This is lesson continues our curriculum for preschoolers about knowing Jesus. Each lesson is based on a passage in the Gospel of Mark. You can read the series introduction for more explanation and links to the other lessons.
This particular lesson focuses on Jesus desire to call us to himself, no matter how great our sin. Preschoolers will begin to understand and rejoice in the love of Christ.
Bible Passage: Mark 2:13-17
Bible Lesson Title: Jesus Calls Levi
Target Age Group: 4-5 years old (preschool & Kindergarten)
Target Time Frame: 37 minutes
Original Teaching Context: Preschool Sunday School
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Knowing Jesus through the Book of Mark: Lesson Nine
Scripture: Mark 2:13-17
Exegetical Idea: Jesus came to earth with the purpose to call sinners to Himself.
Pedagogical Idea: Jesus came to earth to call us to Himself, no matter how great our sin is.
Cognitive Aim: Preschoolers will understand that Jesus came to save sinners; His love and forgiveness are unconditional.
Affective Aim: Preschoolers will experience joy in knowing that Jesus’ love for them is unconditional and it will never end.
Behavioral Aim: Preschoolers will praise God and memorize His Word.
Memory Verse: Mark 2:17, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
- Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes) Description: Put on Bible outfits. Talk about tax collectors. Supplies: Bible outfits for each child, Bible.
- God Revealed (15 minutes) Description: Walk through the lesson. Supplies: Table with chair for each child, snacks, and imagination!
- Personal Pursuit (10 minutes) Description: Learn how great Jesus’ love is for us. Supplies: Song, King of Glory by Chris Tomlin (link found in Personal Pursuit below.) Super glue, two sets of four items, 1 set glued together and 1 set separated (two crayons glued together, two crayons separated). Make sure the glue is very firm! It is very important the items cannot be torn apart. *Option: You can also glue enough sets of crayons together for each child to take home as a reminder of the lesson.
- Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes) Description: Memorize Mark 2:17. Supplies: Notecards with Mark 2:17 written on them for the parents.
**Before the children arrive, have the Bible outfits ready. If you want to be creative, you can create an area that looks like a seashore that Jesus will be walking along with His followers. Levi will be sitting at a tax booth when Jesus calls him, so you can create one or just use imaginations.
1. Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes)
- State: Okay everyone! Let’s put on our Bible outfits and get ready to follow Jesus today! (After everyone is dressed, have them sit around you on a blanket.)
- State: Our stories always come from the Bible (hold up your Bible). The Bible is God’s Word, He wrote it, so we know everything in it is true. Today our story is in Mark 2 (show them the book of Mark and chapter 2).
- State: Today Jesus is going to call another man to follow Him. This man’s name is Levi (Matthew). He was a tax collector. Tax collectors are people who collect money from other people to pay for different things. But most of the time, tax collectors would be liars and would steal more money than they were supposed to from people. Why do you think Jesus would want a tax collector to follow Him? (Allow time for answers.)
- State: Well, today we are going to find out exactly why Jesus wanted a tax collector to follow Him and discover more about His love and forgiveness. As I am telling you what happened in Mark chapter 2 , we are going to act it out together. So I need everyone to turn on their ear and turn off their mouths so you can listen closely and experience the story. (Choose a child to be Levi and sit at the “tax booth.”)
2. God Revealed (15 minutes)
- State: Jesus was walking along the seashore. Many people were coming to Him, He was teaching them. As He was walking, He saw Levi sitting in the tax booth. Jesus said to him, “Follow me!” (shout this out), and Levi got up and followed Jesus. He did this immediately! After this, Jesus went with Levi to his house. So come on everyone, we are all invited! (Lead them to all sit down at the table and pass out snacks.) Look around the table! Do you know what I see? I see that all of us are sinners. Some of us are tax collectors and are liars and thieves. Why would Jesus want to eat with us sinners? He is perfect and holy; He has never sinned, yet He is here, eating with us. He is teaching us and calling us to follow Him! He must love us very much!
- State: Some men called Pharisees (can you say Pharisees?) asked Peter, James, and John why Jesus was eating with sinners. You see, these Pharisees were men who looked perfect on the outside. They never broke any rules, and it may even seem like they never sin. But on the inside, they did not believe Jesus and did not want to follow Him. Jesus heard their question and said to the Pharisees, “It is not those who are healthy who need a doctor, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but the sinners.”
- State: Wow. So Jesus came to earth for sinners! People who have very dirty hearts and may have done really bad things. We are all sinners! He came to earth to call us to Himself and offer us His forgiveness and cleansing from our sins, no matter what we have done. Our hearts can be pure and clean again when we believe and trust in Jesus.
- State: Let’s pray together now, thanking God for His Word and for Jesus’ great forgiveness and love.
3. Personal Pursuit (10 minutes)
- State: You see, Jesus’ love is unconditional. This means it doesn’t matter what we do or what we will do, He will always love us. He will always love you. His love also never changes. He will never stop loving us; His love will never let go of us. Because of His great love, He offers sinners forgiveness from their sins, a chance to have clean hearts.
- Bring out the objects you have glued together and the same set of objects that are not glued together. Show the separate items and state, “Before I glued these items together, they were separate. After they have been glued together (hold up glued items), they cannot be separated.” Pass around the glued items and allow children to try and separate them. “This glue represents Jesus’ love and forgiveness for us. Let’s pretend us trying to pull the items apart is our sin. Our sin, no matter how great it is, does not keep Him from calling us to Himself and offering His forgiveness. Because of His love, He calls each one of us to follow Him, inviting us to be forgiven, no matter how great our sin has been.”
- State: Let’s praise the King Jesus together now for His love and forgiveness! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWqeW1to818
4. Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes)
- Ask: Does anyone remember another way we can come to know Jesus more? Through memorizing His Word! Today we are going to memorize Mark 2:17 (show them the numbers in the Bible), “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Let’s use motions to help us memorize this verse.
- After working on memorizing the verse, ask: Does anyone remember why Jesus calls us to Himself no matter how great our sin? (Because of His great love!) Every time you say this verse, I want you to remember that Jesus calls all of us to follow, no matter how great our sin, because of His great love for us. And His love never changes. *I am going to give each of you a set of glued crayons to take home so every time you see them, you can remember Jesus’ great love for you.” *This is optional.
- Make sure you review with them the next week or when you have encounters during the week one-on-one. Remind the parents how important it is for them to help their children review their verses all throughout the week. Provide each parent with a notecard that has Mark 2:17 written on it. Be conscious of children who do not have parents who are believers and strive to communicate these things with them, along with encouraging them in their pursuit of Christ.