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Following Jesus Because We Love Him (Grade 4-6) (Free Sunday School Lessons for Children)

July 9, 2010

Date Class Scripture Theme
Feb 7 — 2010 Grade 4-6 Mark 2:18-28 Rules Vs. Relationship: Jesus wants me to love just being with him.

Prepared by: Teresa Klassen

Introducing the big idea (5 Minutes)

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!”

And this is what they would tell you to do! (just 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)

The Dinner Party

Narrator:        Mary and Martha lived in Bethany along with their brother Lazarus. (Mary & Martha enter and are busy working). As usual, we find the 2 sisters busy working around the home, cleaning and tending to their usual chores. But today ended up being anything but typical. You see Jesus had stopped by to visit. (Lazarus and Jesus enter)

Mary & Martha:   Jesus!

Jesus:   Hello Mary, Martha. It’s good to see you.

Narrator:        Lazarus took Jesus into their living room while Mary and Martha decided what to make for dinner.

Martha:   We should have a lovely dinner party.

Mary:   Yes, everyone loves to come and listen to Jesus.

Narrator:        So the women hurried about their chores to prepare a delicious dinner for their special guest. (Mary and Martha exit) Now Martha was a planner she wanted everything done just right and always had lots of rules for everything she did.

Martha:        (read list) Let’s see… Sweep the floor. Check. Put fresh flowers on the windowsill. Check. Put the roast in the fire. Check. Set the table. (Pause) That’s Mary’s job. (She looks around) And she didn’t do it. (Calls out) Mary! (Exits)

Narrator:        Mary was nowhere to be found. Martha checked the kitchen area, the rooftop, even the stable, but no Mary. Then, she saw Mary in the living room listening to Jesus.

(Lazarus, Jesus and Mary enter. Lazarus and Jesus are sitting and “talking” while Mary is sitting on the floor listening. Martha enters)

Now Martha wasn’t too happy to see Mary sitting there. She tried to get her attention. (Martha waves and finally jumps up and down)

But Mary was too interested in listening to Jesus, so Martha went and did it herself. (She exits)

Martha could have stayed, but she had her checklist and that was more important to her.

Martha:        Set the table. Check. Fluff the pillows. Check. Peel the veggies. (Pause) That’s Mary’s job. (Looks around) And she didn’t do it. Mary! (She hurries over to try and get Mary’s attention).

Narrator:        Once again, Martha tried to get Mary’s attention, but to no avail. Poor Martha, she was getting stressed. She wanted the party to be just perfect, but Mary was ruining it by not helping. Martha was doing everything herself. Finally, she snapped.

Martha:   (Angrily, To Jesus) Jesus! Make her help me!

Narrator:        Martha was so stressed that she didn’t think about what she was doing. She started showing her list to Jesus and explaining that Mary wasn’t doing her part. It wasn’t fair. She was sure that Jesus would agree with her and send Mary back to the kitchen to peel the vegetables. But was she ever surprised when Jesus told her that he appreciated all that Martha was trying to do but that Mary had chosen a better way to spend her time. You see, Martha was so stressed about the details that she missed the time that she could have spent with Jesus. It would have been better to choose a simpler meal and enjoyed the day instead of being stressed. The Bible doesn’t tell us what happened after that, but I’d like to think that Lazarus helped out.

Lazarus:   Martha, I’m sorry you had to work so hard. Let’s just order in a pizza! (They exit)

Small Group Time (5-8 Minutes)

Break the kids into two groups and have a discussion about the story using your helper to assist you:


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)

Is this love? (5-8 Minutes)

Teacher: Ask your own child or husband to be your “Prop” for this part. Everything you do should be kind of hurried and clipped…

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

I really love my (husband/son/daughter). 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?

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)

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)

* This is week 2 of this 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.” Use the chart on the next page to teach them


  • 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.


Clean Up!

Since our building is used for many different things, we need to make sure we clean up after ourselves. You can definitely have the kids help you do this near the end of the morning!!

  • Please use the BAG provided to put all the left-over items into it, and then you can leave your bag in the classroom.
  • Please pick up all the garbage and put it in the trash
  • If there are chairs or stools, please fold or stack them and put them away
  • Please turn the heat down (applicable for youth room and Gazebo) to 10 degrees
  • Please make sure any TVs/DVDs/Projectors are powered off
  • Please make sure all toys are put away

Thank you so very much!

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