Here is another Thanksgiving lesson plan for your children’s ministry. It was written by Doug Wolter, the Pastor of Children & Education at LaGrange Baptist Church. You can read more from Doug at his blog Life Together.
This lesson presents the story of Jesus and the Ten Lepers from Luke 17:11-19. It could be used in an elementary or preteen Sunday School class or in your children’s church. The lesson is best suited for older elementary kids (preteens), but could be adapted for your any children’s ministry setting. Be sure to modify this lesson for your ministry context. Leave your comments at the bottom of this page.
ALL GIFTS FROM GOD SHOULD POINT US TO GOD AND CAUSE US TO GIVE THANKS TO GOD
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- What holiday is coming next? – Thanksgiving! When should we give thanks?
- I want to tell you a story about thanksgiving – The 10 Lepers (Luke 17:11-19)
What is leprosy? –a contagious skin disease…(have you ever had chicken pox?) This is worse! lots of sores, may even lose fingers & toes!
- Nobody wanted to be with the lepers since they looked really different and had all those sores on their bodies; they had to live away from all the healthy people, including their family and friends
- But still they had heard of Jesus and how he had healed a lot of people and so they yelled for his help!
Jesus says, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”
- One of the things that the priests would do was to make sure that someone was well enough to be around the other people in the town
- Jesus said that they should go to the priests to show them that they were healed even before he had healed any of them.
As they went, they were healed – Jesus is God, heals from a distance, with a word
- I wonder what that was like! They all were walking and all of sudden they were healed from head to toe! I bet they were celebrating and dancing all around!
- BUT… the Bible says that only one of the men turned around and came back. And he was praising God in a loud voice! You see…just as the men were shouting for Jesus to have mercy and heal them at the beginning of the story…this man was now shouting in a loud voice to thank God for what He had done to heal him. He bowed down in front of Jesus and thanked Jesus.
- Just then Jesus asked, “Didn’t I heal all ten of the men?” Where are the other nine?” “Are you the only one who has returned to give praise to God?” And he said to this man, “Rise and go, your faith has made you well.”
All gifts from God should point us back to God and cause us to give thanks to God!
Text: Luke 17:11-19 (Story of the 10 Lepers)
Back when I was about 10 years old, I was so excited for Christmas to come. I really wanted to get one of those big remote controlled cars. Well, just like every year, on Christmas Eve my family got into our car and we went to church. As we were singing the songs I couldn’t help but think about that remote control car. Finally the church service ended and we got back home. We looked in our stockings and then we went upstairs to open presents. We took turns opening up our gifts, and the first gift I opened was a pair of dress pants. I tried to look happy as I glanced at my mom and dad and said, “Thank you.” After watching the rest of my family open gifts, it was my turn again. I opened my second gift and guess what it was? A nice dress shirt to go with my dress pants. Now by this time, I was getting a little impatient and I faked a smile and told my older sister, “Thank you for the shirt.” After what seemed like forever as I watched the rest of my family take turns opening gifts, it was my turn again. This time, the box I was opening looked like it held a remote control car, so I was really getting excited. But when I opened up the box, do you know what it was? Two pairs of socks. Not even white socks, they were black socks! Yuck! Nobody wants socks for Christmas, let alone black socks. I was mad, and I didn’t see anymore gifts under the tree for me. I didn’t bother thanking my brother for the socks; instead I gave an expression to everyone like, “What is the deal? Have I really grown up that fast that all I get is clothes this year? Don’t I deserve more than that? About that time, I heard a strange sound coming from the other room. I noticed that my Dad had his hands behind him trying to maneuver something. Then, all of a sudden a huge shiny red remote control car came zooming down the hallway coming right at me. I couldn’t believe it! I picked it up and looked at it and hugged it. My frown changed to a big smile and I immediately said, “This is more like it!” My dad, who was holding the controls, handed it to me with a grin on his face. But without any word of thanks at all to my dad or to my mom, I took the remote control car downstairs and played with it for most of the night.
I didn’t really care about who gave me the remote control car as long as I got it. You see, in my sinful heart, I wanted the gift much more than I wanted the Giver of the gift. I smiled at the remote control car. I hugged it, and I spent time with it without even thinking about my parents who gave it to me.
This is how we are with God. We forget about Him so easily. We love His gifts and love His blessings, but do we really love Him? We get more excited about the things He gives us and end up forgetting about Him. This is sin. Because all gifts from God should point us back to God and cause us to give thanks to God!
Are we like the nine lepers that receive so much from God and never think about thanking Him…or are we like the one man who returned immediately when he was healed to give thanks to God? Gifts are good, but they aren’t God! We have even more reason to thank God if we have placed our faith in Jesus. He has healed us of something even worse than leprosy—sin! Did you notice at the beginning—Jesus was on his way to Jerusalem, the cross! Jesus thought of you as he went to the cross. Trust him today.