This Bible lesson for children is from John 11:1-44 where Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead. This is a key Bible story where Jesus demonstrates his power over the grave. This material will work as a Sunday School lesson about Lazarus or in Children’s Church. Please leave comments about this lesson plan in the form at the bottom of this page.
Curriculum text: John 11:1-44
Time: 30 minutes
Learning Objectives: After this lesson…
- Children express their knowledge of the key people and events in this passage by retelling the story to the children.
- Children express what they understand about Jesus from the story by identifying the point of the lesson.
- Children express their understanding of Jesus’ knowledge about the events that He allows to happen in our lives.
Curriculum Target Age: Kindergarten – 5th grade
- PRINT this lesson plan
- Bible turned to John 11:1-44. Prepare beforehand a copy with the important points highlighted to be sure to give specific explanation on them.
- Visual Aids: Pictures of Jesus, Mary, Martha, Lazarus, Thomas, and Disciples (optional). Often you can find decent pictures in a good story Bible.
- Counter-cross stitch picture (that exposes both sides).
Establish the lesson by briefly explaining the key people to the story and by showing the pictures of Jesus, Mary, Martha, Lazarus, Thomas, and disciples and their role in the story. Have the children repeat the names of each person.
Prior to reading the story, divide the group of children into three groups and ask one group to listen for all they learn about Mary’s responses. Ask the second group of children to listen to what they learn about Martha’s responses, and have the third group identify Jesus’ responses.
Read (and Recap) John 11:1-44. Use different voices as you read and stop to involve the children in the story. Reinforce the lesson by asking questions. Does Jesus see what is happening to us? Yes. Does Jesus care about us when we are upset about something? Yes. Does Jesus love us even when He allows bad things to happen to us? Yes. What did Jesus do when He found out that Lazarus was sick? Stayed where He was two more days. Say to the children, “If we are honest, it’s difficult to believe Jesus really cares about us when hard things happen to us or to someone we love.”
When you’re finished reading the story, use the pictures to review the important people and events in the story.
Ask for a response from the children about their listening assignment. What did you learn about Mary’s responses? How did Martha respond differently then Mary? How did Jesus respond to Martha and Mary?
Select a volunteer to demonstrate the lesson that Jesus had for Mary and Martha. Have the child show the rest of the children the side of the pictures that exposes only the messy threads. Ask the children to try and describe the picture they think it makes on the other side. When they finish guessing, show them the actual picture to see if they guessed correctly. Reiterate that even though Mary and Martha didn’t understand the reason Jesus allowed Lazarus to die, His plan of raising Lazarus from the dead showed His power over not only sickness but death. At this time it would be good to reinforce that the trustworthiness of the Lord despite difficult circumstances.
Ask for four volunteers to retell the story to the class with role-play. Assign the children the role of Jesus, Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. Ask the rest of the children to take turns filling in portions of the story the volunteers struggle with remembering. Remember to prompt the children by asking, “What happened next?”
Ask for a volunteer to explain Jesus’ special message for Mary and Martha that sometimes He has bigger plans for our lives then what we see when times are hard.
Give a list of possible lessons and ask the children to say, “Praise the Lord” if it was from the story.
- Jesus can walk on water. True, but not part of this story.
- Jesus heals the sick. Yes, but not what He did in this story.
- Jesus died on the cross for all sin. True, but not part of this story.
- Jesus forgives sin. True, but not part of this story.
- Jesus has a reason for allowing bad things to happen to us or those we love. Yes.
- Jesus raises the dead. Yes.