Lesson: When Jesus Was A Child (Luke 2:41-52)

Lesson: When Jesus Was A Child (Luke 2:41-52)

Children’s Church Lesson: Jesus at Age 12
Text: Luke 2:41-52

Learning Objectives: After this lesson . . .

Children will demonstrate knowledge of Jesus’ character as a young boy … by answering the question “What was Jesus like when he was twelve years old?”

Target Age: Kindergarten – 5th

Download: When Jesus Was A Child

Items Needed:

  • Marked Bible for this passage. Prepare the copy in advance by highlighting the significant points to emphasize and underlining items that will need additional explanation.

Explanation: This passage has a strong Gospel implication for children. Jesus was fully human and fully God. In his character we see the model and standard for righteousness in children. However, all children have sinned and not followed after Christ in these ways. Through the Gospel his perfect righteousness can become their own.


One Page Teaching Plan

Hook: Ask the children, “What do you think Jesus was like when he was a child?” Allow several volunteers to answer. Say, “All of these are good guesses, but to know what Jesus was really like we must look in the Bible. And the Bible tells us! In our lesson today, we will find out what Jesus was like when he was a boy. Jesus is our best example of what God wants you to be like as a child.”

Book: Listen carefully while I read from the Bible. I am reading from Luke chapter two. Listen for what Jesus was like when he was a boy.

Read (and summarize) Luke 2:41-52. (Read with emotion and pause often to engage the children with the reading.) Be sure to emphasize the following ideas in your exposition.

  • Jesus was a real boy. He was fully human and fully God. He grew up, had birthdays, and learned just like you.
  • Jesus listened carefully to Bible teachers.
  • Jesus always obeyed his parents.
  • Jesus said, “I must be in my Father’s house.”

Ask the children to report on what they learned about Jesus from the story. Ask, “What was Jesus like when he was a child?” The answers should be closely related to the points of emphasize listed above.

Yes or No: Read the following list of sentences. Ask the children to stand up for each sentence that tells something this story actually teaches about Jesus as a child. If the sentence was not taught in the story stay seated. Say, “Some of these ideas may have been true, but we can’t be sure if it isn’t in the Bible.

Jesus always made “As” in school. Jesus played Soccer
Jesus liked to listen and ask questions from Bible teachers. Jesus went to the Temple and worshiped God.
Jesus always obeyed his parents. Jesus had two dogs he loved to play with.

Missing Word: Read these sentences and leave out the underlined words. Ask for volunteers to fill in the missing word as you read the following sentences:

  • Jesus said, “I must be in my Father’s house.”
  • Jesus liked to listen and ask questions from Bible teachers.
  • Jesus always obeyed his parents.

Look: Mini Lecture: There are two lessons for you in this story.

  1. Jesus is your example. He shows you what you should be like as a child. Remember that Jesus was a real human just like you. He was fully God and fully human. Even more if you call yourself a “Christian.”
  2. Jesus’ example shows us we need to be saved. You do not perfectly obey your parents. Its not because you’re a kid. It’s because of your sin. It’s because you don’t want to obey your parents. We need God to take away our sins and give us new heart. And that is what He promises to do if we will repent and trust in Jesus.

Took:  Pray that God will help us to trust in Jesus to forgive our sins.

Need more help? Browse my free Children’s Church Curriculum or Sunday School Lessons. You can also find many Bible crafts online.


  1. Nneka says

    I used this lesson for my mid-week bible counsel time with my 3rd and 4th grade kids. Here are some other things the kids can learn from this lesson:

    a) Kids are not too young to know the plan of God for their lives. Even at 12 years old, Jesus knew his calling hence his surprise that his parents would have been looking for him anywhere else but at the temple.

    b)Kids should also pray to God to show them His will for their lives. Many of us never said this prayer until we got to high school or college.

    c)I also looked up the real time distance between Nazareth and Jerusalem by car (apprx. 1hr 43 mins) and by foot (apprx. 25 hrs 43 mins) just to give them a relatable idea of how far. The 3 days journey most likely included rest and sleep.

    d) Mary and Joseph were loving parents. And once they discovered Jesus was missing, they set out to look for him, as far as making the three days trip back to Jerusalem.

    d) A brief explainable of the start of the Passover in Egypt helped. However, be mindful that some kids may fixate on the angel of death and “want to know more about him”, which would not be necessary to expatiate on.

    Thanks for a simple, yet meaningful lesson.

  2. Adeline Jatoe says

    Am so grateful to God for your life, I’ve just started a Sunday school and have no training for that, trouht your page am getting ideas of what to do with the kids, may He abundantly bless and guide you and your family

  3. Maya says

    May The Lord bless you for sharing those great ideas. I’m a mother of two boys who was looking for ideas for bible study and I’m thankful i found your website! I will also share it with our Sunday school teachers at our church. Many thanks for sharing those wonderful ideas and lesson plans.

  4. alvina says

    Thank you soo much you made my Sunday teaching so easy. these are powerful teaching. may God continue to bless and power you more on your great journey.

  5. Lorenzo Terrazas says

    I’ve been in children’s ministry for about 9 years and just recently started teaching. It’s such a honor and blessing to do it! The resources that you all provide are very helpful.

  6. Christianah says

    I really want to thank God for your life for the kind of ministry He has given you. You may not know it, but you are touching lives of children all over and who knows where this children will be in the future. The seed we sow now will have eternal value on these children. Thank you.

  7. says

    Thank you, Tony…the simplicity of this lesson is another example of why I love using your materials. God is using you in a mighty way! Glory to Him, and many thanks to you…

  8. Julie says

    As a member of a small church with not much money to spend your website is a life saver for me to glean ideas from. I have been using this sight for 2 years now. Thank you for recognizing the need to provide this free service. I am grateful for it.

  9. Digna Ford says

    Just started our children ministry in the Philippines, our 1st service got 21 children and the 2nd was more than doubled, was so glad to find out these materials and lesson plans. to God be the Glory!

  10. Mary says

    On Wed. night have about 15 children between 5 and 12, which are split up in 3 classes. This summer 2 of our teachers had surgery, at the same time and I had all the children in one class. Your material was so easy to explain to the younger children, and I could make it challenging enough to the older ones by splitting them into 2 groups. At craft time the older ones helped the younger. Our church is small, and this material was a lifesaver. Thanks so much. I even let the older ones take turns telling the story. I hope by the time they are teens they have a desire to teach. Thanks again.


    God bless you, it really prepare me ahead for children sunday school

  12. Roberta says

    This was a perfect lesson for a children’s church group of all boys. They really got into it, with thinking Jesus was a boy just like them.

    Thank you for your inspiration

  13. Elvie Junio says

    Thank you very much for the lesson, I’m planning to include them to our sunday school curriculum. God bless!

  14. Jenny says

    Thank you so much for your wonderfully thought out lessons! They make my life so much easier! Blessings!

  15. Pearl says

    Thankyou for the lessons, it is real boon for myself as well as my sunday cchool pupils!

    Kind regards

  16. Amy Populis says

    Thank you for the wonderful plans. They are simple and well thought out. AND straight fromt the bible. This is a true blessing for me!

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