This Bible lesson for preschoolers is based on Mark 1:40-42 where Jesus miraculously heals a man with leaper. This reveals the Christ has a heart of compassion and deeper purpose in his ministry. This Bible story is a picture of God’s desire to cleanse all people of their spiritual uncleanness. This is the seventh lesson from a series for preschoolers on knowing Jesus through the book of Mark. You can read the series introduction for more explanation and links to the other lessons. These free materials are ideal for your Preschool Sunday School lessons or any teaching setting for younger kids.
Bible Passage: Mark 1:40-42
Bible Lesson Title: Jesus Cleanses a Man with Leprosy
Target Age Group: 4-5 years old (U.S. preschool & Kindergarten)
Target Time Frame: 30 minutes
Original Teaching Context: Preschool Sunday School
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Knowing Jesus through the Book of Mark: Lesson Seven (37 minutes)
Scripture: Mark 1:40-42
Exegetical Idea: Jesus cleanses a leper, revealing His heart of compassion and deeper purpose.
Pedagogical Idea: A picture of Christ’s grace extended to all sinners.
Cognitive Aim: Preschoolers will know our God is a God of love and compassion, grace and forgiveness.
Affective Aim: Preschoolers will feel thankful towards God for His great love.
Behavioral Aim: Preschoolers will praise God through song, pray, and memorize Scripture.
Memory Verse: Mark 1:41, “Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’”
- Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes) Description: Introduction to the story. Supplies: Bible, Bible outfits, blanket.
- God Revealed (15 minutes) Description: Experience the Bible story. Supplies: Bible
- Personal Pursuit (10 minutes) Description: Learn of Jesus’ love for us, praise Him through song. Supplies: Your Love is Deep (http://heirsofparadise.piczo.com/?g=30306062; downloadable)
- Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes) Description: Memorize Mark 1:41, pray. Supplies: Notecards with Mark 1:41 written on one side. On the other, ask parents to discuss with their children ways they can share Jesus’ love with someone each day this week.
Before the children arrive, have the Bible outfits ready.
1. Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes)
- Pass out the Bible outfits and have the children put them on. Have them sit down around you on the floor on a blanket.
- Ask: Have any of you ever been so sick that you were not allowed to be around other children? (Allow time for answers.) When you are not allowed to be around other children or even your family members, it means you are contagious. Can you say contagious? Contagious means that your sickness can spread to other people if you are near them.
- State: Today we are going to experience something amazing. We are going to enter into the story found in Mark chapter one (show them in your Bible). It is going to be a very serious lesson for all of us about Jesus and a man who was very contagious. I need you to be ready to listen and learn. Are you ready to follow Jesus and come to know Him more today?
2. God Revealed (15 minutes)
- Have this section down as well as you can without looking at the lesson. Speak slowly, emphatically. Allow the children time to process and think through your words. You may even pray aloud before beginning for God’s Spirit to work in their hearts. Have your Bible open in your lap to Mark 1:40-42.
- State: The Good News of the Kingdom of God was spreading everywhere! The power and authority of God within Jesus was clear as He preached and healed. Today we are going to see Jesus change one man’s life. We are going to see how great His love and compassion are. We are going to see that the Good News is all about Jesus’ power, authority, love, and compassion.
- State: The man who is changed by Jesus in today’s lesson had a horrible disease. It had no cure and was very contagious. This disease is called leprosy, and people with leprosy were known as “lepers”. The disease cause them to have sores all over their body. People who had leprosy were also called “unclean” and were not allowed to be around the “clean” people because the disease was so contagious. They had to leave their families and live with other lepers. No one would dare touch or get close to a leper. How do you think lepers felt? (Give time for answers.) They were probably very lonely and had no hope of every being healed. The disease would eventually cause them to die.
- State: Instead of acting out the story today, I want you to close your eyes and listen closely to what happened. (Speak slowly and softly.) Pretend you are this leper. You have no friends, you cannot be with your family, and no one has touched you or been near you in a very long time. You hear about a man named Jesus. Jesus heals the sick, He casts out evil, He preaches with authority. You believe in Jesus’ power. So you come to Jesus, you fall on your knees before Him and say, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” You believe with all of your heart that Jesus can make you clean, but you know He does not have to and you do not deserve it. So will He…Will He? (Have a moment of silence for them to consider what Jesus will do.) Suddenly, you feel Jesus’ hand touch you. He touched you! Then He begins to speak. He says, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately, your body feels stronger. You look down and your leprosy is gone! You were healed, made clean by the hand of Jesus. He touched you. He cleansed you.
- State: Open your eyes. This is exactly what happened to the leper in Mark 1:40-42.
3. Personal Pursuit (10 minutes)
- State: Our God is a God of power. Our God is a God of love and compassion, grace and forgiveness. In today’s lesson, we see that Jesus has compassion on this leper. He reaches out His hand and touches a man who no one else will touch. In His love and compassion, He chooses to make Him clean. Through this story, we see more of what Jesus’ Good News is all about. It is about God’s power and authority, but it is also about His purpose to use this power to heal, to make the broken whole, to cleanse the sinners and make them new in His great love.
- State: All of us are sinners. Our hearts are dirty, unclean with sin. No matter what we do, however bad and ugly it is, Jesus desires to reach out, touch us, and make us clean in His love. This is called grace. He freely provides us with His forgiveness and cleansing, even though we do not deserve it. Because Jesus came and died on the cross, all of us are able to receive His forgiveness, His cleansing. Always remember you can approach Jesus, and He will not withhold His love and forgiveness from you. Our God is a God of love and compassion. There is no one whose love is greater than God’s love for us. Let’s praise Him for His love today.
- Sing praise song Your Love is Deep by Heirs of Paradise: http://heirsofparadise.piczo.com/?g=30306062
- Explain to preschoolers that this song shows how great God’s love is, and how we can never really understand its greatness completely. The lyrics are simple. The preschoolers may also enjoy making up motions to go along with the words. Allow them to stand and move about.
4. Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes)
- State: Today we are going to memorize Mark 1:41. This is the point in the story that Jesus touches the leper and makes Him clean. Mark 1:41 says, “Moved with compassion, Jesus stretched out His hand and touched him, and said to him, ‘I am willing; be cleansed.’” Let’s make up fun hand motions to help us remember this verse!
- State: This verse reminds us of Jesus’ deep love and compassion. We never need to forget how great His love is for us! Let’s pray to Him now, thanking Him for His great love, compassion, and forgiveness. (Allow the children to pray to God if they would like. Pray for them and yourself, that God would help you to believe in His great love and trust in His power and desire to cleanse us from our sin.)
- 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 1:41 written on one side. On the other side, ask parents to discuss with their children how they can share God’s love with someone each day this week. 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.