Scripture: Mark 2:1-12
1 John 3:18 Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.
Jesus showed he had God's power to heal and forgive.
· Jesus healed the paralyzed man to show his power to forgive sins.
· Our faith in God helps others
· We show our faith in God by helping and praying for others.
· God forgives us even when no one else does.
1. The students will experience the scripture by interviewing the main characters of the story.
2. The students will participate in a “Talk Show” to hear the characters of the story describe the miracle of healing and the forgiveness of sins from their unique perspectives.
3. The students will discuss and describe how this story applies to their every day lives.
Welcome and Introductions:
1. Greet the children and introduce yourself. Wear your nametag. Make sure the children are wearing nametags. If not, ask the shepherd to supply a temporary nametag. Remember that you are interacting with a different group of students each week that may not know you.
2. Explain the purpose of this workshop. Tell them that they will get the chance to interview the characters of the story in the format of a TV talk show.
There are three accounts of this story within the gospel.
· Ask the children to find the Mark passage in their Bibles.
· Read the story to the class.
1. Explain the purpose of the workshop. The children will be participating in a “Talk Show”. For older children the “guests” will be a Pharisee and the man who was healed. For younger children, the “guests” will be the man who was healed and one of the friends.
2. For older grades 3-5, divide the class into teams, and assign each team a character. Hand out paper and pencils. Give each team 5-10 minutes to discuss and think about :
· The role of their character in the story
· How their character might have felt
· Then write the down questions that they would like to ask the character related to the story.
Older grades: The workshop leader and shepherd should meet with each team during this time to help give them ideas or information. Ask them to try and put themselves in the place of the character(s), and ask how they would have reacted. If a team is having trouble, give the team a question or two to get them thinking in the right direction.
Younger grades: work together as a class to discuss the characters and come up with the questions. Write the questions so all can see.
While the shepherd is helping the class/teams, the leader will leave the room to dress up as the first character.
3. Optionally videotape the "talk show". Due to the required involvement of the leader and shepherd, the camera must either be placed in a stationary position, or another person will be required to handle the camera. The 9:45am floater may be requested for this task.
4. Conduct the talk show. Call the show “Talk Back Live” or some name that the children decide for the show. Ask the shepherd to be the host and to introduce the guest (see “Suggested Introductions for each Character,” below). The host and “guest” should sit in chairs at the front of the class. Give the shepherd the prepared questions and ask him/her to begin the interview with the first couple of questions to introduce the character and then open the questioning up to the children.
Begin by introducing the character. When the character enters the room, encourage the children to applaud the character. (optional: :Make an “Applause” prop sign and assign one child the job of raising it at the appropriate time.) Using a prop microphone, have the children ask the questions that they formulated as a class or in teams. Take turns asking questions and/or holding the microphone so everyone is involved. The leader/character answers their questions, as appropriate, working in each of the key concepts (see below for sample questions and answers) as it pertains to their character. Then get the children's ideas on how they might have felt in that character's shoes?
After the first guest. The workshop leader leaves the room, makes a small adjustment in costuming and reappears as the next guest. You will likely only have time for 2 guest appearances.
Younger children will likely need more time and assistance within the discussions about the characters. Larger groups may be used, but each child should be given a part in the presentation and discussion of their character. More challenging characters such as the Pharisees or disciples may be omitted.
At 10:35 a.m., ask the shepherds to pass out the journals and pencils/markers. Suggestion: You may wish to give the children a sticker or some memento to paste in their journal as a reminder of the story or activity.
Describe to the students some ways that they might show their faith by helping their friends this week. Some examples would be
· asking a friend to go to Sunday School with them
· praying for their friends
· being kind and generous to lonely or unhappy friends
Give the students these ideas for their journals:
· Identify a specific friend, and how you could help them this week.
· Identify friends that you will pray for this week
· Draw a picture of yourself praying for someone.
· Draw a picture about this story
At 10:45 ask the students to close their journals and sit quietly for prayer.
Prayer: You can ask if anyone would like to pray, but have a prayer ready in case no one volunteers. Thank God for healing and forgiveness of our sins. Ask God for the courage and wisdom to help our friends and family.
Tidy and Dismissal: Ask children to help tidy up. Optionally replay portions of the videotape after everything is cleaned up
If you have extra time with the older children, have them locate the other gospel accounts of this story -- Matthew 9:1-8 and Luke 5:17-26. Call out the passage and let them race to see who can be first to find it in the Bible.
Teacher preparation in advance:
1. Read the scripture passages and attend the Faith Quest Leaders Bible Study.
2. Prepare a closing prayer.
3. Check out the room before your first Sunday workshop.
· Posterboard, a chalkboard, or piece of paper
· Paper and pencils for the children to write down their ideas
· Prop microphone
· Costumes for the characters being interviewed (various tunics, robes, headbands, sashes)
· Video camera and tape (optional, but recommended).
· TV/Monitor to play back the recorded tape (optional). A small car TV works best to play the VHS tape.
The New Oxford Annotated Bible, New Revised Standard Edition, Oxford University Press, Copyright 1991.
Suggested Introductions for each Character
Friend of the Paralyzed Man
Our first guest today is a person who showed his faith in Jesus and his love for a friend in a very bold way. Together with three other friends he carried a paralyzed man from his home all the way across the village to the home of Simon Peter. When they found the door to the house blocked by the crowd of people who had come to hear Jesus teach, they climbed up the stairs to the roof and dug their way through. Then they let their friend down through the roof where he could be healed by Jesus. We have invited him here today to tell us what happened in the house and what it was like to be there. Please join me in welcoming the friend of the paralyzed man.
A member of the Pharisees
Our first guest today is a member of a group of people called Pharisees. He is an expert in the laws that govern temple worship and has dedicated his life to maintaining the purity of worship and of the Jewish people. He has been a respected member of the synagogue for many years and the people of the village look to him to help them understand the laws that help them remain faithful to God. We have invited him here today to tell us what he saw happen in Simon Peter’s house and what he thought about it. Please give a warm welcome to the Pharisee.
Our next guest is a man who had been paralyzed and unable to walk for many years. Though he longed to go to the temple and worship with his friends and family, we was unable to do so because everyone thought he was unworthy because he was sick. But one day a man called Jesus came to the village and this man, having heard that Jesus had power to heal, asked his friends to take him to see Jesus. He has joined us today to tell us what actually happened at the house of Simon Peter that day. Please welcome the paralyzed man.
Sample Questions and Answers
The answers here are written generically in the third person, allowing the workshop leader to select appropriate wording for their class. The sample questions are ordered in their relative priority as a key concept. Give this list to the Talk Show host (shepherd) who will begin the interview process.
Friend of Healed Man
Q: Why did you help the paralyzed man?
A: The had powerful faith in God and Jesus, and a strong friendship with the paralyzed man.
Q: Were you surprised when Jesus said, “Your sins are forgiven,” instead of healing his body?
A: The Bible doesn't tell us. The friends may not have even been able to hear the words of Jesus.
Q: Why did you lower your friend through the roof instead of going through the front door?
A: They could not enter through the front door because the crowd was so large.
Q: How hard was it to lower your friend into the room?
A: Again we don't know, but it was not likely to be an easy feat.
A member of the Pharisees
Q: Who are the Pharisees?
A: One of the groups (sects) into which the Jews were divided. The Pharisees were extremely accurate and minute in all matters pertaining to the law of Moses.
Q: What did you think about Jesus forgiving the man's sins?
A: Jesus broke Jewish law by forgiving the sins of a physically impaired man. They thought that it was blasphemy, as Jesus was establishing his authority over Jewish law.
Q: Were you surprised that Jesus was able to heal the paralyzed man?
A: The Pharisees had seen Jesus heal before, but every healing is a miracle. The Pharisees had not before seen Jesus disregard Jewish law by forgiving the sins of a physically impaired person.
Q: What did you mean when you said, “We’ve never seen anything like this before”? They were amazed that Jesus showed he really did have power to forgive sin.
Q: Were you surprised that Jesus first forgave your sins?
A: The paralyzed man would have been astonished. The paralytic had absolutely no access to forgiveness. No one was willing or able to believe that his sins were forgiven, because he did not exhibit the physical evidence.
Q: What will you do now that you're healed?
A: Normally, a healed person would have to undergo a ritual cleansing (like a baptism) and offer a sacrifice to have their sins forgiven, but Jesus had forgiven him completely already. All we know is that he went home. It is likely that the man shared his healing experience with others.
Q: Were you scared being lowered down through a roof?
A: The Bible doesn't tell us. The lowering was probably a bit frightening, but it paled in comparison to the possibility of being healed by Jesus.
Q: Was it awkward having everyone watching you, wondering what you were doing?
A: We don't know, but it must have been an awkward and tense moment.