Family Sunday School Devotion for June 21
“Jesus Healed a Man who was Lame” from John 5
Listen to- “The Good Song (Psalm 34:10; Romans 8:28)” from Seeds Family Worship here:
Later, during the Missions Moment, read more about Amy Carmichael here.
Supplies Needed- For younger kids: variety of colored paper (can be scraps); for older kids: full sheets of colored paper (2 per child), optional: clear plastic contact paper; optional key passage activity: strips of paper
Summary- Jesus healed a man who could not walk.
Introduction Younger Kid Activity- Pick it Up Gather paper in several colors. Have children identify different colors. Then, call out colors, having the child pick up those color. Say, “In today’s Bible story, Jesus told a man to pick up his bet. Picking up a bed does not sound much different from picking up paper like we just did, but this man could not walk. Listen to the story to find out if the man was able to obey Jesus.”
Introduction Older Kid Activity- Weave a Mat Give each child two sheets of colored paper. Help them to cut 1-inch vertical strips from one sheet. Then show how to fold the other sheet in half (hotdog style- horizontally) and cut slits every inch across the sheet, starting at the fold (which is the middle of the sheet of paper). Demonstrate how to weave the strips over and under through the slits to make a placemat. (Optional: cover placemats in clear plastic contact paper to make them water resistant and use them at your table.) Say, “Today you will hear about a time Jesus told a man who could not walk to pick up his bed (which was probably like a woven mat) and walk. What do you think happened to that man? We’ll learn more soon.”
Big Picture Question- Say, “As we get into our story, let’s review our Big Picture Question: Why did God create people? The answer to our question is: God created people to worship Him, love Him, and show His glory. When Jesus healed people, they usually began to give glory to God. Jesus’ healings showed the people who He is and how much He loved them. It directed them back to God, to love and worship Him, just as they were created to do. We are created for the same reason! Even the sickness and pain we go through is used by God to help us worship Him and give Him glory.”
Bible Story- Timeline Say, “We have talked a lot about Jesus’ ministry. Jesus traveled around Israel healing, teaching, and doing miracles. Jesus wanted God’s people to know God and honor Him as Creator and King. Two weeks ago, we learned that Jesus healed ten men, and one was saved. Last week, we learned that Jesus healed a woman and raised a girl from the dead. This week we’ll learn about a time Jesus healed a man who had been unable to walk for nearly 40 years. That is even longer than some of your parents have been alive!” Open a Bible to John 5:1-18. Say, “The Bible is the most special book of all. The Bible is God’s Word, and all God’s words are true! Today’s Bible story comes from the Book of John in the New Testament part of the Bible.” Tell the story in your own words from this passage (this story is not included in the Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook).
Christ Connection- Say, “The man at the pool was unable to help himself. Jesus healed him, and he obeyed Jesus’ commands. We are unable to free ourselves from sin. Jesus calls us to trust in Him. When we trust in Jesus, He frees us from the power of sin and death so we can follow Him and obey Him.”
Key Passage- Open a Bible to Isaiah 53:4-5. Read the verses aloud. Say, “Jesus is the Servant the prophet Isaiah wrote about. He suffered for us. Jesus took on our sickness when He died for our sins. Jesus’ resurrection made the way for us to be forgiven of sin and healed from the damage sin causes in our lives.” Optional activity: Write out the key passage as phrases on several strips of paper. Then, mix up the strips and challenge the whole family to piece them back together in the correct order. Read the passage aloud together.
Review Questions- Ask the following questions:
- Where was Jesus when He saw the man who couldn’t walk? (John 5:2)
- *PreK- Who did Jesus meet by the pool? (a man who couldn’t walk)
- *PreK- What did Jesus do for the man? (Jesus healed him)
- *PreK- What did the man do after Jesus healed him? (obeyed Jesus; got up; picked up his bed and walked)
- How are we like the man who couldn’t walk? (Guide kids to discuss the fact that we are helplessly trapped in sin. The Bible describes us as dead in sin. We need Jesus to rescue us and give us new life. Apart from Jesus’ complete work on the cross, we could not have salvation.)
- How can we gain salvation and healing from our sin problem? (Guide kids to think through the message of the Gospel. Remind them that we are saved by grace through faith. We cannot earn salvation, but when we have faith that Jesus died for our sins and rose on the third day, God gives us salvation.)
- Why do you think Jesus told the man to stop sinning? (Guide kids to see that the phrase “so that something worse didn’t happen” is a reference to being separated from God after death. Help kids to see that no matter what physical ailment we may suffer, we can all have eternal life and hope for the future. Jesus’ death and resurrection gives us that hope for eternity spent with God in a restored world.)
- Why did God create people? (God created people to worship Him, love Him, and show His glory.)
Say, “Jesus healed a man who could not walk. Jesus commanded the man to pick up his bed and walk, and the man immediately obeyed. Jesus gave him the command AND the power to obey it.”
For Older Kids- Also, ask the following questions:
- Why did Jesus heal the man who was lame? (Prompt kids to recognize that the man did not ask for healing. The man did not even recognize Jesus, but Jesus showed compassion to the man and healed him- instantly and completely. Help kids realize that Jesus does not always heal people of their physical sicknesses; His plan for someone may even involves sickness. But we can trust that Jesus is always working for His glory and our good. Read Romans 8:28)
- What do Jesus’ healing miracles teach us about God? (read Isaiah 53:4-5; Mark 1:15)
Reflection- Ask older children to answer one of the following questions:
- What does this story teach me about God or the Gospel?
- What does the story teach me about myself?
- Whom can I tell about this story?
Missions Moment- Say, “Amy Carmichael was a missionary to India. Her life was not easy. As a young girl, Amy wanted her brown eyes to be blue instead and even prayed to God, asking Him to change their color. Though God did not answer her prayer with a ‘yes’, she learned later that her brown eyes were a blessing, helping her to not stand out among the Indian people she served. Amy was injured later in her life and then was unable to do the missions work she used to do. Instead of complaining of the pain of the injury or challenge to her work, she turned to encouraging others by serving from her bedroom the orphans she had adopted and writing books about missions work and what God was teaching her of following Him even while her prayers for healing remained unanswered in the ways she hoped.” Read together the short biography of Amy Carmichael from AnswersInGenesis.org (see above). (For older children, read through a quote or two from the list below and talk about the experiences of Amy Carmichael in serving and following Jesus, even in hardship. Apply the truths found in the quotes to the life of your family. Share of your own experiences with “unanswered” prayer or suffering along the journey with Jesus.) “We have been learning about many people whom Jesus healed. In today’s Bible story, Jesus healed a man who could not walk. The missions story of Amy Carmichael shows us that, even though Jesus has the power to heal people, He sometimes has a different answer to their prayers for healing. He has a good plan for each person that will bring Him glory.”
Pray- In closing, thank God for always hearing our prayers and answering them, even if His answers are unexpected. Thank Jesus for dying for our own sin problem, coming to life again, and being able to give us new life when we have faith in Him as our Savior. Ask God to help us obey Jesus by following Him and telling others about Him.
Amy Carmichael Quotes- “All along, let us remember we are not asked to understand, but simply to obey…” “Can we follow the Savior far, who have no wound or scar?” “Bare heights of loneliness…a wilderness whose burning winds sweep over glowing sands, what are they to HIM? Even there He can refresh us, even there He can renew us.” “If I do not feel far more for the grieved Saviour than for my worried self when troublesome things occur, then I know nothing of Calvary love.” “I think God wants to make me pure gold, so He is burning out the dross, teaching me the meaning of the fire, the burnt offering, the death of the self-part of me.” “All life’s training is just exactly what is needed for the true Life-work, still out of view but far away from none of us. Don’t grudge me the learning of a new lesson.” “Soldiers may be wounded in battle and sent to a hospital. A hospital isn’t a shelf. It’s a place of repair. And a soldier in the spiritual army is never off his battlefield. He is only removed to another part of the battlefield when a wound interrupts what he was meant to do, and sets him doing something else.” “There are times when nothing holds the heart but a long, long look at Calvary. How very small anything that we are allowed to endure seems beside that Cross.”
Adult Sunday School Devotion for June 21
“Jesus Heals a Man at Bethesda” from John 5
Listen to- “Yet Not I But Through Christ in Me” from CityAlight here:
and- “Close to Thee” from Fanny J. Crosby here:
Summary- When the man who was disabled put aside his hopelessness and despair and trusted in Jesus, he was healed.
Christ Connection- The man at the pool of Bethesda had been disabled for many years and had lost all hope and given in to despair, but when Jesus told him to pick up his mat and walk, he was healed and he obeyed. In a similar way, our sin has left us hopeless and in despair, but Jesus invites us to trust in Him and follow Him. When we do, our sin is removed, and we can follow Jesus in a life of obedience.
Point 1. A hopeless condition leads to despair (read aloud John 5:2-7).
Note- This man hadn’t walked for most, if not all, of his life. He was dependent on people for the most basic of things: to take him places, to get food, to avoid danger. Eventually he likely learned to get around without help but always much slower than everyone else hurrying along. His only hope for healing in the pool was always taken away from him by someone faster than him. Truly his situation was hopeless as he stared at the pool of Bethesda and never reaped any of its purported benefits. We all know that feeling helpless in our condition can lead to feeling hopeless in life. We have all experienced this to one degree or another because sin has debilitated all of humankind. No longer do we have the union with God, human beings, and the created order that we had in Genesis 2; sin has broken this world and God’s image bearers. Moreover, we are helpless to fix the problem. We all know something is not as it should be, yet none of our solutions have helped us, whether the various religions of the world, forms of human government, or means of mental escape. We are helpless to save ourselves.
Respond- What are some areas of life in which people may feel helpless?
Personal Note- Have you felt the sting of loneliness? Does it seem like all the odds of life are stacked against you? Do you despair of ever having victory over sin in your life? If so, Jesus’ question goes out to you: “Do you want to get well?” You likely won’t find physical healing in a pool of stirring water, but you will find eternal life in the fountain of living water that Jesus provides (John 4:14). Jesus’ grace is sufficient for our struggles and failings, and His power is perfected in our weakness. Therefore, we don’t need to despair, but we can boast in our weaknesses because they display Christ’s power in us (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Point 2. A miraculous healing leads to obedience (read aloud John 5:8-15).
Note- The man had not professed faith in Jesus or even asked for healing. He didn’t even know who Jesus was! Nothing in this scenario indicates that this man, of all the sick people lying there, deserved to be healed, yet this man experienced the grace of God in his healing. Jesus grants a gracious healing to us as well, healing us from sin and its consequences. He does this not because of anything we have done and certainly not because we deserve it. He saves us from sin because He is good, gracious, and He loves us.
Respond- What happens to our obedience when we start trying to earn the grace God has already given to us in Jesus?
Note- The grace of God that comes through Jesus gives us the ability to obey His commands. Imagine if Jesus told the disabled man, “If you can find a way to stand up and walk over to Me, I’ll heal you.” That would have been so discouraging to the man because he would have been helpless to obey. The grace of God, however, gives us life and the ability to turn to God in faith and obey Him. Obedience to God’s commands is dependent on the healing of our sin problem first. Our God-honoring obedience is possible only because of what Christ did in His death and resurrection. This is why Jesus said, “You can do nothing without me” (John 15:5). As we walk in obedience to all Christ has called us to do, we get to display His transforming power to the world.
Point 3. A hostile response leads to a bold claim (read aloud John 5:16-18).
Note- Jesus didn’t violate the Sabbath because He is the fulfillment of the Sabbath laws of the Old Testament (Matthew 5:17). In Him is the true Sabbath rest promised in the Scriptures (Hebrews 3-4). Yet the Jews couldn’t see past their own man-made rules, so they persecuted the Person they thought didn’t measure up but who is actually God’s righteousness personified.
Respond- What are some man-made rules that Christians should ignore?
Conclusion- A disabled man, helpless and despairing after thirty-eight years of his condition, finally found healing, just not in the way he expected it. Jesus came along and showed him compassion and grace and healed him, first of his physical ailment and second of his spiritual one- sin. Some may experience a physical ailment, but we all share in the man’s spiritual sickness, and our only hope for healing from sin is Jesus. He came for our healing; He came as our remedy; through His death and resurrection for us, He has taken away the sin of all those who believe in Him. And now we can obey Him in faith and share the joy of our faith with others that they too may be transformed by the healing power of Jesus Christ through believing the Gospel.
Apply- Because Jesus has removed our sin and given us life, we live each day with hope and confidence as we follow Him, showing others the transforming power of the Gospel.
-How do you need to get up and walk in faith and obedience to Jesus Christ?
-What are some ways your family can help bear one another’s burdens so you don’t fall into hopelessness and despair?
-With whom will you share the good news of Jesus, hoping and praying for their transformation and healing from sin?
(Give thanks to God for His healing grace that gives you hope. Thank Him for sending Jesus to rescue you from sin and its effects through new life in Him. Ask for help from the Holy Spirit to point others to the transforming power made available to them in the Gospel.)