John 1:12 says this: “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, he gave the right to become children of God.” The name of Jesus is worthy of our deepest reverence and belief. There is no other name by which we may be saved. And to think that no matter where we live, by believing on the name of Jesus we become God’s children, is even more amazing! Here is a fun Bible memory verse activity to help your kids learn this super Scripture along with some different ways the name of Jesus is spoken in different lands.
Here’s what you do:
This activity has 2 parts to it. The first part will require you to gather 5 manila folders. Inside each folder, write a portion of John 1:12. I suggest the following:
1. Yet to all who received Him
2. To those who believe in His name
3. He gave the right
4. To become
5. Children of God
For the second part of the activity, you will need to prepare cards that each give one of the foreign names of Jesus. I have provided you with a list down below. Display these on a pocket chart or table for all to see. You will also need to have ready the list of possible countries from which the different names come from. If you wanted, you could make these cards as well and place the 2 choices of countries next to the name they correspond with. You are now ready to play the game.
How to play:
Divide your class into 2 teams. For the first part of this game, you will choose 5 kids to come to the front of the class and stand in a line. These 5 children can be from either team. Have them open up their folders to reveal the Scripture. Have the whole class recite the verse 2 or 3 times. Instruct the children to close their folders.
Now choose a child from the first team. He must turn his back to the line of 5 kids while you, the teacher, scramble their positions. Once you have scrambled the kids, on the word “Go”, the child can now turn around and place his friends in the correct verse order. He has 10 seconds to do so. At the end of 10 seconds, for each correct portion of Scripture in its rightful place, he will earn 100 points for his team. Replace any portions that are not in their correct places before moving to the next part of the game.
After playing the first part of the game, the child now gets to choose a foreign name of Jesus. He must then guess which country it comes from. You, the teacher, will give him the 2 choices. If he guesses correctly, he will earn an additional 100 points for his team. The team with the most points at the end of the game is the winner.
Before playing this game, you might want to introduce the lesson in the following way:
The Bible says that the name of Jesus is worthy to be praised. But does everyone say Jesus’ name like we say it here in America? In other words, do people in Mexico say Jesus’ name like we do? (Wait for responses.) No. They say it differently in their language. Praising the name of Jesus is important, but believing in His name is even more important. Let me show you what I mean. Who will read John 1:12 for me? (Wait for response.) So, this verse tells us that when we believe on the name of Jesus, we can become God’s children. Does that mean that there are children of God all over the world? (Wait for responses.) Absolutely! So, let’s play a fun game to help us memorize John 1:12 and learn other ways the name of Jesus is pronounced in other languages.
List of Foreign Names of Jesus: The first origin listed is always the correct one. When giving the children the choices, make sure you mix them up. My kids loved this game!
1. Jezus – Dutch or Swiss
2. Icyc – Belarusian or Greek
3. Исус – Bulgarian or Lebanese
4. Isus – Croatian or Russian
5. Jeesus – Finnish or Chekoslavakian
6. Ιησούς – Greek or Arabic
7. Jezi – Haitian Creole or French
8. Yesus – Indonesian or Italian
9. Íosa – Irish or Latin
10. Isa – Turkish or Romanian
11. Iesu – Welsh or Lithuanian
12. Ježíš – Czech or Filipino
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