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In addition to these public lesson and ideas topics below, supporting members can view the Writing Team's lesson set, "Jesus, the boy who went to the Temple." Its lesson summaries and Bible background are open to all.

This thread is for posting your Video Workshop Lessons and Ideas for the boy Jesus in the Temple.

Please format your posts so that they are easy to read.

Please include full titles and publisher details for resources.

Here are a couple of videos to get the sharing started. More down the page!

  • "Jesus, Son of God", the animated video from Nest prominently features the story of Jesus at 12. Unlike other depictions of Jesus in this series, this one has Jesus with light brown hair and blue eyes, however, it tells the story of Jesus in the Temple so well.  Chapters 1 thru 4 covers Jesus as a child and visit to the temple, approx. 15 mins..  If you have the DVD with the interactive quiz - Quiz 2 questions are mostly about this story.

  • "Mary the Mother of Jesus", ... Jesus age 12 in the Temple. Originally produced by NBC for American television. The older Jesus in this movie is portrayed by Christian Bale.

  • "Jesus" (the one with Jeremy Sistow as Jesus), briefly has the 12 yr old Jesus. Originally distributed by CBS. Lux Vide was the distributor at one point. In the DVD go to Chapter 8 – Jerusalem:  it shows Jesus in Jerusalem for his Bar Mitzvah, stop after Mary and Joseph find him in the temple talking to the elders.  (approx. 5 minutes)
    Immediately following this section are scenes of men being crucified along the road, so you’ll want to be aware of that and stop the video before you get to that point.

  • Saddleback Kids' brief animated retelling of Bible stories are always fun, and Jesus in the Temple is another good one.

More video clips listed below...

Last edited by Neil MacQueen
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Jesus as a Young Boy in the Temple

Video Workshop

Summary of Lesson Activities:

Watch portions of two videos – Finding Nemo and Jesus, a live-action video about Jesus’ life. Discuss what each of these films tells us about the story. [Note: 1st – 3rd graders visited this workshop.]

(Our thanks to Julie Burton of the Writing Team who wrote a lesson from which this one was adapted.)

Scripture Reference:

Luke 2:41-52

Key Verse:

“And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people.” Luke 2:52 (The Message) 

Workshop Objectives — After completing this Rotation, participants will be able to:

  • Name that the story is found in the New Testament.
  • For 3rd grade and up: Locate the story in Luke. Identify the book of Luke as a New Testament Gospel
  • Tell the story of Jesus in the temple as a young boy.
  • Identify Jesus’ priority to learn in the house of God and relate our need to do likewise.
  • Compare Mary and Joseph’s search for Jesus to our own search for God’s presence in our lives. 

Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials.

Supplies List:

  • Finding Nemo. Walt Disney Video, 2003.
  • Jesus (CBS mini-series starring Jeremy Sisto as Jesus), 2000.
  • TV/DVD
  • Snack items: goldfish crackers, paper cups, napkins, and water pitcher
  • Bibles (for 3rd grade and up)
  • Story Bible for 1st and 2nd grade – The Young Reader’s Bible
  • Easel with appropriate marker

Before Start of Class:

  • Prepare snack and cups of ice water.
  • Cue the DVD Finding Nemo to the MAIN MENU. Choose “Scene Selection” then choose “5-8.” This is where this video will be started (on chapter 6).
  • Cue the DVD Jesus to the view outside of Jerusalem just before Joseph directs Mary, Jesus and John where they should camp. [The scene in this video with Jesus at the Temple starts earlier, but I am choosing to not start earlier to avoid the scene with the fire-swallowers.]
  • Write the key Bible verse on the white board. And write: “Growing in Body” & “Growing in Spirit.”


Opening – Welcome & Lesson Introduction:

Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the video workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.

[Note: The Shepherd will quietly take attendance, etc. while you are starting your lesson.]

Hold up the cover of the DVD Finding Nemo.


  • How many of you have seen this video?
  • Who is looking for Nemo in this video? (his father)
  • Do Nemo and his father find each other? (yes)

Say: Today we will watch portions of this video. We will compare the search for Nemo in this video to our Bible story, which is about a search for Jesus when he was a young boy. First let’s start with prayer.

Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. Use the Lord’s Prayer as the ending. A suggestion: “Heavenly Father, we ask your blessings on our class today. Help us to search for the meaning of our Bible story. Help us to relate it to our lives and our search for including you as part of our lives. (End with the Lord’s Prayer) Amen.”

Dig - Main Content & Reflection:

For 1st and 2nd graders:


  • Since this is a story about Jesus, where in the Bible would we read about it, in the New Testament or the Old Testament? (new testament)
  • What do we call the first four books of the New Testament? (the Gospels)

Say: Words often have meanings. The word gospel means “good news”. These first four books of the New Testament tell the story of the good news about Jesus’ life on earth. The four Gospels are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They are named after their authors. Our story can be found in the Gospel of Luke. Listen while I tell our Bible story.

Read them the story on pages 256 – 261 of The Young Reader’s Bible. Show the pictures as you read the story.

For 3rd grade (who visit later in the Rotation):


  • Since this is a story about Jesus, where in the Bible would we read about it?
  • What do we call the first four books of the New Testament? (the Gospels)
  • What does the word “Gospel” mean?

Say: The word gospel means “good news.” These first four books of the New Testament tell the story of the good news about Jesus’ life on earth and how Jesus died so that our sins are forgiven.

Ask: What are the names of the first four books of the Bible?

Distribute Bibles.
Have students find the story in Luke, chapter 2, verses 41-52.

Invite the students to share what they already know about the story. Fill in any missing details using their Bibles.

For all students:


  • Where was Jesus? (in the Temple)
  • How old was Jesus in this story? (12)
  • How do you suppose Joseph and Mary could leave Jerusalem without him? [To discuss this question refer to material in the Bible overview.]
  • What did they do when they realized he wasn’t with them? (returned to Jerusalem to search)

Say: Let’s watch the Finding Nemo video about how Nemo and his father become separated. Pay attention to Nemo’s father’s reaction.

Show the first video:

Have the Shepherd distribute the snack.

Using the DVD, from the menu previously cued to, choose chapter 6 - Nemo Lost.
VIEW scene of about 3 minutes.
PAUSE when Dory says, “Hi, I’m Dory.”

Ask: How is Nemo’s father feeling about losing Nemo?
Do you suppose Joseph and Mary might have felt the same way?
I wonder what it was like when Mary and Joseph were looking for Jesus?

Say: Let’s watch a portion of what Nemo’s father had to go through in his search for Nemo.
Press MENU.
Then choose “Scene Selection” Then “13-16” Then chapter 14 – Jellyfish
VIEW scene of about 2 minutes, 20 seconds.
PAUSE when Nemo’s dad says, “the clownfish is the winner.”

Say: Going through the jellyfish was very dangerous.
Ask: What dangers might Joseph and Mary have experienced by turning back to look for Jesus in Jerusalem? [Traveling alone (not in a large group) was probably dangerous.]

Say: Now we’ll watch the scene where Nemo and his father finally meet up. Let’s see what their reunion is like.

Press MENU.
Choose “Scene Selection” Then “25-28” Then chapter 27 – Nemo and Dory
VIEW scene of about 2 minutes, 22 seconds.
PAUSE after Nemo’s dad says, “It’s alright son; it’s going to be OK.” [Before Dory looks up and sees the net.]

Ask: Was Nemo’s dad glad to see him?
If you were separated from your parents, what would your reunion be like?

Say: Now let’s watch another video which depicts actors acting out our Bible story about Jesus becoming “lost.”

Show the second video:

START the video at the designated place (see “Leader Preparation” above).
POINT OUT Joseph with Mary and two boys.
PAUSE when Mary and Joseph are asleep on the streets of Jerusalem.
[The PAUSE button is one of the most powerful tools in your workshop. Don’t be afraid to use it!]

Ask: How do you suppose Mary and Joseph felt about not being able to find Jesus?
Say: From watching Finding Nemo and now this video, we can understand how Jesus’ parents felt.

STOP after Mary, Joseph, and Jesus are seen leaving Jerusalem. (Total viewing time: 4 minutes, 30 seconds.)
[Note: don’t let this next scene play too long as crucified people are shown.]



  • What did Jesus say when Mary and Joseph found him? (why were you searching for me – didn’t you know I had to be in my Father's house?)

[If necessary, REWIND and show this scene again. Showing parts of videos over again is a good way to reinforce a lesson point.]

Say: This trip was probably Jesus’ first time to Jerusalem. He felt that he belonged in the Temple. He called it, “his father’s house.” A Temple is what we would think of as a church. It was the gathering place for all people who wanted to worship God. It was also a place of learning. People gathered at the Temple to learn about God from the teachers and from each other.


  • Why do you suppose Jesus felt that he should be at the Temple?
  • How about you, do you feel it is important to be at church, learning about God?
  • What learning opportunities are there here at church? (Sunday’s Cool, worship, Vacation Bible Camp, service opportunities, etc. ) [Be sure to include talking & thus learning from other people, & also opportunities for kids to teach others.]

Say: Think back to when Mary and Joseph were looking for Jesus.


  • Do you sometimes feel like you are looking for Jesus?
  • Looking for evidence that Jesus is a part of your life?
  • What helps you find Jesus in your day? 


Say: Jesus felt that he belonged at the Temple, learning about God and teaching others about God. The Bible tells us that after Jesus was found in the Temple, that he went home with his parents. Jesus was 12 in this story so he had lots of growing to do – both growing taller and wiser and in his knowledge about God. [Refer to the white board.] Our key verse tells us this:

“And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people.”

Have everyone repeat the key Bible verse together. 

Have everyone share a way that they have grown (allow repeats):

  • In body (example: perhaps their shoe size changed recently, or they grew taller)


  • In spirit (example: by trying to pray every day or read their Bible).


  • Bruno, Bonnie and Carol Reinsma. The Young Reader’s Bible. Cincinnati, OH: Standard Publishing, 1998.
  • Burton, Julie. “Jesus in the Temple: Video Workshop.” 2007 Retired.
  • MacQueen, Neil. "Manual -Teaching in the Video, A-V Workshop"

Video References:

  • Finding Nemo. Walt Disney Video, 2003. 
  • Jesus. (CBS mini-series starring Jeremy Sisto as Jesus), 2000.


A lesson written by Carol Hulbert from:
First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI 

Copyright 2008 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI. Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material.

If you use this material, even in a modified form, please include the following reference:

Hulbert, Carol. "Jesus as a Young Boy (in the Temple): Video Workshop." Jan. 2008. Place URL where lesson found inside angle brackets<>.

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.

If you have found these workshops useful it would make my day if you let me know about it (and/or please make a contribution to - see here for details. Thanks!

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Video Suggestions

The links take your to YouTube clips posted from various video resources.

Some of them are short, but each also presents a little something different about the story. The film clips, in particular, give you a sense of the Temple precincts, crowds and appearance. Others add a scene showing Jesus helping his parents, etc.



Mary of Nazareth (2014)

has a nice couple of minutes with the boy Jesus in his father's workshop, and Jesus' visit to the Temple (starts around the 36 minute mark).  Even includes a scene of Jesus at his father's funeral, before we see him as a young carpenter himself, interacting with his mother. Originally published by, they upload the full movie to YouTube.


Boy Jesus lost in Temple - YouTube

This one comes from the Jesus of Nazareth, the 1977 film.

Pros:  Good depiction of crowds and Temple precincts.
Cons:  It features a blue eyed Jesus because the adult actor who played Jesus also had blue eyes.  


Jesus at 12 - YouTube
This one is good for young children. It comes from publisher Tommy Nelson's animated Bible.


The Boy Jesus in the Temple - YouTube

THE BOY JESUS IN THE TEMPLE - Jesus: a Kingdom Without Frontiers video series. Now known as the   It was later retitled/repackaged on DVD as, The Young Jesus in the "New Testament Bible Stories Series" distributed by Under God's Rainbow, and was available from as well as on Youtube.


Jesus Son of God

Another good animated movie for kids is Jesus, Son of God from Nest Video.


Images (4)
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  • jesus-maryofnazarethmovie
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Last edited by Luanne Payne

Saddleback Kids' "Jesus in the Temple"

A video short suitable for starting a study or use in worship. It starts with the first time Jesus was in the Temple as a baby.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

A video lesson with an object lesson and short animation about the story of Jesus visiting the Temple as a boy.ed version of Jesus in the Temple. 

Luke 2:41-52

Bible images in this video © Kirsty McAllister from Lamp Bible Pictures, used with permission.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

The story of Jesus the boy in the Temple could be a good opportunity to explain to older children what the Temple IS, and why it was considered an important place to go.  Importantly, it's also an opportunity to share what Jesus would grow up and SAY about the Temple  --that it isn't a place but a people in which God is pleased to dwell.

The Bible Project's "Temple" presentation is really good. It starts with the OT and ends with Jesus' vision for the "living Temple."

The "boy who went to the Temple" would transform our understanding of it.


Images (2)
  • The new Temple
  • Living Stones

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