This free Bible lesson is based on John 2:13-22 when Jesus cleared the temple of the merchants. It is designed for children’s church or Sunday School. Please modify as best fits your ministry.
If your church follows the Revised Common Lectionary, this teaching plan would correspond to Year B – 3rd Sunday in Lent, Gospel Reading – John 2:13-22.
Opening Activity – Jesus is Our Sacrifice – Mad Lib Setup
Supplies – writing utensil
For today’s lesson, we are going to do a little mad lib, which means YOU are going to help write it. First I will need some words, so listen carefully, and raise your hand if you have an idea.
- (man’s name)
- (amount of money)
Lesson – Jesus is Our Sacrifice
One day 1. (name)_________ was going to the temple to make a sacrifice, which is something you give to God. It can be because you want to worship God, or it can be because you have done something wrong. And for 1. (name)_________ , it was because he/she did something wrong; he/she stole a 2. (thing) _________ from the 3. (place) _________ .
When 1. (name) _________ got to the temple, the priest 4. (man’s name)_________ went out to meet him/her, and when he heard about the stolen 2. (thing) _________ , he told 1. (name) _________ he/she would need to bring 5. (number) 6. (animal-plural) _________ .
1. (name) _________ was in shock! 5. (number) _________ 6. (animal-plural) _________ !
So 1. (name) _________ went out into the open temple grounds to visit the 7. (store) _________ . It was right there in the temple! This was going to make it easy to find those 5. (number) _________ 6. (animal-plural) _________ .
But easy turned out to be expensive. 1. (name) _________ was in shock. It was going to cost 8. (amount of money) _________, twice as much money as it should be! What was 1. (name) _________ going to do?
Ok, time to get a little more serious.
One day Jesus went to that temple, and He saw the sellers taking so much money from the people for their sacrifices. This was not right! This is not how you act in the temple, and this is not what you do with sacrifices to God!
So Jesus told all of the workers and shoppers, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!”
The people were in shock. Who was this guy? Why did it matter what He thought? Why do you think it mattered to Jesus?
Jesus knew more than anyone the power and importance of a sacrifice. He was about to be a sacrifice Himself, and He didn’t want His sacrifice to be meaningless like these marketplace sacrifices were. He wanted His sacrifice to mean so much more! He needed it to mean more. This was the only way these people were going to be able to live in heaven with Him. And if they saw His sacrifice on the cross as just another way to make money, or a careless request for forgiveness, they wouldn’t make it.
The most important thing to Jesus is that we live in heaven with Him one day. And in order to get there we have to accept His sacrifice which forgives us of all of our sins. It’s a free gift, all you have to do is accept it.
Activity A – Jesus is Our Sacrifice– Bible Verse Challenge
Supplies – Bibles
Verse – John 2:19-22
Pass out Bibles to students. Bibles should be closed and sitting on the table face up in front of each child. When you say go, have the kids look up this week’s Bible verse. As each child finds the verse, have them stick one finger on the verse and quietly raise their other hand. The first one to find the verse gets to read it to the rest of the class.
Help younger kids and new kids find the verse by following these steps.
Look in the Table of Contents for the book you are looking for. Make an effort to show them if it is found in the Old Testament or New Testament to help them in the future. Then open the Bible to the page number listed in the Table of Contents.
Show them the large numbers in the text, known as the chapters. Flip through pages until you find the large chapter number you are looking for.
Then scan through the text with them pointing out the smaller verse numbers until the correct number is found.
Activity B – Jesus is Our Sacrifice – Cross Pendants
Supplies – cross pendants, beads, cording, scissors
Give each child supplies to make their own cross necklace or bracelet. Encourage them to wear them every day until Easter to remind them of Jesus’s sacrifice.
Closing Prayer – Jesus is Our Sacrifice
Ask for a volunteer to pray for the class before leaving, and encourage them to thank Jesus for sacrificing His life for our sins.
Check this lesson based on the same passage. Lesson: Jesus Cleans the Temple
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