This is lesson eight in our curriculum that helps preschoolers know God by studies 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 power to forgive sins, illustrated by the story in Mark 2:1-12. Like all our preschool Bible lessons, this materials is 100% free to print off and use in any ministry context.
Bible Passage: Mark 2:1-12
Bible Lesson Title: Jesus Forgives and Heals a Paralytic
Target Age Group: 4-5 years old (U.S. preschool & Kindergarten)
Target Time Frame: 37 minutes
Original Teaching Context: Preschool Sunday School
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Exegetical Idea: Jesus forgives and heals a paralytic, demonstrating His authority from heaven and on earth.
Pedagogical Idea: Jesus has complete power to forgive us of our sins.
Cognitive Aim: Preschoolers will know we can only be forgiven of our sins through faith in Jesus.
Affective Aim: Preschoolers will feel awe at Jesus’ power.
Behavioral Aim: Preschoolers will praise God through song, pray, and memorize Scripture.
Memory Verse: Mark 2:5, “And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’”
- 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: Praise God through song, learn about Jesus’ forgiveness for us today, pray. Supplies: Song, King of Glory by Chris Tomlin (link found in Personal Pursuit below.)
- Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes) Description: Memorize Mark 2:5. Supplies: Notecards for the parents with Mark 2:5 written out, NASB.
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: Does anyone know what it means to be paralyzed? (time for answers). If a person is paralyzed, it means they cannot move. Some people can be paralyzed in specific places, like their legs, but some people are paralyzed everywhere. They cannot move any part of their body, and they have to have others take care of them all of the time. A person who is paralyzed is called a paralytic. Can you say that with me? Paralytic.
- State: Today a man is going to be in the story who is a paralytic. I need you to be ready to listen and learn so I can see if you can catch me when I say the word “paralytic”. Are you ready to follow Jesus and come to know Him more today?
2. God Revealed (15 minutes)
- Note to the teacher: Today in the lesson, Jesus goes home to Capernaum; this is the town where Jesus first preached with authority in Mark and began healing the sick and casting out evil (Mark 1:21; Lesson 5). Many people here had probably heard Jesus preach the Word of God before. You may want to include that fact in the story.
- State: Today we are going to go to hear Jesus preach. Imagine that this room is the place where Jesus was preaching. So many people came to hear Jesus speak that there was not any room for anyone else to even come through the door! While we are listening to Jesus speak, all of a sudden, someone starts digging a hole in the roof (point up, and perhaps explain that their roofs were made out of dirt and such back then)! We see four men carrying another man. He is lying on a mat. They lower him through the hole. This man is a paralytic! What is a paralytic? (See if they remember.) His friends wanted to get to Jesus because they had faith, they believed, that Jesus would be fully able to heal him! Since they could not get through the door (point to the door), they lowered him through the roof! What do you think Jesus said after this happened? (Give time for answers.)
- State: After seeing the paralytic’s faith, Jesus tells the him, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Wow. Jesus does not choose to heal the man’s body first; He chooses to heal his heart. Having Jesus’ forgiveness and cleansing from sins was a much greater gift to this man than having Jesus heal his body. But when Jesus said this, some men got upset. They believed Jesus was just an ordinary man; they did not believe He had the power to forgive sins, so they saw Him as a liar. In their hearts, they thought, “Who can forgive sins but God alone?” How would you answer these men if you had been there? (Give time for answers.)
- State: We know that Jesus is God. He does have authority to forgive sins. Jesus heard what these men were thinking (He can always hear our thoughts) and so that these men would know He had authority to forgive sins, He said to the paralytic, “Get up, pick up your mat, and go home.” What do you think happened next? The man who was a paralytic got up, picked up his mat, and walked home!
- State: Everyone was amazed at what they saw. Can you show me amazed faces? They all glorified God for this miracle, for they had never seen anything like it. What they didn’t realize, was that Jesus forgiving this man’s sins was even more amazing than allowing him to walk. Let’s glorify God now together because we know how amazing it is that God can forgive us of all of our sins and make our hearts clean.
3. Personal Pursuit (10 minutes)
- In this song, we praise Jesus as the King of Glory. Stand up and let’s praise God together! (Feel free to add motions to the song, or simply raise your hands.)
- State : God came down to earth so that we would be able to have complete forgiveness of our sins and have a relationship with Him. This lesson from Mark reveals to us how Jesus first demonstrated His authority on earth. He was showing everyone who He truly was. It is an amazing story! The paralytic and his friends believed in Jesus’ power. But some men did not. Jesus showed everyone who He is that day, but some still did not believe Jesus (which we will find out later as we journey with Jesus through Mark.)
- State: Jesus continues to offer His forgiveness to all of us who come to Him, believing He is God, and trusting Him to make us clean. When we believe and trust in Jesus, we have faith in Him. Jesus loves you. He wants to know you, and He wants you to know Him. Every time you learn something new about Jesus, you are coming to know Him more and growing in your faith. Another way we can come to know Jesus more is through praying to Him. He loves to hear your voice! Let’s pray together now.
- Encourage the children to pray out loud and be an example to them with your prayer. Pray for each of them and yourself, that you would all remember the truths you heard in the lesson today and come to know Jesus more.
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 2:5, “And Jesus, seeing their faith, said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’” (Show them the numbers and verse in your Bible). Let’s see if we can come up with some motions to help us remember this verse!
- State: This verse is one of the most important things I want you to remember from the story today. Jesus alone has the power to forgive us of our sins. This is everyone’s greatest need. Without Jesus’ forgiveness, our hearts will always remain dirty and stained with our sin. He makes our hearts clean and invites us into His open arms of love.
- 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 2:5 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.