Preschool Bible Lesson: Jesus Calls the Twelve Disciples (Mark 3:13-19)

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Preschool Lesson about JesusThis is lesson continues our curriculum for preschoolers about knowing Jesus. Each lesson is based on a passage in the Gospel of Mark. You can read the series introduction for more explanation and links to the other lessons.
This particular lesson focuses on the meaning of Jesus’s call to follow and obey. Preschoolers will understand that Jesus wants them to be his friends and followers.

Bible Passage: Mark  3:13-19
Bible Lesson Title: Jesus Calls the Twelve Disciples
Target Age Group: 4-5 years old (preschool & Kindergarten)
Target Time Frame: 37 minutes
Original Teaching Context: Preschool Sunday School
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Knowing Jesus through the Book of Mark: Lesson Eleven (37 minutes)
Scripture: Mark 3:13-19
Exegetical Idea: Jesus calls the twelve to Himself.
Pedagogical Idea: Jesus calls us to follow and know Him today.
Cognitive Aim: Preschoolers will understand that Jesus calls us to follow and know Him like His twelve disciples.
Affective Aim: Preschoolers will feel comfort in knowing that King Jesus can be their closest friend.
Behavioral Aim: Preschoolers will praise God, memorize His Word, and pray to Him.
Memory Verse: 1 Chronicles 16:11, “Seek the Lord and His strength. Seek His face continually (always, forever).” NASB
Lesson Overview

  1. Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes) Description: Praise God together, be introduced to the lesson. Supplies: Song, King of Glory by Chris Tomlin (link found below.), Bible, blanket, Bible outfits.
  2. God Revealed (15 minutes) Description: Hear and reinact the story. Supplies: Bible
  3. Personal Pursuit (10 minutes) Description: Learn how we can know Jesus as His disciples knew Him. Supplies: Personal story about how you learned to follow Jesus and come to know Him as a friend; paper and crayons/markers (optional).
  4. Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes) Description: Memorize 1 Chronicles 16:11, pray together. Supplies: Notecards with 1 Chronicles 16:11 written on them.

**Before the children arrive, have the Bible outfits ready.
1. Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes)

  • After the children get there Bible time outfits on, gather them around you on a blanket. Today we are going to begin in praise to Jesus, our King. You should know this song really well by now! Let’s praise Him together! (Sing together King of Glory.)

  • State: Today we are going to learn more about our King of Glory through the book of Mark. Where is the book of Mark found? (In the Bible!) That’s right! And the Bible is God’s Word. He wrote it, so we know everything in it is true. We will be journeying with Jesus in Mark chapter 3, verses 13-19 (show them the numbers in the Bible.) I hope you are ready to come to know Jesus more today! Can you show me you are ready by turning on your ears and off your mouth?

2. God Revealed (15 minutes)

  • State: Jesus went up to a mountainside and called to Himself twelve men. Can we count to twelve together? One, two,…Are there twelve of us here today? (Count out the children in your class. Even if there are not 12 children, allow them to pretend to be the men that Jesus called. They can stand on one side of the room as you (Jesus) call them to yourself. After you act this out, sit back down together.)
  • State: He called these men so that they may be with Him and so that He could send them out to preach. They were His closest followers or His disciples. Some of these men we have learned about. Peter, James, and John were the first three that followed Jesus. They were fishermen. We also learned about Levi, the tax collector, who is also called Matthew. These twelve men were with Him all of the time. What do you think these men could have learned from Jesus as His closest followers? (Allow them time to think and brainstorm.) More than anyone else, these twelve men were able to see who Jesus truly was. They were friends with God!
  • State: Now Jesus had a purpose for calling these men to be His closest followers. Jesus has ultimate authority because He is God. As God, He also gave His twelve disciples authority on earth to teach and perform miracles (like healing the sick). Jesus trained them and prepared them for the time when He would no longer be on earth. Most of these men continued to spread the Good News about Jesus all over, so that everyone could hear the truth, believe in Jesus, and follow Him. We are going to hear more about Jesus and His twelve followers (disciples) as we journey through the book of Mark together.

3. Personal Pursuit (10 minutes)

  • Ask: Do you think we can know Jesus as well as His twelve disciples knew Him? (Time for thought and answers.)
  • State: Because Jesus died for our sins, we can now know Him just as well as His twelve followers! He calls us to follow and know Him just like He called His twelve disciples! We may not be able to follow Jesus as a human here on earth, but we can talk to Him through prayer all the time, know Him through hearing, reading, and learning His Word (hold up your Bible), and follow Him by obeying His Word.  You see, before Jesus died, our sin separated us from completely from God. When Jesus died on the cross, He took the punishment of our sin on Himself. He offered us complete forgiveness and the opportunity to know Him as our Savior, our King, and our friend.
  • Tell a personal story about how you learned to follow Jesus and how you came to know Him as a friend.
  • Ask: So can you tell me some ways you can follow Jesus in your own life and know Him as well as the disciples? (You could allow them to draw pictures of things they can do or just discuss it out loud.)

4. Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes)

  • State: One way we can always know Jesus is through knowing His Word. His Word has truth in it straight from Him. As we learn His Word, we come to know Him more and more. Let’s learn His Word together now! We are going to memorize 1 Chronicles 16:11. Can you say Chronicles? (Chronicles.) Chronicles is in the Old Testament, the first half of the Bible. Everything in the Old Testament took place before God came to earth as a baby. The verse we are going to memorize says, “Seek the Lord and His strength. Seek His face continually (always, forever).” When we follow Jesus and try to know Him more, we are “seeking” Him. And when we seek Him, we will always find Him! Let’s memorize this verse together and come up with some motions to help us remember!
  • State: Now that we have memorized God’s Word, let’s pray to Him together. Does anyone have anything they would like to talk to God about today? (Time for answers.) Let’s seek Him through prayer together. (Remember to be creative in prayer time. Prayer does not always have to be “bow your heads and close your eyes.” Allow the children the opportunity to pray to God out loud and close them in prayer when everyone has had an opportunity.)
  • Make sure you review with them the next week or when you have encounters during the week one-on-one. Remind the parents how important it is for them to help their children review their verses all throughout the week. Provide each parent with a notecard that has 1 Chronicles 16:11 written on it. Be conscious of children who do not have parents who are believers and strive to communicate these things with them, along with encouraging them in their pursuit of Christ.
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