The Good Samaritan
Have a (short) three-legged race with the kids. Pair them up and gently bind their ankles together with ribbon or yarn (not too tight so they get hurt and not too loose that they’re tripping on the string). Tell them they have to work together to get from one end of the room to the other. Show them how to put their arms around each other and to take their steps together. Encourage them to help their “neighbor” as they play. If one falls, the partner has to help the other one up. Cheer for them when they’re done. Ask them if it was hard or easy to walk together. Emphasize how important it was for them to help each other and work together.
Jesus told a story about what it means to be a good neighbor. Who knows what a neighbor is? It could be the person who lives next to you on your street (in your neighborhood), it could be the person you’re sitting next to at Kingdom Kids, it could mean anybody you are near at that time. When the people asked Jesus how they could live forever (have eternal life), they knew what their Law said. It said, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” (Lk.10:27) God wants us to love Him first and best, and to treat our neighbor the way we want to be treated. That doesn’t sound too hard, but it can be when it means giving away something you would like to have, or doing something for someone that is hard for you. Then the people asked Jesus a “trick” question. They wanted to know who was their neighbor. Jesus answered them with a story. He told them about a person who got beat up and was lying on the side of the road. Three people passed the man, but only one stopped to help him. Let’s see if you can guess who stopped to help. First a priest passed by the man (you could explain that a priest is someone who spends all their time at church and works for God). Do you think he stopped to help the man who was all beaten up? Then a Levite came by. A Levite is also someone who has jobs at a church. Do you think the Levite stopped to help the man? The third person who came by was called a Samaritan. Because he was from a place called Samaria, people like the priests and Levites didn’t like them because they said the Samaritans didn’t love God. So which one do you think stopped to help the man who was beaten up? 1- The Priest (the man who worked for God) , 2- The Levite (the man who worked in the church) 3-The Samaritan (the man who these people thought was bad). It was the Samaritan!! Jesus said that it wasn’t the “religious” people (the ones who spend a lot of time at church) who stopped to help this poor man, it was the person who everybody thought didn’t love God. The Good Samaritan put bandages on the man, took him to a place to rest and left money to make sure he got food and whatever else he needed to get better. The one who loves God shows they love God by how they treat people. Anybody can say their skin is purple, but if you look at them and their skin isn’t purple, then even though they’re saying it’s purple, you know it’s not. When you say you love God, you show it by what you do.
The game we played at the beginning of class was a fun way to see how hard it was to work together to walk. We had to help our “neighbor” as we walked ourselves. The story of the Good Samaritan teaches us that when we treat the people around us with love and take care of them in special ways, we show that we love God. Anybody can say they love God, but you know it’s true when you see someone living the way God wants them to live.
Next time you have a chance to do something good for someone and you don’t feel like doing it, ask yourself, “Would it make Jesus happy to show Him my love by loving my neighbor?”
Jesus, please help me to love my neighbor the way I love myself and to love you better every day. In Jesus’ Name, AMEN!!
“Love your neighbor as yourself.” Luke 10:27