As Jesus called his disciples, he was also committing himself to become their servant leader. This lesson shows Jesus’ humility and dedication to his disciples helped them learn how to serve. It is part 4 of the “Servanthood for Kids Series” we will be posting over the month of September.
TARGET AGES: 10-14
OBJECTIVE: To identify Jesus’ twelve disciples and learn that humility is one of the biggest qualities of a servant of Jesus Christ.
MAIN IDEA: Jesus was a true servant for his disciples because he equipped and taught them how to become leaders of the church.
SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: Matthew 4:18-22, Matthew 9:9, Mark 2:14, John 1:43 & 49-50, Matthew 10:2-4
MATERIAL(S): Notebook paper, writing utensils, activity sheet (click to download)
Introduction (15 minutes)
OPENING PRAYER: “Lord, today we accept your call of service on our lives. Teach us how to serve by studying Jesus’ selection of his disciples and their willingness to follow him. Amen.”
PREVIOUS LESSON REVIEW: Play a “True or False” game with the class to review what they have learned about Jesus’ life as a servant. Pass out blank pieces of paper and writing utensils. Consider presenting the winner with a small prize. Suggested questions include:
- Jesus was born in Jerusalem. (False, he was born in Bethlehem)
- Jesus had brothers and sisters. (True)
- Jesus was baptized. (True)
- Satan tempted Jesus for 20 days in the desert. (False, it was 40 days)
- Jesus’ parents were John and Mary. (False, they were Joseph and Mary)
- The word “baptize” means to sprinkle someone with water. (False, the meaning is “full immersion”)
- Jesus was 12-years-old when his parents forgot him at the temple. (True)
- Satan tempted Jesus with water in the desert. (False, he was tempted with bread)
At the end of the game say, “This game teaches us that it can be easy for people to get minor details about Jesus wrong. But, if we keep reading the bible, we will be able to notice errors when they arise. It’s very important to read our bibles!”
Lesson (15 minutes)
- Explain to the students that after Jesus was tempted in the desert by Satan he began choosing specific people to mentor and teach. Ask, “Who can tell me how many disciples, or followers, Jesus picked? Can you name any of them?” Turn to Matthew 4:18-22. Read the passage and list the first four disciples on the board (Peter, Andrew, James, and John). Ask, “What do we know about these men from the scripture passage (fishermen, brothers, left immediately, etc)?” Point out that these first four disciples were all fishermen, a very humble job in Jesus day. Look up the rest of the disciples’ names by turning to Matthew 9:9 (Matthew), Mark 2:14 (Levi, another name for Matthew), John 1:43,49-50 (Philip and Nathanael, another name for Bartholomew), and Matthew 10:2-4 (Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot).
- Say, “Let’s brainstorm for a moment: Why was it necessary for Jesus to personally teach disciples during his life on earth (because he was going to heaven and the disciples would have to lead the church as his appointed leaders)?” Make the distinction that Jesus didn’t pick the disciples because they were perfect – for example, Peter denied him and Judas betrayed him – but because they had hearts that were ready and willing to serve. Say, “God doesn’t care about our status, popularity, or physical characteristics. He cares about our desire to serve him! Do you have the desire to serve God?”
Activity Sheet (10 minutes) *See attachment*
Pass out the “Twelve Disciples” crossword sheet to review the lesson. Consider allowing students to work in pairs or small groups.
Conclusion (5 minutes)
RECAP: Jesus chose his disciples not because they were more intelligent, gifted or prosperous than others but because they had willing hearts to follow him and serve. Service is not about what we can do from our own strength but what God can do when we are humble and submit to his will.
CLOSING PRAYER: “God, humble our hearts as we serve you this week, and give us the opportunity to tell others about Jesus as we serve. Amen.”