The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-13)

Categories: Children's Church

1. STORY

  • Jesus told a story about 2 people — a Pharisee and a Tax Collector
  • Who was a Pharisee? He is part of a religious/political group that prides themselves in keeping the law. The word “Pharisee” means set apart — they wanted to keep themselves holy and were careful not to mix with anyone who did anything wrong.
  • Who was a Tax Collector? Tax collectors were Jews who helped the Roman government to collect taxes from their own people. Jews hated the Romans. So they also hated the tax collectors who worked for the Roman government. The tax collectors also often collected extra money for themselves. So if they were supposed to collect 100 dollars, they would collect 150 dollars instead and keep 50 dollars for themselves.
  • Both these men went to pray in the temple.
  • The Pharisee stood apart by himself — he didn’t want to be with the “common” folks in case they contaminated him. He prayed, “I thank you, God, that I am not greedy, dishonest, or an adulterer, like everybody else. I thank you that I am not like that tax collector over there. I fast two days a week, and I give you one tenth of all my income.”
  • The Pharisee took pride in the things that he could do that made him better than everyone else, especially the tax collecter — he was not greedy, not dishonest, not an adulterer, fasts 2 days a week, gives one-tenth of his income.
  • He thought that by doing all these things, he will be able to earn God’s favour. God will be happy with him, and he will be right before God (“righteous”). But actually he was only self-righteous because he thought he could be good enough on his own — he didn’t need God.
  • On the other hand, there was the tax collector. He hid his face down, ashamed. He knew all the wrong things he had done. He knew he could not be right with God on his own. He was a hopeless case. He knew only God could save him. So he beat his breast and said, “God, have pity on me, a sinner.”
  • Jesus told his disciples that it was the tax collector, not the Pharisee, who went home righteous that day.

 

2. LESSON

  • Why?
    • The Pharisee was self-righteous. He believed, by what he does, that he was good enough and didn’t need God. But the Bible tells us that none of us can meet God’s standards on our own (“There is none righteous, not one.” Rom 3:10). But because the Pharisee didn’t see himself as needing a Saviour, he didn’t accept God’s forgiveness.
    • The tax collector was unrighteous.  And he knew it. He didn’t pretend to be better than he was. He didn’t try to hide it. He just called out for help. And God heard him and answered him. That’s why Jesus loved spending time with “sinners” — because they knew their own condition, they didn’t have false pretenses and they could see Jesus’ love for them.
  • When we accepted Jesus into our hearts, we told Him that we couldn’t do it on our own and we needed His help. God heard us, and answered us, and Jesus lives in us forever.
  • Today, because of Jesus, you and I don’t have to beat ourselves up like the tax collector any more.  We can stand before God boldly, not boasting in our works like the Pharisee, but boasting in Jesus’ works — Jesus is our wisdom, our righteousness, our holiness and our redemption (1 Cor 1:31).
  • We can say, “I thank you, God, that because Jesus was not greedy, not dishonest, and not an adulterer. Because Jesus was completely sinless and completely righteous, we are now the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!” Praise the Lord!
  • Memory verse: 1 Cor 1:31 “Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.’”

 

3. ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS

  • Any related craft with the memory verse or the words “I will boast in Jesus”
  • Close in prayer

Parable of the Lost Sons (Luke 15:11-32)

Categories: Children's Church

1. STORY

  • Last week, we heard a story of a lost coin, and the week before, we heard the story of the lost sheep. Today we are going to hear another story Jesus told of “The lost sons.”
  • Tell story based on Luke 15:11-32. You can act out the story with props: A stack of play money eg monopoly  notes (or you can make your own play money!), a bowl, a robe (or coat), ring, shoes (can use the shoes of the child who is acting as the younger son), balloons, and banner to read, “Welcome home, son.” The teacher or someone who can read well can narrate while the children act out the play.
  • Or use a video: Two Sons and a Father

 

  • There was a man who had two sons. One day, the younger son said to his father, ‘Give me now the part of your property that will be mine.’ So the father divided his wealth between his two sons. (Father gives the play money in equal proportion to both sons). A few days later the younger son took all that he had and left home. He traveled far away to another country, and there he wasted his money on wild living. After he spent everything he had, there was a terrible famine throughout the country. He was hungry and needed money. So he went and got a job with one of the people who lived there. The man sent him into the fields to feed pigs. To the Jews, pigs were unclean (haram) and it was a terrible job to have to look after pigs because they were smelly. The younger son was so hungry that he wanted to eat the food the pigs were eating. (The son reaches his hand out the bowl, but pulls it back). But no one gave him anything.
  • The son realized that he had been very foolish. He thought, ‘All my father’s hired workers have plenty of food. But here I am, almost dead because I have nothing to eat.  I will leave and go to my father. I will say to him: Father, I have sinned against God and have done wrong to you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Take me as one of your hired workers.’ So he left and went to his father.
  • While the son was still a long way off, his father saw him coming and had compassion on him. So he ran to him and hugged and kissed him.  The son said, ‘Father, I have sinned against God and have done wrong to you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
  • But the father said to his servants, ‘Hurry! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Also, put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it so that we can celebrate with plenty to eat. My son was dead, but now he is alive again! He was lost, but now he is found!’ So they began to have a party.
  • But the older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. He answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has wasted your property comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
  • The father said, ‘My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’

 

2. LESSON

  • What can we learn from the story of the lost sons?        
  • God loves us despite our weaknesses and failures
    • The father loved his sons despite of what they did.
    • Younger son: Even though his son disrespected him and squandered his inheritance, the father still longed for him to come home. He waited and watched every day. In those days, there were no photos, e-mail, or Facebook. He didn’t know where his son was, whether he was still alive, but he waited day after day, month after month, year after year. Finally when his son came home, he ran to meet him. He probably looked quite silly running and exposing his legs. He was a rich man and had many servants. But he didn’t care about looking silly. All he could think about was that his son, whom he loved dearly, had come home.
    • Even though we were sinners, God saw our need to be saved and he sent Jesus to save us.  Jesus went through terrible beatings, was made fun of and suffered a very painful death on the cross. He gave up everything for us, even his life.
    • God longs and waits for all His children to come home to him. He waits for each one to receive Jesus as his or her personal Saviour. When we do that, He is overjoyed, like the father. That is how important we are to him.
    • Older son: The older son didn’t want to join the party. He sulked and pouted outside the house. That was a show of disrespect also. But the father still showed love to him — he went out and pleaded with his son.
  • God gives us more than what we deserve
    • The younger son decided to go home and ask his father to let him be a servant after he didn’t have enough food to eat. He remembered how rich his father was, but he didn’t realized how much his father loved him and was willing to forgive him despite of what he did.
    • His father gave him more than he asked. Instead of being a servant, he was received as a son. His father even threw a party for him. To his father, he was always a son, never a servant.
    • We deserved to be punished for our sins, but instead God gave Jesus to be punished for us. Jesus came so that we can have life to the full. (John 10:10)
    • Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”
  • Know our position
    • The older son was unhappy that his father treated his brother so well. After all, his brother had wasted all his money. All his (older brother) life, he tried to please his father by working hard for him, not realizing that his father loved him unconditionally and all his father’s possessions belonged to him. He thought himself as his father’s servant, when he was actually his son.
    • Even though the older son was with the father all this while, he was still “lost” because he didn’t know his position.
    • To God, we are not his servants. We are his children, very much loved by him. He doesn’t look at how much we serve him, how clever or gifted we are. He accepts us because of Jesus has done on the cross, that he has taken away our sins.
    • Ephesians 2:8 says “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
    • Prayer: Ask if any children want to receive Jesus as their Saviour and pray with them.

     

3. ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS

  • Music video: When God Ran
  • Memory Verse activity: Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

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The Parable of the Lost Coin (Luke 15:8-10)

Categories: Children's Church

1. HOOK IDEAS

  • Find the Lost Coin
    • Hide coins/circles/chocolate coins around the room. Get the kids to look for them.
  • Video: Lost Coin

 

2. STORY

  • Tell story based on Luke 15:8-10.
    (For older kids, get them to read the Bible passage out loud.)

3. LESSON

  • Jesus loves the lost:
    • Remember that Jesus was friends with the “sinners” — the tax collectors and prostitutes and those who knew that they couldn’t help themselves?
    • Each of these people was like the lost silver coin in the story. They were valuable. Important. Not forgotten.
    • Jesus wanted the religious leaders to understand how he felt about those who were lost.
  • Jesus is the Light:
    • Light the lamp = Jesus, Light of the world
    • John 1:4-5 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
  • Jesus searched for the lost:
    • Just like the woman lit a lamp, took a broom to sweep the house carefully and searched for the coin until she found it, Jesus came to “hunt us down” in love to rescue us.
    • He did not rest, and He did not give up, searching in the deepest, darkest corners (even when we try to hide in our sins).
    • He sought out the sinners. And He paid the ultimate price to redeem them — His own life.
  • Jesus rejoices over us:
    • Just like the woman rejoiced and celebrated with her friends and neighbours, whenever a sinner returns to God, there is great rejoicing in heaven. (Luke 15:7)
  • This is the whole plan of salvation; this is why Christ came. God seeks sinners and rejoices when they are found. He is not content for any sinner to be away from Him.
  • Memory Verse: 2 Peter 3:9 God is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
    Or Luke 19:10 (younger kids): Jesus came to seek and to save the lost.”

 

4. ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS

  • Memory Verse: Do a game/activity to help kids memorize the verse
    • E.g. Hunt for Letters:
      Write out the memory verse with several missing letters. Hide the missing letters around the classroom. Get the kids to hunt for the missing letters and stick them on the correct blanks, then read the verse out together.

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The Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:1-7)

Categories: Children's Church

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 1. HOOK

  • Find the Lost Sheep
    • Hide pictures of sheep around the room and get the kids to look for them.
  • Guess the Lost Sheep
    • Get kids to sit in circle and introduce themselves. 1 person is the shepherd. Has to come out and close eyes/turn away from group. Kids choose 1 sheep to get “lost” — kid gets up quietly and hide/goes out of room. The shepherd then has to guess who is missing from the group (aka the “lost sheep”)
    • Alternative: Feed clues to the shepherd about who the missing sheep is (e.g. colour of shirt, gender, hair style etc), and the shepherd has to go and “retrieve” the sheep.
  • Finding the One

    • In this game your whole class is involved in putting a puzzle together when they find that there is one piece of the puzzle missing. After your class has realized that a piece is missing, their new objective is to find the piece that is missing before any other team finds their piece. The team to find their piece first is the winning team. (You can use any normal jigsaw puzzle or cut up a picture of a shepherd and his sheep).

 

2. STORY

  • Tell story based on Luke 15:1-7.
  • GOOD NEWS FOR TODAY 
  • Jesus is the Good Shepherd
    • When Jesus was on earth, many people liked to be His friends. However, many of them were not “respectable” people in the community. They were the outcasts — the tax collectors and the sinners.
    • The Pharisees and scribes saw Jesus eating with these “sinners” — these unholy people — and they criticised Him. “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.”
    • Pharisees didn’t like that Jesus was getting so popular. And they thought that He couldn’t be a holy man because He hung out with the “bad” crowd. After all, they were the holy ones — they kept all the laws and did all the right things.
      • Under the Law: the clean is “contaminated” by the unclean
      • Under Grace: the unclean is made clean by the Righteous
        (e.g. Jesus touched the leper and healed him)
      • Jesus loved to spend time with the “sinners” because they knew that they needed to be saved. They didn’t pretend to be holy like the Pharisees. And they knew that Jesus loved them despite all that they have done.
      • When they repented, they were saying that they don’t want to try to save themselves anymore, but that they want to trust Jesus to save us. Unlike the Pharisees who think they were too good already that they didn’t need a Saviour.
      • They were like the lost sheep. And Jesus loved to spend time with them. He was like the man who would go and search high and low and climb up and down just so that He can rescue them. And each time He finds one, there is great rejoicing in heaven.
  • We were the Lost Sheep whom Jesus came to rescue

    • The Bible uses the picture of “sheep” to describe all of us — sheep cannot survive on their own without the care and protection of their shepherd.
    • Do you know that we were all like that lost sheep too? We went our way. We got trapped. We couldn’t save ourselves.
    • “All we like sheep have gone astray.” (Isaiah 53:6)
      What does “astray” mean?
    • But our wonderful Shepherd, Jesus, didn’t just let us be. He didn’t say that He would just take care of the good sheep, the ones who didn’t wander, who didn’t get lost or who didn’t get trapped.He left all He had just so that He could come look for us. He died a horrible death on the cross just so that He could save us from sin and give us new life.
    • For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)
    • Jesus rescued us, cleaned our wounds and laid us on His shoulders and brought us home with great rejoicing. He’s sooooo happy when we decide to trust in Him and receive His love.
      “In the same way, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine respectable people who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:7)
    • And even if there were only one of us who were lost, He still would have come to die for us. That’s how great His love is for you and me!

 

3. ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS

sheep

  • Memory Verse: Do a game/activity to help kids memorize Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
  • Craft: with memory verse
  • Rhyme:
    Lost sheep, lost sheep,
    (Hold right hand above eyes as if you are shielding your eyes from the sun)
    Where did you go?
    (Hold out hands with palms up and begin to shrug shoulders)
    Jesus will find you,
    (Touch right pointer finger to left palm and then left pointer finger to right palm)
    I’m sure you know.
    (Point to your head)

The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)

Categories: Children's Church

1. STORY

  • Tell story based on Luke 10:25-37.  (For older kids, get them to read the Bible passage out loud.)

 

2. LESSON

  • In Jesus’ parable: it was not the religious and “good” people who stopped to help the Jewish man. It was the enemy — a despised Samaritan. The Jews hated the Samaritans.
  • The Samaritan could have walked on, and nobody would fault him for that. But he had compassion for the man. He cleaned and bandaged his wounds. Put him on his donkey and paid for his care at the inn.
  • Who would do that for an enemy? Somebody who hated you? Who wouldn’t walk on the same side of the road as you?
  • Do you know: we were once God’s enemy?
  • We were like this man — attacked by robbers (the devil is the thief); stripped, beaten, left half dead in our sin, helpless and hopeless.
    • Col 1:21 “This includes you who were once far away from God. You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions.”
    • But even though we were God’s enemy, Jesus still came to die for us.
      • He had compassion for us.
      • He cleaned us with His blood.
      • He bandaged us up.
      • He lifted us and took care of us.
      • He paid the price of our sins for us.
      • And because of that, we can now be God’s friend, we now have His life in us.
        • Romans 5:10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
  • The teacher of the law had asked Jesus 2 questions:
  1. “What should I do to inherit eternal life?”
    We don’t have to do anything to earn an inheritance; it’s what Jesus has done for us when He came down to die for us. We just have to believe and accept this gift of eternal life, and we are born again as sons and daughters of God! Hallelujah!
  2. “Who is my neighbour?” Who showed love to the man?
    The one who showed love to him.
  • Jesus ends His parable by saying, “Go and do likewise.”
    On our own, we cannot. But Jesus’ love fills us up so much that we can show His love to those around us — especially people we don’t like, our “enemies”.
    John 15:12: “Love each other as I have loved you.” We can love because Christ first loved us!
  • Memory Verse: Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Jesus Heals the 10 Lepers (Luke 17:11-18)

Categories: Children's Church

1. HOOK

  • Video: Option #1, Option #2
  • Card trick
  • Sign Language: “Thank you, Jesus”
    Hi children! You are all well-mannered children. I want to ask you something — when you need something or want your Daddy/Mummy to help you do something, what do you say? <Please> Very Good! And after someone gives you something or helps you, what do you say? <Thank You> That’s right. Do you know who always gives us so much blessings/good things every day? <Jesus> Yes, that’s why we must learn how to appreciate the many good things He blesses us with, and to say “Thank You”.
  • Do you know that there are some people who cannot speak or hear? But they can also say “thank you” to Jesus. How do they do that? With their hands! It’s called sign language.To say thank you, start with your right hand in front of your face, vertical, with your fingertips touching your chin. Then move your hand down and out in front of you, keeping your palm flat.  To say Jesus, begin with your hands open in front of you, palms up. Keep one hand still and use the middle finger of the other hand to touch your open palm.  Repeat with the other hand.  Ask the class to say some things that they are thankful for, then lead them to use their new sign language skills to say thank you to Jesus.

 

2. STORY: Jesus Heals the 10 lepers (Luke 17:11-18)

  • 11 Now on his way to Jerusalem, Jesus traveled along the border between Samaria and Galilee. 12 As he was going into a village, ten men who had leprosy met him. They stood at a distance 13 and called out in a loud voice, “Jesus, Master, have pity on us!”  14 When he saw them, he said, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” And as they went, they were cleansed.  15 One of them, when he saw he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. 16 He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him—and he was a Samaritan.  17 Jesus asked, “Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? 18 Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?” 19 Then he said to him, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
  • We’ve learnt about leprosy before. What is leprosy?
    A dreaded and contagious skin disease that causes disfigurement. Lepers had to leave their family and homes and live outside the city. They can’t go near other people. They have to call out, “Unclean, unclean” every time they come into the city.
  • That’s why when the 10 lepers saw Jesus, they stood at a distance from him.
  • They called “Jesus, Master, have pity on us.” They must have known that Jesus was not an ordinary person. That He cared for people, and He had the power to do something about their situation.
  • Interestingly, Jesus didn’t stretch out His hand or pronounce healing on them. He just told them, “Go, show yourselves to the priests.” The only way for a leper to be able to go back to their homes and families is if they go to a priest and the priest certifies that they are healed and clean.
  • Even though their skin was probably still white with leprosy, the 10 lepers went off to see the priest. Normally this would be considered quite silly — Imagine going to the priest when you are still sick! But the Bible calls this FAITH — trusting in Jesus’ words even if you haven’t seen the results yet.
  • And as they went, miraculously they were healed! Their skin was not white and rotting anymore! They were whole! Happily they rushed to see the priest. They must have been so eager to be declared “clean”. That means they can now go home and see their wife, their children, their home.
  • But one guy didn’t rush off. He saw that he was healed. He was overjoyed. He ran back to Jesus, praising God with a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him.
  • This leper knew that he didn’t deserve anything. He was a Samaritan, who was hated by the Jewish people. He was probably not “qualified” to be healed. But because of His love and grace, Jesus (a Jew) healed him without any question. That’s the love of God — unconditional and for everyone.
  • Jesus asked, “Weren’t there 10 who were healed? Where are the other 9? Why is it only this one man came back to give praise to God?” Then He told the man, “Rise and go; your faith has made you well.”
  • Let’s understand how deep and wide and amazing the love of God is for us. When we realize that, then our hearts will be filled with thanksgiving and joy for all that He has done for us!

 

3. LESSON

  • Key lesson from this miracle: Jesus heals — He doesn’t care who you are; He just wants to show you God’s power and love.
  • Know the HEART of Jesus!
    • Then we can call out to Him in our time of need and know that He will help us.
  • Act in FAITH!
    • Trust Jesus’ words and promises even when circumstances and facts show otherwise.
  • Respond in THANKSGIVING!
    • We have every blessing in Christ Jesus. Let’s rejoice and be glad in it and thank Him for it every day!

 

4. ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS

  • Around the room:
    • God has given us so many gifts to be thankful for.  We can be thankful for Jesus, who died on the cross for our sins.  We can also be thankful for good health, food to eat, our church, etc!  Let’s remember to thank God today, like the one man did in our Bible lesson.
      What are you thankful for today?
    • Have students sit in a circle. Have the first student say one thing they are thankful for (try not to have similar things as others). Have the next person repeat the first and add a second. Continue around the room. Last person has to be able to name all the things everyone is thankful for.
    • If group is big, divide in 2.

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  • Testimony Time: Get kids to come up to give their testimonies of thanksgiving. If group is big, divide them into 2 groups to share.
  • Song: “I can be thankful” (to the tune of “I’m a Little Teapot”)
    I can be thankful; yes I can
    For my family; for my friends.
    God has given so much with His Son
    Thank you Jesus for all You’ve done.

  • Song: “Ten Little Lepers” (to the tune of “Ten Little Indian boys”)
    One little, two little, three little lepers
    Four little, five little, six little lepers
    Seven little, Eight little, Nine little lepers
    Ten little leper men
    The lepers said, “Jesus come heal us”
    The lepers said, “Jesus come heal us”
    The lepers said, “Jesus come heal us”
    And that is what He didJust one man came back to thank him
    Just one man came back to thank him
    Just one man came back to thank him
    Thank you Jesus for healing me

 

 

  • Craft: Paper Leper Man Healed
    Prepare cut-out gingerbread man-shapes. Have kids draw a sad face and white spots on one side, and a happy face on the other, with the words “Thank you Jesus!”

 

Jesus Healing the Bent-Over Woman (Luke 13:10-17)

Categories: Children's Church

1. HOOK

  • Get a kid volunteer or your helper to assist. Prepare a large backpack (e.g. hikers) and some heavy books etc. Would be helpful if you can brief/rehearse beforehand.
  • Hello children. Meet my friend (name of assistant).  <get asst to wave and walk freely about in the front>
  •  My friend looks very carefree and relaxed. Let me see what I can get him/her to do … Hmm … maybe I’ll get him/her to wear this backpack. <wear backpack; asst still walks around but a bit slower>
  • Let’s see … Maybe I’ll get him/her to carry some stuff up to the 3rd floor for me. l’ll add in this book. And this book. And this file. And …
    <Add in books/extra weight slowly; as you do that, get asst to bend lower and lower until cannot move>
  • Oh no … what happened? Are you alright? Can you walk? <Asst tries to move and straighten up but fails>
    Can you see the ceiling? Can you see my face? <Asst tries but fails>
    Kids … do you think my friend is able to carry all these stuff up to the 3rd floor for me? <No!> Why not? <Because he/she is all bent over>
  • “Let me tell you about a woman who was bent over like this for a very, very long time.”

 

2. STORY: Jesus Healing the Bent-Over Woman (Luke 13:10-17)

  • Luke 13:10-17    10 One Sabbath Jesus was teaching in a synagogue.11 A woman there had an evil spirit that had kept her sick for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not straighten up at all.12 When Jesus saw her, he called out to her, Woman, you are free from your sickness! 13 He placed his hands on her, and at once she straightened herself up and praised God.  14 The official of the synagogue was angry that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, so he spoke up and said to the people, “There are six days in which we should work; so come during those days and be healed, but not on the Sabbath!” 15 The Lord answered him,” You hypocrites! Any one of you would untie your ox or your donkey from the stall and take it out to give it water on the Sabbath.16 Now here is this descendant of Abraham whom Satan has kept in bonds for eighteen years; should she not be released on the Sabbath?” 17 His answer made his enemies ashamed of themselves, while the people rejoiced over all the wonderful things that he did.

  • Imagine: for 18 years, this woman had an evil spirit and a horrible physical condition. 18 years is a long time — how many of you have 18-year-old brothers or sisters? Imagine being bent up for so long.
  • Jesus did a wonderful thing — He delivered the evil spirit from a woman and healed her so that she could finally stand up straight.
  • She was so happy — she stood tall and praised God! Wouldn’t you be happy if Jesus healed you?
  • But some people weren’t happy. The religious officials were unhappy. They were unhappy because Jesus broke the Sabbath laws by healing the woman. You were not supposed to work on the Sabbath. And healing was considered work, so the religious leaders considered it “illegal”. Jesus should have healed her on a Sunday, a Monday, a Tuesday, a Wednesday … any day except Saturday, the Sabbath day.
  • What is the Sabbath? The Sabbath is a day of rest. God instituted it when He gave the Israelites the 10 Commandments through Moses (the Mosaic Covenant). It was a day to cease working and rest.
  • Rest sounds good doesn’t it? Who doesn’t like to rest? But the religious leaders took something good and made it into a burden for the people. It was like they kept putting more and more weights on the people, just like I made my friend carry all those heavy books until he/she couldn’t move anymore.
  • Jesus came to give us freedom and true rest — not just from sickness and diseases, but also from the burden and weight of the law.
  • Jesus asked the religious leaders a question: If you have an ox or a donkey that’s kept in the stall, wouldn’t you let them out to drink some water on the Sabbath? Of course you would.
  • To the Israelites in that time, their livestock (ox, donkey, sheep, cattle) were important to them because that’s their livelihood, their income. So they will take care of them even on the Sabbath day.
  • Now here was a woman that has been kept captive by Satan for 18 years. Surely she is more important that the ox and donkey? Surely she can be set free even on a Sabbath.
  • Jesus showed the people that He was the true Sabbath, the true rest for the people — not all those little rules that they tried to impose on the people.
  • And to God, we are so much more important to Him than all these animals. So God wants to show His love and goodness to us, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Isn’t God so good? That’s why we praise Him!

 

3. ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS

  • OUT OF SHAPE WALK AROUND: Tell children to walk slowly and quietly (NO running or shouting) as if they are bent out of shape. And when the teacher calls out “FREEZE”, they have to freeze in their best “bent” pose.
  • CRAFT IDEA: Calendar showing all the days of the week, with the words, “Jesus loves me every day of the week!”

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  • CROSSWORD:

Crossword

  • Remind kids that they are so important to God and He wants to show them His love every day.

Jesus raising the Widow’s Son (Luke 7:11-17)

Categories: Children's Church

1. HOOK

  • Bring a battery-operated toy. Take the batteries out ahead of time. Show the kids the neat toy you brought and then try to get it to work. Then bring the batteries and put them in and watch the toy work! Talk about how when we accept Christ, the Holy Spirit comes into our lives and we have a new life.

 

2. STORY (based on Luke 7:11-17)

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  • One day, Jesus went to a town called Nain (Na’in). His disciples and a large crowd followed Him. After all, this was a man who could heal the sick and perform many miracles.
  • When Jesus came to the town’s gate, He saw a dead person being carried out with a large crowd following behind.
  • This dead person was the only son of a widow.
    • What’s a widow? A widow is a woman whose husband has died.
    • How many of you have mummies who work in the office? In those days, married women didn’t go out to work as they had to take care of the household. They depended on the men in the household to provide for them and protect them.
  • When this woman’s husband died, she would have depended on her son to take care of her. But now, her son, her only son, had died. Without a man in the household, she was penniless, alone and helpless. Of course she was also very sad.
  • When Jesus saw the widow, His heart went out to her. He had compassion on her. And He said, “Don’t cry.”
    • Jesus understood what the widow was going through.
    • Many times, when something bad happens, when we feel alone, helpless and very sad, we think nobody understands. We wonder where God is. But the truth is: He is there, He understands, and He is filled with love and compassion for us.
  • Then Jesus went and touched the coffin of the dead man.
    • According to the law then, touching a dead body was a taboo — it would make you “unclean” for 7 days.
    • But Jesus didn’t let that stop Him. Jesus touched and healed lepers even though they were unclean and contagious?
  • Then Jesus said, “Young man, I say to you, get up!” And the dead man sat up and began to talk, and Jesus gave him back to his mother.
  • Those who saw this miracle were filled with awe and praised God. And news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding country.

 

3. LESSON: Good News for today! Jesus has authority over DEATH

  • Today we see that Jesus has authority over death. When He commands life to come, life comes. When He commands death to leave, death leaves. Hallelujah!
  • Not only did Jesus have power over death, but He also defeated death by rising from the dead.
  • Like the WIDOW’S Son, we were all DEAD in our SIN.
    Like the WIDOW, we were all HELPLESS and HOPELESS on our own.
    But Jesus came to give us LIFE.
    When we believe in Jesus, His HOLY SPIRIT comes into us — like the battery gives life to the toy, the Holy Spirit gives us ETERNAL LIFE so that we can live forever with God.
  • Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” (John 11:25-26; Memory Verse)
  • So as children of God, we don’t need to fear death. We can speak Jesus’ life into ourselves, other people, our situations etc.
  • Let’s pray: Thank you Jesus that You conquered death so that we can have Your eternal life in us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

 

4. ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS

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  • Memory Verse: Use an activity/game to help kids memorise John 11:25-26
  • “Young man, I say to you, arise”
    • Have the class lie down on the floor motionless. Make sure that they do not move a muscle, acting as if they are really dead. Let them lay there long enough that it starts to feel a little uncomfortable. Explain to them that when you say, “Young man, I say to you, arise,” they are to sit up and start jumping. After a little while say, “Young man, I say to you, arise.” Have the children get up and jump up and down to get all their wiggles out.
  • Worksheet ideas

Two Disciples Encounter Jesus on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35)

Categories: Children's Church

1. HOOK: Seeing Game

  • Stick hidden treasures — tiny pieces of paper with the name “Jesus” on it — around the room. Get a pair of binoculars (optional). Have kids take turns to use the binoculars to look for these hidden treasures and retrieve them.
    Check out other ideas here

2. STORY (based on Luke 24:13-35)

  • One of the darkest days for Jesus’ disciples was when their leader, the man they called Teacher, the one they thought was the Messiah, was crucified on the cross. Everything seemed lost and hopeless.
  • The Sunday after Jesus’ death, two of His disciples — Cleopas and his friend — were walking to a village called Emmaus, about 7 miles from Jerusalem.
  • As you can guess, they were feeling sad! They were feeling dejected. Disappointed. Defeated.
  • Their friend Jesus had died. Their hopes and dreams for a superhero savior had been dashed. And now, they have heard that Jesus’ tomb was empty!
  • As they walked and talked to each other, suddenly Jesus came by and walked together with them. But somehow, they were not able to recognize him.
  • Jesus asked them, “What are you talking about?”
  • Cleopas was surprised. “Are you new to Jerusalem? Don’t you know what’s been happening here the past few days?”
  • They went on to explain. “We were talking about Jesus. He was a powerful prophet. We had hoped he would deliver Israel from the Romans. But the chief priest and rulers handed him over to be crucified.
  • “Then today, some of our women told us that they went to the tomb early this morning and they couldn’t find his body! They saw angels instead, who told them that Jesus was alive. Then some of our friends went to the tomb and find it empty, but they did not see Jesus.”
  • Then Jesus told them, “Don’t you know what all the prophets have said? Don’t you know that the Messiah has to suffer all these things before being glorified?
  • Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, Jesus explained to the two disciples what all the Scriptures said about Himself.
  • As they reached the village, Jesus pretended to walk on. But they urged him, “Stay with us. It’s almost evening.”
  • So Jesus stayed with them. He had supper with them. He took bread, gave thanks, broke the bread and gave it to them.
  • Who knows when Jesus did this before? Yes, at the Passover dinner — His last supper with his disciples. (The Covenant Meal/Holy Communion/Lord’s Supper)
  • When Jesus broke the bread, suddenly the disciples remembered too! Their eyes were opened, and they could recognize Jesus!
  • Then Jesus disappeared from their sight.
  • Cleopas and his friend said to each other, “Didn’t our hearts feel warm when He was talking to us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?”
  • Then they got up and returned immediately to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven disciples and others who had gathered with them. “It is true!” The other disciples said. “The Lord appeared to Peter!”
  • And Cleopas and his friend also told them how Jesus met them on the road to Emmaus, and how they recognized Him when He broke bread.

 

3. LESSON

  • In life and in Scripture, we need to learn how to see Jesus.
  • See Jesus walking with us
    • When we are feeling down and discouraged, when we are sad or mad, sometimes God seems very far away.
    • But the truth is that Jesus never leaves our side. We may not recognize Him always, but He’s always there with us. He’s walking with us all the way. We need to learn to see Him even in our darkest moments.
    • After an encounter with Jesus, instead of being sad and discouraged, our hearts will be warmed and we can tell the good news to everyone else!
  • See Jesus in the Bible! 
    • Many people think that Jesus only appeared in the New Testament, but that’s not true.
    • The whole Bible — from Genesis to Revelations — is a love story written by God to man.
    • It tells how God loved the world so much and planned to send a Saviour to save the world from sin.
    • Every story in the Bible, every prophecy, shows us more about Jesus and what He has done on the cross for us.
    • That’s why in tNCC, we always look at Jesus and His finished work on the cross!
    • So when we read the Bible, we can ask ourselves, “How does this story show me Jesus and His finished work?”
    • And you’ll be amazed at how beautiful a story it is of God’s love for you and me!
    • Memory Verse: Luke 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them in all the Scriptures what was said about Himself.
    • (Younger kids) Luke 24:27 The Bible tells us about Jesus.

 

 4. ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS

  • Memory Verse: Use an activity/game to help kids memorise the verse

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  • Song: sung to the tune of “Here we go round the mulberry bush”
    This is the way the two men walked (walk in place)
    Two men walked (2x)
    This is the way the two men walked
    Going to EmmausThis is the way the two men looked (look surprised)
    Two men looked (2x)
    This is the way the two men looked
    Going to EmmausThis is the way the two men ran (run in place)
    Two men ran (2x)
    This is the way the two men ran
    To tell the good news
  • Song: sung to the tune of “This Old Man”
    I can tell; you can tell (point self; point to others)
    With a whisper or a yell (sing softly; sing loudly)
    Clap your hands and sing along with me (clap hands)
    Jesus is alive, you see! (raise hands above head)
    I can tell; you can tell (point self; point to others)
    With a whisper or a yell (sing softly; sing loudly)
    Stomp your feet and sing aong with me (clap hands)
    Jesus is alive, you see! (raise hands above head)
    Source

 

Zacchaues’ Encounter with Jesus (Luke 19)

Categories: Children's Church

1. HOOK

  • Play the chicken and eagle game. Choose a kid as the eagle and another kid as the mother hen. The rest of the kids will be the chicks. In the game, the eagle tries to catch one of the chicks so he will be no longer the eagle, and the mother hen tries to protect the chicks from the eagle.
  • Now I am going to tell you a story about an eagle who thought it was a chicken.
  • Once a famer found an eagle’s egg in an abandoned nest. He took it home and placed it amongst his chickens under a brooding hen. When the egg hatched the mother hen reared the eagle chick as if it were her own child. And so that eagle chick grew up thinking that he was a chicken. He pecked like a chicken, he scratched like a chicken he even walked like a chicken. But in time, he grew bigger and it became clear to the other birds that this chick was an eagle. They would swoop down and say, “You are an eagle, you and king of the birds. Come and fly with us.” “I’m not an eagle, I’m a chicken,” he’d tell them. “Go away!”
    But that young eagle chick continued to grow. One day an owl swooped down. “Get on my back” he said, “I’ve got something to show you.” The young eagle hopped onto the owl’s back and the owl flew high into the sky. “Put me down. Put me down. I don’t like it up here,” the young eagle squawked. “You’ll be fine,” said the owl. “Trust me.” Soaring higher and higher, the owl finally flipped himself over and the eagle fell, plummeting fast towards the ground. “Why?” screeched the eagle. “I’m going to die.” “Just open your wings,” called the owl. The eagle opened his wings and was caught by the wind. Soon he was soaring above the farm and the chickens bellow. “You’re right,” cried the eagle. “I am an eagle. I can fly!” The eagle always thought it was a chicken until one day, he found that he could fly, he changed his mind and believed that he was an eagle … and lived as one.

 

2. LESSON: Zaccheaus Encounters Jesus (Luke 19)

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  • Today, we learn about a man named Zaccheaus who changed his mind about himself after he met Jesus.
  • Tell the story based on Luke 19:1-9. You can act out the story with puppets or props: signboard with “Jericho”, sturdy chair, 2 small branches with leaves. Get volunteers for 5 roles: Jesus, Zaccheaus, tree (need a child, preferably tall to stand next to the chair, holding 2 branches and 2 people). The teacher or someone who can read well can narrate while the children act out the play.
  • Jesus was going through the city of Jericho. (“Jesus” walks past the sign and the “tree”, followed by 2 people. They stop after the “tree”.) In Jericho, there was a man named Zacchaeus. (“Zaccheaus” steps out) He was a chief tax collector. In those days, people hated tax collectors. Tax collectors collected high taxes and made life difficult for the people, especially the poor.Zacchaeus wanted to see who Jesus was. (“Zacchaeus” tip-toes and jumps to see Jesus, but the 2 people block him) But there were many others who wanted to see Jesus and they were blocking, Zacchaeus who was too short to see Jesus. So he ran to a place where he knew Jesus would come. Then he climbed a sycamore tree so he could see him. (“Zacchaeus” climbs up on the chair to see “Jesus” ).When Jesus came to where Zacchaeus was, he looked up and saw him in the tree. Jesus said, “Zacchaeus, come down now. I must stay at your house today.” Zacchaeus hurried and came down. (“Zacchaeus” comes down from the chair) He was happy that Jesus was coming to his house.But when the people saw this, they began to complain, “Look at the kind of man Jesus is staying with. Zacchaeus is a sinner!” Zacchaeus said to the Lord, “Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions (the things I own) to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.”Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house, because this man is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
  • Zacchaeus was not only unpopular, but hated by the people. This is shown by the people’s disapproval of Jesus going to his house and they also called him a “sinner.”
  • Zacchaeus wanted to see who Jesus was. There were such a big crowd and he was up on a tree but Jesus saw his need. Despite of the people’s disapproval, Jesus shows him love and compassion by going to his house. Zacchaeus was more important to Jesus than popularity.
  • Zacchaeus changes his mind about himself after experiencing Jesus’ love and acceptance of him. He did bad things in the past (he collected high taxes, made people’s lives difficult and cheated people). To the people, he was a cheat, a tax collector and a sinner. But we can see that Zacchaeus had changed when he told everyone he would give half the things he owned to the poor and pay back anyone he cheated 4 times the amount. Jesus told the people that Zacchaeus is also a son of Abraham.
  • What can we learn from Zacchaeus’ encounter with Jesus?
  • Lesson 1: Jesus comes to our house

    • Although Jesus was God, he came to earth as a human being. He saw our need to be saved and he came to save us. Even though we may be not important in other peoples’ eyes, even though we are sinners, like Zacchaeus, we are important to Jesus.
    • When we accept Jesus as our Saviour, the Holy Spirit moves into us and lives within us. We become his house.

     

  • Lesson 2: When we encounter Jesus, He changes (renews) our minds about ourselves

    • Romans 12:2 tells us “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
    • Zacchaeus is a son (descendant) of Abraham. Abraham had a covenant with God and his descendants were included in the covenant. When we accept Jesus as our Saviour, we become God’s children. Like the son below who looks like his father (because he has his DNA), we are like God because we are his children (and we have his DNA).
    • We may not be a cheat like Zacchaeus was, but there may be other areas of our life that we need to change our mind. Some movies, TV shows and friendsmay tell you that saying foul words, being disobedient to parents and teachers, disturbing your friends when the teacher is teaching is “cool” but God’s word teaches us the contrary/opposite. In fact, we will actually feel uncomfortabledoing those things because deep, down inside, we are not like that. God hasmade us a new creation, and we are the most comfortable, most happy and most at peace when we are like Jesus. What’s really cool is having the Holy Spirit lead us into areas where we can have the best possible life on earth, that is abundant life.

     

3. ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS