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No Limits!

What are our ambitions?

by Alexandra Palmer

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)


Considers what our limits are by using the story of Jesus healing the paralysed man.

Preparation and materials

  • You will need the PowerPoint slides that accompany this assembly (No Limits) and the means to display them.
  • Have available the YouTube video ‘Jesus heals a paralyzed man’ and the means to show it during the assembly. It is 3.17 minutes long and is available at:
  • Optional: you may wish to use the extension activity (No Limits - Extension Activity) that accompanies this assembly.


  1. Show Slide 1.

    Read through the word list, and then ask the children, ‘What is the root word?’

    Listen to a range of responses.

  2. Show Slide 2.

    Point out that the root word is ‘limit’.

  3. Show Slide 3.

    Ask the children, ‘What does “limit” mean?’

    Listen to a range of responses.

  4. Show Slide 4.

    The word ‘limit’ means ‘something that stops you from doing something or holds you back’.

    Explain the pictures on the slide.

    - The two pictures at the top show speed limit signs for roads.
    - The middle picture shows a screen-time limit.
    - The bottom picture shows an example of a limit whereby restrictions apply.

  5. Ask the children, ‘Why are limits put in place?’

    Listen to a range of responses.

    The answer is that limits are put in place to keep us healthy and safe.

  6. Introduce the Bible story of Jesus healing a paralysed man.

    Explain that Jesus spent three years carrying out God’s work. One of his acts was to heal a man who couldn’t walk.

    That day, Jesus was teaching in a house full of people. A paralysed man wanted to attend too, but his friends couldn’t carry him into the house because the crowds were in the way. Now watch what happens in the story . . .

    Show the YouTube video ‘Jesus heals a paralyzed man’.

  7. Ask the following questions about the video, allowing time for discussions with a partner or in small groups. After each question, listen to a range of responses before moving on to the next question.

    - Why couldn’t the paralysed man’s friends carry him to Jesus? (Answer: there were crowds of people surrounding the house and inside, so they couldn’t get him inside to see Jesus.)

    - Why do you think so many people crowded around Jesus? (Answer: they wanted to listen to Jesus’ teaching about God.)

    - What did the paralysed man’s friends do next? (Answer: they carried their friend onto the flat roof of the house. Next, they made a hole in the roof above Jesus and then lowered their friend down on his mat so that he could meet Jesus.)

    - How would you describe the paralysed man’s friends? (Answer: they were kind, caring and thoughtful. They were also persistent because they didn’t give up when they saw the crowds of people. They believed that Jesus could help their friend.)

    - How do you think the paralysed man felt when Jesus healed him and he could walk? (Answers may include words such as delighted, amazed, shocked and surprised.)

  8. Reiterate to the children that limits are put in place to keep us safe and healthy. Next, ask the children to consider whether the way in which we think could limit us or hold us back in what we want to do.

    Take a class vote between the following two options to see what the children think.

    - No, the way we think cannot limit us or hold us back.
    - Yes, the way we think can limit us or hold us back.

  9. Ask the children, ‘In the story of the paralysed man, who was not limited in their thinking? Who was not held back in what they wanted to do?’

    Listen to a range of responses.

    The answer is the paralysed man’s friends. When they saw the crowds, the friends thought outside the box and decided to get to Jesus by making a hole in the roof of the house. So, they weren’t limited by what they saw and found a different way to achieve their aim.

  10. Ask the children, ‘Were there any groups of people in the story who were limited in their thinking?’

    Listen to a range of responses.

    The answer is the teachers of religious law. They were limited in their thinking because they didn’t think Jesus could forgive people or heal the paralysed man. They thought that only God could do that. They were trying to protect what they believed and didn’t think that Jesus was God’s son.

  11. Redo the class vote to see whether any of the children have changed their minds.

    - No, the way we think cannot limit us or hold us back.
    - Yes, the way we think can limit us or hold us back.

Time for reflection

Show Slide 5.

Ask the children what they think the phrase ‘reach for the stars’ means.

Listen to a range of responses.

Explain that reaching for the stars means having dreams and ambitions that might at first seem impossible and might take a lot of hard work to achieve.

Encourage the children to think about the things that they would love to do.

Listen to a range of responses.

How could they reach for the stars?

Explain that sometimes, the way we think or what we believe we can do can limit us in our dreams and ambitions. This can make it more difficult to reach for the stars. Sometimes, reaching for our dreams takes a lot of courage and other people might not totally understand. However, it is important not to underestimate what we might achieve, and it is always good to have a go!

Let’s also remember that when the man in the story was healed, all of his friends celebrated. Encourage the children to be glad for other people when they achieve something.

Dear God,
Thank you for the story of Jesus healing the paralysed man and the lessons that we can learn from it.
Thank you for the limits that are put in place to keep us safe and healthy.
Thank you that we can have unlimited thoughts.
When we need to solve a problem or achieve a dream,
Please help us to use our imaginations and never limit the way in which we think.


‘Our God is a great big God’, available at: (3 minutes long)

Extension activities

  1. Give each child a copy of the sheet that accompanies this assembly (No Limits - Extension Activity). Ask them to record three ambitions or dreams in the blank stars and then draw themselves reaching for them.
Publication date: September 2021   (Vol.23 No.9)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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