P.O. Box 824 | Millers Creek, NC 28651 l (336) 262-8269
1 hardboiled egg (boil more than one in case of breakage)
This object lesson can be given without decorating the eggs, but since they represent Christians, it will add more interest and meaning to draw the face/body of a person (male or female) on each egg (see picture below). The lesson works best if you draw them as similarly as possible because you want them to look much the same on the outside. Make an undetectable mark on the boiled egg so that only you can distinguish between the eggs.
Place the eggs in a small bowl or candle holder to protect them and to keep them from rolling around, and set them in a very visible place so your class members notice them as they enter the room. Don’t tell them anything about the eggs, but do suggest they don’t handle them so there’s no risk of the eggs getting broken. Just let them observe them to create anticipation of how they will fit into your Bible study.*
The eggs represent two Christians in a congregation. They both carry their Bible to church. They dress in the church’s accepted dress code. They both know the appropriate spiritual lingo to use. On the outside they look the same, and from all outward appearances, we might make the assumption that they are both mature, spiritual believers.
Select the egg you know is the raw egg. As you hold up that egg, you might want to continue your comments about how the outward persona of this person gives us the impression that she is spirit-controlled, and then break the egg into the clear glass. Explain to your class members that the yolk of the egg represents the individual, and the white of the egg represents the Holy Spirit. Ask your class, “Which part of the egg do you notice the most?” Because the white of the egg is uncooked and clear, it is the yolk that is most noticeable.
Since the Holy Spirit is obviously inside this person, we know she is a believer, but the Holy Spirit has not been given any visible presence in her life. Now that the broken outside shell has revealed the heart of this person, we see that she is definitely self-controlled, not Spirit-controlled.
As you remind your class that the yolk represents the individual (self) and the white represents the Holy Spirit, crack and peel the boiled egg. Once again, by removing the outward appearance of the shell, we are able to see into the heart of this person. Ask your class, “Which part of the egg do you notice the most?”
In this case, only the white of the egg is visible. It completely surrounds and hides the yolk. This represents a believer who is controlled by the Holy Spirit. Self has been crucified and has taken a back seat to the Holy Spirit.
Ask the class, “How many of you recognized the difference between these two eggs when you walked in today?” Though some will respond that they knew all along, tell them that just like the raw egg, believers can quite often dupe other Christians into thinking they are more spiritual than they really are. They carry the right Bible translation, they dress appropriately, they adhere to all the unspoken rules many churches impose on their members, and they know how to “talk the talk.” They deceive everyone around them, and quite often, they even deceive their pastor. Sadly, in many cases they even fool themselves. Just because they attend every scheduled church service, volunteer for every possible activity and fulfill all that’s asked of them, they often equate that as being spiritual. That’s why they are quite often called on to lead in prayer, to head up a committee, to teach a Sunday school class or to serve as a deacon. But when you take away the external spiritual camouflage, their innermost heart is exposed, and it reveals that they are not “walking the walk.”
Though the Holy Spirit is present, He has not been allowed any control. Remember how difficult it was to see the uncooked white of the raw egg in the glass? One has to look close to see any evidence of the Holy Spirit in their lives.
But in the person represented by the boiled egg, the Holy Spirit is totally in control. In truth, the exterior shell is representative of the person she is inside. Her relationship with the Lord is paramount in her life, and it is revealed by her lifestyle. In this case, her outward appearance is a reflection of what is going on inside her heart. She’s not trying to appear spiritual, she is spiritual. She’s authentic. That’s the person you want leading in prayer, teaching a Sunday school class and heading up a committee.
Ask your class members to ponder these questions, “Which type of Christian are you? Are you faking your Christianity, or is it real? Is it authentic? If your outward shell was peeled away and your heart was exposed, what would be revealed about you?”
Potential Scripture References
*The last time I used this object lesson, I increased the interest of the participants by telling them there was something particularly significant about the eggs. If they thought they recognized what it was, I told them to keep it to themselves and not tell anyone. Can you tell what it is?
What I wanted the class members to notice was that the green and orange colors and the “U” logo I placed on the collar of the dresses represented the University of Miami Hurricanes. Out of a group of about 25 participants, only one person figured it out, and she was given a prize.