Lesson: Mary Anoints Jesus’ Body

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Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids about giving Jesus our best.

Needed: Bibles, drawing paper, crayons or colored pencils, soft balls or paper wads

Intro Game: What to Do with It? 

Divide students into groups of two or three. Tell each group to pretend that you gave them $20. Their job is to come up with the best way to use that money for Jesus. Tell them not to simply say that they would give it to the church. If they do, they have to say what they would want the church to do with that money.

Each group then presents their answer to the class. After each group has given their answer, have the whole class vote on the best idea. Students cannot vote for their own group’s answer.

Do the same thing for $1,000 and then, for $1 million.


Read John 12:1-3.

“Six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with Him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”

Why did Mary use such an expensive perfume on Jesus and wipe His feet with her hair? (She is worshipping Jesus. Jesus deserves the best that we can give Him.)

What are some things that you can do to worship Jesus and give Him your best? (Ideas could include being good because Jesus wants us to be good, giving Jesus our offerings, using our talents for God, giving God the glory for our talents, spending time with Him by reading our Bibles, praying, going to church, etc.)

(Read John 12:4-6.)

“But one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray Him, objected, ‘Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.’ He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.”

Why did Judas not want Mary to use the perfume on Jesus? (He was greedy and thought that he could have sold the perfume and gotten a lot of money for it. He was more worried about what he could get than about worshipping Jesus.)

(Read John 12:7-11.)

“’Leave her alone,’ Jesus replied. ‘It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of My burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have Me.’

“Meanwhile a large crowd of Jews found out that Jesus was there and came, not only because of Him but also to see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. So the chief priests made plans to kill Lazarus as well, for on account of him many of the Jews were going over to Jesus and believing in Him.”

Why did the priests want to kill Jesus?

Jesus was getting too powerful, and the priests were getting jealous of Him. People were listening to Jesus instead of to the priests, especially after Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, and the priests didn’t like that. The priests wanted people to only listen to them.

Did Jesus know He was going to die? (Yes. He told the disciples that Mary had put the perfume on Him to get His body ready to be buried.)

Jesus knew He was going to die because that’s what He came to do. He came to die on the cross to take the punishment for our sin so that we could be forgiven.

Craft: Giving Jesus Our Best 

Give students drawing supplies and have them draw a picture of themselves doing something to give Jesus their best. When they’re finished, have them tell the class about their picture.

Game: Taking Our Place 

Play a game of dodgeball with soft play balls or paper wads. When one team starts to accumulate a lot of players in the “Out” zone, run in and say that you’ll take their place being out. They can get back in the game. Do the same for the other team. Keep doing it as long as time allows. Then, explain that just like you were taking the place of people who were out, Jesus took our place on the cross. He took our punishment so that we could be forgiven for our sins.

An alternative is a game of two-team tag. Take the place of students who are tagged and out of the game.

Closing Prayer

Jesus, we thank You for coming to take our punishment so that we could be forgiven for our sins. Help us to always give You our best because of what You did for us. Amen.

You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, He Came, He Saw, He Conquered.

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