Sickness and pain are all around us. Unfortunately, children today are quite aware of this, and it can seem confusing or frustrating. But we rejoice that in Christ we find hope and healing. Our ultimate solution to life’s struggles does not lie in any manmade treatment but in the one who came to suffer in our stead. While on Earth, Jesus demonstrated that He came to care for people. He provided physical healing, but also sought to save the lost through His teaching and genuine love. That care and concern continues today, as Jesus promises to be with us and provide for us.
Lesson focus: Jesus provided miracles of healing, but the greatest healing He gives is the salvation of souls. In this lesson, children will recognize how His earthly ministry demonstrated how much He cared for people. Because we know He cares for us still, we should pass that love along to those around us. This lesson also reminds us that even Jesus took moments to rest and remember His role. We should take time to pray and recall who we are in Christ.
Passage: Mark 1:29-39
Target Audience: Kindergarten-6th grade (variable for activity emphasis)
Materials Needed: Construction paper, scissors, decorations, glue, string, hole punch, paper plates, band-aids, markers, crayons, Bible (optional, depending on crafts and activities of choice).
More Teaching Ideas on this Scripture
- Watch the video demonstration on our YouTube channel
- Watch the craft demonstration
- Compare an alternate Bible Lesson from Mark 1:29-39
- Compare the preschool lesson “Jesus can heal sick people”
- Compare the Mark 1:29-39 children’s sermon from rfour.org
Games and Lesson Introduction
This lesson involves the healing ministry of Jesus, who demonstrated that He cared for others by taking care of their needs. Start things off with a fun game or activity that involves items we might associate with healing.
Here are some activities to get kids thinking… (select the best ones for your audience and age group):
- Band-aid relay race: have children form two lines to race. One child at a time from each line should run (or walk, hop, skip, etc.) to another end of the room or playing field, grab a band-aid, and come back. They must unwrap the band-aid and place it on the next person in line as a form of “tagging” him/her for their turn. See which line can be completely bandaged first. *Challenge bonus (for older students): unwrap the band-aids wearing gloves or mittens!
- Pin the band-aid on the penguin (or whatever kind of animal or human character you wish to use): place a large picture of someone or something. Blindfold one child at a time and hand them a band-aid. See who can get closest to attaching the band-aid to a designated spot on the animal or person picture.
- How can we help? Create a large poster, and have students brainstorm ways to show they care for others. Kids can trace a handprint and write a helping method inside it. They can glue cut-out hand prints to the poster.
- First aid guessing game: blindfold students and invite them to reach into a bag and identify (by touch only) items from a first aid kit. Alternatively, have another student describe an item for others to guess.
- Get up fast tag: in the story, Jesus touched Peter’s mother-in-law, and she got up. In this game, have one or two children lie in the center of a circle. The other children walk around the “sick its”, until one of the walking children tags one. The “sick” person must then jump up and try to tag someone else. Once tagged, that child must lie down and replace the person who tagged him or her.
- “Medic tag”: in this freeze tag variation, a student who is tagged by a designated “it” may keep running, but must hold the area that was tagged (so if the elbow was tagged, they must hold their elbow; if the knee was tagged, hold the knee). If they cannot continue to run (a foot was tagged somehow), they must call for a “medic.” Two or three selected students work as “medics”, and can “heal” those who were tagged by placing a band-aid on them.
Remind children that things like medicine and band-aids help us to get better, but God is the one who ultimately does the healing work in us. And the most important thing He does is heal our hearts! Sin is the biggest problem we face, and Jesus took care of that for us. All we have to do is trust and believe in His promises. In this lesson, we are going to read about how Jesus took care of people on Earth. He loved those people a long time ago, and He loves us and takes care of us now, too!
Ask: Who takes care of you when you are sick or hurt? What kinds of things help you feel better? Have you ever helped take care of someone else who needed help?
Mark 1:29-39 Sunday School Lesson
Bible Lesson: This passage contains elements that can certainly be acted out in mime, puppetry, or ad-libbed skit. There are a few main features to the passage, beginning with the healing of Simon’s mother-in-law, continuing to the healing of others, and finishing with Christ’s “alone time” example. Feel free to read out loud, take turns reading with older students, summarize for younger kids, or use whatever method works best for you.
And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. 30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them. -Mark 1:29-31
We don’t know how long Simon’s mother-in-law had been sick, but we know how long it took her to get better. Jesus didn’t have to give her rounds of antibiotics. He just took her by the hand, and she was better right away! She was healed so immediately that she even started serving them. That’s fast-acting relief, all right. She probably wanted to serve Jesus and His disciples because she was grateful for the healing He provided. We should be thankful and want to serve others, too.
Ask: Why do you think Jesus healed this woman?
It might seem obvious…He healed her because He could; to show He had power from God; or maybe because she was a relative of His close friend. But ultimately He cared. Jesus doesn’t want us to feel sick or sad or hurt. He didn’t just help this lady because He knew her son-in-law. Others were brought to Him, too, and He healed them. Jesus healed many people who had all kinds of outer and inner ailments. Word spread fast, and Jesus took care of those who needed Him.
That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. 33 And the whole city was gathered together at the door. 34 And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. -Mark 1:32-34
Jesus cared for the crowds. He had strength and curing power from God, and He used it to do great miracles. He healed many people. But you know what? It probably took a lot of effort and work for Jesus to do all that. He was the son of God, of course, but He was also a human, and He got tired. Sometimes Jesus needed time to Himself, and He withdrew from others to pray. We see that happen here, in fact. Let’s look at the next few verses in this passage:
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37 and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” -Mark 1:35-37
Jesus went out to a spot where He could be all by Himself. He probably needed to recover and remember His mission on Earth. Maybe He also thanked God for the miracles that were happening. Of course, Jesus was God, so sometimes it’s confusing to think of Him praying, but He did, demonstrating the importance of prayer. We should always pray, and we might need to take time away to do it. The verses don’t say how long Jesus was away, but it was long enough for His disciples to form a search committee and come hunt Him down…
Ask: What do you do when you feel like you are overwhelmed or need time to yourself? Do you have a special spot or routine that helps you get space away from other things?
Remind children that taking time for yourself is a good thing. God wants and invites us to take time for ourselves. God wants to hear from us. Jesus recognized, though, that He was needed in the world. He took time to contemplate His purpose on Earth, and then He responded to His seeking disciples to explain that purpose:
And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” 39 And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons. -Mark 1:38-39
Ask: Who did Jesus come for? According to these verses, why did He come?
Explain that Jesus was sent to Earth to heal, preach, teach, love, care, and show how much God loved His people. Most importantly, He came to die so that we might have eternal life. He took care of our hurts inside and out. He has come back to life so that we might live. As we consider His life and work, and consider our hurts and concerns, we take hope in remembering that Jesus promised to be with us always. He heals physical hurts, but most importantly He heals our inner trouble. Jesus cares for us always!
Close with a prayer thanking God for healing our hearts and curing our sin sickness. Ask for His help in caring for those around us and trusting His Word.
Crafts: Healing can lend itself to fun craft possibilities. A few to consider include:
- “Jesus Heals Hearts” band-aid card: use as a decoration or a card to give away.
- “Helping hands” decoration or collage, to consider how we can reach out and help others.
- “First aid kit” bags: decorative bags to give away, featuring items such as tissues, band-aids, small candies, and stickers.