Jesus Was A Child Like You and Me
Summary of Lesson Activities:
- Find the story of Jesus in the Temple in the Bible.
- Act out the story of Jesus in the Temple, from the Bible or from the skit provided.
- Discuss how Jesus was like others, and how he was different. Discuss how we are like others, and how we are different.
Luke 2:21 – 52
And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and man. Luke 2:52
- Identify with Jesus: When Jesus was a child, he learned and grew and developed like we did, guided by his faithful parents and community.
- Be like Jesus: The children will learn what it means to "grow in stature" both the physical and spiritual meaning of the concept, and consider how they are growing in stature as a child of God.
- Learn from Jesus: The children will see how their lives are being shaped.
The Bible does not record any events of the next 18 years of Jesus’ life, but Jesus undoubtedly was learning and maturing. As the oldest in a large family, he assisted Joseph in his carpentry work. Joseph may have died during this time, leaving Jesus and his brothers to provide for the family. In terms of development, he went through the same progression we do. He grew physically and mentally and spiritually. He related to other people, and he was loved by God. The children should consider how we become whom God wants us to be, the forces and people at work shaping us, and how we can accept or reject such shaping.
- Read the scripture ahead of time.
- Gather the materials.
- Class supply of Bibles
- Story may be acted out from Bible, Bible story book, imaginations, or skit (included in packet – best if used with older children).
Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Opening Prayer: Dear God, We thank you for this time together today. We ask you to be with us as we learn about how you made Jesus like all the other children as he was growing up, and yet still different from the others. Help us discover together how we are alike and different in the ways you created us to be. Amen.
You all know the story of when Jesus was born, and I know you know that there’s lots in the Bible about Jesus when he was a grown up, but did you know that there is a little bit in there about when Jesus was a kid like you?
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Turn to Luke.
There are two major books in the Bible: the Hebrew, or Old Testament, and the New Testament. The Old Testament deals with the history of our faith before the birth of Jesus Christ. The New Testament deals with the history of our faith after the birth of Jesus Christ.
Jesus’ story is written down in the first four books of the New Testament, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Open the Bible to Luke.
Each book is numbered by chapter and verse. The BIG numbers are the chapters.
They are the first number in the citation. The small numbers are the verses.
They are the second number in a citation. If a verse reads Luke 2:41, you look in the book of Luke, chapter 2 and verse 41.
Let’s find it. It is about when Jesus was almost a teenager – he was twelve years old. It goes from verse 41, all the way to verse 52. We’ll read it through, and then you will act it out.
Act out the story, using the Biblical characters (Jesus, his parents, the elders, other members of his family, other people at the temple, etc.), and "Morris". May act story out from Bible reading, imagination, or from the included skit, depending on your own comfort level and choice.
Ponder the story with the children:
1. How do you think Jesus was like all the other kids his age?
2. How do you think Jesus was different from the other kids?
3. How does being a Christian make us different from other people?
4. What does it look like, living the way God wants us to?
Concept to focus on: because as Christians we believe that Jesus came to be our teacher and our savior, we believe that Jesus is our example for how to live our lives. This is what makes us different from other people who do not believe in God and in Jesus. We make every attempt to listen for God’s guidance in our lives, to follow Jesus’ example, and to do God’s will.
Dear God, we thank you for your presence in our lives. Please guide us to know what you want us to do. Thank you for loving us just the way we are. Amen.
Script: Twelve-Year-Old Jesus Predicts Palm Sunday
(Morris is a teacher in the Temple. His role can be divided among several students if needed.)
JOSEPH - (enters crosses almost to far exit)
MARY --- (enters, follows) Joseph, it's almost time to stop for
lunch. Have you seen Jesus?
JOSEPH - No I haven't. But this is a big crowd, Mary. I'm sure he's walking with the other kids back there somewhere. (points back)
MARY --- You know, I haven't seen him since we left Jerusalem.
JOSEPH - Come to think of it, neither have I. You don't suppose...
MARY --- Joseph, I'm worried. Let's go back and get him.
JOSEPH - I'm worried too, Mary. Let's go. (Mary and Joseph turn back towards Jerusalem)
MARY --- Jerusalem is a big city. Where will we look?
JOSEPH - Well, the last time I saw him, he was standing in the temple, talking to the
MORRIS - (enters opposite, speaks to audience) Gentlemen of Jerusalem, the Prophet
Daniel prophesied that the messiah of God would triumphantly ride into Jerusalem in 69 sevens of years from the time of the proclamation to rebuild Jerusalem. According to my calculations, that means that the Messiah will come to earth in just 18 years.
JESUS -- (12 years old, enters, approaches) Excuse me, sir, but the Messiah is already on
MORRIS - Buzz off kid, I'm expounding here.
JESUS -- I don't mean to disagree with you, sir, but...
MORRIS - Hey, it’s right there in the book - according to the prophet Daniel, the
Messiah will ride triumphantly into Jerusalem in 18 years. (patronizingly) When you grow up maybe you’ll be able to read all about it. Until then, you’ll just have to take my word for it.
JESUS -- Well, Daniel is correct, sir. The Messiah will ride into Jerusalem in just 18
years on the first day of the feast of unleavened bread.
MORRIS - Unleavened bread. Oh, yeah. (clears throat) I knew that. Listen kid, why
don't you just go outside and play.
JESUS -- Well, what I wanted to explain is that the Messiah is already on earth.
MORRIS - Now, wait a minute, you just said...
JESUS -- I said that the Messiah would ride into town on the first day of the feast of
unleavened bread in 18 years. That’s true. But he was born twelve years ago.
MORRIS - You're full of beans, kid, you don't know what you're talking about. The
Messiah won't be born, he'll just come down from heaven. (giggles, aside) This kid...
JESUS -- Then, how do you explain what the prophet Isaiah said?
MORRIS - Isaiah?
JESUS -- Yes, he said, "for unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the
government will be on His shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
MORRIS - Show off.
JESUS -- Well?
MORRIS - Alright, so it looks like the messiah is born as a baby. So?
JESUS -- So, if he waits until he is at least the age of a priest before he rides into town,
he'll be at least 30 years old...
MORRIS - I know all about the age of a priest, kid. I'm from the line of Aaron. All the
men in my family are priests.
JESUS -- Yes, but what I was trying to point out was that if he'll be at least 30 years old
when he rides into town in 18 years, then he has to be alive already.
MORRIS - Really?! (clears throat) I mean, ah, that means he's probably one of us here in
this temple. (motions broadly to audience)
JESUS -- Yes, he is one of us here.
MORRIS – (puffs up and looks important) Well then! Maybe it's me!
JESUS -- No, it's not you.
MORRIS – Hey!!! What do you know about it? I'm a priest in the line of Aaron. Who
would be a better Messiah than me?
JESUS -- I mean no disrespect, sir... but the prophet Isaiah says that the Messiah will be
from the line of David, not from Aaron.
MORRIS - Oh.
JESUS -- Are you from the line of David?
MORRIS - (digs toe into dirt) ...ummmm...errrr… well….. not exactly…..
JESUS -- The Messiah was born in the city of David as Isaiah predicted.
MORRIS - Hey, Seymour, lives in Bethlehem! (points to back of audience) Maybe,
Seymour is the Messiah.
JESUS -- No.
MORRIS - How do you know?
JESUS -- The Messiah was BORN in the city of David. Seymour was born in Jericho.
JOSEPH --- (enters – speaks with great relief) There he is!
MARY - (enters) Jesus, we were worried about you!
JOSEPH - We were half way home when we noticed that you weren't with our group.
MARY --- What were you doing here?
JESUS – Why did you worry? Didn’t you know that I would be here in my Father’s house?
(Mary and Joseph exchange baffled looks)
JOSEPH--- Well anyway, we’re glad we found you and you’re safe. We’ll have to hurry to catch up with our group again. Let’s go.
(Mary, Joseph and Jesus exit, conversing silently)
MORRIS – That kid… he was too much! (laughs, speaks to audience) He just told us that
my friend Seymour here couldn't possibly be the Messiah because he was born in Jericho. (laughs) Have you ever heard of such a thing? Everybody knows that Seymour lives in Bethlehem. You were BORN in Bethlehem, weren't you Seymour? No? Say, kid, how you know... Hey, where did he go? (shrugs, exits)
A lesson posted by member Heather Eaton from: Kensington Congregational Church,
A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.