Preschool Bible Lesson: The Rich Young Ruler

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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 is from passages in Mark 10:17-27 where a rich young man approaches Jesus and asks about eternal life. The challenge is to give up everything to follow after Christ. Even preschool children can set their affections on Jesus and begin to think of life as following after Him.

Bible Passage: Mark 10:17-27
Bible Lesson Title: The Rich Young Ruler
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 Twenty-One (37 minutes)
Scripture: Mark 10:17-27
Exegetical Idea: Jesus tests the rich young ruler, asking Him to give up everything to follow Him.
Pedagogical Idea: Jesus desires for us to love Him more than anything on earth, having hearts that are willing to give up everything to follow Him.
Cognitive Aim: Preschoolers will understand that God desires their whole hearts and to be their greatest love.
Affective Aim: Preschoolers will feel comfort in knowing that God can do the impossible, making a way for us to be a part of His kingdom.
Behavioral Aim: Preschoolers will pray, asking God to give them hearts that love Him more than anything on earth and will memorize Mark 10:27.
Memory Verse: Mark 10:27, “Looking at them, Jesus said, ‘With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.’”
Lesson Overview

  1. Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes) Description: Put on Bible outfits, introduce lesson Supplies: One of your most treasured possessions, chalk or marker board.
  2. God Revealed (15 minutes) Description: Experience the story. Supplies: Bible, imaginations
  3. Personal Pursuit (10 minutes) Description: Discuss what Jesus desires for us to learn from His teaching, pray together. Supplies: The treasured possessions list made from Kindle Curiosity (on the chalk or marker board), two pieces of paper per child with hearts drawn on each one, markers or crayons, scissors.
  4. Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes) Description: Memorize Mark 10:27. Supplies: Notecard with Mark 10:27 written on it.

**Before the children arrive, have the Bible outfits ready.  There are many wonderful truths in this Scripture passage that are not covered. Feel free to add and/or take away! It’s  hard to cover everything in such a short time.
1. Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes)

  • After the preschoolers have put on their Bible outfits, gather them around you on a soft blanket. State: I want to show you something very special, something I treasure very much. (Hold up your treasured possession.) This is one of my most valuable possessions. It is valuable to me because…(you fill in the blank.) What are some of your most treasured possessions? (Allow time for them to respond.) Sometimes we love other things more than Jesus. Our treasured possessions can sometimes get in the way of loving Him with our whole heart.
  • State: Today we are going to see Jesus tell a young man to leave all of his treasured possessions to follow Him. I wonder what he will do… Let’s get ready to experience Jesus together!

2. God Revealed (15 minutes)

  • State: I need one of you to be the young man in the story. (Choose a child.) The rest of you will be disciples of Jesus. I will be Jesus.
  • Instruct the child to run up to Jesus (you), kneel before Him, and ask, “Good teacher, what must I do to have eternal life?” Say to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know all of the commandments.”
  • Instruct the child to say, “Teacher, I have kept all these things from my childhood up until now. I have not broken any of the commandments.”
  • State: As Jesus looked at this young man, he felt a love for him. Say, “One thing you lack: go and sell all you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
  • Ask: What do you think the man did? (allow them time to respond.) State: At these words, the man became very sad. He went away grieving, for he was very rich and owned a lot of things (allow the child to act this out).
  • Jesus (you), looking around him, said to His disciples, “How hard it will be for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!”

3. Personal Pursuit (10 minutes)

  • Gather the children around you. Ask: Was this young man a good person? Why? Did this young man love Jesus with His whole heart? Why? This rich young man had been very good. He followed all of the ten commandments. But he was not willing to give up all of his nice things for Jesus. He could not love Jesus with his whole heart because he loved his things too much!
  • State: Remember my treasure I showed you? Remember the things you told me that were your most treasured possessions? Go over the things they listed.
  • Ask: Do you think we could give these things up to follow Jesus? Why would Jesus ask us to give up our things for Him?
  • State: Jesus desires for us to have hearts that will give up everything to follow Him. He does not call everyone to give up everything, but He does ask us to not love anything in life, even our families, more than Him. He wants us to have hearts that are ready to give up all of our things for Him because we love Him so much more than anything else.
  • State: This is not easy! In fact, it can seem impossible. This is what Jesus told His disciples, “With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.” So it is impossible for us to love Jesus more than all of these things by ourselves. We have to turn to God and ask Him to give us hearts that love Him more than anything, hearts that would give up everything to follow Him! Let’s do that now.
  • Have a time of prayer with the children about what they have heard.
  • Activity: Have two hearts drawn on two separate pieces of paper. Pass out the first heart to each child. Explain to them that this is a picture of our hearts before we give them fully to Jesus. Have them draw in the hearts everything they love, specifically some of their most treasured possessions discussed before. Have them cut out the hearts. Then pass out the second heart. Explain that this should be a picture of our hearts after we have given them fully over to Jesus. They can draw Jesus in the heart or write out His name or any other creative ideas. Have them cut out this heart as well. Now tape the top of the second heart (the Jesus heart) over the top of the first one so that they are able to flip it upward. Explain that the things they love can still be in their hearts, but after they are given over fully to Jesus, He is first, or on top. He should always be our first and greatest love.  When Christ has our full hearts, it is easier for us to give up these other things if He asks us to.
  • Optional Gospel implications: This story also brings out the essential truth that salvation is not by works but by grace through faith in Christ. Draw a heart on the board. Talk about the ten commandments and ask which ones they have broken. Each time you discuss breaking a ten commandment, color in a little part of the heart black. Explain that none of us can be perfect. We all sin. It is not by following all of the rules that we enter into the kingdom of heaven (the young man’s question). It is only by giving our hearts fully to Christ, trusting in Him for our salvation, that our hearts are made clean (erase the black), and we are able to spend eternity in Christ’s kingdom. It may seem impossible to give every bit of our hearts to God, but God has made it possible through Christ. With Him, all things are possible!
  • Optional worship time: Chris Tomlin, Enough
4. Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes)

  • State: The more you come to know Jesus and love Him, the better you will be able to have a heart that would give up everything for Him.  One way we can come to know Jesus more is by memorizing God’s Word. Today we are going to memorize a verse that helps us to know Jesus alone can do the impossible of giving us hearts that love Him above all else. Our verse is Mark 10:27, “Looking at them, Jesus said, ‘With people it is impossible, but not with God; for all things are possible with God.’” Let’s think of hand motions to help us memorize this verse!
  • 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. Encourage them to memorize the verse with their children. Provide each parent with a notecard that has Mark 10:27 written on it.

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