Children’s Lesson 4/19/20

 “Thank God—Jesus gives hope!” 
 
Have you ever felt left out? Perhaps you weren’t chosen to be on a team during a game because you’re not a fast runner. Maybe you are not able to eat cake at a friend’s birthday party because you have food allergies. Perhaps no one plays with you at recess and you feel lonely. It hurts to be left out, doesn’t it? Can you imagine what it would feel like to be left out of everything? There was a man we read about in the Bible who may have felt that way.
 
 
 
his man lived in an area of Israel called Samaria. The people from Samaria are called Samaritans. The Jews treated the Samaritans this way. They had been enemies for hundreds of years. Jews would even take the long way around Samaria to avoid the Samaritans. They thought God didn’t care about the Samaritans. Many Jews thought they were the only ones God had a plan for. They didn’t understand how powerful God’s love is. The Jews would often treat anyone who wasn’t a Jew badly—especially Samaritans. Life as a Samaritan was not easy but then it got even worse for this man. Parts of his skin began to look strange. He had a horrible skin disease. He wanted to get rid of it! What do you think he did?  Perhaps he washed it and scrubbed it with soap. He probably tried bandaging it and putting medicine on it. Maybe he even went to a doctor for help. Can you pretend to do these things? 
He hoped it would get better but it didn’t. It only got worse! He had a horrible disease called leprosy. Oh no! Having leprosy meant he would be left out of everything! The law said people with leprosy could not live with other people. They had to leave their homes and families. Whenever other people came near, they had to shout, “Unclean! Unclean!” This would warn others to stay away. Shout, “Unclean!” with me. Many people with leprosy never got better—the disease just got worse and worse until they died. The Samaritan man must have felt hopeless. He couldn’t do anything to save himself from this horrible problem.
Did you know you also have a horrible problem you can’t get rid of on your own? It’s not a sickness or a disease—it’s a problem all people are born with. God calls it sin. Sin is going against God. Being mean to other people, cheating in school, and saying mean things to others are just a few ways we go against God. Sin is your worst problem because it causes separation from God forever in a terrible place of punishment. (Read Isaiah 59:2a.) He wants to warn you that your sin will separate you from His friendship forever. You can’t do anything to take care of your sin problem on your own. That sounds pretty hopeless. What a terrible problem! The Samaritan man was also born with this terrible problem of sin and now he had leprosy too. How sad and hopeless he must have felt. Then the Samaritan man heard about Jesus and His great power!
 
 
One day Jesus was on His way to Jerusalem and passed by Samaria. Who do you think Jesus met? (Allow response.) Listen to what the Bible says. (Read Luke 17:12.) Jesus met ten people with leprosy. People with leprosy sometimes lived together in groups to keep each other company and help each other. The Samaritan was one of these ten men. Did Jesus care about this Samaritan man? Yes, Jesus did care!
Jesus cares for you too. He is God, the Creator of all people and He loves all of them. Different skin colors, languages, and countries were all God’s idea. He made each of you with different favorite foods and different abilities. God is so creative! We are all one of a kind. Even identical twins have many differences—including different fingerprints. No matter what you look like, where you are from, or what you have done, God loves you! He is perfect and His love for you and for all people is perfect. Let’s see what the Bible says about God’s love. (Read Psalm 107:1.) God’s love is forever! His love is so big and so powerful we can’t completely understand it. He cares about all people, including you. God also cared about the Samaritan man and the men who were with him. Because of their leprosy, these ten men stayed away from Jesus. But they began to shout to Him, (read Luke 17:13b). They begged Jesus for mercy. Can you shout, “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!” and wave your arms?
 
Jesus looked at the lepers and told them to go show themselves to the priests. This is what they were supposed to do if they thought their leprosy was gone. The priests would make sure they were really healed. Jesus was offering a way for all of them, even the Samaritan, to be healed. He was their only hope!
Jesus is also your only hope. He is the only one who could do what God said had to be done to pay for sin. Jesus is the perfect Son of God, but He willingly took the punishment you deserve. Evil men took Jesus away and beat Him. He was bruised and whipped even though He had done nothing wrong. (Read Isaiah 53:5a.) Jesus was nailed to a cross, where He bled and died. Then He came back to life to prove He has the power to save you from sin and give you eternal life with God. Because of what He did, you don’t have to face the punishment for sin! Hundreds of people saw Jesus after He came back to life. Then after 40 days He went back to Heaven. Today He is in Heaven being honored as King over all! Jesus has power to save you from sin. You don’t have to feel hopeless about your sin. Because Jesus rose from the dead, you can have hope!
The people with leprosy didn’t have to feel hopeless either. Jesus was there! He didn’t ignore them or run away from them like other people would have. He told them to go show themselves to the priests. As they went, they were all healed! Let’s all stand up and run in place, pretending to hurry to the priests! As you run in place, look at the person next to you and say, “I’m healed!”  But the Samaritan man was the only one who went back to thank Jesus. When he saw he was healed, he turned back, loudly praising God.
Say with me, “Thank God—Jesus gives hope!”  God changed him completely and gave him hope. He returned to Jesus and thanked Him for what He had done. Have you thanked God for what He’s done for you? If you have already trusted Jesus to save you from sin, thank God for what He has done for you. He saved you from sin, changed you on the inside, and gave you hope. That’s the best thing anyone could ever do for you. And He keeps doing things to show He cares for you. You are now His child and you can talk to Him each day. You can know He will hear and answer you. He will never stop loving you!  Take time every day to thank God for His great love that never fails. God has saved you from sin and given you hope. Say with me, “Thank God—Jesus gives hope!”  You can thank God for what He’s done for you.
The Samaritan thanked Jesus for what He had done for him, but no one else came back. He healed ten. Jesus said, (read Luke 17:17-18). Only the Samaritan returned to thank Jesus. He knew he had done nothing to save himself from leprosy—Jesus did it all! Jesus gave him hope no one else could give. The Samaritan praised God and fell on his face at Jesus’ feet, thanking Him. Jesus said to the man, (read Luke 17:19). Faith is when you believe something so strongly you do something about it. The Samaritan had faith that Jesus could heal him. He must have also had faith that Jesus could save him from his sin, because Jesus told him his faith had made him whole!
 
 
Jesus showed His power and glory by first healing the man’s leprosy then saving him from the hopelessness of sin. Jesus was showing people that God offers love and hope to everyone!
 
After this miracle, Jesus continued on His way to Jerusalem where He knew He would be killed to make a way for all people to be saved from their sin.
Jesus made the way for you to be saved from the hopelessness of sin. He did this by dying on the cross and rising again. The Bible says, (read Romans 10:13). “Whosoever” includes you! You can be saved. To be saved means to receive new life with God that starts now and lasts forever. To call on the name of the Lord means you are willing to believe that Jesus completely took your punishment and that by dying and coming alive again, He is the only way you can be saved from your sin.
 

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