Rebels With a Cause… Children’s Message on the Healing of the Crooked Woman
Use this free object lesson in your children’s ministry or kids church. You can download a complete 20-page Sunday School Lesson on Jesus Healing on the Sabbath.
Main Objective: Are there ever times when we should not follow the rules? Generally speaking, obedience to established laws and rules is an important and advisable thing. When it comes to a choice between God’s laws and the decrees of people, however, we choose serving the Lord every time. Sometimes caring for people means going against the rules. In this message, consider some historical figures who defied authority to help others, and discuss how Jesus sometimes went against the law in order to do His good work.
Law/Gospel Theme: Jesus came to fulfill the law in order to save us. We want to serve and honor Him, but our works don’t save us. We are not made better by the things that we do or the rules we follow. Jesus changes us and cleanses us with His life, death, and resurrection. In the story, the people who saw His miracle were amazed and awed, but the rulers of the synagogue were upset that He had healed on the sacred “no-work” Sabbath Day. Jesus cared more about helping others than pleasing the Pharisees. Just as He broke those laws to restore the woman’s health, He breaks the laws of sin and death to bring us to new life!
Optional Materials: (Optional) Pictures of historical “rebels” like Harriet Tubman, Martin Luther, Corrie Ten Boom, Martin Luther King Jr, et.
Bible Passage: Luke 13:10-17
More Teaching Ideas:
- Compare another children’s sermon about Jesus healing on the Sabbath
- See craft activities for this Bible story
Message: Note: As with most messages, the details of how you choose to communicate this are adaptable and should cater to timing as well as to your audience and student needs.
Luke 13:10-37 Children’s Sermon
Greet children, prepared with pictures of the historical “rebels” you plan to describe.
Hello, children of God!
Do you think it’s important to follow the rules? What kinds of rules do you have at home or school? There are many times and places when we need to obey instructions and do as we are told. But do you think there’s ever a time when we should NOT obey the law? Are ever allowed to go against what the authorities say we must do? (Allow students to answer questions as you ask them). It’s important to obey, but the Bible reminds us that if we have to choose between following the laws of people or the laws of God, we should always put God’s rules first. There are times when serving the Lord and helping others might actually have to disobey other rules. In fact, I have some examples here of people in history who chose to help other people, even when it meant rebelling against the usual rules.
(Describe each chosen “rebel” as you demonstrate pictures) This one is Harriet Tubman. She was alive when people had slaves, and she worked to help the slaves get free from their bondage. In those days, there was a law that said if you were caught helping slaves, you could get in trouble, too. But that didn’t stop Harriet from helping people find their way to freedom. Now, this one is a man named Martin Luther. He realized that the church of his time was doing a lot of things that really weren’t Christian, and were harming people and going against the Bible. He chose to write down all of the things he found wrong, and try to fix the church so it could truly help others. He risked a lot in order to help others and enable them to worship God in the best ways possible. This man here, not to be confused with Martin Luther, is Martin Luther King, Jr., a man who worked to make sure people had equal rights regardless of the way they look. Oh, and this lady is Corrie Ten Boom. Much like Harriet Tubman, she helped people escape from danger that they shouldn’t have been in. She helped hide Jews who were being persecuted during the Holocaust. She knew that this was against the rules, but also knew that God’s people were more essential than government rules. As a consequence, she was arrested and sent to a horrible prison camp. But she believed in God’s promises and knew it would be worth it. And oh…who’s this one? Why, it’s Jesus! Jesus might be considered, in some ways, the biggest rebel of them all! He frequently went against what the laws of the day and the rulers said was supposed to happen. He knew that serving the Lord and helping others was more important than rules.
In one instance, Jesus was in the temple on a Sabbath day, and He met a woman who was crippled, disabled by an evil spirit and unable to properly stand. She had been that way for eighteen years! But with a few words and a touch, Jesus healed her. Most people who saw this were amazed. But the Pharisees were angry. By healing her, they claimed, Jesus had done “work” on the sabbath day, which was strictly forbidden. They were angry at Him for helping someone! They had a lot of specific laws about what could or could not be done, and claimed Jesus had broken their special laws. Jesus responded that the woman was worthy of freeing from pain and disability, and explained that He had every reason to help her, regardless of what day of the week it was.
Jesus valued people. He helped others and performed miracles, focusing more on them than on possibly breaking rules. And you know, it’s a good thing for us that Jesus is willing to break the rules. After all, the Law says that we should be condemned to death as payment for our sins. But Jesus came to change the rules that say we have to do certain things. Jesus came to give His life in our place, so those rules about death for sin are changed. He defeated sin and death and reversed the law, allowing us to have life with Him!
So don’t go breaking the rules on purpose without good reason. But remember how important it is to help other people, and sometimes that might even include disobeying some of what the laws say. Meanwhile, give thanks to the Lord for being a “law-breaker” and granting us forgiveness and freedom!
Why don’t we say a prayer to thank God for his salvation?
Children’s Prayer Moment
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for breaking the rules
And freeing us from sin
Help us know how to follow you
And serve you first and foremost
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference:
Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. 11 And behold, there was a woman who had had a disabling spirit for eighteen years. She was bent over and could not fully straighten herself. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said to her, “Woman, you are freed from your disability.” 13 And he laid his hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and she glorified God. 14 But the ruler of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, said to the people, “There are six days in which work ought to be done. Come on those days and be healed, and not on the Sabbath day.” 15 Then the Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the Sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger and lead it away to water it? 16 And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath day?” 17 As he said these things, all his adversaries were put to shame, and all the people rejoiced at all the glorious things that were done by him. -Luke 13:10-17