This 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 important task that Jesus gave to his disciples. This passage is sometimes called the parable of the lamp. The disciples were not only responsible for receiving God’s Word, allowing it to take root in their hearts, but sharing this Word with others and thus producing fruit. Preschoolers will be encouraged to share God’s Word with others.
Optional: You might enjoy our free “Light of the World” coloring page for kids based on Matthew 5:14.
Bible Passage: Mark 4:21-23
Bible Lesson Title: Shining the Light of God’s Word
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 Thirteen (37 minutes)
Scripture: Mark 4:21-23
Exegetical Idea: The disciples were not only responsible for receiving God’s Word, allowing it to take root in their hearts, but sharing this Word with others and thus producing fruit.
Pedagogical Idea: As God’s Word takes root in the soil of our hearts, He desires for us to bring forth fruit through spreading His Word.
Cognitive Aim: Preschoolers will understand that God desires them to share His Word with others.
Affective Aim: Preschoolers will feel wonder in knowing the light of God’s Word in their hearts can fight the darkness and light up the world.
Behavioral Aim: Preschoolers will learn and sing a song to encourage this truth and will memorize Mark 4:21.
Memory Verse: Mark 4:21, “And he said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand?’” (ESV)
Optional Worship Song: Teach the children to sing “This Little Light of Mine.”
- Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes) Description: Put on Bible outfits, introduce concept of light. Supplies: Bible outfits, lamp, basket, small table for the lamp.
- God Revealed (15 minutes) Description: Read Jesus’ words from Mark 4:21-23, discuss His meaning in relation to bearing fruit from last week’s lesson. Supplies: Bible, picture of abundant crop from Parable of the Soils (Lesson Twelve)
- Personal Pursuit (10 minutes) Description: Learn how we can be lamps on stands, learn a new song. Supplies: Candles, candle stand (4 or more arms); song Go Light Your World by Kathy Troccoli or Chris Rice (The link is provided below. There are many videos on YouTube if you would like to choose a different one.)
- Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes) Description: Memorize Mark 4:21 using hand motions; pray together. Supplies: Notecards with Mark 4:21 written on them for parents to take home. On the back, ask the parents to remind their child each day about shining the light of God’s Word to others.
**Before the children arrive, have the Bible outfits ready.
1. Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes)
- Gather the children around you on the floor after they have put on their Bible outfits. Have the lamp nearby and plugged in. Ask: What is this? (A lamp) What is a lamp used for? (Light, help us see in the dark) Turn the lamp on. State: That’s right. This lamp provides us with light. What do you think would happen if I put this basket over the lamp? (you wouldn’t be able to see the light) Demonstrate by putting the basket over the lamp. Hmmm. What if we put this lamp under our bed? Would it light up a room very well from under there? (No!) You are right. Where do we usually put lamps? (on a table, shelf, etc.) If we want to see the light of a lamp, we put it in a place where we can see it (place the lamp on the table). It would be silly to be put a lamp under a basket or under a bed!
- State: Today Jesus is going to tell us something very important about ourselves. He will tell us something about lamps too. We are going to hear the same words He spoke to His disciples many, many years ago! I want you to listen closely so you can understand what Jesus wants us to hear. Our lesson today is from Mark 4:21-23 (show them the numbers in you Bible). This is God’s Word. He wrote it, so we know everything in it is true. We can come to know God more today as we hear His Word together.
2. God Revealed (15 minutes)
- State: Jesus is speaking to His disciples, the men He called to follow Him. In our last lesson, we heard a parable about seeds and soil. You are pretending to be His disciples today. So, the last thing He told you was that when we allow the Word of God to take root in the soil of our hearts, fruit or crops will grow. We can have a lot of fruit (show them the picture of the abundant crops) or a little fruit. What Jesus is going to say to us next is related to the type of fruit the seed of His Word should produce. Here is what Jesus says (read slowly), “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand?”
- State: This sounds a lot like what we were talking about earlier! So, is a lamp brought in a room to be put under a basket or under a bed? (no) Jesus says a lamp is brought in to be put on a lamp stand, or a table. When we hear God’s Word, it brings light to the darkness of our hearts. The seed of His Word produces light in our hearts. Jesus is telling us that we should not hide the light of His Word. Instead, we should let it shine! How do you think we could let the light shine? (Your goal is to get the discussion moving towards sharing God’s Word, His light, with others.) God wants us to receive His Word in our hearts, allow the seed to be planted in good soil, but He also wants us to tell everyone His Word, to shine this light for everyone to see! If we do not share His Word with others, it is like we are a lamp and have put ourselves under a basket. No one can see our light if we do that. When we do share His Word, we are placing ourselves on a lamp stand so the whole world can see the light of God by hearing His Word.
- State: Jesus then says, “” He did not come so that we would keep the Good News, the Gospel, secret. He teaches us through His Word so that we can teach others. I teach you God’s Word so that you will know Him and be able to tell others about Him.
3. Personal Pursuit (10 minutes)
- State: I want to show you something. But you have to be very careful and watch me only with your eyes. You must remain seated and keep your hands in your laps. Do you think you can do that? Okay. I am going to light a candle. (Light one candle on a candle stand of 4 or 5 and then turn out the lamp and the lights.) This candle puts forth just a little light, but any darkness that is near the candle disappears. Imagine this candle is God’s Word in your heart. You are shining His Word to others. By doing this, you are making the darkness of evil and sin fade away. What do you think would happen if each of us in this room all shined our lights together? (Allow time for answers.) I want you to watch what happens when I light all of these candles together. (Light each candle.) What did you see happen? (There is more light; more darkness disappeared. We can see more.)
- State: When God’s followers all shine their lights, we are fighting against the darkness of evil and sin. We are winning the battle for good, true goodness that is God. God is light. And when we shine our light for Him, we are bringing God to everyone around us.
- State: We are going to learn a new song. It is about our lesson today, and it encourages us to light the world with our the light of God’s Word. (Keep the lights out and sing by the light of the candles. If you are limited in time, strive to just teach the first verses and chorus of this song, or simply the chorus.)
- After singing the song together, state: We can shine our candles by simply telling someone what we know about God to be true. (If you have time, begin this next short discussion.) What are things about God you know are true? (Allow time for answers.) Now you can shine your candle today and all throughout the week by telling people you know the same truth about God that you just told me.
4. Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes)
- Turn on the lights. State: One way we can always share God’s Word with others and shine our lights is through telling them a verse that we have memorized. Today we are going to memorize Mark 4:21, “And he said to them, ‘Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand?’” (ESV) Do you think we can come up with hand motions to help us memorize this verse?
- After memorizing the verse together, pray with the preschoolers. Allow them to voice their prayers and encourage them to ask God to help them shine their lights for Him this week.
- 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 Mark 4:21 written on it. On the back, ask the parents to remind their child each day about shining the light of God’s Word to others. 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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