Saturday, January 3, 2015

The Boy Jesus in the Temple

I hope everyone had a wonderful start to 2015!  Here in Tucson, we were welcomed into the new year with a delicate layer of snow, which is a rare occasion for us.  Now the kiddos in my class understand a bit better what I mean when I tell them that Jesus washes away our sin and makes our hearts "white as snow!"

Well now, let's get into some ideas for the first lesson on the plan for this year based on Luke 2:41-52.  These are the only verses in the Bible that give us a glimpse into Jesus' childhood.  One aspect of this account that is crystal clear is Jesus' love for the Word of God at a young age.  We also see that Jesus had to learn and grow just like every other human being.  Children can identify with the humanity of Jesus, who was a child, like them.  Jesus embraced, and loved God's Word as a child, and we want to cultivate the same love in the hearts of the children we teach.

Bible Truth: Jesus teaches me to love God's Word.
Bible Story:  Mary and Joseph found Jesus in the temple talking with the teachers about God's Word.
Bible Study: Luke 2:41-52; Psalm 119:9-16


I begin teaching a Bible story, holding my Bible open, and telling the children that what we are learning today is in the Bible.  I say, "God put this story in the Bible because He wanted us to know about it, and He wants to teach us something."  I also have a set of pocket New Testament Bibles that I found at the dollar store years ago, and when I teach the lesson in small groups, I give each child a Bible to hold as I'm teaching.  This reinforces the concept that I am teaching God's words and not my words.  I am telling them a true story that really happened, not a fantasy or fairy tale.  As they hold their Bibles, I also teach them to care for their Bible by not ripping pages, putting it in their mouth, etc.  The Bible is a special book.  It is God's Word.  We love our Bibles.

Then I will open whichever Children's Bible I am using for the lesson, and say, "This Bible has pictures in it for you to see.  Let's read the story that God wants us to learn today."  You will find a list of the Children's Bibles that I currently use and recommend on my resources page if you are looking for one.


As a visual aid for this lesson, roll a long sheet of paper up like a scroll.  If you have time, add dowels to the ends to make it look more authentic.  Explain that the Bible Jesus read looked different than our Bible, but it had the same words from God in it.


Here are some songs to sing that go well with this lesson.  Below there are links to both the lyrics and a video in case these are new songs to you.


I have three different craft ideas for this lesson to share with you.  Two are very simple, requiring minimal materials, and the third involves more materials and preparation, but I think it's really cute!

scroll coloring

The first idea is to turn a coloring sheet of young Jesus in the temple into a scroll.   All you need for this craft is:
  • this coloring page, which I modified (I found the coloring sheet on Pinterest but I was unable to trace it back to it's original source.)
  • two jumbo craft sticks for each child
  • glue
  • crayons
  • yarn or string  
Trim off the wide margin of the coloring page.  Glue one craft stick on the top, the other on the bottom, color, roll, and tie with string or yarn.  Very simple, but I promise you the children will love their "scrolls."

find jesus in the temple

The second idea was inspired by this blog.  It requires some pre-cutting prep.  You will need:
Cut the doorway of the temple as shown below.  For each child, cut the heading into a strip, and cut out the picture of Jesus.  In class, help the children glue their temple to a sheet of construction paper, leaving the cut doorway clear of glue.

Fold the doors back and glue Jesus inside the temple.  Add the heading to the paper, color and wa-la!  Children can actively retell the story as they open and close the temple doors.

i spy jesus bottle

*This craft involves small objects that may be a choking hazard, and a hot glue gun.  Be sure that children are monitored at all times.

For this craft you will need:
  • an empty, dry, clean water bottle for each child 
  • a funnel (A paper made one will work just as well.)
  • enough rice to fill each water bottle about 3/4 full
  • these miniature pictures of Jesus that I cropped and minimized
  • tape
  • a variety of small objects such as foamie shapes, beads, buttons, pom-poms, sequins, jewels, etc.  (Use whatever you have on hand and whatever you can find at the dollar store.)
  • a hot glue
  • this label

Cut out the picture of Jesus in pairs as demonstrated by the red box.  Fold each picture in half and tape it to make it a double-sided picture.

Use a funnel to pour the rice into the water bottles.

Allow the children to choose objects, and put them into their bottle.  Just be sure every child has a picture of Jesus.

Use a hot glue gun to glue the cap to the bottle.  Tape the label to the bottle.  Shake and mix up the contents of the bottle.  Can you find Jesus?

Comment below to let me know if you use any of these ideas, and how they work out for you!

P.S.  I believe that at this time in Jesus' life He began to understand who He was, and His purpose.  He had to make the conscious decision to submit himself to Joseph and Mary's authority (verse 51).  Isn't that an incredible thought?!


  1. Not sure how to open the links. I click on them and it takes me to my Google Drive. Apparently I'm technologically impaired! Lol! Am I doing something wrong?

  2. Thank you for letting me know! They should be fixed now.

  3. Love the idea for the search bottle--very cool--but I used sand with a little glitter instead of the rice.

  4. I am unable to print the picture for the scroll.

    1. Hi Debbie. I double checked the link and the settings, and as far as I can tell they should work. When you click the link for the scroll does the PDF file open?

    2. I found that you can't right click and print, but have to use the print button on the pdf program in the upper right corner. Hope that helps!

    3. I found that you can't right click and print, but have to use the print button on the pdf program in the upper right corner. Hope that helps!

  5. Love your ideas...thank you so much for sharing.

  6. New in children's ministry and your blog has been of great help for my baby church.

  7. Hello! What a wonderful blog! I have been so blessed to find it! Do you post previous scope and sequence sheets or only current? Thanks!

    1. Hi Chelsea! I just wanted to let you know that I posted the entire scope and sequence for this year. I hope that it is helpful to you!

  8. teaching preschoolers this week and needed activities to reinforce this story. Thank you!!

  9. perfect! just what i was wanting and the rice bottle is awesome takehome for the kids. thanks so much for all your time and effort and printables!

  10. Cannot download the picture of tempel

  11. Thank you so much for these crafts. It made my Sunday prep so much easier.

  12. Hi, wonderful lessons here, thanks for sharing. Is there a way that i can download each lesson plan as a pdf?

  13. Thanks much! I know my Sunday school kids will love this!

  14. LOVE!! Can't wait to use these ideas with my preschool Sunday school class! Looking forward to reading more of your blog as well!

  15. Thank you so much for a great blog. I used the temple print out for our Childrens Bible Club on Friday, it was great. Would love to have used the bottle idea but didn't have enough time to get the items together...but thought I would use it in a few weeks for the Lost Sheep/Coin/Son story :)
    God bless, from England

  16. Thank you so much! I am leading both preschool and elementary Sunday School tomorrow. This included a variety of ideas I can use. Thank you for a great blog!!

  17. love your ideas! Thanks for sharing, so helpful!

  18. Thank you so much for posting these wonderful ideas. At our church, we have a lesson plan, but it did not have any feasible activities included for "Jesus at the Temple". This helped complete the lesson for this Sunday. You're a huge blessing! :)

  19. Super ideas. Really looking forward to teaching my group tomorrow. I think they are going to love the craft ideas and hopefully it will help theme remember the story better. Thank you!

  20. Super ideas. Really looking forward to teaching my group tomorrow. I think they are going to love the craft ideas and hopefully it will help theme remember the story better. Thank you!

  21. Excelentes ideas, si Dios permite las utiltzare en mi próxima lección, muchas gracias por compartir. Dios te bendiga!

  22. These are great ideas!!! Thank you so much for your ideas. I have a preschool class but the director let a 2 1/2 year old in. These crafts are simple enough for her to do. Thanks again and I will let you know how it went.

  23. Thank you! This has been a great help to me in preparing for my lesson.

  24. Thank you. Very easy to follow. Links worked perfectly. Excited to try on Sunday.

  25. thank you, trying the bottle craft tomorrow.

  26. Great idea, I am done making this craft. Loved it.

  27. Great ideas. Many thanks for posting them and keeping them available to us.
    I'll be trying the bottle craft tomorrow with my single Sunday School student. ;)
    XOXO and Blessings!

  28. Thank you helping me "tie together" this wonderful story and pointing us to the important lesson of how Jesus Loves the Bible and should we. So glad I came upon this