Thursday, June 26, 2014

Jesus at the Temple Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Stays Behind at the Temple

Use this Jesus at the Temple Sunday School lesson to teach children the importance of being in church.

Needed: (Optional: a copy of the script for each of your characters)

Lesson: So far we know all about how Jesus was born. The angel Gabriel came and told Mary that she was going to have a baby named Jesus and that Jesus was going to be God’s Son. Joseph, the man who married Mary, adopted Jesus and took care of Jesus like Jesus was his own son, even though he knew Jesus was really God’s Son. And when Jesus was born, He was born in a barn and the angels told the shepherds to come see Him. Then, when Mary and Joseph took Jesus to the Temple-church, two older people named Simeon and Anna saw Him and thanked God that they finally got to see Jesus, the Savior. Then the Wise Men can and brought gifts to the baby Jesus, but the wicked King Herod tried to kill Jesus. God told Joseph to escape with Mary and Jesus and run away to Egypt. When Herod died, Joseph and Mary and Jesus came to live in their own country of Israel. And that’s all we know about Jesus until He was 12 years old.

Let’s find out what happened when Jesus was twelve.

Act out the following play with your students, asking questions about the lesson as you go. You can give your student characters a script and let them read their lines or you can narrate the entire script yourself and simply instruct students to mime the appropriate actions as you go.

Characters: Narrator (Leader), Joseph, Mary, Jesus, Teachers (everyone else)

Narrator: Every year Jesus and His parents went to Jerusalem for the holiday called Passover. One year, when Jesus was twelve years old, Joseph said,

Joseph: It’s time for Passover! Let’s go to Jerusalem.

Jesus: Yay!

Narrator: Jesus shouted. The Passover was such an important holiday, that almost everyone in the whole country went to it. It would be like if America were having a really big holiday and everyone in the whole country went to Washington, D.C. to celebrate. (Joseph, Mary, and Jesus walking to Jerusalem). After the Feast was over, while His parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem without Joseph and Mary knowing about it. (Joseph and Mary walking away, Jesus stays behind, sitting with the Teachers) Joseph and Mary walked for a whole day before they realized Jesus wasn’t with them! (Mary and Joseph stop walking.)

Mary: Joseph, have you seen Jesus?

Joseph: No, I haven’t. He must be with some of our other family members.

(Joseph and Mary keep walking).

Narrator: After a while, when they still hadn’t seen Jesus, Joseph and Mary began looking for Him among their friends and relatives. (Joseph and Mary looking for Jesus, asking random people, “Have you seen Jesus?”). When they did not find Him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for Him.

Mary: Joseph, I can’t find Him.

Joseph: Me either. We better go back.

(Joseph and Mary walk back to where Jesus is.)

Narrator: After three days they found Jesus in the Temple-church, sitting with the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. Everyone who heard Jesus was amazed at His understanding and His answers. When His parents saw Him, they were astonished (Joseph and Mary have astonished looks on their faces). His mother said to Him,

Mary: Son, why have You treated us like this? Your father and I have been so worried, looking for You.

Jesus:  Why were you looking for Me?

Narrator: Jesus asked.

Jesus: Didn't you know I had to be in My Father's house?

Narrator: But Joseph and Mary did not understand what He was saying to them. (Joseph and Mary shrugging their shoulders with confused looks on their faces.) Then Jesus went home with them and was obedient to them. (Joseph, Mary, and Jesus walking home) But His mother treasured all these things in her heart. And Jesus grew in wisdom and in height, and in favor with God and men.

When the play is finished, review the student’s learning by asking the following questions. Be sure to allow students enough time to think about and answer the questions before you clarify the teaching.

Jesus stayed behind at the Temple-church because He said that He had to be in His Father’s house. Who was Jesus’ Father? God.

And what was He talking about when He said He had to be in His Father’s House? What is God’s House? The church. We know that God is everywhere and we can pray to God wherever we are, but we usually say that God’s house is the church.

And what was Jesus doing at the church? He was talking to the teachers. Jesus was talking to the teachers, just like you’re doing. You’re here at church, talking to us, your teachers and God is happy when we come and talk about Him and learn about Him. He wants us all to learn about Him so that we can know Him better and better, just like Jesus was doing. 

Find more Sunday School lesson ideas on our Free Children Sunday School Lesson Helps page.
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