High School

Digging Deeper

Lesson 13 

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Summer 2019

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By: Jill Meek  

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August 25, 2019

Lesson Focus:

God’s Word requires careful study.

Bible Basis:

Acts 17:11; 2 Timothy 2:7-18

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access

Summary & Links:

As they focus on the careful study of God’s Word, students will consider how to accurately interpret the meaning of a message after watching a video about emoji meanings around the world.

Memory Verse:

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
—2 Timothy 2:15

Step 1:

As they focus on the careful study of God’s Word, students will consider how to accurately interpret the meaning of a message after watching a video about emoji meanings around the world.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

Has anyone ever misunderstood or misinterpreted a text or message that you sent? Sometimes the written word doesn’t convey enough about tone or context and so the meaning of the words are misunderstood. This can also be true when communicating not with words, but with images, such as emojis.

Share this video clip with your students [1:56]:
Emoji meanings around the world

  • Did any of the emoji meanings surprise you? Could you add other examples? (Answers will vary. Students will have their own takes on certain emoji meanings and examples of ones they have confused others with or been confused by.) 
  • What does this tell us about the importance of cultural context for accurate understanding? (Accept all reasonable answers. One’s context or culture shapes how one views the world. We should consider this when communicating with others and when we are taking in information or learning from others.)
  • Where would you go if you needed to learn more about emoji meanings or common misinterpretations? (Accept all reasonable answers. You could learn more about cultural differences, track down emoji creators, and ask lots of everyday people for how they understand and use the characters.)

Every time you read or interpret a message you bring your own understandings and experiences to it. This may help or hurt getting an accurate understanding of the author’s intended message. This can be true with Scripture as well. It can be misinterpreted, misunderstood, and misused. While some people claim the Bible is very straightforward and clear to understand, others find it so confusing or irrelevant that they give up trying to understand it. Those in either camp, and everyone in between, could benefit from careful study of the Bible. Knowing not just the text, but the surrounding context, and what’s been known or said about this text in various times and cultures, will reveal new insights and provide sharper clarity for understanding. Thankfully, there are many sources for doing so. Rather than sculpting the Bible into our own image, it is important to dig deeper to discover the marks God has actually made on it.

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • None

Today we’ve been talking about careful study of the Bible but referring to it as study may sound uninteresting. You already spend tons of time studying for multiple classes at school, which may or may not interest you. But there are topics that do interest you!

  • What will you spend your time watching, reading about, listening to, thinking about, etc? (Answers will vary with students’ interest. Some will be interested in subjects more likely to be taught at school, such as various sciences and arts, or government, or language. Others will be interested in pursuits such as comedy, vlogging, indie bands, video games, fashion, or cooking.)
  • How do you discover more about the things that interest you? What sources do you go to? (Answers will vary. Some may find books useful; others will go to more modern sources such as YouTube, or listen to a TedTalk; some will speak with others who are knowledgeable or share their interest; others will learn by doing, taking lessons, or figuring it out on their own.)

While the Bible tells us about God and what’s inspired by God, it is a book written down by people, and the characters and their context matters. So, if you are interested in subjects such as history, sociology, geology, culture, art, poetry, and more, there are biblical themes that tie in. Additionally, there are many formats for learning about the Bible. For example, you might follow authors or pastors on social media, subscribe to a podcast of someone interesting and knowledgeable, or use apps that provide reading plans or study tools. You may also find joy in the social aspect of a small group that meets regularly, or a youth conference or worship gathering.  There are many ways to dig deeper into God’s Word, so find a way and go for it. Make sure you’re hearing from a diverse range of voices for the greatest breadth and depth of understanding.

 Share with a partner one topic you intend to dig deeper in and what format you’ll use to do so. Commit to following through on that this week. Optional: You might want to offer a small prize next week (a wrapped candy, etc.) to anyone who will share something they discovered about God’s Word in this way.

Close in prayer.

Spread the word

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