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The Wisdom of Jesus

To explore a healing story of Jesus found in Mark 2.1-12

by Ronni Lamont

Suitable for Whole School (Pri)

Aims

To explore a healing story of Jesus found in Mark 2.1-12

Preparation and materials

  • Read through the story and familiarize yourself with the actions needed.

Assembly

  1. Begin by asking the children what they understand the word ‘sin’ to mean. Say that one way of thinking about sin is failing to be the best we can in how we help others. But we shouldn’t feel bad about this, because if we know we’ve let someone down we can, and should, try to put things right and do better next time.
  2. Explain that in the days of Jesus, it was believed that people suffered illness because they had sinned – illness was a punishment. Jesus would, of course, have known about this belief. Today, though, we know that illness is caused by many things and it certainly isn’t a punishment for wrongdoing.
  3. Ask if anyone knows what houses were like in Jesus’ day. They had flat roofs, with steps up the outside giving access to the roof. The ceiling was made of a mixture of straw, sticks and mud.
  4. Now prepare the children for the story. They need to practise the following sound effects when you say the words in bold:

    Crowd: ‘Help me Jesus’, ‘Come and see me Jesus’ – the children could make up their own cry demanding Jesus’ attention or healing power.
    Teaching: children look interested and nod from time to time (as in TV interviews).
    Noise overhead: scraping noise.
    Lowered the man down: (pulley) squeaking noises.
    Shocked: children all gasp.
    Thinking: ‘Hmmmm’.
    He could walk: children all cheer.
    Walking and leaping and praising God: children do actions with hands and arms: walking - fingers moving along an imaginary surface; leaping - fingers hopping along the surface; praising God - hands go up.

    Practise all these at least once.
  5. Now read the story, pausing for the children to take part.

    It was the end of a busy day. The people had been crowding Jesus and his friends all day. They decided to go into a local house for some relief. The crowd sat round the doorway, still demanding Jesus’ attention. He continued to teach them from the living area inside.

    While Jesus was teaching, there was a noise overhead. Everyone looked up. The noise overhead got louder. Dust began to fall, then bits of the straw holding the roof together. The noise continued until, suddenly, there was a hole in the ceiling!

    Four faces peered down into the room. Jesus and his friends all stared. Then, there was a movement, as the four men on the roof began to lower a man down into the room! He was wrapped up in a sheet, and obviously in terrible pain. They continued to lower the man down until he was on the floor.

    Jesus looked at the man, kindly, and then looked up. ‘These friends of yours,’ he said, ‘they were pretty keen that I should see you, weren’t they?’ The man just smiled, nodding slowly.

    ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ said Jesus. Everyone was so shocked! Who was Jesus to forgive sins? Surely only God could do that?

    And Jesus knew what they were thinking. He knew how shocked they were. He looked around, and then, slowly and deliberately, he said, ‘Which is easier - to say your sins are forgiven, or to tell you to pick up your bed and walk?’

    The man just looked. The crowd just looked.

    Jesus was a wise man. He knew what the crowd thought. He understood what the man was thinking, so he said just what the man, and the crowd, needed to hear to be able to understand what was going on.

    So Jesus said, ‘I tell you, your sins are forgiven, pick up your bed and walk.’

    The man looked at Jesus, then he swung his legs round. He put his feet on the floor, and slowly, slowly, slowly, he stood up. The people were silent as he put out one foot, then the other. Then, suddenly, he could walk!

    ‘Look at me!’ he shouted. ’I can walk! I can walk!’

    And he went, walking and leaping and praising God.

Time for reflection

Reflection

What have you done recently that you wish you could undo or do better next time?

How are you going to put things right in the future?

Prayer

Make us wise, Lord,

Help us to know just what to say.

Help us to know how to say it,

to always be a good friend to others.

Amen.

Song/music

‘Thank you, Lord’ (Come and Praise, 32)

Publication date: April 2006   (Vol.8 No.4)    Published by SPCK, London, UK.
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