In this lesson, we will look at the Gospel of Mark, which features some interesting topics. The emphasis of this study is to see the amazing wonders that Jesus did, and to consider how He can change our lives even if it seems like less “drastic” methods are used.
Lesson focus: Christ is in control of our lives and can do anything; we need to listen to Him and be ready to follow His words.
Passage: Mark 7:24-37 (focusing on the latter part of this)
Key Verse: At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly. Mark 7:35
Target Audience: Pre-k through sixth grade (adaptable)
Materials Needed: Long pieces of paper; small paper plates; scissors; paper ear-shaped cut-outs; decorative materials; Bibles.
Lesson Opening: Can you hear it? As you are getting started, begin to explain to students the opening activity. However, first do it without actually speaking. Mouth the words of the instructions and see if students can understand without hearing you. Is it difficult? Imagine going your whole life without being able to properly hear things. What sounds would you miss most? Are there any sounds you would not miss??
Ear hunt… Provide kids with a unique ear (provided). Explain that there is a match to their special ear, and it is hidden somewhere in the classroom. Give them a few minutes to go find their match, providing clues if necessary.
Once students have found their ears, come back for the Bible story, and describe how today we will be talking about someone who could not hear, and how Jesus made him well.
Ear hunting… This was sort of a silly game, wasn’t it? Well, explain to students that today we will talk about an encounter Jesus had in the Bible that seems a bit strange in some ways, but has important things for us to remember. It has to do with listening, healing, and faith. What does “faith” mean? Briefly discuss with students what faith is and why it’s important. Then invite them to open the passage and read the passage (or you can read out loud):
Then Jesus left the vicinity of Tyre and went through Sidon, down to the Sea of Galilee and into the region of the Decapolis.[h] 32 There some people brought to him a man who was deaf and could hardly talk, and they begged Jesus to place his hand on him.
33 After he took him aside, away from the crowd, Jesus put his fingers into the man’s ears. Then he spit and touched the man’s tongue. 34 He looked up to heaven and with a deep sigh said to him, “Ephphatha!” (which means “Be opened!”). 35 At this, the man’s ears were opened, his tongue was loosened and he began to speak plainly.
Jesus commanded them not to tell anyone. But the more he did so, the more they kept talking about it. 37 People were overwhelmed with amazement. “He has done everything well,” they said. “He even makes the deaf hear and the mute speak.” Mark 7:31-37
Wow, Jesus has some intriguing methods, doesn’t He? Note some important parts of this passage:
- Some friends helped the deaf man, trusting that Jesus knew how to make Him well and having FAITH that He would provide.
- Jesus took the man aside; He cared for Him as an individual, and didn’t just do miracles for show
- People were amazed at what the Messiah had done—even though He didn’t want them to spread the news too much. All it took for Jesus to heal was a little spit power.
- Sometimes we might “hear” but not listen…how can we better listen to know what Jesus says??
Fun ears. Provide long paper strips to go around students’ heads. Allow kids to decorate them, and glue on the caption and verse. Adjust size and staple to fit heads. Have students cut out large ears from paper plates, decorating as desired. Attach to headbands with tape or staple.
Close with prayer and thank God for loving us and opening our eyes and ears. Ask for wisdom in understanding and discerning what we think God wants us to know and do.