the glory, fame, riches or even the power of this world.”
81. “He lived his life for God, not himself.”
82. “Second, can anyone tell me what Jesus thought about attachments?” Wait for a response.
83. “He was not concerned about them, was he?”
84. “Remember, He came to this world and left this world just as we do, with no possessions at all.”
85. “Jesus focused His live on doing the will of God.”
86. “But, most importantly, can anyone tell me what is the most important thing we must we do to get to heaven?” Wait for a response.
87. “Yes, we are to accept Jesus Christ as our savior and love Him with all our heart.”
88. "For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
89. “So, are you ready to accept Jesus Christ as your savior?”
90. “So, are you ready to ‘rise above it’?”Closing
91. "Well, I better get back to the lab.”
92. “I have lots to do to prepare for my next experiment.”
93. “You see, I think I think I discovered how to (insert next experiment teaser).”
94. “I just need to work the kinks out.”
95. “I will see you again soon.”
1. Concept for experiment and modified dialogue of object lesson obtained from Jaco De Beer and “The Gospel According to a Tea Bag” by Ken Sapp available at http://www.creativeyouthideas.com/blog/object_lessons/the_gospel_according_to_a_tea_bag.html
2. A video of the experiment is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bZWvQ527lc&feature=relatedCONTACT:
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