Get ready for Sunday — Use the link above to get the printable script -- then watch the teaching example below.
Main Objective: The spiritual realm can be a daunting and tricky topic to teach with smaller children. However, talking about things like demons should not be avoided. It is important to communicate to kids that there are real scary things out there, but that they do not control us. This lesson seeks to impress upon kids that we believe in Jesus, who is bigger and better than anything that might scare us. Jesus has power over demons, and He has power to transform our lives, too! When that happens, we should share the good news with others.
Law/Gospel Theme: We all fall under the curse of the law, which condemns us to death. The blessing of the Gospel reminds us that we are saved in Christ and not slaves to sin. Not only is Satan powerless against us, but we can be filled with God’s spirit! This is something to celebrate and share.
Optional Materials: Pictures and/or examples of scary things (snakes, spiders, sharks, monsters, tornadoes, fires, etc.); optional pig toys (yes, again with the pigs!).
Bonus Ideas: More free resources to help you plan your children’s sermon.
Note: All elements are open to adjustment. Cater to the needs and ages of your group.
Luke 8:26-39 Children’s Message
Greet and welcome children, opening the chat
Good morning! So today we are going to talk about something that might seem a little scary…what are some things that make you feel scared? (Take answers from students). Well, here are some things some people are afraid of. (hold up several pictures or representations of items that might seem frightening…but not too scary!)
Do you think these items might be scary? Well, in our story today, there is something that is kind of scary…but through it we see how awesome God is! The Gospel lesson today has to do with demons. Now, do you remember how angels are God’s helpers? Demons are not good guys. They are God’s enemies, and they actually help Satan, who is very bad!!! But you know what? They are absolutely terrified of Jesus. If we are filled with God’s spirit, we don’t have to worry about demons or anything scary!
So, the story we heard in the Gospel had to do with a man who had those yucky demons inside of him. He didn’t know Jesus. Jesus was coming into the area, and this man with the demons approached him. He was a little crazy. In fact, he had not worn clothes or even lived in a house for a long time, because the demons were so in control of him! They made him do wild and weird things. Jesus knew what was happening, and tried talking to the demons. They recognized Him, too, and they were scared. Jesus asked the demon’s name, and they said “Legion”, which meant there were a lot of them! The demons begged Jesus to let them go into some pigs instead. There were a bunch of pigs in a field, right next to the demon man. Now, in Jewish times pigs were considered dirty and untouchable. Jesus told the demons they could leave the man and enter the pigs…so they did! This probably made the pigs pretty wild (toss toys around, if desired), and they went running down a hill into the lake and drowned!
When the people saw this, they were a bit upset, and also quite scared. They didn’t know who Jesus was or what he might do to them…not only were their pigs gone, but they saw the man who had been possessed by the demons, and he was quite changed. He was dressed, clean, and sitting up at Jesus’s feet. The people asked Jesus to leave, but the man wanted to accompany Him. Jesus told the man that his job was to tell the other people in the village about Him.
So, what do we learn from this? For one thing, we know that we don’t have to focus on our fears, because God has overcome them and is more powerful than them. If we have His love in our hearts, it should cover and protect us. Even when things are scary, we can talk to God about them and ask for His help. Another thing we should remember is that when God takes us over, our lives are transformed. We can be changed and made into something totally new and beautiful! If that has happened, our job is to share the Gospel with other people. We should be willing to tell everyone of the joy we have in Christ, and how He makes us new and brings us joy. That is something to celebrate!!!
Prayer: Offer thanks for God the Father and joy to serve and love
(Have kids repeat each line, if desired)
Thank you for your power
You are stronger than any scary thing
Please help me remember that
And focus on you for hope
Help me tell others about you
I love you, God! Thanks for loving me
In Jesus’ name, amen
They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. 27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.
30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”
“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.
32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission.33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.
34 When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37 Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.
38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him