Welcome to Jesus Teaches in the Temple, our story for February 19, based on Luke 20:45-21:4. This brand new story (new to my extra Godly Play style stories- certainly not a new story!) shares two teaching moments Jesus had in the Temple as he knew his time on earth was growing short. First is his warning to beware of the scribes in the Temple, who like to look important, but who cheat widows and make a big deal of saying long prayers. Next, Jesus calls attention to the givers in the Temple. He notices how the rich give their offerings and contrasts this with the offering a widow makes.
This lesson offers children the opportunity to see what Jesus values as important in the lives of his followers.
See the lesson script below.
For the art response, children may want to reproduce parts of the lesson- the temple or the money bags. Or they may choose to celebrate our opportunity to give to God our money, time and talents. Check out my Pinterest page on this story here.
Jesus Teaches in the Temple (Luke 20:45-21:4)
While Jesus did his work, healing, preaching, and telling stories, people listened to what he said. Even as Jesus went to Jerusalem, where he knew that his life would be in danger,
Add the cross to the end of the underlay.
Jesus made time for people. He spoke in the temple and changed people’s lives.
Add the temple.
As Jesus taught, many people listened. Some listeners were Jesus’s disciples and some were people who came there to worship. As people listened, Jesus talked about how those who love God are supposed to behave. He showed them what they’re not supposed to do and what they are supposed to do.
“Watch out for the people who are supposed to be experts on God’s Law,” he said.
Add two people to the underlay.
“They like to walk around wearing clothes that look important. And if you go out to the market place, you’ll see them walking around, hoping everybody notices how respected they are. They love to have the most important seats in the synagogues and to be the guest of honor at fancy dinners.
Add fancy chair.
But they cheat women whose husbands have died and trick them into taking away their homes. Then they try to make themselves look good by saying long prayers. This will get them into trouble with God.”
Then Jesus stopped talking.
He looked up and saw something happening in the Temple. The disciples and the other listeners looked up too. They wanted to see what Jesus was looking at.
Jesus was watching all the rich people coming close to the offering box. Everyone watched as they put their offerings into the box.
Place offering box on the underlay.
They watched and they listened.
Pour offering into the box.
Place gold empty money bag on underlay.
So much money made such a noise!
Then Jesus watched as a poor widow came close to the offering box. A widow is a woman whose husband had died. Husbands were usually the ones back then who were allowed to earn money, so widows were very poor.
The widow put in her two small copper coins, the smallest coins there were.
Add two small coins to the offering box.
Place burlap empty money bag on underlay.
The widow’s money made hardly any noise at all.
Jesus turned to the disciples and all the people who were listening. “Here’s the truth,” he said. “This widow gave by far the largest offering today. The rich have plenty, and they gave only what they did not need. This woman is very poor, but she gave all she had to live on!”
What a great giver she was!
Jesus knew that people listened to what he said. He knew that some people might get mad at him for saying it, but he wanted to show people how to get closer to God, so he bravely told the truth.
- I wonder what your favorite part of this story is.
- I wonder where you are in this story. I wonder what part of this story is about you?
- I wonder what God is trying to teach us in this story.
- I wonder what this story says about what God is like.