Jesus Appears to the Disciples (Luke 24:36-48) Sunday School Lesson PDF

Print Friendly and PDF

Revealing the Big Picture – Luke 24:36-48 is a Bible lesson and activity pack for children that aims to help them understand the significance of Jesus Christ and His resurrection. The lesson uses puzzles and pictures to illustrate how we can step back and see the “big picture” of God’s plan for us, and how Jesus is the “missing puzzle piece” that makes everything make sense. The lesson also includes activities such as a jigsaw puzzle, a Bible story, and a discussion about trusting in God’s plan. Below is the free lesson plan in NIV, you can download this lesson plan in KJV or ESV from the Sunday School Store.

Jesus: Revealing the Big Picture – Sunday School Lesson on Luke 24

The “Sunday School answer” is stereotypically Jesus, but the truth is that He is at the center of all things, in the Bible and in our lives. This lesson uses puzzles and pictures to demonstrate how we can step back and see the “big picture” significance of Christ. After His resurrection, Jesus came to His disciples and opened their eyes to understand that everything in Scripture and history led up to Him. Help children see how the Messiah is the “big picture answer” to our questions. He is the “missing piece” that satisfies and guides all things!

What’s the big idea? Sometimes we have a tendency to get caught up in smaller details and miss out on a broad scope of things. Sometimes we don’t understand the “big picture” God has for us, whether because of our own distraction or because God’s plans aren’t fully revealed. Stepping back helps us to see how essential the Resurrection is to our faith.  Jesus lived, died, and rose for us! All Old Testament prophecies and events lead up to Him, and all New Testament events spread His story. Jesus is always with us and will help us to understand when we lose our way. 

Passage: Luke 24:36-48  

Target Audience: Kindergarten-6th grade 

Materials Needed: Construction paper; watercolors; glue; markers or crayons; tape; scissors; decorative supplies; Goldfish crackers or Swedish fish; jigsaw puzzles; Bibles. 

Revealing the Big Picture - Luke 24:36-48 ESV is a Bible lesson and activity pack for children that aims to help them understand the significance of Jesus Christ and His resurrection. The lesson uses puzzles and pictures to illustrate how we can step back and see the “big picture” of God’s plan for us, and how Jesus is the “missing puzzle piece” that makes everything make sense. The lesson also includes activities such as a jigsaw puzzle, a Bible story, and a discussion about trusting in God’s plan

Lesson Opening: This passage features an appearance of Jesus in which He reveals to His disciples how Scripture all points to Him as the Messiah and savior. We, too, can recognize that God has a “big picture” plan for our lives, and Jesus is at the center of it! Kick things off with a thought-provoking activity based on this theme. Some possible ideas include:

  • What’s the picture? Split students into groups and provide each group with a jigsaw puzzle (of age-appropriate difficulty). Have them race to put the puzzles together. 

*Variations (for older students): Do not provide the picture showing what the puzzle will be in the end! Or provide a picture, but blindfold the person who is assembling the puzzle, and have the others describe where to place things. 

  • What am I looking at? Provide students with several pictures of things, viewed in a close-up format. Invite them to guess what the picture is, just from the zoomed-in view. 
  • “Revealing the Disguised”: Show images of famous stars or well-known individuals (maybe even people in the congregation), but at various stages in life. Invite students to guess who they are in “less recognizable” form. 
  • Fish fry relay: In honor of the broiled fish that Jesus was given, have students race to grab and eat “fish.” Use goldfish crackers or Swedish fish, and have students take turns racing across a play area to grab a fish and bring it to the next person in line, who will eat it and do the same for the next student. See which line can finish running and eating the fish in their bowl the fastest. 
  • Jesus is the answer! As time allows (best for older students), review some Old Testament stories and consider how they point to Christ. Remind children that He is the central figure of all Scripture, and should be the ruler of our hearts and lives, too!

Explain that this lesson looks at how Jesus is the answer to the “big picture” of Biblical prophecies and stories. He revealed Himself to His disciples by opening Scripture, and continues to reveal Himself today through God’s Word. 

Bible Lesson for Kids: Luke 24:36-48 

This passage features a special appearance that Jesus made after His resurrection, in which He fully revealed who He was to His disciples. It’s a shorter passage that could be combined with other parts of the chapter, such as the Road to Emmaus meeting. It can be acted out, if desired, to make things more interactive. You might also have students take turns reading these verses, or read them out loud and pause to explain what is being said. 

As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” 37 But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38 And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 

-Luke 24:36-39

If this story is not being read in conjunction with previous parts of the chapter, you may need to set some context. Directly preceding this passage, Jesus appeared to a couple disciples on the road to Emmaus. He was at first not recognized by them, but after explaining Scripture, He revealed Himself. The disciples, upon realizing who they had just seen, were so excited that they went back to Jerusalem to tell the others. This is what they were “talking about” in verse 36, when Jesus appeared to them. Interestingly enough, though, even though they were hearing that news from those who had seen Jesus, they were still scared when He appeared. They thought it was a ghost who was standing among them. Jesus had to reassure them and show that it was Him, live and in person and in the flesh. He had to prove that He was alive and not merely a spirit. 

Ask: If you had doubts about something, what would be good proof or reassurance for you?  

And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.  -Luke 24:40-43

This was the double (or triple) proof that Jesus was alive, not a ghost but a fully resurrected body, physically and spiritually real. Not only did He show them His parts, but asked for food. Ghosts typically do not eat fish sticks. He wanted to demonstrate that He was alive. Of course, if the disciples had been listening to what He said during His ministry years, they should easily have understood that He was merely fulfilling what He’d promised. But it took a little more explanation for that to sink in. 

Ask: Why is it so important that Jesus was fully there in bodily form? (The Resurrection is what gives us life and fulfills God’s promises and prophecies!)

Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 
-Luke 24:44-48

Jesus reminded the disciples of the things that had been spoken and predicted about Himself. He “opened their minds”, reminding them of the words of the Bible that had talked about who the Messiah would be and what He would do. He helped them to understand that all of those predictions were describing Him! He was the “puzzle piece” that all things centered around. He also gave the disciples an important task. As eyewitnesses, they were to proclaim the news of Jesus to everyone else, starting in Jerusalem and going to “all nations” from there. We are also to share His message to all around us, proclaiming His name and helping others understand who He was and what He did for us. 

Ask: Although we haven’t seen Jesus with our physical sight, how do we know that He died and rose again? How can we trust that the Bible is God’s Word?  

God loves us and cares for us enough to send His Son. Jesus lived and died for us. He revealed Himself to people after the Resurrection. We didn’t get to see Him at that point, but we know the Bible is God’s Holy word and we trust what it says. We can give thanks for Jesus and do our best to point other people to Him as savior and guide. 

Close with prayer, asking God to help us see the “big picture” and put Jesus at the center of our lives. 

Leave a Comment