The Good Samaritan


Antioch Arcade


Scripture:  Luke 10:25-37


Memory Verse/Key Verse: "Love your enemies, and be good to everyone who hates you.  Ask God to bless anyone who curses you, and pray for everyone who is cruel to you."  Luke 6:27-28 (CEV)



·       God wants us to love God, love our neighbors, and love ourselves.

·       Disciples of Jesus Christ must listen to his teachings and then go out and live them.



1.     Older children will locate the story of The Good Samaritan in their Bibles. Younger children will learn that the story is in Luke.

2.     The children will play a quiz game to reinforce their knowledge of the details of the story.

3.     The class will consider how this story applies to their lives and how they can emulate the Good Samaritan.



Welcome and Introductions:


1.     As the children come in the door, count them off by color -- Red, Orange, Green and Purple -- and have them go to the area of the room that is designated with their color.

2.     Greet the children and introduce yourself.  Wear your nametag.


3.     Open with a brief prayer


4.     Explain the purpose of this workshop: Today we’re going to play a game to see how well you know the story of the Good Samaritan.


Scripture/Bible Story:

1.     Grades 1-2 will not use Bibles, but do open yours to show them where the story is. For grades 3-5, make sure everybody has a Bible.

Help the students to find the book of Luke. (Get the shepherds to go around the room and help with this.) Many of the kids will already know the four Gospels. If necessary, remind them that the Bible is divided into the Old and New Testaments. Each part is made up of books, which are divided into chapters and verses. Ask whether Luke is in the Old or New Testament (It tells about Jesus so it’s in the New Testament). Make sure everyone knows that Luke is the third book in the New Testament.

After they’ve found Luke, help them find chapter 10, verse 25. Some of the children will confuse chapters and verses. Show them that chapter numbers are the big ones, and also are at top of every page.


2.     With younger children, tell the story using the summary below as a guide and being sure to cover the points that are in italics. With older children, you can tell the story or have them read it from the Bible, but cover the italic points. Remind them to listen carefully because they will need to remember the details of the story in order to play the game.

Suggestions for reviewing the story in later weeks of the rotation:

·       Begin the story and let each person in the circle add one line to the story until it is complete. Help them tell the COMPLETE story.

·       Tell the story back to them with inaccuracies and let them correct you.  (e.g., have the man ask Jesus, “What must I do to get rich?” have the man on the road have a broken wagon, have the first person to come along be a farmer, have the priest help the man, etc.) This is especially fun for the younger ones -- but don’t do it unless you’re sure they know the story fairly well.

·       Photocopy the passage (remove verse numbers), cut it up and see if they can put it back together correctly. This works well with older kids.

·       Hand out key words (parable, neighbor, etc.) and ask the kids what they have to do with the story. Or have the kids find the key word in the Bible passage and then read it.


Story Summary


One day Jesus was teaching a crowd of his followers. A man who was an expert in the Jewish law wanted to test Jesus (maybe he was hoping Jesus would say something to get himself in trouble), so he asked Jesus, “Teacher, what must I do to have eternal life?”


Jesus answered by asking the man a question: “What is written in the Scriptures?”

The man replied, “The Scriptures say, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.” (This is called the Great Commandment.)


Jesus said, That’s the right answer!


But the man didn’t quit. He asked Jesus, “Who is my neighbor?”


Jesus answered by telling a story. (A story that teaches a lesson is called a parable.) This is the parable that Jesus told:


A man was going down the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. (Show Jerusalem and Jericho on a map. Jerusalem is up on a hill and the road to Jericho was steep and dangerous, going downhill for 17 miles with a lot of canyons and crevices for criminals to hide in.) Robbers attacked the man and grabbed everything he had. They beat him up and ran off, leaving him half dead.

A priest happened to be going down the same road. But when he saw the man, he walked by on the other side. (Priests were very important people, leaders in the Temple in Jerusalem. Because of their religious duties they were required to follow a lot of rules about cleanliness. The Jewish laws had very strict rules about touching blood or dead bodies, so if the priest touched the man he might be considered unclean and be unable to perform his duties in the Temple. )

Later a Levite, a special temple helper, came by. But when he saw the man who had been hurt, he also went by on the other side. (He might also have thought he was doing the right thing to stay clean. Plus, the priest and Levite might have been afraid that if they stopped, the robbers would attack them too.)


Then, a man from Samaria came along the road. (Show them Samaria on a map. The Samaritans were people with Jewish origins who had intermarried with foreigners and had some different religious beliefs and practices. Jews despised the Samaritans and thought of them as inferior and unclean, and wouldn’t have anything to do with them).


When the Samaritan saw the hurt man, he went to him, treated his wounds with olive oil and wine, and bandaged them. (This was a common treatment. The wine cleaned the wound and the oil soothed it.) Then the Samaritan put the man on his own donkey (the Samaritan must have walked) and took him to an inn, where he took care of him overnight. The next morning he gave the innkeeper two silver coins and said, “Please take care of the man. If you spend more than this on him, I will pay you when I return.” (He promised to pay without knowing what it would cost!)


After Jesus told this story he asked, “Which one of the three people was a real neighbor to the man who was hurt?


The man, who had questioned Jesus, answered, “The one who helped him.” (He didn’t directly say the word ‘Samaritan.’ It must have been hard for him to admit that a Samaritan could be a better neighbor than a priest.)

Jesus said, “Go and do the same.” (Imagine the look on the man’s face when told to be like a Samaritan!)




1.     The children are already divided into four teams, named for the four colors on the buzzer box – Red, Orange, Green, Purple. Have either four (one from each team) or eight players (two from each team) gather around a table with the buzzer box in the middle (One of the round tables from the main room is good for this). Each player holds a buzzer (the buzzer wires are color-coded; players on the same team hold the same color wire).

2.     Explain that you will call out a question and players who think they know the answer should press their buzzer. The first to buzz gets to give the answer. (If you don’t know who buzzed first, look for the color with both lights on. See details of how to work buzzer system at end of lesson plan.) After several questions, switch to the next group of players. Make sure everybody gets to play.

3.     Scoring: Ask the shepherd keep score on the white board. Award 5 points for a correct answer. No points for a wrong answer; let anyone who knows the correct answer tell it. (You can use a different scoring system if you prefer, but keep it simple.)

Tips: Try not to let one knowledgeable or fast-fingered child dominate the game. Rotating the players partially takes care of the problem, but you might run into a team that doesn’t want to rotate, wants to let the sharpest member play the whole time. You can ward this off by announcing that anybody who answers three questions correctly will be retired as permanent champion (with a big round of applause) to give everybody else a chance to compete. Also, don’t let non-playing team members help the players; this in effect lets the fast kid answer by proxy.

Be sure they know the answer before buzzing. If they are buzzing and then taking too long to think of the answer, use the timer in the supply bin and give 5 seconds to answer after buzzing (this has not been a problem in the past).

You might have to adjust the game as you go along. If it turns out that eight players make the game chaotic, try letting just four play at a time.

Note: First-graders sometimes have difficulty with the mechanics of operating the buzzers  – they especially get confused about turning off the sound. You can turn the sound off entirely if you prefer. If you’d rather not tackle using buzzers with first-graders, you can just divide them into two teams and alternate asking questions of each team. Let children take turns answering. (Or you might have a better idea! Feel free to devise your own game for them.)

4.     At the end of the lesson plan you’ll find a list of questions with a choice of answers; the correct answers are in boldface. Ask the question, then if no one can answer it unassisted, offer a choice of answers. In general, the list begins with questions on the facts of the story and ends with background and interpretive questions. With younger children, you might not finish the list.


Reflection Time:

1.     Recite the Bible memory verse learned in the Great Hall. "Love your enemies, and be good to everyone who hates you.  Ask God to bless anyone who curses you, and pray for everyone who is cruel to you.” --  Luke 6:27-28 (CEV)

2.     Discuss: Our Bible verse tells us to love our enemies. In the story Jesus told, who were the Samaritan’s enemies? The hurt man, the priest and the Levite would all have been enemies of the Samaritan.


What reasons did the priest and Levite have for not helping the man? They might have been afraid of breaking the Jewish cleanliness law, or of getting hurt themselves.


 Were the priest and the Levite bad people? No, they probably thought they were doing the right thing.


Do we ever make excuses for not helping people?  Can you think of a time when you could have helped somebody but you didn’t? Accept all answers and examples. Emphasize that they should not put themselves in danger in order to help someone else but should let their parents or other adults decide what to do in dangerous situations.


Do you have any enemies? Are there outcasts in your school? Can you think of groups in your school, in our town, in our country, in the world that dislike each other? Examples might be mean kids at school, kids who dress differently, kids playing against your team in sports, people of other races, immigrants from other countries, people of other religions, Democrats if you’re a Republican and vice versa, criminals, terrorists, people in countries that are unfriendly to the U.S.


In the story Jesus told, who was the real neighbor to the hurt man? His enemy, the Samaritan.


After he tells the story, what does Jesus say to do? Go and do the same. To be Jesus’ disciples, we must be like the Samaritan and love and help our neighbors, even if they are different from us.


3.     Pass out the journal pages and ask the shepherds to pass out pencils/markers. (TIP: Fill in the “workshop” blanks ahead of time; otherwise, the children will spend the entire journal time spelling out “Antioch Arcade.”) Optional: Give the children a sticker or some other memento to paste in their journal as a reminder of the workshop.


Younger Children: Tell them to write or draw a picture of how they can help someone this week.

Older children: Tell them to write something they could do to help someone else, but normally would make an excuse not to.



Ask the students to close their journals and sit quietly. Encourage them to bring an offering next week and remind them that their offering for this rotation will benefit Alliance Medical Ministry. This organization is building a medical and dental clinic in Raleigh to serve working poor people who don’t have medical insurance. It’s a way to be like the Good Samaritan and be a loving neighbor to people who need care.


Prayer: Close with a prayer. Suggestion: “Help us to love our enemies and be a neighbor to other people, even people who are different from us. When we have a chance to help somebody, help us not to make excuses.”


Tidy and Dismissal: Ask the children to collect journal pages, pencils, Bibles, etc. After the room is tidy, dismiss the class.


Extra Activity: With older children, if you have time, play the “Excuses, Excuses” matching game. Hand out the worksheets (or cut apart one sheet and give one Bible verse to each child). Read each excuse for not getting involved and let the kids match it with the verse that counters the excuse. As an alternative, you can give them copies of the worksheet to take home. (Source: Outline to Good Sam the Samaritan CD)


Teacher preparation in advance:

1.     Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.

2.     Prepare opening and closing prayers. 

3.     Make four small signs saying Red, Green, Purple, Orange. Have questions for the game ready.

4.     Practice using the buzzer box and be sure you understand how it works. You’ll find it in the supply bin along with a bag of wires. The wires are color-coded. Plug each wire into a hole of the same color. There’s also a plug for turning the sound on/off.

5.     Optional: Bring a CD or taped music for background music while you are gathering, meditative music for Reflection time.

6.     Display the scripture memory verse on the wall (you’ll need to take it down and store it during the week.)  Hang the four team color signs in different corners of the room.


Supply List

Pencils (in supply bin; the shepherds also have pencils)

Dry-erase marker (in supply bin)


Buzzer system

Questions for game

Signs designating four team colors

Copies of “Excuses, Excuses” sheet (optional)



Richard J. Henderson. Parables: Stories for Life in God’s World. Resource Book, The Kerygma Program. (The Kerygma Program, Suite 205, 300 Mt. Lebanon Boulevard, Pittsburgh, PA 15234, phone 1-800-537-9462).

George Drew. The Parables in Depth. 1982, Educational Ministries, Inc. (Educational Ministries, Inc., 765 Penarth Avenue, Walnut, Ca, 91789)

Neil MacQueen, Good Samaritan lesson set from Hilliard Presbyterian Church. (

Outline to Good Sam the Samaritan CD. Sunday School Software. (

Questions for game


Who asked Jesus a question?

A disciple.

An expert in the Jewish law.


Why did he ask Jesus a question?

He wanted to test Jesus.

He wanted to learn from Jesus.


What was the FIRST question the man asked Jesus?

What must I do to have eternal life?

Who is my neighbor?


Jesus asked the man what was written in the Scriptures. What did the man reply?

You shall not kill.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.


What was the SECOND question the man asked Jesus?

Who is my neighbor?

What must I do to have eternal life?


To answer the question “Who is my neighbor?” Jesus told a story. What is the name for a story that teaches a lesson?

A parable.

A biography.


Where did the story that Jesus told take place?

On the road from Samaria to Bethlehem.

On the road from Jerusalem to Jericho.


In the story Jesus told, what happened to the man on the road?

Robbers attacked him, took everything he had, beat him up and left him half dead.

His donkey ran away and he was stranded.


In the story Jesus told, who was the FIRST person to see the hurt man?

A priest.



In the story Jesus told, what did the priest do?

He helped the hurt man.

He walked by on the other side of the road.


In the story Jesus told, who was the SECOND person to see the hurt man?

A Levite, or temple helper.

One of Jesus’ disciples.


In the story Jesus told, what did the Levite do?

He went by on the other side of the road.

He helped the hurt man.


In the story Jesus told, who was the THIRD person to see the hurt man?

A priest.

A man from Samaria.


In the story Jesus told, how did the Samaritan treat the hurt man’s wounds?

He put olive oil and wine on the wounds and bandaged them.

He cleaned them with peroxide and an antibiotic ointment.


In the story Jesus told, what did the Samaritan do after he bandaged the hurt man’s wounds?

He found a donkey and took the man to an inn.

He put him on his own donkey and took him to an inn.


In the story Jesus told, how long did the Samaritan stay with the man at the inn?

One night.

A week.


In the story Jesus told, when the Samaritan left the inn, what did he give the innkeeper?

His credit card.

Two silver coins.


In the story Jesus told, what did the Samaritan tell the innkeeper?

Please take care of this man. If you spend more than the money I’ve given you, I’ll pay you when I return.

Please take care of this man. I’m sure the money I’ve given you will cover his expenses.


After Jesus finished telling the story, what did he ask the man who had questioned him?

Which one of these three people was the real neighbor to the man who was beaten up by robbers?

What else do you want to know?


Who did the man, who had questioned Jesus, say was the real neighbor in the story?

The one who helped the hurt man.

The priest.


At the end, what did Jesus tell the man who had questioned him?

Don’t be like the Samaritan.

Go and do the same (as the Samaritan who was the real neighbor).


What is the Great Commandment?

Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, strength, and mind, and love your neighbor as much as you love yourself.

Go and do the same.


In which Gospel can you find the story of the Good Samaritan?




In which chapter of Luke can you find the story of the Good Samaritan?




Who was listening when Jesus told the story of the Good Samaritan?

A crowd of his followers (or a man who wanted to test him; accept either answer)

King Herod.


What is a likely reason the priest and the Levite would have given for not helping the hurt man?

They didn’t know anything about first aid.

They might break the Jewish laws regarding touching blood or a dead body. (Also accept: the road was dangerous and they were afraid of being attacked)


Why didn’t the Jews like the Samaritans?

The Samaritans had foreign ancestry and had some different religious beliefs. The Jews thought the Samaritans were inferior and unclean.

            The Samaritans were murderers and thieves.


Excuses, Excuses


Here are some excuses people use for not getting involved. Match each excuse with the Bible verse that counters it. Which excuses do you use the most?


Go to the following website:

Outline to Good Sam the Samaritan CD. Sunday School Software. .