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In addition to this public lesson and idea forum, be sure to visit our Writing Team's extra special lesson set: "Grace and Gratitude: Jesus Heals the Ten Lepers. Written by and for supporting members, its lesson summaries and Bible background are open to all. Related forum: Stewardship, Giving, Thankfulness.

Cooking Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for the Ten Lepers

Post your Sunday School cooking lessons, ideas, activities, and resources for the Ten Lepers.

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Jesus Heals the Ten Lepers - Luke 17:11-19, The Thankful Leper, etc.

Bible lessons and ideas about the Ten Lepers -with Cooking, Food, Bible Foods, Recipes, Baking, Preparation, etc.

Posted by Tamb4Him
When I taught about the Lepers and described that they may have looked horrible on the outside, God didn't see that...He saw what was on the inside. To tie into this message, I made a special snack for them.

I bought a brand new kitty litter box & scoop from the dollar store. I then bought (generic) grape nut cereal & put about an inch in the bottom. I had baked brownies & took small cut pieces of the brownies & slightly rolled in the palm of my hands so it looked like cat poo. I made a variety of these & stuck in them in the "litter" (Cereal)...I had put it in a paper sack so no one could see what I had for snack. We talked thru the lesson and I stressed over and over again how we should never "judge a book by it's cover". When I got the snack out, the kids freaked out...especially when I told them I was disappointed they didn't like my snack. I picked up a piece of the brownie & began to put it in my mouth. I had brought separate cereal & brownies & showed them how I made it.  10 years later & this is still the story they remember the most!

Posted by Neil MacQueen    

Re: Edible Litter...
That's gross!  ...and I'm sure the kids loved it and never forget.
I've seen recipes/activities for making individual servings made by the kids.  Google edible kitty litter.

On a related note:

I'm wondering about baking something that looks gross on the outside but is wonderful on the inside. Maybe making ten things with one "gratitude" with an extra special filling.  Thinking maybe a food drama where we bake the characters and props then eat our way through the story.

Posted by Tamb4Him  

That sounds great Neil!!!   If you do it, please share your recipes!   I am still in the planning stages of getting Rotation started at our little church and love all the ideas I'm seeing here!

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer
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Dog Food - Ten Lepers Object Talk Idea


I have done a children's sermon about not judging by the exterior but based on what is on the inside.I think that this could be adapted to a cooking workshop similar to the cat litter workshop. You could even have the kids help make batches of "dog food" to eat later. 


I purchased a can of dog food, fed it to my dog, and cleaned the can -- repeatedly. Not every brand has a picture of a dog on the label, so I make sure to get one with a dog on the outside. I also use a plastic lid to reseal the can. These are usually available in the dog food aisle.


Then, I crushed a Butterfinger candy bar in a plastic bag. Made orange jello. As it is cooling, mix in the crushed Butterfinger and pour into the cleaned-out dog food can. 


During the children's sermon I tell the children that I am really hungry, but I only have one can of food. Then I pull out my can of "dog food." I invite them to join me in my meal. When they refuse, I ask why they won't eat with me. When they say it is because they don't want to eat dog food, I ask them how they know. I then open the can and take a bite. 


The discussion can go in several different directions: God cleans us out and fills us with good things and/or God doesn't look on our outward appearance and labels. Rather, God sees what is inside of us. 


Everytime I do this I am afraid that the kids will go home and start trying to eat dog food, but that has yet to happen. This is definitely one of the most memorable children sermons I have done, and I suspect it would be a gross, fun cooking workshop.


Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

I thought the idea of the kitty litter was pretty hilarious and know that kids would never forget this lesson but wondered about expanding the conversation beyond simply the outer appearance message.  There are themes of yuckiness and sweet surprises through the entire story of Jesus healing the lepers.  I've attempted writing a lesson that walks through a potential conversation to have with children while assembling this crazy snack.  Hope it helps turn this great idea into a full workshop.

Jesus Healing the Lepers

Cooking Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Be prepared for a crazy lesson that kids will likely never forget. Children will be making a recipe called Kitty Litter Cake. The cake doesn’t look so good but tastes great and is a fun recipe to use while teaching the story of Jesus healing the lepers. Children will get to explore the Bible story in a fun new way as they discover both the not so great moments and the sweet surprises that happen during this miracle account.

Scripture Reference:

Luke 17: 11-19

Leader Preparation:

  • Gather the materials.
  • Make the cakes.
  • Read the story ahead of time.

Supplies List:

Each class requires enough for one recipe:

  • 1 white cake**
  • 4 snack-size containers vanilla pudding
  • 1 package vanilla sandwich cookies
  • 1 package tootsie rolls
  • Kitty Litter Box (NEW!!)
  • Parchment paper to line box
  • Kitty Litter Scooper (NEW!!)
  • Disposable plates
  • Forks
  • Sandwich bags

Note about cakes: Cake can be made from a box mix prior to class and even frozen in advance as long as enough time is given to defrost cakes prior to class time. Alternatively, pre-made cupcakes could be used for the recipe as well and frosting could be substituted for the pudding.


Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Greet the children and introduce yourself.

Open with a prayer.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Say: Today we will be making a recipe as we hear a story from the Bible. This recipe is going to make some food that you will probably never forget.

SAY: We’re learning about the story of Jesus healing the lepers. The Bible doesn’t tell us very much about the lepers but sometimes it can help us to learn about the story if we imagine more details that aren’t written in the Bible. We don’t know how these people got leprosy or how old they were but we can probably assume that they hadn’t always had leprosy. I bet that they were once healthy people enjoying their daily lives.

ASK: What sorts of things might they have spent their time doing when they were healthy? (spend time with friends/family, go to school, have a job, get married, go to church, go shopping in the market, play, go fishing, etc.)

RECIPE INSTRUCTION: Pull out the unfrosted cake or cupcakes for the class to see.

SAY: Life was probably pretty normal for each of the 10 Lepers. But everything changed for them when they got leprosy.

Note: If this is early in the rotation, students may not know what leprosy is and a description will be required. If you are teaching later in the rotation then students may be able to answer the next question without the description.

Leprosy is a skin disease that caused ugly and painful sores. Sometimes it got so bad that people would actually loose their fingers, arms or legs. Leprosy is also contagious which means that if you were around someone with leprosy you could also catch it. Today there is medicine that can cure Leprosy but in Jesus’ day there was not.

RECIPE INSTRUCTION: Set one slice/cupcake onto a plate for each students and explain to the students that they should not take a bite. Give each student a fork.

SAY: I want each of you to think of one way that life would have changed for the 10 men who had leprosy. How would life have become more difficult once they were diagnosed with this terrible disease? After you have shared your thought, I want you to use your fork and smash up your cake/cupcake into broken pieces on your plate. Be careful to not make a big mess or to take a bite because we need all the cake for our recipe!

Take turns sharing how leprosy would have changed or ruined lives and allow children to smash their cake/cupcakes into pieces.

SAY: Look at your plates - you once had perfectly normal cake/cupcakes but now they are all ruined and broken into pieces. I bet that’s how the lepers felt. They once had normal lives but now that they had leprosy - everything was ruined! They couldn’t get a job, they couldn’t be with their families, they couldn’t go to the temple to worship and they were in pain because of their terrible sores! Life was all broken up and ruined.

RECIPE INSTRUCTION: Pull out the Kitty Litter container with the parchment paper lining and set it in front of you. Some children might know what the container is and make comments. Let children laugh and talk if they realize what the container is but make no comments about the kitty litter container

Have students dump their smashed cake into the container. Add any additional cake to the container and smash it into pieces as well.

SAY: It would have been a very sad day to find out you had leprosy. Because there was no medicine, there was very little hope that you would ever get better or ever be able to have a normal life back again. But one day, the lepers heard that someone very special was travelling near by. Let’s read about it in the Bible.

Read Luke 17: 11

RECIPE INSTRUCTION: Hand out equal amounts of vanilla sandwich cookies to each student. Place cookies into sealed sandwich bags. Explain to students that they are going to crush the cookies into crumbs and these crumbs will represent the sandy road that Jesus travelled on.

While students are crushing their cookies, add the vanilla pudding or icing to the crushed cake (until slightly moist) and stir it up. Lightly press the moist cake into the kitty litter container so that it is flat on top.

SAY: Jesus was walking along the border between Samaria and Galilee. Samaria was the place that the Samaritans lived. Does anyone know anything about Samaritans? (See if students can tell you about Samaritans. If they can’t, help them with the following information:  Samaritans were outsiders of the Jewish community.  The Jews were God’s people and they followed rules written in the Old Testament. Samaritans believed in God but didn’t follow the same laws as the Jews. The Jews did not like the Samaritans and they tried to stay as far away from them as they could - even travelling through rivers instead of passing through their communities. If you were Jewish you would have disliked Samaritans very much! Jews would have thought that Samaritans weren’t as good, didn’t follow God the right way and were contaminated with wrong ways of living.)

SAY: Its important for us to know where Jesus was walking in this story! We know that if he was walking along the border that he wasn’t in a town or city. Lepers weren’t allowed to be near any people in case they got others sick. It’s also important to know that Jesus was walking near Samaria. Because he was close to Samaria, it wasn’t surprising that there was a samaritan in the story. You wouldn’t find a Samaritan in Galillee or Judea!

You’ve probably all crushed your cookies now and they are ready for making our path.

RECIPE INSTRUCTION: Have students dump the contents of their bag on top of the moist cake. Be sure that they spread out their cookie crumbs very well to cover the entire cake.

SAY: Ok - we’ve got our path made but now we need some people to tell the rest of our story.

RECIPE INSTRUCTION: Hand out 10 tootsie rolls (if you have more than 10 students, add in some extra tootsie rolls to play the part of Jesus and some disciples). Have students unwrap the tootsie rolls and then place them on a microwaveable plate. Microwave the tootsie rolls for just a few seconds until they are slightly malleable. Hand the soft rolls back to the students and explain that they need to shape the tootsie rolls into blobs. They don’t need to make the rolls look like people - just blobs. Once the blobs are finished, have students hand them back to you and set them back on the plate.

Note: It is likely that at this point in the recipe you will begin to hear laughter and chuckles as students realize that the tootsie rolls look like Kitty poop. That’s ok - it’s part of the fun. Let the children get a good laugh and when the laughter begins to settle, continue with the rest of the story.

SAY: The Bible tells us that there were 10 lepers, outside of their village. (Set ten of the tootsie roll pieces onto the crumble covered cake and display it to the children).

This doesn’t look to good does it?! Can anyone tell me what it looks like?! The recipe we just made is called Kitty Litter Cake! Kitty litter is something we all throw out. Well our Bible story isn’t so different. The ten lepers were thrown out of their communities. They stayed there until one day when they heard a very special person was coming near.

Read Luke 17: 12-13

ASK: If we brought this cake to someone out in the hallway, what do you think they would say? Would they want to eat it? Would they think it looked delicious?!

SAY: Anyone who walked by a group of lepers would want nothing to do with them, they would think they looked terrible! They would think that if they got close to them they might get sick. Perhaps people might think that if they ate this cake they would get sick too!

Well, Jesus didn’t look at the lepers and think they were disgusting. In fact, he looked at the lepers with love and mercy. He knew that their lives were ruined by their terrible disease but inside of each leper was still a person just like you and me. He wanted to make their lives good again - he wanted to take away their pain and let them go home. He didn’t turn away from the lepers because they looked terrible - he stopped and helped them by healing them. Let’s read about it.

Read Luke 17: 14

SAY: What a wonderful blessing! Lives that were ruined were made good. The sores were gone and the lepers could go back to living their lives. But the story doesn’t end there. There is a special surprise that happens.

Read Luke 17: 15-19

SAY/ASK: After all 10 men were healed - only one came back to say thank you. The man who came back was the Samaritan. Why was it so surprising that only the Samaritan came back to say thank you? (Refer to the description of the Samaritans. If anyone should have said thank you and recognized the work of God it should have been the Jews - they were supposed to know and worship God better than anyone. In this story, however, it was the Samaritan who was truly thankful for God’s blessing in His life!)

SAY: All 10 men were healed of the leprosy but something sweeter happened for the Samaritan. The Samaritan realized that it was Jesus’ power that made him better. Inside of the Samaritan - the one who was despised by the Jews and once covered in the ugliness of leprosy - was something beautiful: a heart of thanksgiving and a recognition that Jesus was worthy of our praise. Out of something yucky came something beautiful and perfect. As Jesus said, the Samaritan became well - even more well than the other lepers.

ASK: Remember when we talked about what others might say if they saw our cake for the first time? What would they say if they actually took a bite?

SAY: It might be a surprise to find out that the cake actually tastes quite good!

ASK: What parts of our story might have looked terrible? (The lepers, the samaritan, the 9 other lepers that didn’t show thankfulness to Jesus.)

ASK: What were the good surprises in our story? (The lepers were healed, Jesus stopped to help the lepers, the Samaritan was thankful and received spiritual healing.)

RECIPE INSTRUCTION: If children are brave enough to try your surprising treat, use the kitty litter scoop to serve some dessert to each child. Pray together as a class before enjoying the snack. Some things you might pray for are: thanking God that he can transform terrible situations into beautiful ones, thank God that he demonstrated His love and healing power through this story, ask that God would develop in us hearts of thanksgiving and eyes that see His good gifts.

Encourage students to keep the cooking lesson a secret from other children so that they too can experience this fun surprise!


End with a prayer.

A lesson from Zion Baptist Community Church
Alberta, Canada

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Jesus Heals Ten Lepers
Cooking Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:
Children will prepare a healthy snack and then thank God for it by saying many different graces.

Scripture Reference:
Luke 17:11-19

Memory Verse:
“O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever. ~ Psalm 136:1

Objectives for Giving Thanks Workshop ~ Children will:

  • Understand that Jesus wants us to thank God for his gifts
  • think about how they thank God for their food
  • be thankful for the good, healthy food that God gives us
  • learn some new ways to say grace
  • learn about a healthy food they might not have known before: quinoa
  • think about when they should say thank you to God (always!).


  • Read the Bible Story and background
  • Set out the food and utensils.
  • Cut up the “graces” at the back of the lesson to hand out.

Materials List:

  • Bibles
  • Equipment:
    • Pot for cooking quinoa
    • Measuring cup
    • Fine-grained strainer
    • Chopping boards
    • Knives
    • 3 bowls, for quinoa, strawberries, and bananas
    • Clear plastic glasses
    • Spoons
  • Food:
    • Dry quinoa (2 Tablespoons – ¼ cup per child)
    • Strawberries
    • Bananas
    • Vanilla flavoured yogurt, or plain Greek yogurt (sugar optional).
    • Cinnamon (optional)


  1. Start by putting the quinoa on the stove to cook. Have the kids help you. (Or cook it ahead of time.)
    1. Measure the quinoa. One cup dry makes 2 cups cooked. Each child needs ¼ to ½ a cup after it is cooked, so 2 Tablespoons to ¼ cup dry.
    2. Rinse the dry quinoa in the strainer. Put it in the pot.
    3. Measure twice as much water as dry quinoa and add it to the pot. You can add a little salt if you like.
    4. Put the pot on the stove and turn it on to high. When the water boils, turn down the heat to low and cover the quinoa. Let it simmer for about 10 minutes. It is done when the grains are plump and the white, spiral germ is visible.
  2. While the quinoa is cooking, talk about the story:
  3. Read Luke 17:11-19 out loud, or if this is not the first workshop for the children, have them tell you the story and prompt them if they forget parts of it.
  4. Briefly discuss leprosy so they know what the people suffered from. (Leprosy is a disease of the nerves that makes people unable to feel pain. When they hurt themselves, they don't know it, so keep on doing the thing that is hurting them. Their bodies get very damaged. (So feeling pain is actually a gift fro God, because it keeps us safe!) In the Bible, the term may refer to different diseases as well. People with leprosy had to stay away from their families and communities and shout "unclean!" whenever anyone came near.)
  5. Go over the memory verse. Steadfast means "devoted" and "unchanging". Endures means that it lasts for a very long time, in this case, forever. Say the verse with them a few times. What things should we give thanks for. (Everything!)
  6. Tell the children that today they are going to talk about giving thanks for our food. You can talk about the good, healthy food that God gives us in contrast to the unhealthy food that we often see.
    1. Ask them how they give thanks for their food at home. Or do they? Do they say grace or does a parent say it? Can they share a grace with the group? Or maybe they don’t use a particular grace, but just thank God in their own words.
    2. Hand out the slips of paper with the different graces on them. Have the kids take turns reading them. Discuss each one briefly. What do they like about it? Would they use that one? How would they change it to express their thanks better?
    3. Can they think of a new one?
  7. Stop the discussion when the quinoa is done. The teacher should take it off the stove. Now you have to cool it down. You can either dump it into the strainer and rinse it with cold water, or put it into another bowl and put it in the fridge while you prepare the fruit.
  8. Have the children prepare the fruit:
    1. Rinse the strawberries in the strainer. Cut off their leaves. Slice or chop them and put them into a bowl.
    2. Peel the bananas. (Cut off the end with a knife if it is too hard to break open.) Slice them into a bowl.
  9. Open the yogurt container and put a spoon into it. Put a spoon into each of the fruit bowls too. (If using plain yogurt, mix in the optional sugar and cinnamon. Plain Greek yogurt may be okay without sugar--our kids loved it as is.)
  10. Assemble the parfaits:
    1. Put the cooled quinoa on the table with the fruit and yogurt.
    2. Give each child a plastic glass and a spoon. Have them spoon the quinoa, yogurt, and fruit into their cups in layers. It’s okay if some of it touches the sides of the glass. They can do it in any order they want, but encourage them to use some of each thing. Recommended order: yogurt, fruit, quinoa, then repeat until the top of the glass.
  11. Say Grace! Have each child choose a grace from the ones provided or say another one they know. When everyone has thanked God for the food, you can eat.
  12. As you eat, talk some more about giving thanks. What are you thankful for? A good time to give thanks is when you feel really bad. Remembering all the good things and thanking God for them can make you feel better. When else can we give thanks?
  13. All clean up together.



  1. Thank you, God, for loving me.
    Thank you for my family.
    Help me to learn more each day ,
    To be kind at work and play.
  2. God is great, God is good.
    Let us thank him for our food.
    By his hands, we are fed.
    Let us thank him for our bread.
  3. Good food,
    Good meat,
    Good Lord,
    Let's eat!
  4. Lord,
    Bless this bunch
    As they munch
    Their lunch.
  5. Johnny Appleseed Grace (sing if you know the tune):
    The Lord is good to me.
    And so I thank the Lord for giving me the things I need,
    The sun and the rain and the apple seed.
    The Lord is good to me.
    Johnny Appleseed—Amen!
  6. Thank you for the world so sweet,
    Thank you for the food we eat,
    Thank you for the birds that sing,
    Thank you Lord, for everything!
    (can be sung to tune of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star)
  7. For health and food,
    for love and friends,
    for everything your goodness sends,
    Father in Heaven, we thank you.
  8. God bless us (hands on head)
    God bless this food (hands around plate)
    Amen (hands folded)
  9. Thank you, Jesus, for this food, and for _______________________.
  10. Some have food but cannot eat.
    Some can eat but have no food.
    We have food and we can eat.
    Glory to our God!
    (African grace)
  11. Thank you for toast and jam,
    Thank you for eggs and ham,
    We thank you Lord. (da, da, da, da)
    Thank you for beans and spam,
    Thank you for all I am,
    We're thanking you the best we can,
    We thank you Lord!
    (sung to the tune of "God Save the Queen". Written in the 1970s at a Saskatchewan Anglican youth summer camp)


Submitted by Sharon Hamilton, from Argyle Road Baptist Church in Saskatchewan, Canada.

We are doing the Ten Lepers cooking workshop using grapes as our main ingredient and reminding the kids to be "Grapeful" to Jesus for cleansing us of our sins.  We are having the kids make a "Grapeful" Salad using sour cream, cream cheese, sugar and grapes.  The are also making "Grapeful" skewers using chocolate covered grapes on skewers.  We used this website for grape recipes.

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