Bible Truth: Jesus loves a thankful heart.
Bible Story: Jesus healed ten lepers, but only one said, "Thank You."
Bible Study: Luke 17:11-19
As you are singing for worship, tell the children that when we sing to Jesus we are saying, "Thank You" to Him. Tell that today we are going to hear a story about a man who said, "Thank you" to Jesus.
In addition to reading this story from a children's Bible storybook, here's a captivating visual to help you illustrate it. I used a pair of bath gloves, but this will work with any gloves. Cut out twenty little circles, draw happy faces on ten, and sad faces on the other ten. Hot-glue the sad faces to the back side of the gloves, and the happy faces to the palm side. Attach a Band-aid to each finger on the sad side of the glove. You will also need a little red heart. I attached a "hook" piece of Velcro to the heart. Since the Velcro hooks to the bath glove, the heart can easily be placed on and removed from the glove. Wear the gloves as you tell the story!
The Bible tells us a story about ten men who were very, very sick. Let's count the men. Wiggle each finger as you count. They had a disease called leprosy. Can you say leprosy? That means they had owies all over their bodies. They wore Band-Aids everywhere to cover their owies. They were so sick, they couldn't go home to their families, and they had to stay away from people. If they touched anyone, the other person would get sick too! They went to lots of doctors, but the doctors couldn't make them better. One day they saw Jesus walking down the road, and they cried out to Him. Move the gloves to either side of your mouth as you raise your voice to "call out". "Jesus, have mercy on us! Heal us Jesus!" Do you know what Jesus did for them? He healed them! Close your hands into fists. Turn your hands and open them to show the happy side.
Wow! Jesus did a miracle! He answered their prayer and he healed them! They had no more owies. Now they could go home and give their families big hugs and kisses! Move your hands as though they are running away. But one man stopped. Stop your hands. Close your fingers except one pointer finger. He went back to Jesus, bowed down, and said, "Thank You Jesus! Thank You for healing me and taking away my leprosy!" Bend your finger as if to bow. Jesus said, "I healed ten men. Why did only one come back? Where are the other nine?" Then Jesus blessed the man who remembered to say, "Thank You," because he had a thankful heart, and Jesus loves a thankful heart. Add the heart to your pointer finger.
Open your hands to show the ten healed men, and only one with a thankful heart. Do you want to be like the nine men who forgot to say, "Thank You," or do you want to have a thankful heart? Yes, I want to have a thankful heart too. We can say, "Thank You" to Jesus for all the beautiful things that He created. We can thank Him for dying on the cross for us, giving us a clean heart, and giving us a home in Heaven with Him forever. Lead the children in a prayer of thanksgiving.
For the rest of the service, as you are doing a craft, and/or eating a snack, help the children practice saying, "Please and thank you." When they remember to say, "Thank you," praise them for having a thankful heart like the man in today's story. Remind them that Jesus loves a thankful heart.
If you have a book about manners, and saying, "Please and thank you," it would be good supplement to this lesson if you have extra time at the end.
one thankful heart
For this craftivity you will need:
- this activity page
- red paper
To prepare, make double-sided copies of the activity page, and cut out a red heart for each child.
In class, provide crayons for coloring. Give each child two Band-aids to stick on to the sick leper side of the activity page, and one red heart to add to one finger on the healed leper side of the activity page.
thank You Jesus
Print this activity page for your kids to color, and follow the coloring directions on the page. I found the original coloring page of Jesus here. It would also be fun to add a sticker to the man who is colored yellow, to help distinguish the one from other nine, especially for younger children who may not yet be ready to follow the coloring directions. As the children are coloring, count the men symbol figures with them. Count how many were healed, how many said, "Thank You," and how many forgot.