Lesson: Loving Your Neighbor as Yourself – Parable of the Good Samaritan

Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids how to show love to others.

Needed: Bibles, blankets or sheets or beach towels, bandages, cups of water

Intro Game: Up and Down 

Give the students blankets, sheets, or beach towels to hold between them. You can break the students into teams or have them complete the following challenges together.

1. Bounce an object 5, 10, and 20 times without dropping it.

2. See how high they can bounce an object.

3. Bounce more than one object for 30 seconds without dropping any of them.

4. Bounce an object while spinning their blanket, sheet, or towel. (Everyone in the circle moves one step between bounces.)

5. Bounce and object while hopping. (Everyone takes one hop between bounces.)

As you finish, remind students that one thing we want to go up is our spirits when we die. We all want our spirits to go up to Heaven and live forever.


Read Luke 10:25.

“On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he asked, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’”

What does the man want? (He wants to know how he can get eternal life.)

What is eternal life? (Living forever in Heaven. So, the man wants to know what he has to do to get to Heaven.)

(Read Luke 10:26-28.)

“’What is written in the Law?’ He replied. ‘How do you read it?’

“He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’

“’You have answered correctly,’ Jesus replied. ‘Do this and you will live.’”

Jesus says that if we love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind, and if we love other people as we love ourselves, then we’ll get to go to Heaven and live forever. What does it mean to love God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind?

It means that we should love God with our whole life. Everything we do should be things that make God happy. If we always do the right things that make God happy, then we’ll be loving God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind.

What does it mean to love other people as we love ourselves?

It means always to want what’s best for them, just like we always want what’s best for us. If we wouldn’t hurt ourselves, then we don’t hurt them. If we try to make good things happen for us, then we try to make good things happen for them too. We love them as we love ourselves.

(Read Luke 10:29-32.)

“But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, ‘And who is my neighbor?’

“In reply Jesus said: ‘A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.”

A Levite is a helper for the priest. Why do you think the priest and the Levite didn’t help the man who got beat up?

Do you think they would have wanted someone to help them? (Yes.)

So, they should have helped the other man. They should have loved the other man as they loved themselves. They should have helped him like they would want someone else to help them.

(Read Luke 10:33-35.)

“But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’”

Do you think the Samaritan man did the right thing by helping the man who got beat up? (Yes.)

The Samaritan did the right thing because he loved the other man as he loved himself. He helped the other man because he would want someone to help him if he got beat up like that.

Jesus says that we should always try to help other people too because then, we will be loving other people as we love ourselves.

Game: Being the Good Samaritan

Divide students into teams of four or five and give them some bandages and a cup of water for each person on the team. One student from each team starts out as the Beat-Up Man.

They go and lie down on the other side of the room.

The rest of their teammates are the Good Samaritan. On “Go!” their teammates race over to them, put a couple of bandages on them, give them a drink of the cold water, and then, pick them up and carry them back to the team’s starting line.

The second person then races back to the other side of the room and becomes the Beat-Up Man. Once they lie down, the rest of the team can go help them.

The game ends when one team has carried all of their Beat-Up Men back to the line. If you don’t have enough students to make two teams, simply let them all be on one team and have them race against the clock, trying to see how fast they can “save” their whole team.

Remind students that Jesus wants us to help other people, just like the Samaritan helped the man who got beat up, and to love other people as we love ourselves.

Game: Up and Down 

Play the intro game again and remind students that Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan because someone asked Him what they had to get eternal life. Jesus told them that they had to love God with all their heart, soul, strength, and mind and that they had to love other people as they loved themselves.

Closing Prayer

Jesus, we pray that You’ll help us to love other people as we love ourselves. Show us how we can help other people every day. Amen.

You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, The Parables and Teachings of Jesus Vol. 2.

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