As you consider principles of serving others and having faith in God with your youngster, use Mark 2:1 through 12 to expound and explore the lesson. The story of Jesus healing the paralyzed man has relevant lessons about loving others and displaying strong faith. Don’t just tell the ho-hum story, though. Make it real with engaging activities, too.
Go to the Source
When you want your preschooler to connect these important lessons to the Bible, it’s important to start from the source to lend credibility. Get comfy in a chair or on the floor with your youngster in your lap. Open the Bible to Mark 2:1 and start reading about Jesus healing the paralyzed man. It’s a simple story, so read it to your child, using an animated and energetic voice. Once you finish verse 12, close the Bible and talk about the story for a minute or two. You might wonder out loud how much the paralyzed man’s friends loved him to take care of him so well -- climbing onto the roof of a house while carrying him on a mat! Explain that the friends had to do this because they couldn’t get their friend to Jesus any other way. They knew Jesus would heal him, so they were willing to do just about anything to make it happen. Explain that when Jesus saw the paralyzed man and his friends, He was so moved that He forgave his sins and then healed him.
What is a Friend?
Talk about how important it is to have and be friends with others. When we make the effort to help others and be a loving friend, we can bless friends and glorify God. Sometimes we may need to lean on friends, too, when times get tough. Have your child page through a magazine, cutting out pictures of happy people loving and helping each other. Once he has pictures, ask him to glue them onto a sheet of paper to make a friendship collage.
Who Can Heal?
Talk about how hard it is to feel sick. Encourage your preschooler to talk about a time he remembers feeling sick -- make sure he remembers how unpleasant it is not to feel well. Say something like, “Aren’t we blessed that when we don’t feel well, we can pray to God to ask Him to help us feel better? God loves it when we pray for healing because He wants us to come to Him for everything.” If you know of someone who’s feeling under the weather -- or even if you don’t -- suggest a get-well card activity. Help your little one make a get-well card to send to a friend or family member. If you don’t know anyone who’s ailing, save it for future use.
Act it Out
Give your child a 4-by-6-inch swatch of fabric, a toy person and a lidded shoebox with a hole cut out in the lid. Invite him to act out the story of Jesus healing the paralyzed man by carrying the man on the fabric mat to the roof of the shoebox house. As he acts out the story, help him retell it in his own words. If he gets stuck, supply the details. Keep going until the paralyzed man makes it inside the house where Jesus heals him.
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