Have you ever wished you could know the future? Even though no one can know exactly what’s going to happen before it does, that doesn’t stop people from making guesses—or predictions—about what they think might happen.
- We hear lots of different kinds of predictions. Can you think of a few? (Possible answers: Sports games, elections or other public events, weather.)
- Have you ever heard a prediction, or guess about the future, that surprised you when it came true? (Give the students a few minutes to share. You may want to provide an example of your own.)
There are lots of different kinds of predictions, and some are more reliable than others. Scientists are very good at predicting certain events like eclipses, comets, and meteor showers. On the other hand, people who claim to know who will win a particular game or race are usually just guessing.
One of the most common kinds of predictions is the ever-present weather update! Meteorologists do their best using computers and satellites in space to try to figure out whether it will be hot or cold, rainy or sunny, windy or calm. Of course, they don’t always get it right—and things can change rapidly and unexpectedly.
Play this video for the students [1:56].
Why It’s Hard to Forecast the Weather | National Geographic
- According to the reporter on the video, weather predictions have a higher rate of accuracy than other professions that forecast the future—but there is always the element of error. He mentioned the “chaos theory.” Can anyone explain what the chaos theory is? (Allow brief discussion. Students may be able to answer from the information given on the video or may remember a reference to chaos theory from the movie Jurassic Park.)
According the video, “chaos theory” means that at some point there is a limit to how far out you can predict things because a random fluctuation somewhere can lead to big changes which get bigger and bigger as you get farther out in time. Almost like knocking down a domino—one random thing can start a chain reaction which will change the outcome. That means that what might be easier to predict about tomorrow will be almost impossible to predict about next year.
Making accurate predictions is hard, even when it’s only a few days in advance. But there were many predictions about one event that were made many hundreds—even thousands—of years in advance. And they were exactly right! Let’s learn more.
Looking for Steps 2 & 3?
You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide; your Step 4 appears below. To purchase a teacher's guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes
- Promise Puzzle printed on cardstock (1 2-pg puzzle per student; puzzle template found here)
- Glue sticks
- Bibles or Bible apps on smartphones
Before the lesson, print a 2-page Promise Puzzle on cardstock for each student (template found here). You should print copies for each student, so that everyone has both the frame page (with Bible verses) and the shapes page (with references). Read through the lesson ahead of time to see how the craft goes together.
God’s Word through the prophets is full of promises about the Savior who would come to deliver His people. We can look back and see all the places where the coming of Jesus was predicted and described many hundreds of years before!
- What were some of the promises God made about Jesus? (Allow students to name whatever prophecies they recall.)
It’s easy for us to look back and see how all the pieces fit together. But it wasn’t so easy for the Jews in the time of Jesus, and it certainly wasn’t easy for the people who lived before Jesus came. They didn’t have all the pieces, so they didn’t necessarily know how it was all going to turn out. For the take-home part of our lesson, we’re going to “put together the pieces” of who Jesus was promised to be.
Give students the two-page puzzle handouts along with scissors and glue sticks. On one of these sheets, you have a star of David, a symbol used to signify the Jewish faith, with Bible verses written out around it. However, it’s blank on the inside. On the other sheet, you have pieces with Scripture references written on them. Cut out the pieces and match the references to individual verses to help you solve the puzzle.
Guide students through the activity as they find Bible verses and match the pieces to the frame. Younger students may need assistance finding references in their Bibles, so depending on the makeup of your class it may be a good idea to group the students into twos or threes.
As the students work, they will ultimately find that the pieces fit together to reveal a cross.
Because we have experienced Jesus, we have the whole picture: something that the Jews before Jesus could only see bits and pieces of. Aren’t you glad we know the end of the story? Take your project home and hang it up where it will remind you of God’s fulfilled promise to send a Savior.
Close in prayer.
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