Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids about serving Jesus out of thankfulness.
Needed: Bibles, a soft ball, brightly colored pieces of paper
Intro Game: Thanks Toss
Students stand in a circle and randomly toss a ball back and forth. Whenever someone catches the ball, they have to name one thing God or Jesus has done for them or given to them they’re thankful for, but it can’t be anything anyone else has said.
(Read Luke 4:31-34.)
“Then He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and on the Sabbath He taught the people. They were amazed at His teaching, because His words had authority.
“In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, ‘Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!’”
In the synagogue, what they called a church back then, there was a man with an evil spirit inside of him. What is an evil spirit?
An evil spirit is a demon. A demon is a bad spirit that works for the devil and tries to get people to do bad things. It can even get inside of someone who doesn’t believe in God and take control of them.
An evil spirit can’t get inside of someone who does believe in God because if you believe in God, you have the Holy Spirit living inside of you and the Holy Spirit protects you from the demons. But the man in the story had a demon living inside him.
(Read Luke 4:35.)
“’Be quiet!’ Jesus said sternly. ‘Come out of him!’ Then the demon threw the man down before them all and came out without injuring him.”
What did Jesus do to the evil spirit? (He made it come out of the man.)
And one day, when Jesus comes back, He will make all of the demons go to Hell and stay there so that they won’t be able to bother anyone ever again.
(Read Luke 4:36-39.)
“All the people were amazed and said to each other, ‘What words these are! With authority and power He gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!’ And the news about Him spread throughout the surrounding area.
“Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So He bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.”
Simon’s (that’s Peter’s) mother-in-law was sick in bed. She had a fever, and Jesus’ disciples asked Him to help her. What did Jesus do? (He made her better so that she wasn’t sick anymore.)
After the woman felt better, what did she do? (She waited on them, probably cooking them some dinner or something.)
That shows us what we should do. When Jesus helped the woman, she was so thankful to Jesus for helping her that she wanted to do something for Him. Because Jesus helps us by forgiving us for our sins and answering our prayers, we should be thankful to Him and should do things for Him too, such as doing the right things that God wants us to and not sinning and helping other people.
Game: Serving Jesus
Before students arrive, hide brightly colored pieces of paper around your room. You’ll need at least 5 pieces per team.
When it’s time to play, divide students into two or more teams. Each team will need a team captain. That person will be “Jesus.” The rest of their team spreads out around the room, standing still and pretending to be sick. When you say “Go!” the team captain from each team runs to tag all of their teammates.
The team captain then returns to their starting point while their teammates gather 5 brightly colored pieces of paper. The first team to gather 5 pieces of paper and bring them back their team captain wins.
Afterward, explain that the team captain was like Jesus when they healed everyone on their team from being sick. The rest of the teammates then served them by finding and bringing them the papers, just as we’re supposed to serve Jesus.
Have students close their eyes and re-hide the papers to play again. Choose another team captain for each team. Play as long as time allows.
(Read Luke 4:40-44.)
“At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying His hands on each one, He healed them. Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But He rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew He was the Messiah.
“At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for Him and when they came to where He was, they tried to keep Him from leaving them. But He said, ‘I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.’ And He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.”
The story says that Jesus went off early in the morning by Himself. What do you think He was doing by Himself?
The Bible doesn’t say, but I think Jesus was taking some time to be alone with God and to pray to God.
Do you take time to pray to God?
When do you pray?
We should all take a little bit of time every day to pray to God.
Prayer Exercise: Spending Time with God
Have students separate around the room. Ask them to spend 5 minutes praying to God. Tell them that they can talk to God about anything they want to. After 4 minutes, ask them to stop talking to God and to listen to anything He might want to say to them in their heart.
Father God, we thank You for sending Jesus to teach us about You. Help us to be thankful to You for everything You do for us and help us to serve You as best we can. Help us to spend time with You every day so that we can know You better. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, Jesus Starts His Work.