David C Cook COVID-19 Response

High School

Equal in the Kingdom

Lesson 4 

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Summer 2022

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By: RLD Editorial Team 

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June 26, 2022

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Lesson Focus:

God teaches us to accept each other as equals.

Bible Basis:

Philemon 1-25; Galatians 3:28

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access
  • Whiteboard and marker (or screenshared document)

Summary & Links:

Students will consider what it means to accept all people as equals after watching a viral news story about a group of teens that embraced a young boy with autism.

Memory Verse:

“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”
—Galatians 3:28

Step 1:

Students will consider what it means to accept all people as equals after watching a viral news story about a group of teens that embraced a young boy with autism.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • Whiteboard and marker (or screenshared document)

It’s easy to be friends with people who are just like us. But it can be much harder to become friends with those who are different from us. You might notice that your peers at school tend to form groups that accept certain people with shared interests but reject others. This can cause hurt feelings and loneliness for those who don’t feel accepted by the group. As you watch this video, think about a time when someone made you feel accepted even though you did not fit in with the group.

Share this video with your students [3:17; start at 0:11; stop at 1:41]:
Teens Approach Autistic Boy At Skatepark And Perform Act Of Kindness

  • Why do you think the 5-year-old boy’s mother was so touched by the teens’ interactions with her son? (She knows how good it made her son feel to be accepted; she was surprised by the thoughtfulness of the older children.)
  • How do you think the boy felt after the older kids interacted with him? (Accepted, valued, a part of the group, empowered, etc.)

Treating others as equals can have many lasting positive effects in our lives and the lives of others. Just like the teen stated in the video, he remembered a time when someone was kind and accepting of him, and he wanted to pay it forward in the same way. Similarly, we can all think of a time when we felt rejected by a group and how that made us feel. Being welcomed or ostracized sticks with us for the rest of our lives.

  • When have you faced a time that you did not feel accepted? (Answers will vary but might include new school, sports, clubs, activities, etc. As your teens respond, record their answers on the whiteboard or screenshared document.) 
  • When have you faced a time that someone made you feel accepted even though you did not fit in with the group? (Answers will vary. As your teens respond, record their answers on the whiteboard or screenshared document.)

Just like the teens in the video, we can show respect to others by treating them equally and exhibiting the love of Christ to everyone. This is just one way that we can build others up in their faith and work together for the kingdom of God. Let’s find out more reasons why God calls us to accept others as equals.

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:

  • Internet access
  • Paper
  • Pens/pencils
  • Whiteboard and marker (or screenshared document)

If your class is meeting online, invite students to bring paper and pens/pencils to class.

Treating others as equals seems like an easy task, but often times we hold stereotypes and biases that make it more difficult than we realize—many of which we don’t even know we have. Let’s look together at these photos of people from all walks of life.

Hand out writing supplies. Instruct your students to answer honestly and assure them that their answers will be anonymous.

(NOTE: the following images are not available to print without purchase, but may be viewed for free online.) Click on the links below and show the photos to the group. Ask students to write down their assumptions about each person based on the photo. Collect the responses and read them out loud randomly while showing the photos again. Encourage discussion about whether or not those descriptions could be true of the person in the photograph even though they were not written about that particular person.

Share the following images one at a time to your students. Allow at least 30-45 seconds on each photo so students have a chance to think and write.

Image 1
Image 2 
Image 3
Image 4
Image 5

Being equal does not mean that everyone is the same. Having differences or coming from varying walks of life does not mean that we should treat others differently. When we understand that others are also made in the image of God, we begin to see why it’s so important to view everyone equally. Let’s consider what we have discovered about our own biases and stereotypes.

Have students break up into small groups, and give each student another sheet of paper. (If your class is meeting online, you can use the breakout room feature of your video chat software.) Ask the following questions and allow the students to discuss responses within their group. Have each student write down their personal answer on the piece of paper. Ask a few students to share their personal answers with the larger group.

  • Do we really know anything about people based on appearances and our own stereotypes? (Answers will vary, but might include: No, because appearances do not tell us what a person is really like on the inside, etc.)
  • What did you learn about your own biases and stereotypes while evaluating these pictures? (Answers will vary, but might include: I hold more stereotypes than I realized; sometimes we don’t even realize we have them about others, etc.)
  • What common interests, goals, and desires do all Christians have in common? (Answers will vary, but might include: to spread the Gospel; to love one another; to love God, etc.)
  • In what ways does treating each other as equals further the kingdom of God? (Answers will vary, but might include: we are more effective at loving others and telling others about Jesus when we work together, etc.)

Ask your teens to think back on the video about the boy with autism and the time when someone accepted them and how it made them feel. Instruct your teens to think about one person in their frame of reference who appears to feel left out, rejected, or lonely. Challenge your students to reach out to that person in some way this week. Encourage them to take notice of their peers in the coming weeks and accept those who may be left in the margins.

Close in prayer asking God to give students the ability to see others how God sees them—as equally loved and valued. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide their interactions with others and remind them to treat others how they would want to be treated.

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