When Jesus called Levi to become a disciple many people were shocked. Jesus was the Son of God, while Levi was a sinner and a tax collector. The Pharisees felt that Jesus was too good to be seen with someone like Levi. But Jesus knew that Salvation was for everyone. Jesus used the calling of Levi as a way to teach the Pharisees that He came for all people, not only the ones who were righteous but the ones who were still in sin.
Lesson Title: Jesus’ Message is for Everyone
Bible Reference: Mark 2:13-17
Target Age Group: Preschool to Elementary
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 45 minutes
Focus Verse: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.” Mark 2:17b
Learning Aim: Jesus’ message is for all people.
Basic Supply List:
- 5 Hula Hoops
- Several Magazines
- Glue or tape
- Construction Paper
- Soft Ball
- Download our free Jesus & Zacchaeus coloring page (that’s the source of the graphic above)
- Use these 5 non-competitive games in your children’s ministry
- Compare this alternate lesson about Jesus calling Levi to be his disciple
- Use our 12 disciples coloring activity or bingo review game
Note: In the teaching plan below the words in italics are meant to be read aloud. The regular text is simply directions for the teacher.
> > > > Basic Teaching Plan < < < <
Introduction: Begin the lesson by asking the whole class to sit or stand in a circle. Play a quick game of catch with the class with a soft ball. When a child catches the ball, they must say one thing that they know about Jesus/God. Continue until every child has had a chance to catch the ball and share their knowledge.
Say, I hope everyone enjoyed our game today. Today we are going to learn about when Jesus called a man named Levi to be a disciple. Many people were surprised when Jesus sat down to eat with Levi, but they learned that Jesus’ message of salvation is for everyone.
Biblical Evidence: Read Mark 2:13-14. Say, Jesus saw Levi and knew that Levi and the other tax collectors needed to know the good news. Jesus went to Levi and asked him to follow Him. Levi set a good example by following Jesus without exception.
Read Mark 2:15-16. Say, When the Pharisees (people who worked in the church and were thought to be more righteous than others because of their high post) saw that Jesus was eating with Levi they were mad. They thought that Levi was not good enough to even eat with Jesus and told him so.
Read Mark 2:17. Say, Here, Jesus says that it is not the sick that need a doctor, but the ill. Ask, Do you think Jesus is talking about a real doctor here, or just kind of making a point? Allow the kids to answer. Say, Jesus loves all the people and the world. The Pharisees thought that Jesus should have only been with the people that already knew who he was, but Jesus knew that He people who actually needed him were the people that had never heard of Jesus and salvation before, like Levi. So Jesus went to Levi and asked him to become a follower of Jesus. Levi agreed. This teaches us that the message of Jesus is for everyone. As Christians, we must remember that the message of Jesus is for everyone, not just for the people that we see at church each week.
People Craft: Use this craft as a way to remind children everyone needs to hear the good news of salvation through Jesus. Have several magazines available for your children to cut pictures of people out of. Each child will cut out pictures of people and paste them onto a piece of paper. Write “Everyone Needs Jesus” somewhere on the piece of paper. If you have a lot of little children who aren’t very good with cutting yet, you might want to make one poster as a class, or have several adults ready to help.
Hula Hoop Game: This game encourages all of the children to work together to include everyone in the game. Start with 5 hula hoops on the floor. All children must be standing in a hula hoop. Remove one hula hoop at a time and as you do the children must squish together to make sure in the other hula hoops to make room for everyone. Emphasize everyone working together so that everyone can fit in the hula hoops.
Hide and Go Seek: If you have a large well supervised play area, play hide and go seek. One child will be the seeker and the others will hide. Tell the children that the seeker is like a disciple going out to find people to tell about Jesus.
- Why were the Pharisees upset with Jesus? He was eating with Levi, who was a sinner
- Who was Jesus eating with? Levi
- How did Levi respond to Jesus when he was asked to follow Jesus? He immediately followed Jesus and believed in Jesus.
- What did the Pharisees say to Jesus when they saw Him eating with Levi? They told Jesus that He should not associate with Levi, but stay with the Pharisees.
- What did Jesus tell the Pharisees? He told them that the sick need a doctor, not the healthy.
- What did Jesus mean when he said that the sick need a doctor, not the healthy? He means that everyone needs Jesus, not just the church people but sinner too. It is important to share the message of Jesus with everyone.
- Who is the message of Jesus for? Everyone
Closing: Close the lesson by reminding the class that the message of salvation is for them, as well as everyone else in the world. Pray together that others in their communities would be able to learn about Jesus.