Lesson Developed by
Jill Olds, Victoria Crook and Zachary Ludwig
Tips to Prepare
- If in person, set the room with chairs or around a table for a small group conversation
- If virtually, schedule in your preferred video platform
- Bibles or copies of the focal scripture
- Several photos or card with words written on them that youth will have to chose between (i.e. cat or dog; vegetable or chocolate; doing homework or not doing homework, etc.)
- Video clip from The Matrix of the “The Pill Scene”
Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God say, ‘You shall not eat from any tree in the garden’?” The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.’“ But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.
But the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” He said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself.”
He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent tricked me, and I ate.”
The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you among all animals and among all wild creatures; upon your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”
To the woman he said, “I will greatly increase your pangs in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children, yet your desire shall be for your husband, and he shall rule over you.”
And to the man he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.”
Introduction for Leaders
- Begin with a check in with members
- Read the focal scripture with each person reading a few verses
- Open with prayer
Exercise 1: “Deciding the Right Option” Game
- Have several pictures or cards with words that you may hold up. These should be two options that the students will have to decide between. Most of these should be subjective ideas: cat or dog, apple or orange, etc. Have a few that have “right” answers: vegetable or chocolate, doing homework or not doing homework, etc.
- Go around allowing youth to answer
- End with a difficult choice: one parent says to do the dishes, but a friend who is having a hard time texts you, and really needs to talk. You only have time for one; which do you do?
- Afterwards, ask the youth to reflect on why they made the decisions that they did.
- Was it hard to make those decisions?
- Ask any of them if they had regret or wanted to change their minds. Discuss how decisions can be hard, especially when told conflicting ideas.
Watch together The Matrix –“The Red Pill, Blue Pill” scene, in which Neo makes a choice
Reflect Together on the Following Questions:
- Did Adam and Eve make a mistake in this story? Why do you think so? What did they do wrong?
- What can we learn about humans from this story? What does it tell us about our decisions? What does it tell us about God?
- What do you think “knowledge of good and evil” means? How do you distinguish between those two things in your own life? (If the video clip was used: do we think everything becomes clear for Neo in that one decision? Or, does he learn more as Morpheus teaches him more about the Matrix?)
Close the lesson in prayer (either the leader or a group member)