Each week’s content will correspond with the kid’s lesson on Sunday morning, whether you are joining us online or in person!
The Kingdom Parables (January 30)
One day, Jesus went out and sat by the sea. Large crowds of people gathered around Him, so He got into a boat and sat down. All the people stood on the shore. Then Jesus told the people parables, or stories, to teach them about the kingdom of God. Help kids find Matthew 13. Read Matthew 13:31-32.
Jesus told a parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed that a man planted in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it grows taller than the garden plants. It becomes a tree, and the birds come and build nests in its branches.” Jesus continued, “The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, or yeast, that a woman mixed into fifty pounds of flour. The leaven makes the dough rise.” Jesus told another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure, buried in a field, that a man found. He reburied it, and then he joyfully sold everything he had and bought that field.” Then Jesus said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls. When he found one priceless pearl, he went and sold everything he had and bought it.” When Jesus finished teaching the crowds, He left that place and went to Nazareth.
- Who fulfilled Isaiah’s prophecy about listening and not understanding? (those who didn’t understand Jesus’ parables, Matt. 13:13-14)
- How is the kingdom of heaven like a mustard seed? (It looks small but grows large and provides shelter, Matt. 13:32)
- How is the kingdom of heaven like a buried treasure? (It is valuable and worth giving up everything to get, Matt. 13:44)
Grade School Questions
- Have you ever had to give up something to follow Jesus? Guide kids to discuss situations they may have faced where they had to choose obedience over popularity, comfort, or another thing the world can offer. Be prepared to share your own experiences too.
- Would you give up everything to follow Jesus? Help the kids think through the kinds of sacrifices some believers must make, such as missionaries or those living in places hostile to Jesus. Remind them that God may not tell them to give up everything, but they are called to be ready if necessary.
- How can you help God’s kingdom grow? Talk through ways kids can live on mission. Help them come up with ways to show love to others and creative ways they can share the gospel with friends and loved ones. Remind them that nd courage to know God’s will and obey it.
Activity: Find the Treasure
Supplies Needed: Plastic gems or coins, large tub, beans or play sand.
Do: Place a few plastic gems or plastic coins in a large tub. Fill the tub with dry beans or play sand. Allow the kids to take turns sifting through the beans to find the treasure hidden within. You may wish to prepare a tub for every two or three kids so that all kids may play at the same time.
Say: Finding a buried treasure may sound to you like the start of a wonderful adventure story. Jesus explained that the kingdom of God is like a buried treasure. Entering God’s kingdom is the start of a wonderful adventure too!
Three Parables (February 6)
In Luke 19, Jesus went after Zacchaeus, a chief tax collector. Zacchaeus was not well liked, but his interaction with Jesus led him to repent of his wrongdoing. Jesus said to him, “The Son of Man has come to seek and to save the lost” (Luke 19:10).
Who are “the lost”? What does it mean to be lost? In Luke 15, Jesus told three parables to the crowd of tax collectors, sinners, Pharisees, and scribes. Jesus’ teaching brought gospel truth to the tax collectors and sinners—those whose unrighteousness separated them from God—and to the Pharisees and scribes—those whose relied on their own righteous efforts for salvation.
Jesus came to seek and save the lost. The lost are any people who do not have a personal relationship with Jesus. It is important for us to know that God loves the lost, because it helps us understand God’s incredible love. Because God is perfect and holy, He would be just to leave us alone in sin. Instead, He sent Jesus to save us.
- What did the Pharisees and scribes complain about? (Jesus’ welcoming sinners, Luke 15:2)
- How did the three characters from the parables react when what they lost was found? (by rejoicing and celebrating; Luke 15:6,9,32)
- Why was the older brother angry at the end of that parable? (He felt his father was treating him unfairly, Luke 15:29-30)
Grade School Questions
- Do you ever feel like running away from God to live your own way? Guide kids to think about the choices they make. Help them think through times when it may feel like obeying God is a burden, such as when a seeing popular movie or playing a popular video game dishonors Him. Encourage kids to speak openly about when it is hard to obey God.
- Do you ever feel like it’s unfair for God to love people who disobey Him? Help kids see that all people are sinners. We often try to rank our sin or compare it to other people’s sin to justify why we chose to sin. Help kids understand that all sin deserves death.
- How should we react to a person becoming a believer in Jesus? Direct kids to remember how God reacts to sinners’ repenting. Discuss the fact that God welcomes sinners and loves them. Help them see that we should respond like God does, with joy and celebration, not with doubt or skepticism.
Supplies Needed: 10 Coins
Do: Hide 10 plastic coins in the room. Invite the kids to find the lost coins. You may choose to time them and see how quickly they are able to find all 10.
Say: Great job finding those coins! Have any of you ever lost money? It can be very frustrating to misplace money. Today we will hear about a story Jesus told in which a woman searched her whole house to find just one missing coin out of ten. How would you feel if you found a lost coin?
Jesus’ Hard Teachings (February 13th)
Many people misunderstood Jesus’ teaching. Let’s work together to make sure we don’t make that same mistake. Jesus called Himself the bread of life. On another occasion He said that He gives living water. In both those situations, Jesus used non-literal language. That just means “words that mean more than they seem to.” Jesus wasn’t talking about physical bread and water. He was talking about the salvation and satisfaction we get from faith in God. Just as our physical bodies need food and water to live, our souls need Jesus and the Holy Spirit to love and obey God.
When Jesus talked about eating flesh and drinking blood, He was really hinting at what would soon happen to Him. He would be killed, and He would bleed to provide salvation from sin to everyone who believes. When we consume the Lord’s Supper, it helps us remember Jesus’ sacrifice. A lot of the people didn’t understand what Jesus meant, and they decided they didn’t want anything to do with Him anymore. I love Peter’s response though. When understanding and obeying Jesus seemed very hard, Peter knew that there was nowhere else to go. No one but Jesus could speak the words of God. Only Jesus offers eternal life. I pray we respond the same way when following Jesus is hard.
Open your Bibles to John 6.
- What did Jesus say God wants people to do? (believe in Him, John 6:29)
- Who will have eternal life? (everyone who believes in Jesus; John 6:40)
- Why did many of Jesus’ followers go away from Him? (His teaching was difficult to understand and accept, John 6:60-66)
Grade School Questions
- How can we eat Jesus’ flesh and drink His blood? Remind the kids that Jesus was not speaking literally. Guide them to think about the way Jesus’ body would be killed and His blood spilled to make the way for us to be saved. Discuss how believers consume the Lord’s Supper to remember Jesus’ sacrifice for us.
- Who can help you understand the Bible? Direct the kids to pastors, elders, deacons, their parents, and so forth. Remind them that God has sent the Holy Spirit to live within believers. He helps us understand God’s Word with the help of other believers.
- How can we help people who don’t know Jesus come to understand and believe in Him? Guide kids to practical steps they can take, like offering to read their Bibles with friends or inviting them to church. Remind the kids that only the Holy Spirit can make other people understand the truth, but we should try to give them the opportunity to hear it. Talk about what living on mission means and how it accomplishes that goal.
Activity: Do you Understand?
Supplies Needed: None
Do: Invite the kids to gather in the center of the room, with enough space around them to sit and stand without bumping their neighbors. Ask questions about natural occurrences. Kids will stand if they understand how it works and sit if they do not.
Jesus Raised Lazarus (February 20th)
Open your Bible to John 11. Read John 11:25-26. When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, He showed that He has power over death. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life.” Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose from the dead. He gives eternal life to those who trust in Him.
Our life with God starts as soon as we trust in Jesus. We gain hope, joy, and peace. And beyond that, even after our physical bodies die we will be alive with God in heaven. When Jesus returns, He will raise us from the dead forever and fix everything sin has broken.
- How long had Lazarus been in the tomb when Jesus arrived in Bethany? (four days, John 11:17)
- Who did Martha say Jesus is? (the Messiah, the Son of God; John 11:27)
- What happened when Jesus told Lazarus to come out? (Lazarus obeyed, John 11:44)
Grade School Questions
- How can we know Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God? Guide kids to think about what Jesus said about Himself, what others said about Jesus, and what Jesus’ actions communicated. Remind the kids that only God has power over death. Jesus is God the Son, and we can trust what the Bible says about Him.
- What does it mean to live even if you die? Direct kids to think about the new life we receive through Jesus. Help the kids think through both the abundant life we receive as soon as we become Christians and the resurrection and eternal life we are promised in the future. Eternal life starts right away.
- How do you feel when you think about death? Help kids process the complexity of grief. Remind kids that sadness about death is normal and healthy. Explain that death was not part of God’s original design for creation. Point out that Christians have hope even in sadness because we know that death is not the end for those in Christ. All believers who die are reunited with God and live in His perfect kingdom forever.
Activity: Good Friends
Supplies Needed: None
Do: Select a kid to start by saying one thing about herself that she believes makes her a good friend. Allow
each kid to share something about himself that makes him a good friend. End the game by asking the kids what
about Jesus makes Him a good friend.
Say: Jesus is the best friend we could ever have. Today, we will hear a story about a time when one of Jesus’ friends got sick and the friend’s sisters asked Jesus to come heal him. Jesus didn’t go right away but waited until the friend died! Do you think that something like death can stop Jesus from being a good friend? No way! We’ll learn more soon.
God’s Covenant with Abraham (Feb. 27th)
Abram lived with his wife Sarai (SEHR igh). Abram was part of Noah’s family who had spread out on the earth after the great flood. God chose Abram and told him to move to a place he had never been. God promised Abram three things: a large family, land for his family, and blessing. This was a good promise. But Abram was sad because he didn’t have any children to inherit his blessing.
Abram obeyed God. He went with his wife and nephew to the land of Canaan. God had a plan. He took Abram outside to remind him of His promise. “Look at the sky and count the stars, if you can,” God said. Abram couldn’t count the stars. There were too many! “Your family will be that numerous,” God promised. Abram believed God, and God was pleased.
While Abram slept, God told him what would happen in the future. He said that Abram’s family would be slaves in another country for 400 years. Then God would judge the nation and bless Abram’s family. But first, Abram would live a long, peaceful life. When it was dark, a smoking fire pot and a flaming torch representing God passed between the animals. This showed that God would be responsible for keeping His promise. Years passed, and Abram still did not have the promised son. God hadn’t forgotten, though. He promised that Abraham would become the father of many nations. God was so serious about His promise that He changed Abram’s name to Abraham, which means “Father of Many.” He changed Sarai’s name to Sarah. God said, “I will bless Sarah. She will have a son, and you will name him Isaac.” God promised to keep His covenant through Isaac and his future family.
- What three things did God promise to Abraham? (a large family, land for his family, and blessings; Gen. 12:1-3)
- What did God say the size of Abraham’s family would compare to? (the number of stars in the sky, Gen. 15:5)
- Did Abraham walk between the animals? (No, only a fire pot and flame torch passed through; Gen. 15:17)
Grade School Questions
- Why do you think Abraham trusted God’s plan? Lead kids to discuss the idea that God is faithful and good. Discuss what it means for God to do things for His glory and our good.
- Have you ever been asked to do something difficult that you did not fully understand? Share personal stories and encourage kids to share their own experiences. Remind kids that our desires to be comfortable and safe can lead us to distrust God, but that His plans are always best.
- What are some ways our salvation through Jesus is similar to God’s promise to Abraham? Help kids to recognize that in both cases, it is God who keeps the promise. God loves us even when we choose sin, and He will faithfully keep His promise to rescue everyone who believes in Jesus.
Activity: Name Meaning Research
Supplies Needed: Large Sheet of paper, markers or crayons
Do: Use a baby name book or a computer that can access the Internet to help your kids research their name’s meaning.
Allow the kids to write their names on a large sheet of paper, along with their names’ meanings. Encourage them to draw
pictures that represent what their name means.
Say: The names our parents choose to give us sometimes have meaning based on what our parents felt when we were born or what they hope will be true about us. God changed Abram’s name to Abraham, which means “father of many nations.” God made a covenant to bless the whole world through Abraham. God used Abraham’s new name as a way to reassure him that the promised family would come. In our lives, sometimes it can be hard to trust God when we don’t understand His plans. Why can we trust God? We can trust God because He is faithful and does everything for His glory and our good.
From Adam to Jesus (March 6th)
Help kids find Matthew 1; Luke 3; John 1. Explain that these books are in the Gospels division of the New Testament. These books, along with Mark, tell the story of Jesus’ life and ministry on earth, including His death and resurrection.
- Where was Jesus before He was born as a human baby? (with God the Father, John 1:1)
- Who was Jesus’ earthly father? (Joseph, Luke 3:23)
Grade School Questions
- Why is it important to understand who was part of Jesus’ family? Guide kids to understand that many of God’s promises about the coming Messiah had to do with specific families. Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were promised blessings to bless the world; and David was promised a descendant who would reign forever. Seeing Jesus’ family line helps us understand that Jesus is the Messiah.
- How do you feel knowing Jesus’ family was not perfect? Discuss the idea that God uses imperfect people to bring about His perfect plans. Jesus’ family was not perfect, our families are not perfect, and we are not perfect. Even so, God can use us in His plans.
- How can we be a part of God’s family? Remind kids that Jesus’ death and resurrection made the way for us to be forgiven of sin and adopted into God’s family. Even though people in God’s family are not perfect, we can love one another and help one another with God’s power and help. Someday all believers will be perfected at Jesus’ return and the restoration of the world.
Activity: Domino Effects
Supplies Needed: Dominoes
Do: Help the kids set up various patterns of dominoes. Instruct them to take turns pushing over the first domino to observe what happens. Challenge them to make many patterns and see if there are any patterns that won’t all fall down when the first domino is pushed.
Say: Each domino that fell led right into the next. In a way, that’s kind of like our families. Each set of parents had kids, leading to the next generation. Jesus had a human family just like we do. His family can be traced back very far.
Jesus’ Triumphal Entry (March 13)
Open their Bibles to Matthew 21 and Luke 19. Explain that the story of Jesus’ triumphal entry is found in all four Gospels. Ask your kids to name the four Gospels. (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John) Remind them that the Gospels tell of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection. Choose volunteers to read aloud Matthew 21:9 and Luke 19:38.
- What did Jesus send His two friends into the village to get for Him? (a donkey)
- Who was not happy that the people were praising Jesus? (religious leaders)
- What will Jesus ride when He returns? (a white horse)
Grade School Questions
- Why do you think the people welcomed Jesus as King? (Help your kids recognize that the people knew the prophecies and believed Jesus was the Messiah who was promised long ago.)
- What type of Messiah were the Jewish people expecting? (Many were expecting the Messiah to be the conqueror of the Roman Empire, but God had another plan- a plan to save people from sin.)
Activity: Make Invitations
Supplies needed: Colored Paper, markers, crayons, stickers, etc.
Do: Have each one of your children create an invitation for someone they could invite to join them for church next week.
Say: We have talked about how people welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem as their King for all eternity. Do you have any friends or family members you want to invite to learn more about Jesus?
Jesus Was Questioned (March 20)
Open your Bibles to Matthew 22. This week’s story was found in three of the four books in the New Testament called the Gospels. Read aloud Matthew 22:22. Sometimes the same story is found in three of the four Gospels. Each writer highlights different parts of the story. This gives us even more detail as we look into each account of the story recorded in the different Gospels.
- Who asked Jesus questions and why? (religious leaders, to try to trick Him)
- What did Jesus say is the most important command? (“Love the Lord your God with all your heart.”)
- What did Jesus say is the second most important command? (“Love your neighbor as yourself.”)
Grade School Questions
- Why did the religious leaders ask Jesus questions? Were they really interested in what Jesus was teaching? (The religious leaders were only questioning Jesus to try to catch Him doing something wrong. Jesus knew what they were trying to do and answered them with wisdom and authority.)
- How can we answer life’s questions with wisdom? (We can find the answers to life’s questions as we spend time with the Lord through prayer and reading His Word. When we hide God’s Word in our heart, we too can answer with wisdom.)
Activity: Answering with Wisdom
Supplies needed: Bible
Do: Have your kids grab Bibles and look up the following verses together. After reading them, talk together how the truth found in each verse might help them through certain hard times we face.
Psalm 56:3 (Fear)
John 14:27 (Anxiety)
Psalm 23:4 (Sadness)
Joshua 1:9 (Nervousness)
Say: As we go throughout life, we are certain to face hard times. The good news is we do not have to face those hard times alone. God has given us His Word, which provides wisdom, truth, and encouragement in times of need. God teaches us through His Word. If any of these verses comfort you, write down the references to read again later when you go through something difficult or share with someone who might need wisdom from God’s Word.
The Last Supper (March 27)
Open your Bibles to Luke 22. This week’s story is found in all four Gospels. This story shows us that Jesus lived a sinless life, died on the cross, and rose from the dead. Read Luke 22:19-20 together.
- What special celebration had Jesus and His disciples come to Jerusalem for? (Passover)
- What did Jesus say the bread was like? (His Body)
- What did Jesus say the cup was like? (His Blood)
Grade School Questions
- When was the old covenant established? What is the new covenant? (In the old covenant, God expected His people to live in a certain way. He explained this covenant to Abraham in Genesis. God’s people had broken the old covenant over and over, so God in His mercy established a new covenant. The new covenant says that everyone who turns away from sin and trusts in Jesus’ death and resurrection will be forgiven of his sins and have eternal life.)
- What must we do to be saved through the new covenant? (Our salvation is not dependent on our works because Jesus already lived a perfect life and died to pay for our sins. We receive the free gift of salvation by trusting Him as our Lord.)
Activity: Dinner with Friends
Supplies needed: dinner items and décor (plates, cups, napkins, cutlery, tablecloth, vase of flowers, etc.)
Do: Display items you might use for a special dinner. Ask your kids to think about how they would prepare for a very special dinner (clean the house, dust, change clothes, set the table, play music, etc.) and allow them to share together. Work together to set up the dinner table with all the supplies.
Say: Wow! This table looks beautiful! Like we talked about this week, Jesus prepared a special dinner with His disciples before He died. This meal was much more than just sharing food together; it was a special, meaningful time.
Jesus Was Arrested (April 3)
Help your kids find Mathew 26. Jesus allowed His enemies to arrest Him. In this way, He willingly laid down His life out of His love for us. We can share the good news about Jesus with others, laying down our lives for those around us by putting others before ourselves.
- What did Jesus and His disciples go to a garden to do? (to pray)
- Which disciple lead the angry crowd to Jesus? (Judas)
- What did Peter say when people asked him if he was Jesus’ friend? (“No! I don’t even know Him.”)
Grade School Questions
- Why did Jesus allow His enemies to arrest Him? (Jesus could have chosen not to be arrested. He is all-powerful. His enemies did not trap Him or catch Him. He willingly allowed them to arrest Him out of His humility and obedience o the father. Because of His love for us, He laid down His life.)
- Jesus laid down His life for us. How can we lay down our lives for others? (We can lay down our lives for others by making choices to place others before ourselves.)
Activity: Block Stack
Supplies needed: tower building supplies
Do: Have your family work together to build a tower until one person causes the block tower to fall down.
Instead of that player being out, change the rules so the previous player is out. Play until one person remains.
Say: Is this normally how this game would be played? But in this version of the game, a player who did not make the tower fall down had to pay the price for knocking it over. This week we learned how Jesus took the punishment for something He never did.
Jesus’ Crucifixion (April 10)
Help your kids find John 19. “It is finished!” Those were the last words Jesus spoke before He died. He declared victory with those words. He had obeyed the Father and paid the punishment for sin. We don’t have to work to be accepted by God. We can trust in Jesus, who did the work for us by living a perfect life. It is finished now and forever. Read aloud John 19:30.
- What did Jesus say about the lies the religious leaders told about Him? (nothing; He kept quiet)
- What did the sign about Jesus’ head say? (This is Jesus, the King of the Jews)
- Where was Jesus buried after He died? (in a tomb)
Grade School Questions
- What is the cost of sin? (Because of our sin, we deserve to die. But God loves us and sent Jesus to take the punishment in our place. We are saved only through the sinless Lamb of God’s death on the cross. He lived a perfect life, and salvation is found only in Him.)
- The Bible says the curtain in the temple sanctuary split in two. Why is this important? (The curtain that was torn separated the area in the temple called the holy of holies from the other areas of the temple. Only the high priest was allowed to enter this room and only at certain times. The curtain tore when Jesus said “It is finished!” showing that all who receive His salvation have full access to God the Father.)
Activity: Six Hours
Supplies needed: Clock
Do: Show on an analog clock how much time passes from 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock. Ask them to identify how many
hours pass between the two clocks. Challenge them to think of everything they did the previous day between 9 am
and 3 pm and list the activities on the paper. Who listed the most activities on their paper?
Say: You can do a lot in 6 hours. This week we learned about the most important six hours in all of history. In six hours, Jesus did something that changed everything.
Jesus’ Resurrection (April 17th)- Easter
Help kids find Matthew 28. On the third day after Jesus’ death, Mary Magdalene went to Jesus’ tomb. It was still dark, and she saw that the large stone at the entrance had been moved away. Mary ran to Simon Peter and John. “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and I don’t know where they have put Him!” she said. Peter and John ran to the tomb. John looked inside and saw the linen cloths lying there. Then Peter went into the tomb and saw the linen cloths too. The cloth that had been around Jesus’ head was folded up. John believed that Jesus was alive.
Jesus died on the cross for our sins, but He didn’t stay dead. God was pleased with Jesus’ sacrifice and raised Jesus from the dead to reign as King over all creation. Jesus provides salvation from sin and the promise of eternal life.
- Which woman was among the first people to learn of Jesus’ resurrection? (Mary Magdalene, Matt. 28:1)
- When Mary met Jesus, what did He tell her to do? (Go and tell the other disciples about His resurrection, Matt. 28:10)
- How did the religious leaders try to prevent people from learning about Jesus’ resurrection? (They bribed the soldiers to lie, saying the disciples stole the body; Matt. 28:12-15)
Grade School Questions
- Why is it important to know Jesus rose from the dead? Guide kids to think about what Jesus’ resurrection proved about His power over death. Had Jesus remained dead, it would show that His sacrifice was not perfect and did not fully pay for sin.
- What does it mean that Jesus defeated sin and death? Guide kids to think about the control sin has over the lives of those who are lost. Discuss the phrase “dead in sin” and the implication that we are powerless against sin. Remind kids that sin leads to death, both physical (we all die eventually) and spiritual (we are separated from God). Jesus’ victory over sin and death means we will rise again to live forever with God in a perfectly restored world.
- How do you feel when you think about Jesus’ resurrection? Guide kids to think through and process their emotions. Do they feel happy? Excited? Unsure? Remind kids that our feelings do not define what is true, but they can help us understand the truth of the gospel.
Activity: One Foot Wobblers
Supplies Needed: None
Do: Instruct the kids to stand in a circle. When you say “go,” kids will lift one foot. Whoever can stand on one foot the longest wins the game.
Say: It was difficult to stay standing on one foot for long. Eventually, you had to put your other foot down. Today, we learned about a time Jesus rose from the dead. He couldn’t stay dead and had to rise again.
The Emmaus Disciples (April 24th)
Open your Bible to Luke 24. Use the Bible storytelling tips on the Bible story page to help you tell the story or show the Bible story video “The Emmaus Disciples.”
Jesus needed to do some hefty weeding in the disciples’ lives. Their fear, confusion, and worries were choking out the truth that Jesus planted in them, just like weeds begin to take over crops and kill them. As we said earlier, to help our crops grow strong, we have to put in the hard work of weeding. To help His disciples grow strong in their faith, Jesus had to weed out the lies and clear away the confusion. Jesus taught that all the Scriptures point to Him. He reminded them of how God had been working all along to make the way for Jesus to defeat sin and death. He gave them the whole picture, filling in the missing pieces for them.
I love that Jesus kept Himself disguised while walking with the disciples. The Bible doesn’t tell us the exact reason, but I think I can guess one. It’s possible that Jesus wanted the disciples to focus on His words and teaching and not be overwhelmed by seeing Him alive.
At the right moment, when He knew they “got it,” He revealed Himself to them and then disappeared. The disciples were so excited, they immediately ran back to their friends in Jerusalem!
- Did the two disciples know Jesus was talking with them? (No, Luke 24:16)
- What had the people hoped Jesus would do? (Redeem Israel, Luke 24:21)
- What did Jesus use to teach about Himself? (All of the Scriptures, Luke 24:27)
- What is your favorite Old Testament story, and how does it point to Jesus? Guide kids to discuss stories they enjoyed learning about from the Old Testament.
Grade School Questions
- When do you feel most excited about Jesus and the gospel? Encourage the kids to be honest about their feelings. Some kids may feel most excited when learning new things about the Bible. Other kids may feel most excited when doing good deeds to honor Jesus with their lives. And still others may feel most excited when they are singing praises or praying to Him. Help kids see that all three are normal, good responses to the truth of Jesus.
- How can we be a part of the story of Jesus? Guide kids to think about the ways we can live on mission and allow God’s power to work through us. Discuss the importance of using our time, talents, and resources to glorify Jesus in the world.
Supplies Needed: Basket, Blindfold, Tennis Ball
Do: Instruct the kids to form a line. Place an empty basket opposite the kids. Blindfold the first kid in line and give her a tennis ball. Invite her to toss the ball into the basket. Allow each kid to take a turn. Consider awarding points to kids who successfully land the ball in the basket. You may play additional rounds without the blindfold for comparison.
Say: After Jesus rose from the dead, different people saw Him at different times, but some of them were still spiritually blind to the truth about Him found in God’s Word. Today we learned about a time Jesus helped two disciples better understand the full truth about Himself.
Jesus Appeared to the Disciples (May 1)
Open your Bible to Luke 24; John 20. Use the Bible storytelling tips on the Bible story page to help you tell the story or show the Bible story video “Jesus Appeared to the Disciples.” Have you ever heard news so good you didn’t believe it at first? That’s probably how some of Jesus’ disciples felt. They may have remembered that Jesus said He would die and rise again but coming back from the dead is easier said than done!
Jesus proved He is alive by appearing to His disciples. He didn’t just show up either. He spoke to them, allowed them to feel the marks the nails left, and ate with them. Thomas, who wasn’t with the others at the time, did not believe. Thomas even said that he would never believe unless he saw and felt Jesus for himself.
It was foolish of Thomas to refuse to believe, but in many ways, we are similar. We may say we believe the truth of Jesus, but often the way we live or the sinful choices we make show that we don’t fully believe Jesus. Full belief in Jesus means we worship Him as King of our lives. We lovingly obey Him and tell others about Him. When we choose sin, it suggests that somewhere in our hearts we think our ways are better than God’s ways. Thankfully, Jesus has already defeated sin and death. Even when we doubt, we can ask God to give us more faith to help us believe.
- Why did the disciples lock themselves indoors? (They feared those who had killed Jesus, John 20:19)
- Which disciple wasn’t there? (Thomas, John 20:24)
- What evidence did Thomas say he would need to believe Jesus rose? (To see and touch Jesus’ wounds, John 20:25)
Grade School Questions
- Was it sinful for Thomas to demand proof? Discuss Thomas’ reaction. Scripture isn’t clear on whether Thomas’ reaction was sinful or not, but he wasn’t just doubtful—he refused to believe. Additionally, Thomas was ignoring the evidence that had already been presented: Jesus told them He would rise again, and when the other disciples told Thomas they’d seen Jesus, he still refused to believe.
- Is it wrong to want evidence before believing something? Ensure the kids understand that having doubts isn’t wrong. Remind them that we shouldn’t believe something on blind faith—that is, with no evidence at all. Help them see that we have lots of evidence that the Bible is true, and the Bible itself is evidence that Jesus is who He said He is.
- What should we do when we doubt? Guide kids to think through whom they can talk to if they have doubts about their faith or the Bible. Remind them that they are not alone. Pray for them to have faith despite occasional doubt.
Activity: Believe It or Doubt It
Supplies Needed: Paper, Markers
Do: Create two signs: I Believe It and I Doubt It. Hang them on opposite sides of the room. Call out some outrageous statements, some true and some false. Instruct kids to stand under the sign that represents whether they believe it or doubt it. Before revealing the answer, allow kids to explain why they believe or why they doubt the information.
Bats are the only mammals that fly. (True)
The Pug is the smallest dog breed. (False, Chihuahua)
A grizzly bear can run as fast as a horse. (True)
A sneeze travels 200 miles per hour. (False, 100 mph)
The North Pole is warmer than the South Pole. (True)
Say: The more outrageous something is, the harder it is to believe. In today’s Bible story, Jesus’ disciples were told something they thought was completely outrageous: Jesus is alive! They had a hard time believing it.
Jesus Returned to Heaven (May 8th)
Open your Bible to Matthew 28; Acts 1. Use the Bible storytelling tips on the Bible story page to help you tell the story or show the Bible story video “Jesus Returned to Heaven.”
Jesus’ story didn’t end when He returned to heaven because He sent the Holy Spirit to live within His disciples. Jesus gave His disciples the Great Commission. The story of God’s loving plan for the world is still going on, even today! Now, when I think about Jesus’ ascension, I don’t feel sad. Instead, I feel excited and overjoyed to know that I get to be a part of the story! God’s love for the world is incredible. He did not send Jesus to save only people from Israel, but from every nation, tribe, and people group in the entire world.
- Where did Jesus tell the disciples to wait? (Jerusalem, Acts 1:4)
- What did Jesus say the disciples would receive? (Power from the Holy Spirit, Acts 1:8)
- How will Jesus return? (In the same way He went to heaven, Acts 1:11)
Grade School Questions
- How can we make disciples? Guide the kids to think through the parts of the Great Commission. Part of the command helps explain how to make disciples: teach them to obey Jesus and baptize them. Help the kids remember that baptism and obedience do not save us, but they are important signs that help show a person has put her faith in Jesus.
- How is having the Holy Spirit with us more beneficial than having Jesus still on earth? Point out that everything God does is always best. We know that the Holy Spirit with us is better because that’s how God planned things to be. In addition, it is better for the Holy Spirit to indwell all believers everywhere, than for Jesus to be on earth in one place at a time.
- How do you feel knowing that Jesus will come back? Help the kids focus on the hope we have for the future. The world is still broken by sin, but as we obey Jesus and make disciples, there will be more and more people trying to do God’s will and bring justice and peace to the world. Someday, Jesus will come and bring perfect, everlasting peace and justice.
Supplies Needed: None
Do: Select a kid to be the leader. Instruct the kids to line up behind the leader. The kids must follow the leader around he room mimicking any movements and behaviors the leader choses to do. Play multiple rounds, selecting a new kid to be the leader in each round.
Say: Great job following the leader! Today we will learn about the mission Jesus gave His followers. If we say Jesus is our King, that means we follow His lead!