Drama, Puppet, and Storytelling Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for Jesus and the Man Let Down Through the Roof

Post your Sunday School drama, puppet, and storytelling lessons, ideas, activities, and resources for Jesus and the Man Let Down Through the Roof

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Jesus and the Man Let Down Through the Roof - The story of the paralytic being brought by four friends and healed by Jesus can be found in three of the four Gospels: Matthew 9:2-8, Mark 2:1-22 and Luke 5:17-26, etc.

Bible lessons and ideas about Jesus and the Man Let Down Through the Roof -with Drama, puppets, scripts, skits, acting, newsroom, etc.

Wormy Note:  Amy's Lesson below was moved here during our renovation of this forum. It drew upon and vastly improved on some earlier posted lesson ideas which have since been deleted.

The Man Let Down Through the Roof

Drama Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

A picture book or poster will be created with photos of the children re-enacting the story of Four Faithful Friends. The children will explore what it means to help someone in need.

Scripture Reference:

Mark 2:1-12, also Matthew 9:2-8 and Luke 5:17-26

Memory Verse:  1 John 3:18 (NLV)

FIELD TEST NOTE: This is one of my favorite drama workshops! Big Grin We had great fun planning and taking the pictures. Plus, the children really really appreciated getting the books with their pictures the next week, and the parents enjoyed seeing it too! Plus, it wasn't too much work (for me Wink) -- I had very capable techie-type help to take the pictures and make them into books. --Amy Cool

Additional objectives for the Drama Workshop 
At the end of the session, the students

  • will be able to relate the story of Four Faithful Friends.
  • explore ways to show love to someone who needs it.

Teacher preparation in advance: 

  • Read the scripture passages and lesson plan and attend the Bible Study.
  • Prepare a closing prayer. 
  • Learn the memory verse.
  • Consider what adjustments you will make for different age levels (see notes in this lesson plan and consider ideas of your own). Also confer with the K-1 Shepherd about what Stretchers and Fingerplays you or he/she might use.
  • Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop so that you know where everything is located. 
  • You may want to have an extra person to be the cameraman. Make sure that whoever is using the camera knows how to load film (if applicable) and use it. Make sure you have adequate disk space or film.
  • If you are using digital pictures, make sure you know or find a helper who knows how to download and print the pictures with captions in a booklet. (Printing the pictures in “draft” mode will save on printer ink.)

Room set-up:
You will need a clear space in the room so there is space to create the dramatic scenes.

Supply List

  • Bible-time costumes
  • Sturdy blanket or mat
  • Rope
  • Piece of black fabric to be the hole
  • Library books or illustrated Bibles with pictures of the architecture
  • Flip chart or whiteboard and appropriate markers
  • Photo equipment: 
    Digital camera
    OR Polaroid camera and film to fit it, posterboard, photo mounting tape or corners
  • Memento suggestion: “Jesus” stickers
  • Shepherd Time: Journal page with memory verse


Opening-Welcome and Introductions: 
Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your name-tag. (Remember, you are interacting with a different group of students each week who may not know you.) Make sure the children are wearing name-tags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary badge.

We had an opening prayer during the gathering time, but you may open with prayer if you feel led to do so.

Explain the purpose of this workshop: Today we will take pictures of you reenacting the story of some people who worked really hard to help a friend. The pictures will be used to make a picturebook for each of you (you will receive your picturebook next Sunday) or a poster.

Scripture/Bible Story: 
Read the scripture: Mark 2: 1-12. (Encourage the children to use their Bibles in looking up verses. As they are turning the pages in their Bibles, remind them that Mark is one of the four Gospels. The Gospels contain the stories of Jesus and are found in the New Testament in the back part of the Bible.)

Discuss the story:

  • Talk about the construction of houses in that era: while you did not want a permanent hole in your roof, the roofs were made of wood with sticks and dried mud packed in between the wood beams and could be fixed relatively easily. There was little rain, so the roofs were flat, and often families would sit on their roofs because there was a bit more breeze up high with no walls (so there were stairs that make the roof accessible). Show pictures if you have some.
  • I wonder how someone who was listening to Jesus teach would have felt about such a major interruption? Would they have watched quietly?
  • I wonder how the man felt as he was lowered to Jesus while everyone was watching? Could he hold on?
  • What did the Pharisees think about Jesus forgiving the man's sin? About healing him?
  • What did everyone else think about the healing?

Outline key scenes and key phrases from the story on the flip chart. Select from the list on the flip chart six to eight scenes that will tell the story. These will be photographed.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:
Let’s look for things in our own lives that might help us understand how the people in the story felt and why they acted that way.

  • How would you feel if your best friend needed help, but there were lots of people in the way?
  • Have you ever been frustrated by obstacles of some sort when you wanted to help a friend? (Are the people in the way always a crowd, like in this story, or are they sometimes blocking you by what they might think or say?)
  • What happened?
  • What did you do?

Drama warm-up exercise:
We are going to take pictures to show our story, right? Think about photographs. Is there any sound? Is there any movement? No, that’s right. So we will need to show what is happening and what we are thinking and feeling with just our faces and bodies. Let’s all stand and be statues. Show me:

  • carrying something
  • carrying something lightweight
  • carrying something heavy (remember, no sound or movement once you have decided on a pose)
  • sadness
  • joy (no moving!)
  • worry
  • anger
  • confusion
  • trying to see from the back of a big crowd (remember, no moving!)
  • trying to hear someone far away
  • looking up to see what that scratching noise is — are you puzzled? afraid?
  • standing and speaking from the front of a large crowd (no sound either!)
  • surprise
  • amazement (is that different from surprise?)
  • walking for the first time in a very long time (or ever)
  • digging a hole (still no moving)
  • glorifying God

Before we begin taking pictures, let’s think about our “stage.” Can we knock a hole in our ceiling and lower someone down for that scene in the story? How else can we show what is going on? [Take suggestions from students, discuss, and arrive at a solution. If they need a discussion kick-start, talk about showing the scene with two pictures, maybe one showing the crowd looking up (but don’t show the ceiling) and one showing the four friends holding ropes and looking down (but don’t show the floor in the photo).]

Assign parts and run through the scenes listed on the flip chart, deciding where to stop the action to form a tableau that will tell the story without words. Work on facial expressions that “say something,” since the pictures will be silent. 

FIELD TEST NOTE: We did not have time to run through this twice. We took the pictures the first time around.

After the class is happy with the selected scenes, 

  • put on costumes (if different people will have the same part in different pictures, make sure a character is always wearing the same costume).
  • review the list of pictures to make sure together they tell the complete story. Add other scenes as necessary.
  • run through it again and take the pictures.

If you are using a digital camera: write captions for each picture. Print a copy of the book for each member of the class and one for the classroom or church library. Make sure to list the participants’ names. (It may be necessary to deliver these next week. If so, print extra copies so people who were absent today get a copy of the class book, too.)

If using Polaroid photo option: Mount the photos on posterboard and write meaningful captions for each one. Make sure to list the participants’ names. Hang the poster in the hallway for everyone to enjoy.

Pulling it all together (closing discussion):

  • What might have happened if the friends hadn't helped the man who was paralyzed?
  • What do you think the man will do now?
  • What might the friends do?
  • What might the people who saw all this do? 

Review the memory verse. (“Add-a-word” from Hide God’s Word)
Divide the class into two groups. Group One says the first word of the verse. Group Two repeats that word and adds the second word. Then it is Group One’s turn again and they say the first three words of the verse. For example:
1: Let
2: Let us
1: Let us stop
2: Let us stop just
1: Let us stop just saying
2: Let us stop just saying we
1: Let us stop just saying we love
2: Let us stop just saying we love each
1: Let us stop just saying we love each other
2: Let us stop just saying we love each other; let
1: Let us stop just saying we love each other; let us
2: Let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really
1: Let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show
2: Let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it
1: Let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by
2: Let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our
1: Let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions.
2: Let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions. 1 John 3:18

See how fast you can say it and get it right. [Depending on the mood of the crowd and the age of the group, if they make a mistake keep going or start over.]

Shepherd Time: 
What is our memory verse? Can anyone say it yet? [“Let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions.” 1 John 3:18]

Let’s think about what the verse means. What is “action?”
What are some actions words?

Have you ever seen someone say they love you or someone else and then they did something that REALLY made you wonder if their love was true? Does anyone want to share?

Think about someone you say you love. Maybe your mother or father, a friend, a neighbor, a sister or brother, a far-away relative. How can you show them that you love them? Think about a time they may really need some love. What action(s) can you take to show them your love?

On your journal sheet with the memory verse, either list some ways you can show this person you love them (use action words) or draw a picture of you doing something that shows this person that you love them.

This is meant to be a time of reflection and introspection. Writing about faith helps clarify lessons. In addition to the suggested activity, children may draw pictures relating to today’s scripture or memory verse, list highlights of the day’s activities, or rephrase the memory verse. The journal pages will be saved and given to the children at the end of the school year.

You may want to provide an extra activity or worksheet for children who finish their journals quickly, such as coloring sheets, crossword puzzles, word searches, games. See the Workshop Leader’s Background Notes and rotation.org for ideas.

Before noon, ask the students stop journaling for a moment and sit quietly for prayer so that they can leave when their parents arrive. Then allow them to finish journaling.

Pray that God will help the children (and adults leaders, too) be active with love in their friends’ and families’ lives.

Additional Suggestions:
You will need to decide how best to adjust the lesson for older and younger students. Keep the children active and involved in activity. Do what works for you and the children. Some ideas:

Older children:

  • Select one child to be “director” and set up each picture, or pick a different child as director for each picture.

Younger Children:

  • For classes composed primarily of pre-readers, show the children how to find the passage in the Bible (for example, “To find the Gospels, open the Bible in the middle and then open the second half in the middle - you should end up in Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John. Our passage is in Mark.") and then have them do it. After everyone has found the passage, have them close their Bibles and listen while you read.
  • For the memory verse game, have a poster with the words and point to the words to help them remember how far to go. If they make a mistake, keep going. Try the whole thing again once you finish it once, if time permits.
  • Offer to let the younger children dictate the list of ways they can show love for their journal page as you write it down. 

Sample listing of scenes and captions used in booklet with digital photos:

1 Crowd listening to Jesus
2 Four friends carrying paralyzed man
3 Digging the hole in the roof
4 Down through the roof
5 What’s coming through the ceiling?
6 Jesus forgives
7 Teachers of the law are shocked!
8 Jesus tells the man to get up
9 The man gets up
10 Everyone praises God

1 -- Several days later Jesus returned to Capernaum, and the news of his arrival spread quickly through the town. Soon the house where he was staying was so packed with visitors that there wasn’t room for one more person, not even outside the door. And he preached the word to them. 

2 -- Four men arrived carrying a paralyzed man on a mat.

3 -- They couldn’t get to Jesus through the crowd, so they dug through the clay roof above his head.

4,5 -- Then they lowered the sick man on his mat, right down in front of Jesus. 

6 -- Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “My son, your sins are forgiven.” 

7 -- But some of the teachers of religious law who were sitting there said to themselves, “What? This is blasphemy! Who but God can forgive sins!” 

8 -- Jesus knew what they were discussing among themselves, so he said to them, “Why do you think this is blasphemy? Is it easier to say to the paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven’ or ‘Get up, pick up your mat, and walk’? I will prove that I, the Son of Man, have the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, take your mat, and go on home, because you are healed!” 

9 -- The man jumped up, took the mat, and pushed his way through the stunned onlookers. 

10 -- Then they all praised God. “We've never seen anything like this before!” they exclaimed.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.


This lesson was written by Amy Crane for River Community Church
Prairieville, Louisiana. 

Copyright 2003 Amy Crane. Permission granted to freely distribute and use, provided the copyright message is included.

Original Post

Wormy Note:

During review and renovation of this forum, we saved this lesson as a "storytelling lesson" rather than how it had been classified originally as a "cooking" lesson.  Normally, graham cracker houses are one of those "over done" projects, but as a storytelling prop, and given that the story features a house and roof, we thought it was good to save.

Our reviewers suggest that you SPLIT UP the monolog into PARTS for the kids to speak.  If you have someone who can play Peter's mother-in-law, however, it might be good!  Our reviewers suggest that the script be adapted so that INSTRUCTIONS are included at various points for how to act out the story using their graham cracker house.

In this lesson, the house is constructed, then the scripture (in the form of the story) is shared. 

This lesson lacks a well-developed opening and reflection activity.

Man Through the Roof

Graham Cracker House & Storytelling Lesson

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Building a Graham Cracker House to act out the story of the Paralytic who was let down through the roof. 

Materials Needed:

  • Graham crackers, vanilla wafers, small and large marshmallows for building materials
  • Pretzel sticks, large marshmallows and wafer cookies for beams and supports
  • Chocolate frosting mixed with marshmallow cream for mortar or mud
  • Fruit roll up for stretcher
  • Pretzel sticks for stretcher and doors/windows
  • Licorice rope for ropes
  • Gummy figures (sour patch kids) or little Elfin cookies for people
  • Misc. candy for decoration

Leader Preparation:

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


Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:

Tell kids we will be building something so we can act out the story from today. Just like in the story, they will have to work together to make it work. Present them with the materials and tell them they need to build a house, a stretcher, the paralytic, his friends, Jesus and the crowd. Show pictures of houses from the time period and pictures of Capernum today (available on-line from several sources). Remind them that the houses were different than the houses we live in. They were made from rocks and mud to conserve wood for fuel and shipbuilding. Only a few beams of wood would have been used to give support. 

Give them a time limit (Shepherds name a time that will leave about 10 minutes at the end of class to act out the story and eat the house). Let the kids decide which materials they should use for what. Encourage them, but let them work though their mistakes and learn to work together. If the group is large, you may want to divide them into 2 groups. This works best with about 4-5 in a group. Stress this is not a competition, however, but recognize the differences in the finished houses. 

At the end of building project, have them act out the story AS IT IS BEING READ.

Talk about how Jesus first dealt with the man’s spiritual problems (Your sins are forgiven) then helped with his physical problems (Take up your mat and walk). Then ask if they would help one of their friends if they needed. Discuss what they could do to help their friends with their spiritual problems as well as physical problems. Then, they may eat their creation.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Script for Story Tent character:

Miracles of Jesus: Story Tent Monologue grades 1-5 

I want to tell you about a miraculous thing that happened at my house one day. I am the mother-in-law of a man named Peter. You may have heard of him. He is pretty famous in our part of the world because he is a disciple of a man called Jesus. Now our village of Capernum is not very large. We all live in houses made of mud bricks with flat roofs that we use as patio when the weather is nice. One day Jesus actually came to stay in our little village! And he was going to stay at MY HOUSE!

Now Jesus had only been teaching for a short time, but we had already heard stories of miraculous things that he had done. My son-in-law Peter told me of the night Jesus called him and his fisherman friends to be disciples. They had been fishing all night long, and hadn’t caught even one fish. They had given up, and were putting away their nets, when Jesus walked up to them and told them to go back out and throw out their nets one more time. So they tried one more time, and miraculously, in moments their nets were about to break because they were so full of fish. They filled up their little boat and had to call their friends to come with another boat to help them bring in the fish. Peter was so amazed he fell down on his knees and worshipped Jesus and then they left everything behind and became disciples or faithful followers of Jesus. 

After that time, we kept hearing stories about Jesus’ miracles. We heard how Jesus turned 6 huge stone jars full of plain water into wine, when the bridegroom ran out of wine. He also healed a man who had leprosy, which is just about the worst disease you can have, because you can’t even live in town or touch anyone because it is contagious. He even healed me of a terrible fever when people thought I might die. Well, Jesus walked in the house, and just held my hand, and I was well instantly. I was so happy; I got up and made them dinner!

But I can see I’m getting off the subject. I want to tell you about the night at my house in Capernum. See, Jesus had come to visit, and everyone wanted to be near him and touch him, and hear him speak. Well that night after dinner, Jesus began to preach. Word spread throughout the village and soon my poor house was packed with people. There must have been 40 people there in there! Even more people were outside, pushing to get in or straining to hear by the windows. They wouldn’t let anyone else in to the house! Now I didn’t know at the time, but that poor paralyzed boy from 3 doors down was trying to get in to see Jesus. Well, I guess he isn’t a boy anymore, he’s a man now, but I’ve known him since he was your age. He believed that Jesus could heal him. Poor thing, he wasn’t even allowed to go into the synagogue because the Pharisees, the men who ran the synagogue, believed that he was paralyzed because he was a sinner. Well this poor boy had that group of friends that he grew up with and they always helped him do things, so they put him on a mat and tried to push their way into the house. Well, no one was going to give up their spot, so they just pushed them back out!

Well, then his friends had an idea. Those boys always were getting into mischief like that, so they went up the stairs to the roof. The boys grabbed some tools my husband had left out and started digging into the clay roof right over where Jesus was! Now, everyone was concentrating on what Jesus was saying, so for a long time, we didn’t even notice what was happening, until chunks of roof started falling down on us! They had tied ropes to the poor paralyzed boy’s mat and were lowering him down through the roof. I was so worried at first. The ceilings in our houses are high to let the heat out, so a fall off that mat could have killed him! But he didn’t even seem worried. He was staring a Jesus with this peaceful look on his face. He knew that he was in the presence of God!

When he got to Jesus, he didn’t even have to ask; Jesus knew his faith, and said to him, “Your sins are forgiven.” Now you could have heard a pin drop. Everyone was waiting to see what the Pharisees would say, because only God could forgive sins. We knew that they were thinking that Jesus was blaspheming, or saying that he was God.

Jesus read their minds too and said, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,” or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority of earth to forgive sins….” He said to the boy, ”I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” And then, HE DID!!!!!! He just got up, picked up his mat and walked out of the house. The people made a path for him; they were all so stunned.

Now this was no trick, I have known this boy since he was a tiny little thing, and he had never walked in his life. We all jumped to our feet and praised God, it was so amazing. 
Now that is a night I will never forget. Jesus went on to do even more miracles, feeding 5000 men, bringing people back from the dead, but nothing will ever amaze me more that Jesus healing that poor paralyzed boy, because I see him all the time. He still lives 3 doors down, goes to synagogue, and has a job now. But he and his friends will never stop praising Jesus and telling people about that miraculous night. I neither will I.


End with a prayer.


A lesson written by Teri Smith for Lake Highlands Baptist
Sulphur Springs, TX

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

Moderator adds: Below photo is from Janice Loeb of St. Andrew's Presbyterian, Lindsay, ON, where they built their houses out of premade gingerbread walls. This is a lot more work as she made the gingerbread pieces in advance, but thought you'd enjoy the photo.

Gingerbread HouseMaterials:

  • Pretzels 5 pieces per child (ladder)
  • 5 Teddy Grahams per child (people)
  • Icing (to hold it all together)
  • Sprinkles Green (Roof) and Brown (Ground)
  • 4 wooden skewers (beams for roof)
  • Gingerbread pre-made walls (3 walls-2 with holes for skewers, 1 roof, 1 wall door/window, 1 floor)
  • Gingerbread base (styrafoam or cardboard covered cake circle from bulk barn)
  • Spearmint Jelly Leaves
  • Bushes – marshmellow mushroom candies
  • White Chocolate rocks for pathway
  • Red Licorice ropes
  • Fruit Roll-up for mat


Photos (1)
Wormy Note: 
During renovation of this forum our reviewers enjoyed this script with two caveats:  
1) It's big!  14 parts. Feel free to condense or have some students play several parts (this might be quite fun seeing them change costumes).  

2) The script could use some "after the miracle" dialog to help flesh out the REACTION to the Miracle and express what people thought it meant.  This could be a great SECOND ACT created by the students.

Man Let Down Through the Roof (healing of the Paralyzed Man)
Drama Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Define “miracle” for children (miracle - a wonderful event which shows us the power of God, or an especially vivid moment when as a result of an unexpected and surprising event, one becomes aware of the presence and power or God at work). 

Acting out the story will give the children a way to experience and share in the joy the healed man must have felt. Acting out the story will also help the children commit this story to memory - a story that fully demonstrates God’s and Jesus’ love for us and how we are to help each other and share in each others joy and pain.

Scripture Reference:

Paralyzed Man and his friends (Mark 2:1-12)
Memory Verse:
Mark 2:11 “I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go home.” NSRV (This story can also be found in Matthew 9:1-8 and Luke 5:17-26)

Lesson Objectives:
  • The children will begin to understand that in healing and forgiveness we glimpse God’s promise of life for us all.
  • The children will experience frustration/disappointment - how the paralyzed man and his friends felt when they couldn’t get near Jesus.
  • The children will explore how the paralyzed man felt when he heard the words, “Stand up....and go home.”

Teacher Prep in Advance:
  1. Gather costumes that will work for this story .
  2. Decide what props would work and have them available for the kids to use if they choose.
  3. Go over the script and know the story very well. Do NOT try and lift the ill person. Have a mat, towel or something that kids can use to drag the ill person. Let kids figure out a way to act out story without lifting!
  4. Decide how you want to present the bible lesson and practice whatever method you choose. Practice telling the story, choose the bible translation that you think best suits the kids’ needs, get any props you might wish to use (nothing to elaborate for props!)
  5. Be prepared in case kids are shy about acting out the story. Be prepared to give “stage directions” to help them along. This may involve reading the script while the kids move. If the class is very large, you could have 1 person be the voice of the character and another the actor for the character. This way the person ‘acting’ doesn’t have to worry about saying/reading lines. You can also have ½ the class acting and ½ being audience and then switch.
  6. Decide how you want to close. Have prayer written - are you going to read it, have kids read it together, one kid read, etc. What if you have extra time? Are there other activities you could do? 

  • Script
  • Costumes
  • Props
  • Item to mark journals
  • Backdrop/scenery
  • Bible or storytelling resource


Opening-Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Welcome the kids. Open the time with prayer. In your prayer, thank God for each person gathered there and ask God to open your ears and eyes that you might all see/hear/experience God’s awesome power. 
Introduce the bible lesson. You may choose to tell the story, read the scripture from your bible, have kids find bible passage and you read it, have kids find it and volunteer to read it, have it written on scroll and read it, have it printed out in large print for all to read together - you choose how you feel is best for you and your teaching style. What method best suits the story? How old are the kids?
Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Assign parts for the play. Have a copy of the script for each child.
Roles:  Narrator, Paralyzed Man, 4 Friends, 4 Persons,  2 Pharisees, Lawyer, and Jesus. Some characters may be combined if needed. (14 in total OR assign multiple roles to kids and have them switch position and costume to say their line.)
Show Time!
(See script below) Younger children can act out the story as you read it or they can act it out using their own words. Older kids can act it out as written, reading the script, or they can act it out using their own words. Let each group decide, or you decide prior to teaching the lesson what you think will work best.

  • How did the paralyzed man feel about being paralyzed? When he walked?
  • How did the his friends feel about having a paralyzed friend?
  • How did the 4 friends feel when they couldn’t get the man in to see Jesus?
  • How did the person who portrayed Jesus in the play feel when they helped the man?
  • How did the 4 friends feel when their friend was healed?
  • How did the crowd that was in the house feel when Jesus interrupted their discussion to help the man?
[See Wormy's notes about the students creating a Second Act that expresses these ideas.]

Review the memory verse. 
Write in the Joural. Have kids put either a stamp from your workshop, a sticker or a small item (stamp or sticker of feet? Foot print?) in their journal to help them remember where they went and what the workshop was about. 
Close with a prayer. For example: Loving God, we are your people. Help us to look around us for all the miracles in our lives. Help us to feel that you are with us and to tell the world about You. Amen. You might also want to close with the memory verse or have kids remember a time they were helped by someone or a time they helped someone and how that felt.

Script:  The Paralyzed Man and his Friends

A drama play for 14 characters. Some characters may be combined if needed. (Or assign multiple roles to kids and have them switch position and costume to say their line.)

NARRATOR There was a man who was paralyzed, so that he couldn't walk. He lived in Capernaum. He was very unhappy.

PARALYZED MAN I am so unhappy. I am unhappy because I can not get about and I
have to beg for a living. I am also unhappy because I know I have done many wrong things in my life. Thinking about those things make me very unhappy.

NARRATOR One day as he lay on his mat-bed, four of his friends came rushing up.

4 FRIENDS Jesus is in Capernaum! He’s healing sick people!

PARALYZED MAN What good is that to me. I can’t go and ask Him to heal me. You
know I can’t walk!

FRIEND #1 You don’t have to walk! Look - we have brought ropes!

The 4 friends tie a rope to each corner of the mat-bed.

PARALYZED MAN What are you doing?

FRIEND #2 It is all right. All you have to do is lie still. We’ll carry you to the house where Jesus is!

The 4 friends drag/carry the man along PUFFING and PANTING 

PARALYZED MAN Don’t drop me! Oh, be careful! I wonder if Jesus really will be
able to cure me. (To himself) I have been such a bad person in the past. Maybe Jesus won’t want to have anything to do with me.

FRIEND #3 Here we are! This is the house. Look at all the people gathered in front.

FRIEND #4 Do you see Jesus? Oh, there he is. He is inside talking with the Pharisees and lawyers.

FRIENDS TOGETHER Excuse us! Excuse us! 

FRIEND #1 Please let us through. This man needs to be healed.

PERSON #1 Hey! You can’t just push your way in here. We are trying to see Jesus too! Wait your turn!

PERSON #2 Yes, you must wait your turn!

PERSON #3 Go to the back of the crowd and wait there!

NARRATOR It was no use. No one would make room for the paralyzed man and his friends.

PARALYZED MAN We’ll have to give up. You had better take me back.

FRIEND #2 No! We won’t give up so easily!

FRIEND #3 There must be a way.....I know! Let’s take him up onto the roof!

FRIEND #4 That is a great idea! Maybe we can see some space from there!

PARALYZED MAN Wait! I am not so sure that is a good idea. How are you going to get me up there? I can’t walk up the stairs.

FRIEND #1 Don’t worry - we will carry you!

NARRATOR And the 4 friends did just that! Very carefully, lifting with the ropes, they carried the man, still on his bed, up the outside stairs and on to the flat roof of the house.

PARALYZED MAN Well, what are you going to do now? What’s the use of all this anyway? I still can’t see Jesus!

FRIEND #2 Listen, Jesus is just below us in the house. How can we get down there?

FRIEND #3 I think that all we need to do is remove some of the tiles from the top of the roof.

NARRATOR And that is what the friends did! They removed enough of the roof tiles to make a whole large enough for the bed to get through...

FRIEND #4 Yes, I see Jesus! He is still speaking with the Pharisees and lawyers

FRIEND #1 Well, what are we waiting for....

NARRATOR Slowly and carefully, they began to lower the man who couldn’t walk down through the hole they had made. The man clung to his bed and hoped he wasn’t going to fall.....

PHARISEE #1 What is the meaning of this? How dare anyone interrupt our discussion.

LAWYER #1 How rude! What does those people think they are doing?

FRIEND #2 Keep going! We are nearly there. He is landing in the middle of the crowd! He is going to land right in front of Jesus!

NARRATOR Jesus looked up at the faces of the friends. He could see they were certain He had the power to heal their friend. Then Jesus looked down at the paralyzed man. Jesus could see the fear and unhappiness in his eyes.

JESUS My friend, all the wrong things you have done are all forgiven.

PHARISEE #2 What? He is forgiving sins?

LAWYER #2 Who is this man? It is against our laws for any man to forgive sins. Only God can do that!

JESUS Which is easier? To say ‘your sins are forgiven’, or to say ‘get up and walk’?

NARRATOR Nobody answered Jesus. The Pharisees and lawyers looked at
each other and shrugged.

JESUS So that you can know I have the power to forgive sins - I say to you - get up. Pick up your bed and walk!

PERSON #1 Him walk? He has not walked for years!

PERSON #2 What did Jesus say? Did he tell him to pick up his bed?

PERSON #3 Shhh! I can’t see what is happening....what is happening!

PARALYZED MAN I feel strength flowing into me! I can move my legs! I can 
move my legs!

NARRATOR The legs that had been paralyzed and helpless for so long could
now be moved. The man sat up. He struggled to his feet, just as Jesus had told him to do. He wobbled a little.

PARALYZED MAN Praise God! Let me take my mat and go! Make way - I am coming through!

NARRATOR The people stepped back in amazement to let him pass. His four friends came rushing out to meet him.

FRIEND #3 Praise God! Look - he can walk!

FRIEND #4 Friend, you must go home and let them know what wonderful thing has happened here today. Praise God!

PERSONS #1,#2.#3 We have seen something amazing happen here today!

NARRATOR Other amazing things were to happen...........

A lesson
 posted by member Catherine of Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church


A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.


Memory Verse Sign Language:

“Let us stop just saying we love each other; let us really show it by our actions.” 1 John 3:18 (NLV)

LET The fingertips of the hands point down and then move up with a slight forward movement.

US The sign WE is made with a U handshape. That is, the first two fingers move from the right shoulder to the left shoulder.

STOP The edge of one hand comes down on the palm to represent something coming to a quick stop (a chopping sort of motion).

SAYING The index finger of the right hand rolls forth from the mouth to represent the flow of spoken words. 

LOVE The hands hug something over the heart to indicate the concept of love.

EACH OTHER The two A handshapes (fist with thumb up at end of fingers) circle one another to show that they are in close proximity

LET The fingertips of the hands point down and then move up with a slight forward movement.

US The first two fingers move from the right shoulder to the left shoulder.

REALLY The forefinger is upright and moves straight forward from the mouth.

SHOW The tip of the right index finger is placed against the left palm and both are moved outward. The fingertip is pointing to something in the palm which is extended for others to see.

ACTIONS (ACT) The hands swing back and forth to show that they are doing something (acting).


Originally posted by Amy Crane


A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.


Storytelling Ideas

Toy Stretchers

Make Stretchers out of cotton fabric and wooden dowels.

Doll is 11" and is from the "Messengers of Faith" Series.  I think this was Noah who is now discontinued.  Out of the series you can still purchase the "Jesus" and the "Mary" dolls.  One2Believe Website http://www.bibletoys.com/Talking-Toys-s/2.htm     Others in the series that are now discontinued you may find on-line:  Noah, David, Moses.Peter, & Paul.

But use any approx. 11" doll (Ken -12" & Barbie 11.5"  dolls would work)!

 Through the Roof Doll StretchersDSC00953

Putting the Story on the Big Screen Idea

"Through the Roof" by Andrew McDonough (Cecil & Friends Series - Australia) - available in three formats: a softcover book, a storytelling kit for big screen, and an activity book.  The link is in Australia if you scroll down you can flip through and read the entire book https://www.lostsheep.com.au/s...es/through-the-roof/

These can be purchased through your local Christian bookstore, it's a Zondervan product available through Harper Collins (if the bookstore doesn't know about them).  But you can also download the storytelling kit and activity kit directly from the Lost Sheep website.

Puppet Idea

A friend put on a puppet show and had a large stretcher holding a large puppet attached to the ceiling and the congregation got a surprise when it was suddenly lowered from the (very high) church ceiling in front of the puppet stage (or behind the puppet stage - can't remember).

This would also be fun to do by lowering it over a balcony (that is a puppet on a stretcher).

Opening Idea

Another friend in her opening sets the scene with foam head characters on stands (dressed) with background pictures.  In her openings she tells the story interacting with the foam head characters.

Through the Roof Head People

Also check out...

Jesus and the Man Let Down Through the Roof

Art (Diorama) Workshop

Note: this lesson plan could also be classified as storytelling or puppets.

by Amy Crane found in the Art Workshop forum link.

Be sure to scan down under the lesson where others have included photos of their dioramas.

I've also included photos of when we did Amy's lesson but used Lego instead.



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