Jesus objects teaching employed many a familiar article to teach a spiritual truth. He used an object lesson like a crane to move people from a known idea to an unknown one. The Sunday school teacher can in the same way show the class some dry popcorn kernels as an illustration of a self-centered dry and dull life, then pop them in a popcorn maker as a visual picture of the transformation that Jesus causes when he comes into a person. How different the fluffy end products are from the original hard kernels. As an added bonus, the kids get to eat the visual aids at the end of the lesson!✞
Jesus also used actual objects to teach people for example about taxes. In Matthew 22.15-22 we read, "Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words. They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. 'Teacher,' they said, 'we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren't swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are. Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?' But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, 'You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me? Show me the coin used for paying the tax.' They brought him a denarius, and he asked them, 'Whose image is this? And whose inscription?' 'Caesar's,' they replied. Then he said to them, 'So give back to Caesar what is Caesar's, and to God what is God's.' When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away." "The imperial tax to Caesar" was a special tax levied on subject peoples, not on Roman citizens.
Other favorite object teaching lessons which could be used today are a key, a coin, a used railway ticket, a postage stamp, a stone or a match stick. Ask the kids to describe what this object tells them about their Savior. They often dig deep in their spiritual experience to explain these likenesses. This idea works well with adults too and produces some surprising insights. Jesus also used a small child in his teaching as an example of humility.✞