This free Bible lesson is based on Mark 10:35-45 when Jesus speaks to His disciples about what it means to be in a position of power and serve others. It is designed for children’s church or Sunday School. Please modify as best fits your ministry.
If your church follows the Revised Common Lectionary, this teaching plan would correspond to Year B – 21st Sunday after Pentecost, Gospel Reading – Mark 10:35-45.
Opening Activity – He Came to Serve – Opposites
Supplies – none
Have kids stand and face you, with plenty of room on all sides. Then play the opposite game. Instruct the kids to do whatever is the opposite of your instructions. (If you say turn left, they turn right. If you say stand up, they sit down.) Have kids sit out as they make mistakes until you are left with a winner.
Lesson – He Came to Serve
I want to tell you a story,
About sitting by Jesus’ side.
They wanted the fame and the glory,
So two brothers pulled Him aside.
James and John asked Jesus,
“Can we sit on your left and your right?
Everyone in Heaven will see us,
And it will be our biggest delight.”
“Do you even know what you’re asking?”
Are you willing to drink from my cup?
Can you live the life that I’m living?
From my baptism, could you even come up?”
When the rest of the twelve overheard it,
They got angry with John and James.
Surely Jesus would see they were unfit,
But why did they think He’d choose their names?
So He gathered all twelve around Him,
And He spoke of what true greatness is.
It’s not thrones, crowns, gold or gems,
but serving others needs before His.
Those who are greatest don’t look it.
You would never guess who they are.
They may look like a maid or a servant,
But in God’s eyes they’re really a star.
Jesus came down from Heaven to serve us,
To wash our feet and our hearts alike.
To teach, help, lead, and love us,
And show us what greatness looks like.
Activity A – He Came to Serve– Bible Verse Challenge
Supplies – Bibles
Verse – Mark 10:45
Pass out Bibles to students. Bibles should be closed and sitting on the table face up in front of each child. When you say go, have the kids look up this week’s Bible verse. As each child finds the verse, have them stick one finger on the verse and quietly raise their other hand. The first one to find the verse gets to read it to the rest of the class.
Help younger kids and new kids find the verse by following these steps.
Look in the Table of Contents for the book you are looking for. Make an effort to show them if it is found in the Old Testament or New Testament to help them in the future. Then open the Bible to the page number listed in the Table of Contents.
Show them the large numbers in the text, known as the chapters. Flip through pages until you find the large chapter number you are looking for.
Then scan through the text with them pointing out the smaller verse numbers until the correct number is found.
Activity B – He Came to Serve – Can I Wash Your Feet?
Supplies – large buckets of water, towels
Talk to the kids about how Jesus once served the disciples by doing something only servants did. He washed their feet. Some of His disciples even argued with Jesus because they thought He was better than that, and was too important to do a servants task.
Invite the kids to wash each others feet while you talk about serving others and true greatness. Ask the kids for ideas on how they can serve others, and how they think their friends and family would react if they were to do those things.
Closing Prayer – He Came to Serve
Ask for a volunteer to pray for the class before leaving, and encourage them to ask God for reminders to serve others like Jesus did.