This Sunday School lesson was designed for parents to use with their children at home on the week of March 22, 2020. Everything is included in the PDF download below (teaching notes, coloring pages, craft directions, game ideas, and worksheets). Use what is most helpful for your kids and ignore the rest. Families can also watch our children’s message, suggested music, and craft demonstration in the video playlist below.
Open Your Eyes! Sunday School Lesson on Jesus Healing a Blind Man
For this week’s Gospel lesson story, we will focus on the importance of keeping our eyes open. The miraculous healing of a man born blind is great, but that is not the only thing happening in this passage. Jesus is defying social norms, as He so often does. He opens the eyes of the blind man, but the eyes of others remain closed and refuse to acknowledge what is in their midst. Nothing is wrong with their vision, but they cannot see. For kids, we want to help them understand how to be aware of the needs of others around us. We should all seek to recognize God’s hand in our lives and in the world around us. God’s love gives us sight.
This “special edition” Sunday school lesson contains adaptations that are geared to doing at home, if circumstances present you with the need to stay away from the larger group church. With a little creativity, you can still guide your child(ren) through a fun and meaningful Bible lesson!
Lesson focus: This lesson looks at the miracle of Jesus healing a man born blind, all with some saliva and special instructions. We see the marvelous miracle that take place, but we also note that we need to “see” what God does in our lives, and what He would have us do in the lives of others.
Passage: John 9:1-41
Target Audience: Kindergarten-6th grade (or whoever you might have at home!)
Materials Needed: Blindfolds; household objects; dirt; paper plates, cups, or bags; markers or crayons; water colors; scissors; glue; chocolate pudding, Oreo cookies (optional for snack).
- Watch our children’s sermon video on John 9:1-41
- Compare another Children’s Church Lesson on Jesus Healing the Man Born Blind
Games & Lesson Introduction
If you are in the comfort of your home, or working with a small group, you have the blessing of flexibility with timing and activities. Feel free to kick things off and start conversation with any variety of openers. Additionally, you could sprinkle these throughout your “lesson” time, doing one in the beginning, one during the story, and one at the end. You might even want to extend an activity and do it at a later time in your day!
- What is that item? Let kids put on blindfolds to experience what life might be like without the sense of sight. Guide them around the house, using voice commands only if you need extra challenge. Have blindfolded kids feel, smell, or listen to various items around the house, and see if they can identify what the items are without seeing them.
- Blind drawing: how hard is it to draw without vision? Let kids draw a picture, or play Pictionary if multiple students are around. The catch: the person drawing cannot open their eyes or look at the paper while they are creating the image! (Use blindfolds for extra security.)
- Play “eye doctor”: create your own vision testing chart, writing letters or shapes in varying sizes on a large piece of paper. Post the paper, and see how far away kids can walk and still recite the items on the paper. Have them try to describe the letters with one eye or the other closed.
- Eye tricks! There are some great “brain benders” out
there, both in image format or in simple activities to try. For example: close
one eye. Hold two pencils (one in each hand) far apart from each other, and try
to bring them together so that they touch. It’s harder than you’d think! Here
are some other fun ideas:
- Make your own “Braille.” Learn about how blind people can read by using a special alphabet made with bumps and dots that their fingers can interpret. Have students look at the alphabet, and use a pencil or a chopstick to poke raised holes in a paper. Try to determine the message or words spelled using the Braille.
- Make some mud! Since Jesus healed the man by making mud, why not get a little dirty? Go outside and mix some water (or spit, if you want to be extra Biblically accurate!) with dirt to stir up some mud. Hesitant about the mess? Make a “mud” snack inside by whipping up a batch of chocolate pudding! Pouring the milk “spit” into the dry mix will make a tasty goopy treat. Add extra “dirt” on top with some crushed up Oreo cookies!
After a couple of fun activities, talk about how
amazing it is that we are able to see. God made our eyes so special, it’s like
a miracle. The parts of our eyeball take information to our brain, and the
brain “reads” it and tells us what we are seeing. Even the eyelashes and
eyebrows are important for keeping our eyes safe. It’s remarkable! If you have
extra time, you might even want to study up a bit on the eyeball, or do so
later as an extending option.
In today’s Bible story, we are going to read about a man who was born blind. He couldn’t see at all, and Jesus healed him! Some people, though, were not very impressed.
is one thing you would miss if you couldn’t see?
Bible Lesson: Jesus Heals a Blind Man in John 9:1-42
How you choose to experience the story will vary according to the ages and abilities of your children (and how many are participating). For younger children, you may wish to use a children’s or storybook version of the Bible, and explain details as you go.
Older kids can take turns helping to read the story. You can also turn this into a skit and have children act out the various parts as you are reading the narrative. You might find a short video version to reinforce it.
If your students have longer attention spans, feel free to read the whole story at once, and then discuss questions. If it works better, break things up into chunks and pause for questions as you go along.
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. 2 And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” 3 Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. 4 We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. 5 As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” 6 Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man’s eyes with the mud 7 and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing. -John 9:1-7
Explain the significance of what Jesus did. By making mud, He was technically doing “work”, which was forbidden on a Sabbath day. Jesus was explaining to His disciples that He was the light of the world, and was better than the specifics of the law. Also describe that people in the times of Jesus used to believe that physical trouble (like blindness) was the result of sin.
- Is it true that sin causes problems? (Yes, and all of us are sinners; however, people born with handicaps are not that way because of sin. They are just born that way).
- If a stranger came and gave you odd instructions (like Jesus did to this man), what would you do?
The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar were saying, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” 9 Some said, “It is he.” Others said, “No, but he is like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” 10 So they said to him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed and received my sight.” 12 They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.” -John 9:8-12
Ask kids why they think these neighbors didn’t believe what had happened. Why did this seem so impossible?
Did the (formerly) blind man know who Jesus was? (No, because Jesus sent him away to wash, so he never saw Jesus).
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. 14 Now it was a Sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. 15 So the Pharisees again asked him how he had received his sight. And he said to them, “He put mud on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not keep the Sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?” And there was a division among them. 17 So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him, since he has opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.”
18 The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight, until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight 19 and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered, “We know that this is our son and that he was born blind. 21 But how he now sees we do not know, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” 22 (His parents said these things because they feared the Jews, for the Jews had already agreed that if anyone should confess Jesus to be Christ, he was to be put out of the synagogue.) 23 Therefore his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.” -John 9:13-23
Explain that the church leaders were upset by what had happened. They were very focused on following the law, and couldn’t believe someone who didn’t abide by their rules could do something positive and miraculous.
- Have there ever been times when you were distracted from a blessing because you were focused on something different?
- What did the blind man say about Jesus? How do you think he felt about Jesus?
So for the second time they called the man who had been blind and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” 25 He answered, “Whether he is a sinner I do not know. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” 26 They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” 28 And they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. 29 We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” 30 The man answered, “Why, this is an amazing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. 31 We know that God does not listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does his will, God listens to him. 32 Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a man born blind. 33 If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” 34 They answered him, “You were born in utter sin, and would you teach us?” And they cast him out. 35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and having found him he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man? 36 He answered, “And who is he, sir, that I may believe in him?” 37 Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and it is he who is speaking to you.” 38 He said, “Lord, I believe,” and he worshiped him. 39 Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 40 Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 41 Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains. -John 9:24-42
The Pharisees refused to truly “see” the amazing thing that had happened. Jesus opened the blind man’s eyes, and He recognized a miracle. But the teachers were too inwardly concentrated. They were upset and threatened by Jesus. It might seem strange, but if we think about it, sometimes we can get so wrapped up in ourselves that we fail to see what God is doing around us. People are in need and hurting, both near and far. If all we look at are our own problems, we miss out on opportunities to help others. Consider a few closing questions:
- Why do you think it was easy for the (formerly) blind man to accept and believe who Jesus was?
- Do you ever have a hard time believing what God has done, or understanding how miraculous it is?
- Do we ever behave like the Pharisees in the story?
- How do you think we can try to keep our “eyes open” to the needs of those around us?
Close with prayer and thank God for Jesus. Ask for help to see those around us who need His love, and to appreciate what He has done in our lives.
Bible Crafts on Jesus Healing the Blind Man
These Sunday School crafts are included in the combined download at the top of this page as well.
Bible Coloring Pages
Our website has hundreds of free Bible coloring pages, here are a few we recommend for this lesson plan.