What makes someone great? We tend to equate greatness with personal achievement, success, or power. However, Jesus turned such ideas upside down by asserting that to be truly great requires humility and recognition that identity is found in God alone. Rather than focusing on competition and esteem, we should look to God for strength and realize our dependence on Him.
Use these free activities and lessons in your Sunday School or children’s church. Click on the links below to download and print.
“Me first!” This is a cry that is likely heard by anyone working with children. Kids are often short on patience, and can also be a bit competitive. This message communicates to them the principles that Jesus taught, which turn our ideas of greatness upside down. Discussing this Gospel passage with kids emphasizes to them how dependent we are on God, who is truly the greatest. We encourage children to rely on the Lord and seek to serve others, rather than vying to be the best.
Who is the greatest? It all seems upside down…These crafts focus on the interaction between Jesus and His disciples in Mark 9, when He instructed them in humility and explained that to be “greatest”, they needed to think less of themselves and depend on God. This idea might seem upside down or “topsy turvy” to what we normally expect. But God’s ways are always right on!
These crafts celebrate that “upside down” element as well as the importance of placing God first. A reversible cartoon and two-sided puppet reflect the topsy-turvy component, and a humble heart pocket encourages kids to think less of themselves and have a servant’s heart.
Alternate Mark 9:30-37 Teaching Video
Jesus Again Foretells Death, Resurrection
30 They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, 31 for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” 32 But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him.
Who Is the Greatest?
33 And they came to Capernaum. And when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you discussing on the way?” 34 But they kept silent, for on the way they had argued with one another about who was the greatest. 35 And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” 36 And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”