BIG IDEA: I WILL SEEK AFTER JESUS.
AIM: The aim of the ‘Seeking Jesus’ Childrens Lesson on The Bleeding Woman is to creatively use the Finding Dory theme and the story of the bleeding woman to help children to see their need to seek Jesus.
- Fishy Find. Shred lots of paper and put it all in a big clean trash can or container. Place some cut out card fish inside all the shredded paper. On each of the fish write prize names. Ask children questions of your own choice (perhaps on the teaching or past teaching) and allow them to take 30 seconds to find a fish.
- Fetch the Fish. Place fish pictures around an obstacle course. Children should run through the obstacle course
- Fish Flap. Use rolled up newspaper to waft at a cut out paper fish on the floor. The first person to waft the paper fish all the way to the end of the line is the winner.
- Fishy Friends. Print off the Fishy Friends printable (1) and (2). Choose two children to run around and collect pairs of the same fish. The child with the most pairs or who picks up the pairs the fastest is the winner.
- Fishy Food. Put some Swedish Fish candies in a bowl of custard.
BIG VERSE: But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. Matthew 6:33.
View the image for the bible verse here.
SET the Scene:
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) TO SEEK JESUS MEANS TO GO AFTER HIM
Show the series of movie clips from Finding Dory where Dory is searching for her family.
Say: The woman that had been bleeding for twelve years wanted to see Jesus. She came from behind Jesus and touched him. The woman had found out about Jesus and had gone after him. She wanted to touch him, so she did. She didn’t just stand still doing nothing.
When we’re seeking someone it means that we are looking, searching or going after them. To seek is an action. It means we have to make a move. Luke 8:44 (ICB) says “The woman came up behind Jesus and touched the edge of his coat. At that moment, her bleeding stopped.”
Dory wanted to find her family. She wanted to seek them out. Dory didn’t just sit still but she kept swimming and searching for them. We can go after Jesus too. We can read our bibles and talk to him all the time – we can search for him in our ordinary everyday lives. Jesus wants to be involved in our lives!
We seek Jesus because he first came to seek after us. He came to earth to bring us back into a relationship with God. Philippians 2:6-7 says:
Christ himself was like God in everything.
He was equal with God.
But he did not think that being equal with God was something to be held on to.
He gave up his place with God and made himself nothing.
He was born as a man
and became like a servant.
Jesus came to seek after us. He left heaven and was born as a man, living a perfect life and dying a perfect death all so that we might come to know God as our friend. We were separated from God because of the wrong things we have done. A perfect God can’t be close to anything imperfect. Only through Jesus coming to earth and dying in our place are we able to be reunited with God. That is someone worth seeking after!
2) SEEKING CAN SOMETIMES TAKE TIME
Use the Can You Find Dory? image by putting it up on a screen for 5 seconds, 10 seconds, then 20 seconds, 30 seconds and so on until the children can spot Dory amongst all the coral. [She is hidden on the bottom left hand side behind the coral].
Say: The woman who was bleeding had been bleeding for twelve years! That is a very long time to be ill! She must have tried everything – every doctor, every medicine, every option she could think of. She had heard of Jesus and all that he could do. She must have known that he was a great healer! All she had to do was to tough his cloak.
Seeking can sometimes take time. Sometimes we want our answers quickly and we want them now, and when we don’t get the answer we want we get mad. The bleeding woman came to Jesus with great faith. In fact, Jesus said to her, “Dear woman, you are healed because you believed. Go in peace.” Even though she had been waiting a long time to be healed, she hadn’t stopped believing that one day she would be. She believed that Jesus was the one that would heal her. Where others had tried and failed, the power of Jesus would bring her healing. The passage in the book of James helps us to understand how having patience while we seek helps us:
My brothers, you will have many kinds of troubles. But when these things happen, you should be very happy. You know that these things are testing your faith. And this will give you patience. Let your patience show itself perfectly in what you do. Then you will be perfect and complete. You will have everything you need.
Sometimes seeking takes time. Yet how we act while we are seeking is so important! If we have patience, a good attitude and keep our faith then we won’t be disappointed!
3) WHEN WE SEEK JESUS WE WILL FIND HIM!
Put a see through tub or container at the front of the room where everyone can see it. Fill it with water and add lots of random items. Use a toy fish if you have one or a different toy if not. Blindfold one of your children and ask them to find the toy.
Say: In life we can go after many different things. We can search for items we have lost, money or fame or even people, like Dory went looking for her family. In life we don’t always find what we are looking for. That favorite toy we lost may never get found. Yet when we seek Jesus we will always find him. Jeremiah 29:13 says:
“Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
All we have to do is call out to him or tell him that we want him to be our friend. We can ask him to forgive us of all the wrong things we have done and to be Lord and Savior of our lives – letting him lead us! In every decision of our lives we can seek to involve him. That means asking him what he thinks and letting him show us. It means acting on what he tells us to do in his word. The more we seek Jesus, the more of him we will discover and find. There is always more to know and love about Jesus! Ephesians 3:17-19 says:
And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
His love is so great and so amazing that there is always more of him to seek after! And when we seek him we will find him!
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Have pictures of the characters below [use Philip Martin’s free clip art] printed out and hidden around the room that teams must seek to find. The team with the most character pictures collected at the end is the winning team.
Others that were Seeking in the bible:
Good Shepherd: the shepherd sought out the lost sheep.
Nicodemus (John 3:1-21): Asked Jesus lots of questions to find out more as he wanted to know what Jesus thought.
The Rich Man (Matt 19:16-22): Seeking to find out what he must do to gain eternal life.
Zacchaeus: Climbed up a tree to see Jesus.
Jairus (Matt 9:18-26): Went to find Jesus to save his daughter.
The Centurion Soldier (Matt 8:5-13): Seeking Jesus to see if he could save his servant.
The crowds (John 6:22-24): who wanted to make him their king.
Simon Peter and John (John 20:4) after Jesus rose from the dead.
- Why do you think it is important to seek Jesus?
- How are you seeking Jesus?
- When you are seeking Jesus, what kind of things do you do?
- How might you encourage others to seek Jesus?
SENSE How You Feel:
The children can think about what it feels to seek after someone or something as they participate in one of the activities below.
- Create an ‘I’m Seeking Jesus’ Fish Paper Plate. Simply make this fishy paper plate and add the words ‘I’m seeking Jesus’.
- Fish handprint puppets. Create the handprint puppets by using colored card or paper to draw around your hand, cut out the shape and attach it to a popsicle stick before adding decorations.
- Folding Fish. Encourage children to fold some fish as they think about what it means to seek Jesus.
- Make a Fishy Aquarium. Encourage the children to remember how Jesus came to seek after them!
- Fish Pegs. Cut out a fish shape and then cut it in half. Attach each half to the top and bottom of a peg. The fish now opens and closes it’s mouth!
Take some bibles and give the children time to read the passage or other passages for themselves. Using the Fishy Prayer Printable children can write or draw their prayers on a fish and hang it from a ceiling or wall using yarn. You may like to play the song ‘Seek Ye First’ as the children seek and pray.