BIG IDEA: JESUS’ FORGIVENESS CHANGES ME
AIM: The aim of the ‘Transformed By His Forgiveness’ Childrens Lesson on The Man Through the Roof is to challenge the children to think about how their need for forgiveness is much greater than their need for healing.
- ‘Totally Transformed’ by Jana Alayra
- ‘You Make Me Brave’ by Bethel Kids
- ‘Freedom’ by Bethel Kids (Preview only – get DVD or download full version)
- Blanket Race. Children must race one another in this quick relay, the only catch is that they must drag their friend on a blanket as they race!
- Hacky Sack. How long can your kids keep a small ball in the air? That’s the challenge in the hacky sack game?
- Hanging Donuts. Hang 2- 4 donuts on a string and ask children to lie underneath it and eat the donut – only without using their hands!
BIG VERSE: If anyone belongs to Christ, then he is made new. The old things have gone; everything is made new! 2 Corinthians 5:17. View the Powerpoint here and widescreen version here.
SET the Scene:
Read Mark 2:1-12. A paralyzed man was brought to Jesus. This man was brought by three friends who loved and cared about him and wanted to see him back on his feet. These three men had faith that Jesus could totally transform the paralyzed man’s life. Today we’re going to be looking at an often forgotten part of this story. You see, it was amazing that Jesus made this paralyzed man walk… but he made the man walk to help the people see something. Of course, Jesus loved the paralyzed man and wanted him to walk… yet Jesus was first concerned that the man would know God’s forgiveness. He knew that before people need anything else, they always need God’s forgiveness.
- The Man Lowered Through the Roof
- ‘Man Through the Roof’
- ‘A Hole in the Roof’ by Gracelink
- ‘Jesus Heals a Man Lowered Through the Roof’
- ‘Man Through a Roof’ by Holy Moly
This story is also a really fun story to make your own skit about. Simply use the bible as your starting place and have your leaders or kids act out the story as someone reads.
- What was wrong with the man in the story?
- Why did his friends knock through the roof?
- Did Jesus ask to heal or forgive the man first?
- Why did the religious people get upset with Jesus?
- Why did Jesus heal the man?
- What did the man and the people do at the end of this passage?
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) JESUS HAS POWER TO FORGIVE
Create a giant scratch art picture by coloring with colored wax crayons and then putting black crayon or paint over the top. Then in front of the children scratch the words ‘Jesus Forgives’ into the wax. The colored wax should show through.
Say: This picture looks like a giant mess! It’s covered in black crayon and it looks really dark. The word on the street during the time that Jesus was about to heal the man through the roof was that people became ill or paralyzed because they had done wrong, or perhaps their parents had done wrong. Jesus shows us that that just wasn’t true (read more about this idea in John 9:1-41). Sometimes people are simply ill or injured or born in a different way and we won’t always understand why. Yet Jesus wanted to show everyone that he had the power to forgive. The people knew that only God could forgive. Forgiveness for all the wrong things we have done could only ever come from God.
Of course, we all need forgiveness – even the paralyzed man. We have all done, said or thought things that are wrong. Just like this picture [show picture] we are all messed up by sin. So Jesus knew that, more than healing, the paralyzed man needed forgiveness for the wrong things that he had done – just like we all need forgiveness for the wrongs we have done.
Jesus saw that these men had great faith. So he said to the paralyzed man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.”
Some of the teachers of the law were sitting there. They saw what Jesus did, and they said to themselves, “Why does this man say things like that? He is saying things that are against God. Only God can forgive sins.”
At once Jesus knew what these teachers of the law were thinking. So he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things? Which is easier: to tell this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to tell him, ‘Stand up. Take your mat and walk’? But I will prove to you that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So Jesus said to the paralyzed man, “I tell you, stand up. Take your mat and go home.” Immediately the paralyzed man stood up. He took his mat and walked out while everyone was watching him.
The people were amazed and praised God. They said, “We have never seen anything like this!”
[Scrape in the picture “Jesus Forgives.” It will reveal color behind.]
Jesus showed the people that he had the power to forgive – because he could also heal the sick – two things that only God could do! He showed them that he was God in the flesh and that he had the power and authority (the right and control) to do anything – including to forgive sins! There were lots of other people that Jesus forgave when he was on the earth. Jesus forgave the woman who was caught doing things that she shouldn’t be doing, and men wanted to kill her until Jesus stepped in (John 8:1-11). Jesus forgave the man who was on the cross next to him; a man who was being punished for breaking the law, yet Jesus invited him to be with him in heaven (Luke 23:43).
[At this point you can wipe off all of the black crayon from the picture and leave the colored crayon.]
Jesus has the power to forgive sins because Jesus is God in flesh. When we are forgiven we become who we were meant to be all along – just like the paralyzed man who walked away from the crowded house.
2) JESUS FORGIVES ME
Use the dissolving sin object lesson. You may also want a present wrapped up for the person that is willing to take it.
Say: Perhaps you’re thinking it’s really cool that Jesus has the power to forgive sins, but you’re not sure he will do it for you. We all need forgiveness that comes from Jesus. God is so good and perfect – He has never done a thing wrong! Yet He was willing to send his only Son that we might know him and come to be His friend. Jesus forgives you, all you need to do is receive his forgiveness. Just like a present may be yours, it is only when you take it and use it that you receive the benefits. Is there anyone who will take this present?
When we receive Jesus’ forgiveness it transforms us. We are a brand new creation because we no longer have to live with the sin of our past. We can know that we are free! That completely changes us – someone that is free does not live in the same way as the person who is stuck in prison. Jesus’ forgiveness gives us freedom to live a big life for Jesus – going out into the world and helping other people be set free by Jesus’ forgiveness too!
Will you receive God’s forgiveness today?
3) WOULD YOU FORGIVE?
Say: Is it difficult to forgive someone when they hurt you or let you down? How much would you forgive? Let’s do a little test to see how much we think we could forgive someone else.
- Your best friend has a party but doesn’t invite you. Do you forgive them? If so, how long does it take? View Powerpoint here.
- Your teacher humiliates you in class for getting an answer wrong. Do you forgive them? If so, how long does it take? View Powerpoint here.
- Your parent blames you for making your little brother cry, only you didn’t do anything. Do you forgive them? If so, how long does it take? View Powerpoint here.
- Your classmate spreads a rumor about you that isn’t true. Do you forgive them? If so, how long does it take? View Powerpoint here.
- Your Kids Pastor promises to come and watch your next game, but doesn’t make it. Do you forgive them? If so, how long does it take? View Powerpoint here.
It feels really difficult to forgive sometimes – especially if someone has hurt you or let you down really badly! Yet we have to remember just how much God has forgiven us! He forgives us for everything that we do that is wrong. So if we want forgiveness from God but we won’t forgive other people there has to be something wrong. God loves everyone. He even loves the people that we find it difficult to forgive. Sometimes we simply have to ask Jesus to help us to forgive, because we know we can’t do it on our own – and that’s okay!
Let’s be the kind of people that choose to forgive even when it’s tough, not just so that we can set others free, but so that we can be free to praise and be friends with Jesus – with nothing holding us back.
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Brush Up Relay. Print out a number of Forgiveness bible verses, cut them up into slips of paper. Create a bunch of different types of sins onto slips of paper [anger, hurt, pain, rejection, bitterness, envy, jealousy] and tip them onto the floor at one end of the room. Split your group up into teams and have the teams run to the pile of paper, brush up just one paper ‘sin’ with a dustpan and brush. Once they have collected their paper they should rush back to the team, empty their paper into a dustbin and hand the dustpan and brush to the next player who does the same. The leader should swap the number of ‘sins’ for bible verses at the end. The team with the most bible verses collected at the end is the winning team.
APPLICATION: When we forgive we have to put all our hurts and the sins of ourselves and others behind us. We have to let them go and trust that God is in control. When we choose to forgive it means we are released from the mess that other people or that we have made over our lives and we can move on. There may still be consequences, but we can choose forgiveness every day and don’t have to feel the weight of sin.
Bible Verses on Forgiveness:
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Ephesians 4:32.
For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. Matthew 6:14.
Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. Colossians 3:13.
If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14.
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. Micah 7:18.
You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you. Psalm 86:5.
Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Luke 6:37.
SENSE How You Feel:
Encourage the children to think about what it means and how it feels to be transformed by Jesus’ forgiveness as they do one of the activities below.
- Encourage children to make their very own colored wax crayon pictures to remember that Jesus forgives.
- Create a ‘New Creation’ tissue paper butterfly. Simply print off the ‘New Creation’ printable and stick lots of colored tissue paper to the butterfly image.
- Color in the ‘Jesus Forgives’ Printable
- Why does forgiveness make us feel free?
- How can having freedom change our lives?
- What do you need to be free from today?
You will need lots of popsicle sticks. You could also use the song ‘Forgiveness’ by Matthew West in the background.
Take a popsicle stick and write or draw a symbol to represent something that you would like forgiveness for. After the children have prayed they can snap the popsicle stick to show that the sin has no power over the child and that it has been dealt with – Jesus has forgiven and they can put the popsicle stick in the trash. Then say a prayer to thank Jesus for his forgiveness:
Jesus, Thank You for Your forgiveness! Please forgive me for the wrong things that I have done. Thank You that when I am forgiven I am set free and my sins are forgotten by You.