Preschool Bible Lesson: Jesus' Transfiguration

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Preschool Lesson about JesusThis 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 is from Mark 9:2-10 where Jesus is transfigured before his disciples. This reveals His true form from eternity past and confirms his divinity.  This episode in the Gospels helps us understand the glory of Christ. After this lesson, preschoolers will know Jesus is God and have a new vision of His true form. They will understand different ways we can reflect God’s glory as His followers.

Bible Passage: Mark 9:2-10 (Matthew 17:1-8, Luke 9:28-36)
Bible Lesson Title: The Transfiguration
Target Age Group: 4-5 years old (preschool & Kindergarten)
Target Time Frame: 37 minutes
Original Teaching Context: Preschool Sunday School

Knowing Jesus through the Book of Mark: Lesson Twenty (37 minutes)
Scripture: Mark 9:2-10 (Matthew 17:1-8, Luke 9:28-36)
Exegetical Idea: Jesus is transfigured before three of His disciples, revealing His true form from eternity past.
Pedagogical Idea: Jesus reveals Himself to us as God through the transfiguration.
Cognitive Aim: Preschoolers will know Jesus is God and have a new vision of His true form. They will understand different ways we can reflect God’s glory as His followers.
Affective Aim: Preschoolers will feel awe at the glory of God being revealed in the transfiguration of Christ.
Behavioral Aim: Preschoolers will memorize Matthew 17:2.
Memory Verse: Matthew 17:2, “And [Jesus] was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became white as light.” (ESV)
Optional Worship Songs:

Lesson Overview

  1. Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes) Description: Put on Bible outfits, introduce lesson. Supplies: Bible outfits, soft blanket, various pictures of Jesus that depict Him in human form.
  2. God Revealed (15 minutes) Description: Experience the story. Supplies: Bible, imagination
  3. Personal Pursuit (10 minutes) Description: Draw pictures, apply lesson to our lives. Supplies: blank paper, drawing utensils
  4. Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes) Description: Memorize Matthew 17:2, pray together. Supplies: Bible, notecards with Matthew 17:2 written on it for the parents.

**Before the children arrive, have the Bible outfits ready.
1. Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes)

  • After the children have put on their Bible outfits, gather them around you on a soft blanket.
  • Hold up one of the pictures of Jesus. Ask: Who do you think this is? (Jesus.) Continue to show them the pictures and ask the same question. State: All of these pictures are supposed to be Jesus. But you know what? We do not really know what Jesus looked like as a human! These pictures are just guesses of what He may have looked like. Because we have seen so many pictures that look the same, every time we see of picture of a man who likes like this (hold up a traditional version of Jesus), we immediately know it is supposed to be Jesus.
  • Ask: Who is Jesus? (Jesus is God.) We know that Jesus is God. He came down in human form so He could be the perfect sacrifice and die for our sins. What do you think Jesus looked like before He came down to earth? What do you think Jesus looked like in His true form, as God? (Allow them time to ponder aloud.)
  • State: Well, in today’s lesson, Jesus is going to reveal Himself in His true form, as God, to three of His disciples. We are going to come to know Him more as God today. Let’s listen closely to find out what it was like to see Jesus like this! Are you ready to use your imagination as we experience the Bible story?

2. God Revealed (15 minutes)

  • State: This story is told in Mark chapter nine (show them in your Bible). Jesus had told His followers He would suffer, die, and three days later rise again. He told them that whoever wished to truly follow Him had to take up their crosses each day, giving their whole lives for Him, maybe even dying for Him. Six days after He had told His disciples this (can we count to six together?), Jesus took three of them, Peter, James, and John, up a high mountain. I think they are going to see Jesus in a way no one else on earth ever has before! Do you want to use our imaginations, go up the mountain, and see what is going to happen? (Pretend to climb up the mountain together.)
  • Exclaim: Oh! Look! Jesus is transforming before Peter, James, and John! There is a bright light-it is Jesus! His clothes are radiant and whiter than any white I have every seen! His face is gleaming like the sun! (In an awe-struck, soft voice, say the following.) He is revealing the glory of God to them. He is showing Himself in His truest form-God!
  • State: And look! Elijah and Moses just appeared! They were men of God who died before God came to earth as a human. Now they are here talking to Jesus. They knew Him before He was in human form. What do you think Peter, James, and John think about what they are seeing? (Time for thoughts.)
  • State: I just heard them say, “Teacher, it is good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you, one for Elijah, and one for Moses.” They said this because they were not sure what to say! They are terrified and in awe of what is happening!
  • Exclaim: Oh! Something just covered up the sun! It’s a cloud (point up). I hear a voice coming out of the cloud (cup your ear). It is saying, “This is my beloved son. Listen to Him.” Who do you think said that? (God!) When Peter, James, and John heard the voice of God, they fell face down on the ground and were terrified!
  • State: Now Elijah and Moses have disappeared! Only Jesus, Peter, James, and John are here on the mountain. Jesus is beginning to lead them down the mountain. He tells them to tell no one what they have seen until He rises from the dead. Peter, James, and John listen to Jesus, but they still do not understand what Jesus means when He talks about rising from the dead. Let’s climb down the mountain and talk about what we just experienced.

3. Personal Pursuit (10 minutes)

  • Seat everyone at a table. State: It would have been amazing to see what Peter, James, and John saw that day! Jesus changed right in front of their eyes from His human form to His God form, revealing who He truly was.  Jesus was not always a human. We see so many pictures of Jesus today, but we can really only guess what He looked like as a human; we do not really know. But in His true form, we must remember that Jesus is God. I want each of you to draw a picture of what you think Jesus might have looked like on the mountain when He transformed before Peter, James, and John. If you had been there, what would you have seen?
  • State: Pass out blank sheets of paper and drawing utensils. As they are drawing, explain to them that this is called the transfiguration of Jesus. Have them practice saying it a few times.
  • State: After everyone is done, gather them around you on the floor. State: Now God created us to reflect His glory. Through Jesus, we are able to do this. The Bible tells us that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the light. No one comes to the Father except through Him. No one can be forgiven and have a relationship with God without Jesus. No one can reflect the glory of God without believing and trusting in Jesus for salvation. He is our light, and the glory of God radiates from Him. He is God revealed to us!  Just as Jesus reveals God to us, we can reveal God to others through Him. How do you think we can reflect the glory of God as believers in Jesus Christ, revealing Him to others? (They may have no idea at this point.)
  • State: Remember that Jesus told Peter, James, and John to not tell anyone what they had seen until He had risen from the dead. Has Christ risen from the dead? (May throw in a reminder of why celebrate Easter each year.) Yes! Jesus is alive! So we should be telling everyone what the disciples saw that day. They saw Jesus revealed as God! When we tell others about Jesus, we are reflecting the glory of God! So if this is one way we can reflect the glory of God, what are other ways? (Praying, reading His Word, memorizing His Word, obeying Him, loving others, serving others, loving Him with our whole hearts, etc.)
  • State: Jesus revealed Himself to Peter, James, and John because He wanted them to see Him in His true form. They still did not understand completely God’s plan for Jesus to suffer, die, and rise from the dead, but when He did rise from the dead, they remembered what they saw the day Jesus was transfigured before them. From then on, they finally understood who Jesus was and told everyone!

4. Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes)

  • State: From now on, when you think of Jesus, I no longer want you to just think of Him in His human form. I want you to imagine what Peter, James, and John saw that day on the mountain when Jesus was transfigured before them. I want you to see Him as God to help you remember who He truly is. We are going to memorize together Matthew 17:2, ““And [Jesus] was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became white as light.” This verse will help us to remember Jesus’ true form as God. Let’s think of some hand motions that can help us remember this verse! (If you have curious children and a desire to explain this, you can tell them how this story is found in three different books of the Bible, Matthew, Mark, and Luke. They are memorizing this verse from the book of Matthew.)
  • Spend time in prayer, praising God for who He is and revealing Himself to us through Christ. Ask God to help each of you reflect His glory as Christ reflected Him while He was here on earth.
  • 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. Encourage them to memorize the verse with their children. Provide each parent with a notecard that has Matthew 17:2 written on it.

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