Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids how God helps us to overcome demonic influences.
Needed: Bibles, vinegar, red cabbage juice, yellow ammonia, glass, balls and “basketball hoops”
Intro Game #1: Resisting Temptation
Divide students into two teams for a slightly modified game of Red Rover. The teams line up facing each other on either side of your play area. They link hands with the students next to them.
You’ll call the name of one of the students on Team A. That student must then break away from his team and try to break through the linked hands of two members of Team B. If that student breaks through, they get a point for their team. If Team B resists the charging student, Team B gets a point.
Next, call a student from Team B to try to break through Team A’s line.
Play as long as time permits, alternating which team is charging and which is defending.
At the end, explain to students that a member of the opposite team is like a temptation trying to get into our hearts. The devil and the demons send temptations toward us all the time because he wants us to do something wrong. But we have to be strong and resist those temptations. We can’t let them break through.
Intro Game #2 – Doctor, Doctor!
In this game of Freeze Tag, students will come to you for “healing” to get back in the game.
First, divide students into two teams. One team starts as It, chasing the other. Set a timer for 5 minutes. When a student is tagged, they have to pretend they’re sick or injured and hop on one foot to where you are. You’re the Doctor that can heal them. If they make it to you before they’re tagged again, you can pronounce them Healed and send them back into the game as a normal player. If they get tagged before they make it to you, they’re out.
The round is over when your timer goes off or when the It team tags all the members of the opposite team before they can hop over to you for healing. Have the teams switch roles and play again.
Pour 25ml of clear vinegar into a glass. Tell students, Today, we’re going to pretend that this glass is your body. And we’re going to pretend that the liquid inside is your soul.
We’re going to read a story today about a man who was possessed by a demon. That means a demon went into his body (pour 25ml of red cabbage juice into glass) with his soul and made the man turn dark on the inside.
But then, Jesus came and healed the man! (Pour ammonia in to fill up the rest of the glass.) The man believed in Jesus and invited God to come into His life.
The green color you see is because when we invite God to come into our lives, He makes our souls healthy and alive, like the grass that grows outside.
(Read Matthew 8:28.)
“When He arrived at the other side in the region of the Gadarenes, two demon-possessed men coming from the tombs met Him. They were so violent that no one could pass that way.”
The two men were possessed by demons. What is a demon? (An evil spirit.)
So, an evil spirit went inside both of these men and made them go crazy and do bad things. Can a demon go inside of anybody they want to? (No.)
Demons can only go into people who don’t believe in God. God protects His followers from demons. God’s followers can’t have demons inside them because the Holy Spirit is living inside of them, and the Holy Spirit doesn’t let any demons come into you.
(Read Matthew 8:29.)
“’What do you want with us, Son of God?’ they shouted. ‘Have You come here to torture us before the appointed time?’”
Were these demons afraid of Jesus? (Yes.)
They asked Jesus if He was going to torture them. The demons are afraid of Jesus because they know that when Jesus comes back, He will send all of the demons to Hell and not let them bother people or go inside people anymore.
(Read Matthew 8:30-32.)
“Some distance from them a large herd of pigs was feeding. The demons begged Jesus, ‘If You drive us out, send us into the herd of pigs.’
“He said to them, ‘Go!’ So they came out and went into the pigs, and the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and died in the water.”
Jesus told the demons to come out of the men. What did the demons want to do? (They wanted to go inside some pigs.)
And Jesus told them they could go inside the pigs. Why do you think Jesus let the demons go into the pigs?
(The demons asked and Jesus was nice to them. Jesus can even be nice to the demons if He wants to be.)
But then, the demons made the pigs go crazy and run off the cliff.
(Read Matthew 8:33-34.)
“Those tending the pigs ran off, went into the town and reported all this, including what had happened to the demon-possessed men. Then the whole town went out to meet Jesus. And when they saw Him, they pleaded with Him to leave their region.”
After Jesus made the demons leave the two men, it says that the people who lived in that town all asked Jesus to leave. Why do you think they asked Him to leave?
They were probably afraid of Him because He was so powerful that He could even make the demons listen to Him. They also might have been upset about that He let the demons go into the pigs and kill the pigs.
Game: Neighbors and Enemies Basketball
Set up two basketball hoops. If you don’t have basketball hoops, you can use buckets, trashcans, or boxes to catch the balls. If you have a large group, you can split the students into two or more groups and set up two “baskets” for each group.
One by one, students come up to shoot two balls. They have to shoot one ball at Basket A and the other at Basket B. If they get a basket in each, they score a point. If they get a basket in only one, or neither of the baskets, they do not score a point.
Play long enough for each student to have three turns. Then, explain that Jesus wants us to be nice to our friends and our enemies because He was nice to people who believed in Him and even to the demons. If Jesus can be nice to both His friends and His enemies, then so can we.
Game: Doctor, Doctor! part 2
Play the intro game again, but this time, have students pretend that when they are tagged, it’s their spirit or soul that feels bad and that they have to come to Jesus for spiritual healing.
Explain that demons can’t possess us if we believe in Jesus, but no matter what we’re feeling bad about in our souls, we can still come to Jesus and have Him heal us.
Jesus, we thank You that You are able to protect and heal our souls. Help us to come to You whenever we need help. And we also pray that You’ll help us to be like You and show kindness even to our enemies, just as You want us to. Amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, The Miracles of Jesus.