Loving Jesus

•    Date Used: February 7, 2010

•    Scripture: Mark 2:18-28

•    Theme: It’s not about obeying a bunch of rules; Jesus wants us to come to Him, to be in relationship with Him, because we love Him.

•    Designed for children Grade 4, 5, 6

•    Author/Assembler: Teresa Klassen

Introducing The Big Idea (5 minutes)

(Have an empty chair beside you as you give this introduction) Let’s pretend that Jesus is sitting in this chair. Wow…Jesus!  Can you imagine if he was and we could ask him anything? We could ask him to tell us all kinds of stories of all the amazing things he did. We could ask him about how he walked on water…we could ask him about how he fed 5000 people with a little loaf of bread, we could ask him about how he made a blind man see and a crippled man walk, we could ask him what heaven is like and what it was like to create the whole world…

Wow, that would be so cool if Jesus was sitting right here!!

But what if you walked into the room and saw Jesus sitting here but someone else would come up to you and would say, “you can’t visit with Jesus unless you follow all these rules!” What if they would tell you you had to…. (list off a bunch of things they need to obey and do it a little quickly so they actually do get tired out following the rules…when you have done a few then get someone else to come up and call out some rules…)

Rule 1: Sit down

Rule 2: Stand up

Rule 3: Sit down

Rule 4: Stand up

Rule 5: Hop 3 times on one foot

Rule 6: Hop 3 times on the other foot

Etc. (just make them do a bunch of silly things…)

Jesus would be sitting here, wondering what is wrong with you!! Why are you trying to follow all these rules when he is right here, waiting to be with you!

Tell The Story (5-8 Minutes)

There is a story in the Bible about one person who thought by just keeping rules they would show love to Jesus and another person who knew that Jesus just really wants our heart and not just a bunch of rule keeping.

Read the story of Jesus, Mary and Martha from the Bible and then have the kids act it out.

Act It Out (5-8 Minutes)

Jesus Comes For Dinner

Choose volunteers to act out the story. Provide scripts for each child. If you want to use props you can, but you don’t have to.

Narrator:    Mary and Martha and Lazarus were brother and sisters. They lived in a town called “Bethany.” They were all at home one day; Mary and Lazarus were playing a game of checkers, while Martha was busy, busy, busy cleaning up the house.  It was just an ordinary day, when suddenly there was a knock at the door (have someone knock).  Lazarus opened the door and there was Jesus!

Lazarus (excited): Hey, look everybody, Jesus is here!

Mary: Come in! Come in!

Martha: Oh no! I didn’t sweep the floor yet!

Jesus: It’s so good to see all of you. I was travelling around and just had to stop in to see my very good friends.

Lazarus: So glad you did.  Come sit down on this chair and tell us what you have been doing.

Narrator: Mary sat down by Jesus’ feet and Lazarus sat down next to Jesus.  But Martha looked very worried and said

Martha: What am I going to do now? The house is a mess, I haven’t mowed the lawn, the windows have fingerprints on them, the dishes are drying on the counter still and I just know Jesus is going to be hungry.

Narrator: Martha knew Jesus was a special guest, a VERY special guest, she began to worry about what to feed him for lunch!

Martha: I can’t give Jesus Grilled Cheese Sandwiches!  I have to make Roast Beef or barbecued Steak or Lobster! I need to make a salad. I need to bake a cake! How will I ever get all this done???

Narrator:    So Martha went to work.  The kitchen was hot and she was pulling out pots and pans and bowls and spoons.

Martha: This is so much work, isn’t it Mary? (she looks around) Mary? Mary?

Narrator:    Where in the world was Mary? Martha looked up and down and sideways but couldn’t find her. And then she looked around the corner and there was Mary, sitting and listening to Jesus!

Jesus: You should have been there. One minute he was lying on a mat, and the next minute he was walking. He was healed and everyone was amazed. But even more amazing is that I forgave His sins and so he walked away a free man. He was so happy.

Mary: Jesus, I could listen to you all day…

Martha (says this angrily to herself): All day! All day! She could listen to him all day while I work in the kitchen. That is so selfish of her.  What does she think!?

Martha tries to get Mary’s attention but Mary is listening to Jesus and isn’t at all distracted by her.

Martha: Now what?  Do I have to set the table myself? Do I have to bring all the food out myself? Do I have to serve it myself? Why isn’t anyone in here helping me? I have a list a mile long of things to do!

Narrator: Finally, Martha couldn’t take it anymore. She walked right up to Jesus and said:

Martha: Jesus! I have spent all this time in the kitchen. I am working like crazy and it is really starting to bother me that Mary is just sitting around. Tell her to come and help me!

Narrator:    Martha was stressed out! She really thought Mary was being unfair to her.  Martha showed Jesus her list of “things to do”. Jesus looked at her kindly and said,

Jesus: Martha, Martha. Why are you running around like this? Why are you so worried about the food and about the house?  I never asked you to do that. I came here to BE with you. Here you are, rushing around, and you could have done exactly what Mary has done. She has actually chosen the right thing: to just sit with Me and listen and learn. You could do the same.

Teacher: I wonder what happened next? Did she put down the bowls and spoons and dishrags, laugh about it, and sit down and relax? The Bible doesn’t say exactly, but the message from the story is clear. Mary chose the better thing.  Jesus just wanted to be with them and he wants us to want the same thing.  He doesn’t want us running around, looking at our checklists of things to do, trying to obey a pile of rules. He loves us and invites us to love Him back.

Small Group Time (5-8 Minutes)

Break the kids into a few groups and have a discussion about the story using helpers to assist you:

Ask:

1. What was Martha doing in the story? (keeping really busy, working)

2. Was that bad? (no…its just that she was all about business and rule-keeping and not about just enjoying being with Jesus. Jesus didn’t tell her she had to do all that…but she was working, working, working and she was getting angrier and angrier…and that isn’t what Jesus expects)

3. What was Mary doing in the story (sitting with Jesus and enjoying being with him)

4. Why was Jesus happy that Mary sat with him (because he wants to be her friend and he enjoys her company and she got to enjoy his)

Teaching Moment: Is this love? (5-8 Minutes)

Teacher: If possible ask your own child/spouse/sibling/good friend to be your “Prop person” for this part. Everything you do should be kind of hurried and clipped. You can print out this script and put it on a clipboard. If you need to modify the script to suit the person you have chosen to work with, feel free to do so.

You will also need a pen to check things off.

How do we let Jesus know that we love being with him…is it just by following rules?

I really love my (“prop person” — child/spouse/sibling/good friend). I want them to know that I love them.  But how?

Let’s see, what if I followed a list of rules and checked them off every day.

(Call your “prop person” in)

OK….I have my clipboard and a pen here…

Rule 1: Say hi to them….hi…..good, I can check that one off.

Rule 2: Sit down with them and listen to them….ok…sit here…tell me about something you did today (as soon as they sit down say)…good…followed that rule….I can check it off.

Rule 3: Give them a hug (give a quick hug)…ok….good, that rule is done…check!

Rule 4: Say something kind to them…you look nice…good…done…check!

Rule 5: Write them a nice card…ok…(rip some paper off your clipboard)….I love you, you are the best…here….rule 5 all finished.

Ok…good…I think that’s all I need to do to make them feel special. You can go now (send them back to where they were before)

Did that feel very loving? Why not? (get the kids to interact)

Jesus doesn’t want us to do that to him either…he doesn’t want us to say (quickly) “Jesus, I went to church, I read my Bible, I told some people about you, I prayed once or twice…there…done…all the rules are taken care of.” That doesn’t feel loving to him either.

Let’s try this again then…(Call in your “prop person again”)

Say to them: “I love being with you. I thought about you all day today and there is nothing I would rather do then sit here with you.  How was your day today? (let them answer) What did you do that was fun? (let them answer)…I made your favorite meal today just because I love you.  We are going to sit down together and eat it together, because I just want to hang with you. I want to hear what you have to say because I love listening to you…”

Can we love Jesus that way? (10 Minutes)

So if we can love people that way….what feels loving to Jesus?

1. Option 1: Collect props representing your YOUR STUFF, YOUR GOOD CAUSES, YOUR HOUSE, YOUR HOBBIES and then say, “What if I tried to impress God by giving him all my stuff. What if I gave him my golf clubs and tennis racquets, and my flat-screen TV and my X-Box etc. What if I said to God, ‘Here God, here is all my stuff.’ Is that what God wants from me? I don’t think so.” Go through each prop similarly and at the end, have a heart prop and say “This is really all God wants. He wants your heart.”

2. Option 2: Watch the YouTube Video “All He Wants” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47f0rOOVjWI)

Teacher says: “Let’s watch this little video and see what Jesus really wants from us – you are going to see a little man trying to give Jesus a lot of stuff and to do the things he thinks Jesus really wants him to do…but in the end, Jesus only wants one thing…see if you can tell me what it is…”

Discuss the video

•    What kinds of things did the person try to do to show Jesus he loved him?

•    These aren’t bad things in and of themselves, but when we just work and work for Jesus, it can become all about DOING and RULES…instead of loving Jesus with our heart

•    What is the difference between obeying Jesus because we want to and loving Jesus because we have to.  Which one do you think he wants? Why do you think…?

Leave room for Q&A

Teacher: Jesus wants our heart above everything else. He wants our sincere love.

One Thing You’d Like To Say… (5-8 Minutes)

Have some half-sheets of paper with the opening line “Dear Jesus…”

Remember the story we told at the beginning with Mary and Martha? Mary sat at Jesus feet and listened to him and she was able to talk to him too and say loving things to him. What is something loving that you would like to say?

I have a letter here…it says “Dear Jesus…” why don’t you say something loving to Jesus today from your heart. Something you love about him, or something you would like to thank him for. You can take this home and put it in your Bible, or show it to your parents…whatever you like.

Memory Verse (5-8 Minutes)

We have included this to give you an idea of what we do. We take 3 to 4 weeks on the same verse and try to use different methods to teach the verse.

John 14:6 “Jesus said  “I am the way, and the truth, and the life.” Explain that the rest of the verse says, “no one comes to the father except through me” – meaning that there aren’t 17 ways to have a relationship with God, there is one way and it is through Jesus…he is the way, he is the truth, he is life.

“First, I am going to teach you how to spell “life” life using sign language.” *Just search “Sign Language” chart and you can learn to spell this word very simply.

Actions:

•    Jesus (point up)

•    Said (hands by mouth as if you are shouting)

•    I am (point at yourself)

•    The way (two hands pointing out, as if giving directions)

•    The truth (make a T with your index fingers)

•    And the life (spell out “life” with sign language…see how fast they can get)

Blessing (1 minute)

Pray for the kids:

“I pray this blessing over each one of you.

Each of you is precious in God’s sight.

God sees you every minute of every day and he loves you.

I pray that you will come to know and love Jesus with all your heart for all your days.

May the Lord bless you and protect you.

May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you.

May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.

Amen.”


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