Use this children’s Sunday School lesson about Jesus’ announcement to teach kids about what Jesus came to do.
Needed: Bibles, prophecy clues on strips of paper
Intro Game: Fulfilling Prophecy
Print or write out prophecy clues about Jesus, along with their Scripture reference, on strips of paper and hide them around the room. Kids rush to find them and then, put them in order according to book of the Bible.
When they’re finished, explain that all of the statements are prophecies about one person and see if they know who the prophecies are describing.
Prophecies could include:
Will be born in Bethlehem – Micah 5:2
Will not have a human father – Isaiah 7:14
Will be a prophet – Deuteronomy 18:15
Will be protected by angels – Psalm 91:10-12
Will ride a donkey into Jerusalem – Zechariah 9:9
Will be rejected by people – Isaiah 53:1-3
Will be betrayed by a friend – Psalm 41:9
Will be betrayed for 30 pieces of silver – Zechariah 11:12-13
Will die for other people’s sins – Isaiah 53:8
Will come back from the dead – Psalm 16:10
Ask students, What did Jesus come to Earth to do?
(Read Luke 4:14-21.)
“Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about Him spread through the whole countryside. He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised Him.
“He went to Nazareth, where He had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day He went into the synagogue, as was His custom. He stood up to read, and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to Him. Unrolling it, He found the place where it is written:
“’“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’”
“Then He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the attendant and sat down. The eyes of everyone in the synagogue were fastened on Him. He began by saying to them, ‘Today this scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’”
Jesus went to synagogue, or what the Jewish people call church, went up to the front, and read some verses out of the Bible. Then, He said that the part of the Bible He had just read had been fulfilled. What does it mean if something has been fulfilled?
If something has been fulfilled, that means it happened. Jesus was saying that the part of the Bible He just read was happening right then because that part of the Bible was written about Him. In the Old Testament, there a lot of things that people wrote about Jesus before Jesus was even born. We call those things prophecies. Do you know what a prophecy is?
A prophecy in the Bible is something God tells us about the future. God knew everything that Jesus was going to do, and so, He told people a long time ago all about Jesus. That’s how people were supposed to know that Jesus was the Savior. When they saw Jesus doing all the things that the prophecies said He was going to do, they should be able to know that Jesus is the Savior.
This prophecy says that the Savior was supposed to preach to poor people. Did Jesus ever preach to poor people? (Yes.)
It also says that the Savior was supposed to let the prisoners go free. Did Jesus ever let any prisoners out of jail?
Jesus never let prisoners out of jail, but He did free us from having to go to Hell. He also freed us from the power of sin. We don’t have to sin and do bad things anymore because Jesus freed us from that.
The prophecy also says that Jesus was supposed to heal the blind. Did Jesus ever heal any blind people so that they could see again? (Yes.)
And Jesus also heals us from our blindness. Our eyes aren’t blind, but sometimes, our minds and hearts are blind when we can’t see the truth. When we believe in Jesus, He opens our hearts and minds so that we can see the truth about God and about the way we’re supposed to live.
Because Jesus did all that – preached to the poor, freed us from the power of sin and having to go to Hell, healed the blind and made it so that we could see the truth – then, we know that He is the Savior, as the prophecy says.
And Jesus did all that through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit gave power to Jesus to do all the things He did, just as the prophecy says: “The Spirit of the Lord is on Me…”
Game: Poor, Imprisoned, and Blind
Divide students into two teams. Choose one team to be It. When an It tags a player on the other team, they become Poor, holding their stomachs as if they’re hungry. When an It tags them again, they become Poor and Imprisoned, holding their stomachs with one hand and putting their other hand behind their back as if they’ve been arrested. When an It tags them a third time, they are Poor and Imprisoned and Blind, meaning they hold their hands in the same position but also close one eye. When they’re tagged a fourth time, they’re out.
If, however, one of their teammates does not have any of the conditions, they can act as Jesus and take away those conditions with a single tap.
Jesus did everything the prophecy says He was supposed to do, but not everyone believed Jesus was the Savior.
(Read Luke 4:22-27.)
“All spoke well of Him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from His lips. ‘Isn’t this Joseph’s son?’ they asked.
“Jesus said to them, ‘Surely you will quote this proverb to Me: “Physician, heal yourself!” And you will tell Me, “Do here in Your hometown what we have heard that You did in Capernaum.”
“’Truly I tell you,” He continued, ‘no prophet is accepted in His hometown. I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed—only Naaman the Syrian.’”
Jesus said the people in His hometown would not believe in Him. Why do you think people who knew Jesus for a long time, such as His neighbors, wouldn’t believe in Him?
Jesus’ neighbors and the people from His town thought He was only an ordinary person like them. When He was younger, Jesus couldn’t do miracles, so they wondered how He could now. They didn’t believe that Jesus was really God’s Son because they thought He was Joseph’s son, not God’s.
(Read Luke 4:28-30.)
“All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this. They got up, drove Him out of the town, and took Him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw Him off the cliff. But He walked right through the crowd and went on His way.”
Because the people wouldn’t believe in Him, Jesus said He wouldn’t do any miracles for them. Did the people like that?
No, they got very mad and tried to throw Jesus off a cliff to kill Him. But did they kill Jesus? Did they throw Him off the cliff? (No.)
Jesus simply walked away, and they couldn’t kill Him. Why do you think they couldn’t kill Jesus by throwing Him off the cliff?
God wanted Jesus to die on the cross, so God protected Jesus and wouldn’t let the people throw Him off the cliff.
The thing we want to remember, though, is that Jesus is the Savior because He did everything God said He would do in the prophecies.
Game: Slipping Through the Crowd
Divide students into teams. They stand at opposite ends of your play area. When you say, “Go!” all of the players from Team A will try to run past Team B. If someone from Team B tags them, they’re out.
The remaining members of Team A go back to line up on their side. You’ll then signal Team B to run and try to get past Team A.
The game continues until all the players on one of the teams is out. The remaining player slipped through the crowd, just as Jesus did.
God, we thank You for telling the people long ago what Jesus would do so that we could know He was the Savior You sent. Help us to believe in Him always. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, Jesus Starts His Work.