Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to help kids think of how Jesus can help them and how they can thank Him.
Needed: Bibles, various objects, a picture of someone with leprosy, a ball, drawing paper, crayons or colored pencils
Intro Game: No!
Have the students line up single file behind a line in your play area. Between them and you is an area where they will play tag. You will stand or sit at the other side of the play area with a variety of objects in front of you. One of the objects could be a sample of a snack you’re going to give the kids at the end of the game. Choose one of the objects to be the key object for each round. One leader or volunteer student will be “It” in the middle of the play area.
The first student will run up to you and ask you for one of the objects in front of you. If it’s the key object you chose, they win the game. If it isn’t, say “No!” That student then remains in the center play area. They then have to run from It. If they get tagged, they go to the back of the line.
The next student runs up to you as soon as the previous one receives their answer.
Let the snack be the last correct answer. When a student asks for it, end the game and pass out the snacks.
As the students are eating, start the lesson.
(Read Matthew 8:1-2.)
“When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed Him. A man with leprosy came and knelt before Him and said, ‘Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.’”
The man in this story had leprosy. What is leprosy?
(Show picture of someone with leprosy.) Leprosy is a disease that affects your skin. It can get so bad that your skin rots, and it can make your nose or your fingers or other body parts start falling off.
People made the man in this story him live outside of town, and they wouldn’t touch him because of his disease.
But the man came up to Jesus and said, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” He said Jesus could make him better.
Do you think Jesus will help the man get better?
Would you touch someone who had leprosy and looked like that?
(Read Matthew 8:3.)
“Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. ‘I am willing,’ He said. ‘Be clean!’ Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.”
Jesus did touch the man who looked like that. He touched the man and said, “I am willing to help you.”
And the man was all better!
Jesus touched him because the thing about Jesus is that He doesn’t care what people look like or if they’re scary or gross or if they smell bad. Jesus just wants to help people. And if you ask Him, He will help you too. He might not always help you in the same way that He helped the man with leprosy, but He will help you somehow.
Jesus said He was willing to help the man. Jesus will never say “no” when You ask Him for help. He might not help you in the way that you want Him to help you, but He will always help you somehow.
What do you think are some ways that Jesus can help you?
If you’re sad, Jesus can give you hope. If you’re scared, He can make you brave. If you need help to be better, He can give you strength. If you’re sick, He can heal you.
How can you ask Jesus to help you? (Pray.)
And why do You think Jesus wants to help people so much? (Jesus loves people.)
Prayer Activity: Asking Jesus for Help
Have students spread out around the room and pray silently. Direct them to tell Jesus about something they want help with. Then, after a minute, have them ask Jesus for His help. Finally, have them listen silently for Jesus to say anything in their heart.
Read Matthew 8:4.
“Then Jesus said to him, ‘See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.’”
Jesus told the man to go to the Temple and to give a gift to the church. Why do you think Jesus told him to do that?
When God or Jesus does something for us, we should show our thankfulness to Him. One way people can do that is by giving a special gift to God out of their money.
That’s a good way to tell God thanks for helping you. There are also other ways of thanking God. What are some other ways of thanking God that you can think of? (Saying thank you in a prayer, doing something nice for someone else, trying to do what God wants you to do more, etc.)
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 they’re thankful for, but it can’t be anything anyone else has said.
Craft: Thanking Jesus
Give students drawing supplies and have them draw one way that they can thank Jesus for helping them. When everyone is finished, have them explain their drawings.
Jesus, thank You that You are always willing to help us. And when we do ask You for help, help us to remember that You will help us in Your way, not always in the way we want You to help us. Amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, The Miracles of Jesus.