This is lesson continues our curriculum for preschoolers about knowing Jesus. Each lesson is based on a passage in the Gospel of Mark. You can read the series introduction for more explanation and links to the other lessons.
This particular lesson focuses on the meaning of Jesus healing on the Sabbath. Preschoolers will understand that Jesus cares more about people and their hearts than He does about what we do on the outside.
Bible Passage: Mark 3:1-8
Bible Lesson Title: Jesus Heals on the Sabbath
Target Age Group: 4-5 years old (preschool & Kindergarten)
Target Time Frame: 37 minutes
Original Teaching Context: Preschool Sunday School
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Knowing Jesus through the Book of Mark: Lesson Ten (37 minutes)
Scripture: Mark 3:1-8
Exegetical Idea: Jesus challenges the authority of the Pharisees, revealing to the people new way of seeing and Himself as Lord of the Sabbath.
Pedagogical Idea: Jesus desires our hearts to be pure and holy, not just our outward appearances.
Cognitive Aim: Preschoolers will understand that Jesus cares more about people and their hearts than He does about what we do on the outside.
Affective Aim: Preschoolers will have hearts of love and belief towards Jesus.
Behavioral Aim: Preschoolers will praise the King of glory, pray to Him, and memorize His Word.
Memory Verse: 1 Samuel 16:7b, “God does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
- Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes) Description: Put on Bible outfits, learn about the Sabbath. Supplies: Bible time outfits
- God Revealed (15 minutes) Description: Experience the lesson. Supplies: Bible
- Personal Pursuit (10 minutes) Description: Draw and compare hearts of stone with hearts of love. Discuss the lesson. Supplies: Paper, crayons, markers
- Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes) Description: Pray, memorize Supplies: Notecards with 1 Samuel 16:7b, “God does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” On the back, tell the parents to remind their preschoolers each day to have a heart check before God.
**Before the children arrive, have the Bible outfits ready.
1. Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes)
- After the children get there Bible time outfits on, gather them around you on a blanket.
- State: How many of you still take naps? Does anyone really like naptime? (usually they don’t at this age!) Naps are really good! They give us the chance to rest and gain energy. Without sleep, we wouldn’t be able to do anything! In the beginning, God made the world in 6 days. On the 7th day, He rested. Rest was good! This 7th day has always been called the Sabbath. Can you say Sabbath? God wanted all of His people to take the Sabbath as a day of rest, a time where no work was done and a time spent in worship to Him. Today in our lesson, men are going to question what Jesus does on the Sabbath day. I want you to pay close attention so you can see what these men get so upset about.
- Ask: Are you ready to know and experience Jesus today?!
2. God Revealed (15 minutes)
- If your preschoolers enjoy interacting with the story, I would encourage you to allow them to act out the story as you are reading. Choose children for the main parts and allow the others one to be His listeners.
- State: Today our lesson is going to be from Mark, chapter 3, verses 1-8 (show them the letters and numbers in your Bible). The Bible is God’s Word. He wrote it, so we know everything in it is true. Jesus entered into a synagogue. Does anyone remember what a synagogue is? A synagogue is like our church today. In the synagogue, there was a man with a withered hand. There were men called the Pharisees who were upset with Jesus’ teaching. In the last lesson, we learned they were upset with Jesus and didn’t believe He had authority to teach the things He did. They were watching Him closely to see if He would heal this man on the Sabbath. What do you think Jesus is going to do?
- State: Jesus called out to the man with the withered hand, “Get up and come forward!” Then He said to the Pharisees, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the Sabbath, to save a life or to kill?” They kept silent and did not respond to Jesus. Jesus was upset and angry because of how hard their hearts were. He told the man to stretch out his hand, and when he did, it was healed!
- State: The Pharisees were so upset, they immediately went out and began to make a plan on how they might destroy Jesus. You see, the Pharisees loved rules. They felt if you obeyed all of the right rules, it meant you were holy and pure. Jesus was the only perfect human to be on earth, yet the Pharisees thought it was wrong that He healed a man on the Sabbath. They felt like this broke the rule of resting on the Sabbath. They did not believe in Jesus; their hearts were too hard and instead of following him, they wanted to kill him. But Jesus had the true authority, and He knew was what really important. Though the Pharisees looked holy and pure on the outside, their heart were ugly, hard, and stained with sin.
- Though the Pharisees did not believe or follow Jesus, there were many who did. After this happened, Jesus left the synagogue and went out to the sea with His disciples. Many people were following Him from all over. They had heard about His teaching and His healing and wanted to see Him and listen to Him.
3. Personal Pursuit (10 minutes)
- State: The King of glory was right in front of the Pharisees, revealing Himself to them through His teaching and His miracles of healing, but they did not see because their hearts were hard like stone and they refused to believe. I want you all to go to the table now and draw me two pictures, one picture of a heart of stone and one of a heart that loves and believes Jesus (there is no particular way for this drawing to look. Let the children be creative and use their imaginations). As they are coloring, talk to them about their drawings. Talk more about the lesson, how Jesus was truly the author of the Sabbath. It was made for humans to have rest and to worship. The Sabbath was not to be kept as a rule; it was to be a blessing. Healing the man with a withered hand was important. Jesus was trying to teach the people something. What do you think He was trying to teach them? (See what the children say, and discuss the true meaning together. There are things that are more important than rules, like human lives and human hearts. Jesus also has full authority over the Sabbath, since He is God, the one who instructed mankind to observe it as a day of rest. See Mark 2:23-27. Jesus is the Lord of the Sabbath.)
- After they are finished, state: One way we can show Jesus our hearts full of love for Him is to praise Him through song. Let’s praise our King of glory together. (Have them stand up and encourage them to raise their hands, praising God freely. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWqeW1to818
4. Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes)
- State: Another way we can show Jesus our hearts are full of love for Him is through memorizing His Word. This is also a way we come to know Jesus more. Before we begin memorizing His Word, let’s pray together and ask God to use His Word to keep our hearts soft and full of love for Him.
- State: Today we are going to memorize 1 Samuel 16:7, “God does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” Let’s think up motions to help us memorize this verse!
- State: Everyday this week I want you to do “heart checks.” We all look in the mirror sometime during the day, right? Well, when you look in the mirror this week, I want you to remember this verse and check your heart. See if your heart is loving and believing God that day, or if your heart is hard like stone and being disobedient to God. Your parents are going to help you remember to do this each day, and I will be doing it too!
- Make sure you review with them the next week or when you have encounters during the week one-on-one. Remind the parents how important it is for them to help their children review their verses all throughout the week. Provide each parent with a notecard that has 1 Samuel 16:7 written on it. On the back, tell the parents to remind their preschooler each to have a heart check. Be conscious of children who do not have parents who are believers and strive to communicate these things with them, along with encouraging them in their pursuit of Christ.
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