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Jesus Heals 10 Lepers

Science Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Uses a number of science demonstrations to tell the story.

Scripture Reference:

Luke 17: 11-19

Workshop-specific Goals:

  • Know that the thankful leper also received spiritual healing and salvation.
  • Know that we are sinners in need of a Savior, even when our sins are not visible.
  • Realize that God loves us even when we sin and loves us so much that He sent His Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins.

Leader Preparation:

  • Review Background notes.
  • Gather the materials.

Materials List:

  • Bibles (supplied in teaching box)
  • Arch book about the 10 lepers (for PreK)
  • Copy of memory verse written large (take from Bible Background)
  • Disappearing Coin: 3 coins, 3 clear glass jars or clear drinking glasses; pitcher of water with 3 disposable cups
  • Hidden Iron: magnet, several paper clips, piece of paper, several nails, 2-3 cups of IRON-FORTIFIED cereal, blender, water, bowl, spoon, white napkin
  • Invisible writing: Sheets of paper prepared beforehand (see lesson--requires baking soda, cup of water, bowl, Q-tips), an iron, dish towel, clean sheet of paper, cup of cranberry juice and some paper towels
  • Black light: black light, pieces of fabric of various patterns prepared beforehand (see lesson—requires dirt, ketchup, tonic water with quinine, ammonia, petroleum jelly), petroleum jelly for the class, paper towels

Advance Preparation:

  • Refer to schedule and decide how you will make adjustments for the different ages.
  • Print out the memory verse
  • See lesson for further advance preparations


Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Introduce yourself to the students.

Open with a prayer .

We would like to have a consistent opening and closing to each class, especially since the teacher and station changes each week. Please start the class by having everyone make the sign of the cross and say: “We make our beginning in the name of God the Father—and God the Son—and God the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Introduction & Bible Story:
Please make sure that the students hear and “get” the Bible story as well as the application of that story to their lives. The Bible story is the MOST important part of the lesson—it is much more important than the activity associated with this station!
(For the first part of the month, go ahead and read the story from the Bible. For the latter part of the month—when the children should be familiar with the story—have them tell you the story)

Has anyone ever cut themselves so that they bled? How about fallen down and scraped their knees or hands or face or whatever? Or gotten a black eye? If someone looked at you, they would be able to tell that something was wrong—something was injured. Our story this month is about 10 men with leprosy. When the Bible talks about leprosy, it means a skin disease—some sort of sores or rash on the skin. People with leprosy had to be isolated so that the disease would not spread. It was pretty easy to keep lepers separated because you could look at them and see the disease. These lepers also had a problem that you couldn’t see by looking at them—although Jesus could see that they had this problem. This problem is the fact that they were sinners—just like you and me. In our story, we will see what Jesus did about these problems—physical and spiritual.

Have the students open their Bibles to Luke 17: 11-19. Read the story aloud. Ask the following questions:

  • What disease did these 10 men have that you could see? (leprosy)
  • Leprosy often caused people to be crippled and to look deformed, so they might not have been very nice to look at. Did Jesus turn away from them because of their disease and appearance? (No) What did he do instead? (He healed them)
  • How many of the 10 men were healed from their leprosy? (all 10)
  • When Jesus looked into their hearts, what other problem did He see? (He could see their sins). We may think we are keeping our sins hidden, but God can still see them.
  • Our sins are very disgusting to God—He could have just turned away from us. But He didn’t do that. What did He do instead about our sins? (He sent Jesus to be our Savior, to die on the cross to save us from our sins)
  • How many of the 10 men came back to Jesus to thank and praise Him? (just one)
  • This man received something that none of the other lepers received. When Jesus said “your faith had made you well”, He was not talking about the physical healing—that had already happened. He was talking about the man’s spiritual healing—this man now had salvation and was a part of God’s family. Are you a part of God’s family? Why? (because we believe that Jesus is our Savior)

Say: The men’s leprosy was very visible. Their sins were there as well, but could not be seen. We will be doing some experiments about things visible and things hidden.


Disappearing Coin:
Place the 3 coins on the table. Place a glass jar ON TOP OF the coin. Put a glass of water by each glass jar. Make sure all the students are close to a jar so that they can see. Have them look through the SIDE of the glass at the coin (this will not work if they look down in to the jar). Either you or the guide or some of the students can pour the water into the glass jar. They should keep their eyes focused on the coin while the water is being poured.

Ask: What are you seeing as the water is being poured? (looks like the coin disappears)
Say: Light goes straight from the coin to your eyes when you look through the empty glass. When the glass is filled with water, it makes the light bend away from your eyes so that you don’t see the coin.
Ask: In this experiment, the coin seems to disappear. What did Jesus make disappear from the 10 lepers? (their leprosy) What did Jesus make disappear from the one leper who came back to praise and thank Him? ( Jesus took his sins away)

Hidden Iron
Hold up the magnet. What type of material sticks to a magnet? (metals). Let’s see what our magnet will attract. Will it pick up these paper clips (Yes) or this piece of paper (No) or these nails (Yes). How about this cereal? (No) In this experiment, we will discover that there IS something in this cereal that will be attracted by the magnet—and it is not just the spoon.

(As an option, you could call on helpers to help pour ingredients and to stir). Pour 2-3 cups of water in to the blender. Pour enough water in to the blender just to cover the cereal. Blend the cereal until it is very finely ground up (easier to get the iron out that way). Pour the crushed up cereal in to a bowl and stir it up with the spoon—make sure you get everything out of the blender. Stir the magnet through the cereal—focus on getting the magnet to the very bottom of the bowl since iron is heavy and will drop to the bottom. You should see some black fuzz on the magnet (this is the iron). Wipe the fuzz on to the white napkin. Ask: Did the magnet pick up anything from the cereal? (this black fuzz) Magnets only pick up metal—what could this be? (it is iron—many cereals are fortified with vitamins and minerals, including iron).

Say: You could see the paper clips or nails that the magnet picked up. You couldn’t see the iron in the cereal--it was hidden, but it is still there. In our story, the men’s leprosy was quite visible—their sins were not. Even though you couldn’t see their sins, they were still there. Jesus knew that the lepers needed healing from their sins, just like we do. How does He heal us from our sins? (died on the cross for our sins) Who does he heal from their sins? (everyone who has faith and believes that Jesus is their Savior)

Invisible Writing
[Advance Prep: Make several sheets of paper with writing visible in a variety of ways such as magazine page, printed out, marker, etc. Prepare several other white sheets of paper with “invisible” writing. Mix together an even amount of water and baking soda. Dip a Q-tip into the mixture and use it to write on several pieces of paper. Be generous with the “ink” so that the words you write will be visible later on. For this part, use words like sin, Jesus, and symbols like a cross, a heart. Let dry. There will be a little bit of white residue on the paper, but it shouldn’t be visible. Make enough so that there are enough papers for you to demonstrate and also one for each student]

Plug in the iron several minutes before you do this experiment. Caution the children to stay away from the iron.

Hold up several sheets of paper that you have prepared beforehand—some will have visible writing and some will not. As you pick up each sheet of paper, ask the class if they can see any writing on it. Once again, we have something hidden that we will now reveal. Place the dish towel on the table. Place one of your prepared pieces of paper on the towel and cover it with a clean piece of paper (so you don’t get baking soda on your iron—I learned that the hard way!) Iron the paper for a few moments. The words you made should show up in brown. Show them to the class and ask them what is written on the paper now. Repeat this process with the other “blank” papers. An alternative technique that the students can now use to discover some writing is cranberry juice. Give each student a paper towel and one sheet of prepared paper. Have them place the sheet of paper on top of the paper towel. Go around the room and give each student a piece of paper towel dipped into the juice—should be pretty moist but not dripping. Have them dab—not rub—the wet paper towel onto their sheet of paper. Writing should appear. Have the students share what they are seeing.

Say: Our sins are hidden, but are visible to Jesus. These sins didn’t turn Him away from us—He loves us so much that He died to take away these sins.

Black Light
[Advance Prep: Take several pieces of fabric, some with a pattern on them. Place a visible stain on several of them with things like dirt or ketchup. Have several pieces without any visible or invisible stains. Put an invisible stain on several other pieces of cloth. These stains should be clear items that will show up under a black light—some possibilities are: tonic water with quinine, ammonia, petroleum jelly. Use a goodly amount of these so that the stain will really show up. Let dry.]

When police are investigating a crime scene, one thing they look for is evidence they can see like footprints or blood. Which of these pieces of cloth have a visible stain on them? Hold up the fabric pieces. The police also look for hidden evidence which will only show up under a black light. Let’s use this black light to see which pieces of cloth have some hidden evidence. Turn off the lights. Then turn on the black light. Hold the fabric by the black light to see which ones have a hidden stain. [Optional—if the students want to “glow”, you could have them dip a finger into some petroleum jelly, which should make their finger glow]

Ask: When Jesus looks at our hearts, what kind of evidence does He see?

We have all done a lot of naughty or even bad things in our lives. Are we off the hook if no one else notices what we have done wrong? Why or why not? What can be done about all these hidden sins? (confess them to God and ask for forgiveness—we can’t get rid of them by ourselves)

Read the memory verse with the class. Let’s do a group prayer. We will go in a circle and everyone can say a thank you sentence to God.

We would like to have a consistent opening and closing to each class, especially since the teacher and station changes each week. Please end the class with this benediction from Numbers 6: 24-26 (CEV). Make the sign of the cross and say:
I pray that the LORD will bless and protect you, and that He will show you mercy and kindness. May the LORD be good to you and give you peace. Amen.



A lesson from St. John Lutheran Church

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