*This plan is taken from “The Gospel Project for Kids” curriculum
Unit 19: Session 4—Jesus at the Temple
Bible passage: Luke 2:40-52
Main point: Jesus came to earth to do His Father’s plan.
Key passage (Memory passage for the unit): 1 Timothy 1:15 “Here is a saying that you can trust. It should be accepted completely. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. And I am the worst sinner of all.”
Big picture question: What makes Jesus different? Jesus is fully God and fully man.
Session starter activity:
Use a tape measurer to find the height of the kids in your family. Ask them to guess how tall you are, then measure your own height. Use the following app to estimate how tall your children will be when they grow up. https://www.calculator.net/height-calculator.html
Say: Each of you will grow taller than you are now. Jesus grew up too. Last week we learned about when Jesus was born, but in today’s lesson, He is 12 years old. He grew up like us, but He was also different from us. He never sinned His whole life! Jesus is fully God and fully man.
Big picture question and Bible Timeline:
Last week we learned that Jesus was born to be God’s promised Savior. This week we will focus on Jesus growing up to fulfill His Father’s perfect plan.
Tell the Bible Story: Read Luke 2:40-52. **Try to have the kids find the passage on their own. If they have trouble, remind them that Luke is the third book in the New Testament. It is one of the four Gospels.
Say: Remember that Passover was a very important festival to the Jewish people. Each year, Mary and Joseph traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover and remember how God delivered His people from slavery in Egypt hundreds of years before.
In the year our story took place, Jesus was 12 years old. In Jewish culture, that meant He was not quite old enough to be considered a man but still a bit too old to be considered a child. When the festival ended, they began to travel home. Mary and Joseph thought Jesus was with the other people traveling with them. Mary and joseph traveled for a whole day before realizing that Jesus was not traveling in the crowds with them.
It’s very scary for a parent to suddenly realize that he or she is unsure where a son or daughter is. I’m sure Mary and Joseph were feeling the same thing. The two of them hurried back to Jerusalem to look for Jesus. The Bible tells us they found Jesus after 3 days! They were worried sick! Where did they finally find him? He was in the temple asking and answering questions with the religious teachers! The teachers were astonished at how much Jesus knew and understood about God and the law. Mary and Joseph were worried, but Jesus hadn’t done anything wrong. He said He had to be in His Father’s house. Mary and Joseph didn’t understand but Jesus was talking about God.
Even as a boy, Jesus understood His mission and His identity as God’s Son. Jesus came to earth to do His Father’s plan. Nothing would keep Him from obeying perfectly. Mary and Joseph didn’t completely understand what Jesus meant, but as Jesus grew up, He became strong and wise. God blessed Jesus as He got ready to follow His Father’s plan: to die on the cross and rescue people from sin.
When we trust in Jesus, God sees us as righteous as Jesus. God forgives our sin and gives us the Holy Spirit as our Helper. He changes our hearts to love God more and gives us power to obey Him. Because of Jesus, we too can grow up wise and follow God’s plan—to tell the world the gospel.
Bible Review Questions:
Read the following statements about the story. For a challenge, have the child(ren) find the verse that explains the detail you just read. Feel free to mix up the statements so they are not all in order if you have older kids.
- Mary and Joseph traveled to Jerusalem every year. (Luke 2:41)
- Jesus was 12 at the time of the story. (Luke 2:42)
- Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem. (Luke 2:43)
- Mary and Joseph traveled a whole day before realizing Jesus was not in their group. (Luke 2:44)
- Jesus was found in the temple. (Luke 2:46)
- The religious leaders were amazed at Jesus’ knowledge and wisdom. (Luke 2:47)
- Jesus had to be in His Father’s house. (Luke 2:49)
- Jesus grew in strength, wisdom, and favor with God and man. (Luke 2:52)
Key verse review:
Write each word of the key passage on a separate index card. Have the kid(s) work to put the verse in the correct order.
1 Timothy 1:15
Here is a saying that you can trust. It should be accepted completely. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. And I am the worst sinner of all.
Where am I?
Invite your kids to play a game of 20 questions. Explain that you are thinking of a place. Kids may take turns asking up to 20 yes-or-no questions to try to figure out what place you are thinking of. Try to connect the game to the lesson—Mary and Joseph tried to locate Jesus just as you are trying to figure out what place I am thinking about.
When you are done taking turns with the game, make sure you review the story and pray as a family.