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Jesus the Boy Who Went to the Temple

Lesson Set Summary

Jesus, Mary and Joseph on their way to the Temple courtesy of 1st UMC Ann Arbor.

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Be like Jesus when you come to God's house!

This lesson set looks at Jesus' trip to the Temple and his positive actions and attitude about being there as a (pun alert) "template"   for our own attitude and behavior when we gather for worship and Sunday School.  Yes, we want our kids to "be like Jesus" all the time. This particular lesson set, wants them to consider how they should act when they come to worship and learn like Jesus did.


Passage: Luke 2:41-52

Key/Memory Verse: "After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers." Luke 2:46-47   (NRSV)

Read the Bible Background and Lesson Objectives

Workshops in this Lesson Set


Using paints, fabric, and other creative materials, students will create a public mural of "what else" in the Temple Jesus was probably doing - experiencing - hearing - seeing - and paying attention to during his three days in the Temple when his parents weren't around.

Bible Skills & Game

Students will play through several versions of the game "Concentration" using Bible verse cards from the passage. By making changes to the game, the teacher will walk the students through a series of insights about the story, and ultimately, play a "listening" skit-game. 

About the "games" in this lesson

A traditional game lesson has a Bible study followed by a game that might be themed on the story or be some sort of quiz. This games lesson demonstrates how the Bible study itself can be part of the game, and insights unfolded as the game is replayed under different rules. "Playing" or "gam-ing" the discussion is perhaps a better description of the style.

Computer~ 2 to choose from!

Computer [1]
Using Life of Christ CD, students will view a presentation of Luke 2: Jesus in the Temple, and take a quiz, then reflect on "Where Do I Stand in Our Temple?" using printable photographs of a Temple model.  Additional software suggestion for preschool through 1st grade.

Computer [2]

Using Attack of the Sunday School Zombies software, students play a fun game about the right and wrong attitudes some people bring to their church participation and then consider how they can be a role model to others.  Note: This software program is available for FREE to supporting members. Learn more about the program.


A tasty examination of "with what –and how we are fed" by the various activities happening in places around our "Temple" church. Students will "taste and see" what attracted Jesus to want to be part of the Temple experience, understand the benefits for imitating him in their own church.


Through a series of fun "posing," quirky "StuffJesusNeverSaid" skits, and a hashtag "#Jesus-a-tude" reflection, students will examine the actions, attitudes and "vibe" they and other students sometimes act out at church, and look toward Jesus' actions and attitude in the Temple as their standard.


Students will recreate and photograph scenes from the story of Jesus as a boy in the Temple in Jerusalem. They will have the creative option to recreate five key scenes as 1st Century "Tableaux" –or do a "Photo Shoot" around the church mixing "then and now" costumes and characters. Discussion with the resulting photographs will explore the life application of the story and reinforce its memory.

A Sticky Story Workshop

"Jesus is in the House!" There are a lot of places people encounter Jesus in their lives, but for most children, the church is the first place they experience his holy presence and compelling message. This lesson turns that important realization into a concrete action and memorably "sticky" visual for both students and adults.

Video / Audio-Visual

Rather than posting a lesson plan for this workshop, we have posted several video options and ideas. 

Supplemental Resources

Storyteller Script that includes Maps of the Temple - and - A "Where's Jesus?" Children's Sermon.


Things you need to know about the lessons in this set: 

The lessons in this set were written to complement each other. Each lesson approaches the story using a different teaching medium, and each lesson has a slightly different emphasis related to the story.  

Whether you use the Rotation Model or not, ideally you would teach SEVERAL of these lessons over a period of weeks in order to fully explore the scriptures and commit them to memory.  


Who and What is the Writing Team?

Volunteer lesson writers have been getting together to write sets of workshop lessons since 2002. Over four dozen volunteers have taken part in this ministry assisted by professional writers. Because that intensive help required professional assistance paid for by our Supporting Members, only Supporting Members get access to the lessons themselves. It's a major benefit of supporting our site.


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Images (2)
  • On the way to the Temple
  • WT-Boy
Last edited by Luanne Payne
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