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

Mary & Martha Encounter Jesus

Categories: Children's Church

1. HOOK

  • It was Daddy’s birthday. And Sam wanted to have a nice party for Daddy. So he hung decorations (including a hand-drawn “Happy Birthday” banner) and baked a cake. Daddy came home after work at 6. Wow! The house looked wonderful, and he was so happy. But wait, nobody was around! “Sam!” Daddy called. “Just a minute! I’m mixing the drinks!” Sam replied from the kitchen.
    Daddy took a seat at the table and waited. After 10 minutes, he called again, “Sam! Come over here and join me!” “Hold on, Dad!” Sam said, as he ran to and fro the table and the kitchen. “I need to get the forks and spoons out.” Several more minutes passed. Daddy was feeling lonelier at the table.
    Finally Daddy called Sam again. “Sam, come here.” “Wait Dad! I want everything to be just perfect for your birthday!”
    “But Sam,” Daddy said. “My birthday will be perfect as long as I can spend it with you. Now there are all the decorations and cakes and drinks, but you are not here! All I want is to be able to celebrate my birthday by spending time with my boy! So come on here and sit with me and tell me about your day!”
    Sam came and cuddled up to Daddy, and they had a lovely time together. They had such a good time that they almost forgot to eat the cake. But Sam finally realised that all his Daddy wanted was to be with him.
  • It is the same with our Heavenly Daddy, who loves us and just wants to be with us. Let me tell you about what happened when Jesus went to visit His good friends at their house.

 

2. LESSON: Mary & Martha Encounter Jesus (Luke 10:38-42)

i. Story (based on Luke 10:38-42) (Can use puppets or get kids to act out etc. Props can be kitchen ware/cleaning supplies for Martha.)

  • When Jesus visited his two friends, Martha and Mary, they must have been so excited to have Jesus in their house.
  • What did Martha do? She wanted to make everything perfect for Jesus. She cooked and cleaned and arranged everything neatly.
  • What did Mary do? She wanted to spend time with Jesus. So she just sat at His feet and listened to Him talk.
  • Martha was rushing everything … dinner time was coming. Where was that sister of hers? Just sitting there? That made Martha very angry. She complained to Jesus, “My sister left me to do the work by myself! Tell her to help me!”
  • Jesus calmed her down. “Martha, Martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”

 

ii.  Lesson:

  • Martha thought Jesus would be pleased with her if she did everything right. She wanted everything to be just nice for Him.
  • But in her busyness, she became stressed — “upset and worried” about many things. She also became angry at people who weren’t as busy as her. She complained about them.
  • But Jesus reminded Martha that He didn’t need all her “doing” to be pleased with her. He was already pleased with her.
  • All she needed to do was be like Mary and to just sit and spend time with Him, resting.
  • It’s not wrong to want to serve Jesus. But we try to do things out of our own strength because we think God will love us more, then we become upset, angry and tired.
  • Let’s all learn to rest in Jesus first, to let Him fill us with His love and strength. Then our service and ministry will be an outflow of Him in our lives.
  • Illustration idea: (You may choose to use props etc) Torch light with battery vs Lamp plugged into socket. Once the battery runs out, the torch light will not work anymore. But the lamp is plugged into the power source and will keep on shining. If we do things on our own strength, we are running on our own battery, which will drain out eventually. But if we rest in Jesus, we’re always connected in His strength, which will never run out.
  • God promises rest to all of us in Christ Jesus. At the cross, Jesus has done everything for us; He becomes everything for us. When we trust in Him, we can rest and draw on His love, His joy, and His strength every day. And we can serve Him and others with His love, His joy and His strength.
  • Memory Verse: Matthew 11:28 “Come to me, all who are tired, and I will give you rest.”
  • Prayer: Thank you Jesus that we can rest in You because You have done everything for us. Thank you that You love to spend time with us. Thank you for loving me. In Your name we pray, Amen.

 

3. ACTIVITY IDEAS

  • Quiet time: Play some slow worship songs (instrumental would be good). Have kids sit a bit apart from each other, close their eyes, keep quiet and just enjoy the music and God’s presence for about 5 -10 minutes (depending on age/attention span).
  • Song: (to the tune of London Bridge.)
    Jesus came to see His friends,
    see His friends, see His friends,
    Jesus came to see His friends
    They were happy.Martha baked a loaf of bread
    loaf of bread, loaf of bread.
    Martha baked a loaf of bread
    Just for Jesus.Mary listened carefully
    carefully, carefully.
    Mary listened carefully
    Just to Jesus.
  •  Close in prayer; remind kids that Jesus loves us so much that He wants to spend time.

Christmas: Shepherds heard the Good News!

Categories: Children's Church

1. LESSON

  • Last week, we talked about a special visitor for Mary and Joseph and how a government ruling made them travel all the way from Nazareth to Bethlehem. This was done so God’s prophecy would be fulfilled — the Saviour will be born in Bethlehem.
  • Let’s find out what happened the night Jesus was born, according to Luke 2:8-20.

  • The lowly shepherds heard the good news first
    • The first people to find out about Jesus’ birth were not important dignitaries or VVIPs. They were lowly shepherds who had to spend the night in the fields to keep watch over their flocks and ensure their safety. 
    • We don’t know why God decided to announce the birth to the shepherds first. Perhaps He wanted them to know that the Good Shepherd of the world has come! Do you remember Psalm 23? The Lord is my Shepherd …
    • The angels announced the good news with joy 

    • Angels were not cute little cherubs with pretty white dresses. Real angels were large and glorious and can look a bit intimidating.
    • In the dark of the night, an angel appearing can be a frightening sight, and the shepherds were terrified. 
    • But the first thing the angel said was, “Don’t be afraid.”
    • The angel brought “good news” of “great joy”.
    • Then the angel was joined by a vast host of others, like a whole choir in the sky, shining brightly. They all praised God saying, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased.”
    • The birth of Jesus IS good news for all of us, and it brings great joy and peace to all of us!
    • The baby was wrapped in strips of cloth, lying in a manger. 

    • The King of Kings, the Saviour of the world, did not have a bed of His own when He was born. He was wrapped in cloths and laid in the feeding trough of animals. 
    • The manger is not a nice, comfortable baby cot. It’s cold, dark and dirty. It’d be full of mud, animal dung, must and mold. 
    • The manger is a picture of our hearts and lives. 
      • Our hearts are cold because we do not know God’s love
      • Our hearts are dark because we do not have His light of salvation 
      • Our hearts are dirty because of sin
    •  But the miracle of Christmas is that Jesus is willing to be born into hearts like that! No matter how cold your heart is, Jesus is willing to be born there. No matter how dark your heart is, Jesus is willing to be born there. No matter dirty your heart is, or how sinful your life has been, Jesus is willing to come in, enter and clean your heart. 
    • Jesus meets us at a place where we are utterly lost, hopeless and helpless. And when we invite him into the manger of our hearts and lives, He transforms it into something beautiful.
  • The shepherds responded to the good news

    • When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem! Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about. 
    • Every one of us should have a chance to hear the good news about Jesus — the One who came to give His life for us so that we can live.
    • Like the shepherds, we should also respond to the good news and accept Jesus’ gift of His life and love for us.
    • And just like them, once we get to know Jesus, we will be able to glorify and praise God for all that He has done for us on the cross!
  •  Conclusion 
    • Invite the children to accept the good news of Jesus this Christmas just as the shepherds did.
Reference: Why the manger

Prophecy: Jesus will be born in Bethlehem

Categories: Children's Church

1. LESSON

  • Last week, we talked about a special visitor for Mary and Joseph. Who visited them? An angel, that’s right! What did the angel tell them? That they would be having a baby! Their baby would be special because He was from God.
  • The Bible tells us that God made a promise to King David. God promised him that one of his great, great, great, great, great children would be king forever. That was a promise from God that He would send Jesus.
  • [extra info] In the Bible, we read that King David came from the very first man, Adam. He came by way of some other names you will remember: Noah (and his son Shem), Abraham (and his son Isaac), Isaac’s son Jacob, a man named Salmon (and his wife Rahab). Rahab’s son Boaz (and his wife Ruth). Ruth’s grandson was Jesse, King David’s father. Many kings followed David until a man name Jacob had a son whom he named Joseph. Joseph was the husband of Mary, the mother of the Messiah!
  • Prophecy #3: Jesus will be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) nazareth bethlehem
  • God had given promises all along the way. The people believed and waited. One of those promises, though, was that the Messiah would be born in King David’s town, Bethlehem. It was a small town.
  • Not only was Jesus King David’s forever king, but God promised — through the prophet Micah 750 years before Jesus’ birth — that Jesus would be born in King David’s town, Bethlehem.  
  • Micah 5:2
    “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,

    though you are small among the clans of Judah,out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler over Israel,
    whose origins are from of old,
    from ancient times.”
  • But there was a small problem. Joseph and Mary lived far away in the town of Nazareth — about 130km. That’s a very long way without a car! People back then didn’t travel around the way we do today and they didn’t travel very much. When they did, they walked and sometimes rode donkeys. And Mary, who was very heavily pregnant, didn’t have any travel plans.
  • But God made a promise and He had a plan. God used a leader named Caesar Augustus. Caesar Augustus thought he was very important and wanted to count all the people in his empire. Little did he know that God gave him that idea to get Joseph and Mary exactly where they needed to be for His promise to come true!
  • Caesar Augustus made a law. Everyone in the entire Roman Empire must go to the town of their ancestors to be registered. That meant Joseph had to go to Bethlehem. So Joseph obeyed the law and went. He left Nazareth and went to the area of Judea. Bethlehem was in Judea. Joseph went there with his wife, Mary. (Luke 2:1-5)
  • We all know that Christmas story:
    • how Joseph and Mary travelled to Bethlehem (a journey that would have probably taken a week for them in Mary’s condition)
    • how they couldn’t find room because it was so crowded and full of people returning to their hometown
    • how an innkeeper let them stay with his animals
    • and how the King of Kings was born that day as a little baby and laid in a manger (where the animals feed) in the little town of Bethlehem.
  • That night, an angel appeared to shepherds in the field and declared to them: “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:11)
  •  CONCLUSION
    • If God had a plan to get Joseph and Mary to a certain town for His Son’s birth, don’t you think He has a plan for you, too? He does! And just as God made a king want to count his people, God can and will do anything to make His plan for you come true.
    • The beginning of that plan, though, is to believe His promise. God sent His One and Only Son from heaven to earth for you. Will you accept God’s giftof His Son this Christmas season? You’ll never receive a better one!

  • 2. SUGGESTED ACTIVITIES

    • Sing: “O Little Town of Bethlehem” vid; or with lyrics.
    • Memory Verse: Luke 2:11 “Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”

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Prophecy: Jesus will be born of a virgin

Categories: Children's Church

1. HOOK: Matching game: Animal & their young

  • Prepare separate pix of animals and their young for kids to match them.
    • E.g. What do dogs give birth to? Puppies.
      What do cats give birth to? Kittens.
      How about snakes? They lay eggs that hatch into baby snakes.
http://barefootinsuburbia.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/img_2651.jpg?w=300&h=225
  • Just like we get puppies from dogs, what do we get from sinners? Yup, more sinners. 
  • Last week we heard about how when Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Because Adam sinned, his children, grandchildren, great, great, great, great children and everyone in this world are born as sinners. We know the result of sin is death. 
  • But God promised that a descendant of the Eve will defeat the serpent. God wanted to change our family line so that we will not continue to be sinners but become righteous. Today we know He was talking about Eve’s great, great, great, great …. Great, grandson, Jesus.
  • One thing we cannot choose in life is who our parents are. But long before Jesus was born — a few hundred years before, in fact — God’s prophet, Isaiah, had already told the people what sort of person Jesus’ mother would be.
2.  Lesson:We are part of a great family, thanks to Jesus!
  •  Prophecy #2: Jesus will be born of a virgin 
    • Isaiah the prophet said, Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”(Isa 7:14)
    • The mother of the Saviour of the world would be a virgin. (A virgin is someone who had never had any sexual relationship with another person.) This was special because virgins don’t get pregnant. You need both a father and a mother to become pregnant. But in Jesus’ case, there will only be a mother. God Himself will be the father, not a man. 
    • Hundreds of years after Isaiah, there was a young teenage girl lady called Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph. 
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    • Based on Luke 1:36-38:
      • One day, God sent the angel Gabriel to Mary. The angel greeted her as “favoured one”.  Mary was troubled and wondered what he meant. Mary remembered that there were times in the past, God sent His angel to punish people for their sins. But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary. God is pleased with you. You will become pregnant and give birth to a son. You must name him Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of God. He will rule forever over his people and His kingdom will never end.” 
      • “How can this happen?” Mary asked the angel. “I am a virgin.” Remember, virgins can’t get pregnant, so Mary was very surprised.
      • But the angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come to you and the power of God will cover you. The one is born will be called the Son of God. Nothing is impossible with God.” 
      • Mary answered. “May it happen to me according to your word.” Then the angel left her. 
    • True enough, Mary later became pregnant by the Holy Spirit and gave birth to Jesus. The prophecy from Isaiah hundreds of years ago had been fulfilled!
  • Why did Jesus have to born of a virgin? <for older classes> 
    • If Joseph had been Jesus’ biological father, Jesus would have been a normal sinful person.
    • But God’s Holy Spirit made Mary pregnant so that God could become a man and live with us and die for us.
    • The great God of heaven and earth came down as a helpless little baby to live together with man. He became Immanuel: God with us!
    • Jesus was 100% God, yet 100% man. Jesus was also 100% holy and sinless. So when we believe in Jesus, we become “born again” into God’s family. We now no longer have Adam’s DNA. We have Jesus’ DNA.
    • Just like what we discussed earlier: Dogs give birth to puppies; sinners give birth to sinners. But if God is our Father, we are now God’s children. If Jesus is holy, then we are holy!
    • Mary was troubled and thought the angel had come to punish her. But the angel called her “favoured one.” 
    • Jesus came and took all the punishment for our sins on the cross so that today, we can be God’s favoured and beloved children!  Thank you Jesus!
  • Memory Verse: Isaiah 7:14Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” 
  • for younger kids: “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”

Jesus Goes Up to Heaven

Categories: Children's Church

1. Story (based on Luke 24:44-53)

  •  Last week we learnt about how Jesus appeared his disciples. What was the name of the disciple who wanted proof that Jesus was alive? (Thomas) And who did Jesus say was more blessed because they believed without seeing? (All of us)
  • Over the next 40 days, Jesus met and talked with His disciples and explained many things to them.
  • He explained to them about what all the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms were talking about — they were talking about Jesus. Everything that happened to Him — His life, His death and His resurrection — had already been planned by God from the beginning of time.
  • As Jesus talked, the disciples’ minds were opened so that they could understand the Scriptures.
    •  Jesus is the Saviour who had to suffer and rise from the dead on the third day
    • Those who put their faith in Him will receive forgiveness of their sins
    • This good news will be preached in Jesus’ name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
    • The disciples are witnesses of these things. They can tell other people about Jesus.
    • But before that, Jesus told his disciples to stay in the city first until they receive the Holy Spirit.
    • Jesus promised to send them His Holy Spirit, which will give them the power to do all that God has called them to do.
  • Jesus and His disciples went out to Bethany.
  • He lifted up His hands and blessed his disciples. While He was doing so, He was taken up into heaven in front of their eyes.
  • The disciples worshipped and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. They stayed in the temple to praise God.
 
2. Lesson
  • Jesus opened their minds about the Scriptures
    • The disciples began to see that all Scripture was about Jesus.
  •  
  • Jesus had to go so the Holy Spirit could come
    • When Jesus was on earth, He could only be in one place at a time. But when He returns to the Father, His Holy Spirit can come and live in each and every one of us forever.
    • We cannot serve or do anything for God in our own strength. We need the Holy Spirit’s power in our life to do all that God wants us to do.
  •  
  • Jesus has gone to the Father, and He will come back for us!
    • The story of The Ascension is one of great joy. It would seem quite sad to have to say goodbye to Jesus so soon, but He does promise to come back for us one day.  
    • We can look forward to Jesus’ coming again with great joy and expectation!
3. Suggested Activities
  • Related craft with “Jesus will come back again for us one day”
  • Worksheets:

Jesus appears to His disciples

Categories: Children's Church



1. Story (based on Luke 24:36-53; John 20:24-29)

  • Last week we learnt about how Jesus appeared to some of His disciples. How many? (2) What was the name of one of them? (Cleopas). Where were they walking to? (Emmaus)
  • After the two disciples recognized Jesus, they quickly ran all the way back to Jerusalem to tell the others that they had seen Jesus.
  • The other disciples were also excited … Jesus had appeared to Simon Peter. As they were talking, suddenly, guess who appeared before them? Jesus!
  • The disciples were startled and afraid. They thought He was a ghost!
  • Jesus proves He is not a ghost
    • Jesus immediately proclaimed, “Peace be with you. Why are you troubled, and why do you doubt?”
    • To prove to the disciples that he was not a ghost, or their imagination or a projected image, Jesus asked them to touch Him. “Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”
    • The disciples saw Jesus’ hands and feet. They saw the place where the nails were pierced. They were amazed. But still they didn’t believe completely it was really Jesus!
    • So Jesus asked for something to eat. They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and Jesus took it and ate it in front of it. After all, ghosts don’t eat!  
  • Jesus proves Himself to Thomas
    • There was one disciple who wasn’t in there when Jesus appeared. His name was Thomas.
    • When his friends told him they had seen Jesus, He still did not believe.  “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”
    • A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them.
    • Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”  
    • Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.”
    • Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
    • Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
  • Jesus proves Himself to us
    • We may not have seen Jesus appear in physical form.
    • We may not have touched his sides and his hands.
    • We may not have seen him eat a piece of fish in front of us.
    • But we can still know that He lives in us and through us.
    • Even though we do not see His body, we have His spirit.
    • Jesus is alive. And He is with us every day!
    • Jesus calls us “blessed” because of our faith in Him.
    • Do you want to believe in Jesus? If yes, please pray with me.
      • Lord Jesus, even though I don’t see you, I can believe in you and receive you into my life. Thank you for loving me, for dying on the cross for me, and for raising from the dead. Thank you for your Spirit living in me always. In your name I pray, Amen!
  •  

2. Suggested Activities

  • Memory Verse activity: any game/activity that helps kids to memorise the Memory Verse.
    • John 20:29 Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
  • Word search 
 

A Walk to Emmaus

Categories: Children's Church

1. Story (based on Luke 24:13-35)

  • Last week, we heard of how Mary and Peter and John went to Jesus’ tomb and saw that it was empty!
  • That same day, two other disciples — Cleopas and his friend — were walking to a village called Emmaus, about 7 miles from Jerusalem.
  • How do you think they were feeling? Yes, 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.
 
  • Jesus walks 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.
    • After an encounter with Jesus, instead of being sad and discouraged, their hearts were warmed and they could tell the good news excitedly to everyone else!
 
  • The Bible is about Jesus! 
    • The whole Bible 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 class) Luke 24:27 The Bible tells us about Jesus.

Lesson: The Empty Tomb



1. Story (based on Luke 24:1-12, John 20:1-18)

  • Good morning, boys and girls! (Good morning!) 
  • Do you like mystery stories?
  • Today we are going to hear about the most exciting mystery story every told. I call it, “The Case of the Empty Tomb.” 
  • This is a story about what happened after Jesus died on the cross.  Jesus died on a Friday.  It was a very sad day.  It was sad because Jesus’ friends didn’t know what was going to happen.  They didn’t understand why Jesus had to die.
  • Late on that Friday afternoon, Jesus’ body was taken down from the cross.  It was wrapped in long strips of cloth.  And it was buried in a rich man’s tomb.  A large stone was rolled over the entrance to the tomb, and soldiers were standing outside to make sure that nothing happened to Jesus’ body.  Jesus was dead.
  • The Bible tells us (hold up your Bible) that this is what happened next:
  • Early on Sunday morning when it was still dark, Jesus’ friend, Mary Magdalene, went to the tomb and saw that the large stone that was rolled over the mouth of the empty tomb was gone! 
  • When she looked in, what did she see? An empty tomb!
  • So, she ran away. Why do you think Mary ran away?  (Let the children answer:  Was she afraid?  What could have happened?  Jesus’ body was not there.  The stone had been moved.)
  • Mary ran to two more of Jesus’ friends, Simon Peter and John.  So, Peter and John ran very fast to the tomb. (Have the children stand and run in place.)
  • John ran so fast that he beat Peter there. (Have the children stop and sit down)
  • Why do you think the friends ran (really animated)?  (Let the children answer:  Were they shocked?  Was it hard to believe what Mary had told them?)
  • The friend and Peter looked inside the tomb.  Guess what they saw?
  • An empty tomb!
  • There were strips of cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ body.  They saw the cloth that had been put on Jesus face.  John saw, and he believed.  What did he believe? Jesus was dead, but God raised him to life.
  • Do you believe that Jesus is alive?  (Pause).
  • Mary didn’t understand. She was sad.  She thought Jesus was missing.  The friends went back to their homes, but Mary stayed at the empty tomb, and she cried.  Why do you think that Mary cried?  (Let the children answer: She thought that Jesus was dead, and now his body was missing too!)
  • A man came to Mary.  He said, “Why are you crying?  Who are you looking for?”  Mary said, “If you took him away, please tell me where he is.  I’ll go and get him.” 
  • He said her name, “Mary.”  It was Jesus!  He had been dead.  But now he was alive!  Now Mary believed!  She wanted to touch him and hug him!  Jesus said, “Not yet.  I’m going to the Father.”
  • Then, Mary ran away. Why do you think Mary ran this time?  (Let the children answer.)
  • Mary had good news!  She was going to tell her friends, “I have seen Jesus! He was dead!   But now He is alive! He is risen!  And he is giving us life, so that we can live with the Father again!
  • Would you like to know Jesus and receive this life? Pray with me: Lord Jesus, thank you for dying on the cross for me so that my sins can be forgiven. Thank you that you rose again so that I can have new life in you. Thank you that you open the way to the Father for me. I accept you into my life today. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
2. Activity Suggestion:
  • Simple craft on Empty Tomb

Jesus and Barrabas

Categories: Children's Church

Lesson: Jesus exchanged His life for me to set me FREE!

 

1. Lesson (based on Luke 23:13-25adapted from: He died for me)
  • Last week, Jesus was on trial before the elders, Pilate and Herod.
  • All of them could find nothing wrong with Jesus. He was blameless and sinless.
  • Today we will look at a man named Barabbas. Let me describe Barabbas’ room: hard bed; dark, dingy walls; window (draw bars). Where was Barabbas?
  • That’s right! He was in Jail! He deserved to be in jail. He was a thief and a murderer. The law at that time said that the punishment for murder was death. Did Barabbas deserve to die according to the law at that time? Yes, he did.
  • Barabbas heard a crowd outside and looked out to see what was happening. (Draw Barrabas at window.) The crowd was yelling his name, then they began yelling, “Crucify him!” Barabbas became frightened; the time for him to be killed had come.
  • A guard came and took him to the judge, who announced that it is a custom at that time of year to let one prisoner go free. He, Barabbas, had been chosen. Did he deserve to go free?
  • No, he did not. But he was set free anyway. Barabbas went outside, where he again saw the crowd, now headed up a mountain (draw crowd). Following them, he saw three crosses being put up. On two of the crosses he saw men he recognized; they were thieves who had been in jail with him (draw these two crosses). But on the third cross hung a man he did not recognize (draw center cross). He asked a person nearby, “Who is that on that cross there?” The man answered, “Haven’t you heard? They let a thief and murderer named Barabbas go free, and they are killing Jesus instead!”
  • Did Jesus deserve to die? No, He didn’t. Did Barabbas deserve to die? Yes, he did. When Barabbas heard this, he surely must have thought, “He died for me.” (fill in letters)
  • Do you know, children, that we were also like Barrabas? We were sinners. We did wrong things. We disobeyed our parents. We lied. We stole. We lost our temper. We didn’t share with our brothers and sisters. And because of our sins, we deserved to die. Just like Barrabas.
  • Jesus didn’t just die for Barabbas; He also died for each one of us. He took the punishment meant for us so that we can have His life.
  • The name Barrabas means “son of the father”. Barrabas was the son of the father who did not measure up. He failed. He was weak.
  • But Jesus, the Beloved Son of the Father, was the elder brother who took the place of the ones who failed. Because of Jesus, Barrabas was handed undeserved forgiveness. When the Roman soldiers came up to take him out of the prison, he thought he was going to die. But instead of the cross, he could walk out a free man.
  • Because of Jesus, we, too, like Barrabas:
    • Are FORGIVEN
    • Are FREE
    • Are SONS of THE FATHER
  • Thank you Jesus for exchanging our punishment with your life!
2. Activity Suggestion:
  • Memory Verse game: John 8:36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.
  • Video clip: For older kids, you may want to show this scene from “The Passion”
  • Related craft with the words “Jesus set me FREE”