The Parables of Jesus: The Parable of the Good Samaritan | Sunday School Solutions
by Emily Hechler
“I was playing with that toy first!”
“Jamie is sitting in my spot!”
“That marker is mine!”
“Ethan called me a mean name.”
Sound familiar? Does it ever seem like all the children in your Sunday school class do is argue and fight? As Sunday school teachers, we must teach the children in our class to love their neighbor. They even need to love the neighbors they don’t get along with. Jesus taught this same lesson in the parable of the good Samaritan.
As Sunday school teachers, we must teach the children in our class to love their neighbor. They even need to love the neighbors they don’t get along with.
To get started, read the children in your Sunday school class the parable of the good Samaritan from Luke 10:25-37. Then, explain the parable in your own words. For example, you might say:
“In the parable, a lawyer asked Jesus how he could have eternal life. Since he knew God’s Law, he thought he already knew the answer. He just wanted to see what Jesus would say so he could trick Him. Jesus asked the lawyer what the Law said, and the lawyer replied, ‘You shall 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 your neighbor as yourself’ (Luke 10:27).”
You might ask your class the same question the lawyer asked: Who is your neighbor?
“Jesus told the story of a Jewish man who was going on a trip. While he was traveling, he was robbed of his belongings, beaten, and left on the side of the road to die. A priest saw the man lying there, and he walked by. Then a Levite saw the man lying on the side of the road, and he also avoided the traveler. Then a Samaritan saw the man lying there. The Samaritan had compassion, or love and mercy, on the man. The Samaritan helped the hurting man and took him to an inn so he could get better. He even paid for the traveler’s stay with his own money.”
Ask the children, “Which one of these people – the priest, the Levite, or the Samaritan—was being a neighbor?”
The story becomes even more impactful when the children understand that the priest and Levite were not only Jewish, but they were also important religious leaders—similar to pastors or deacons. They should have immediately helped the injured man. They were likely distant relatives! On the other hand, Samaritans and Jews didn’t get along. Those listening to Jesus’ parable would have thought the Samaritan didn’t have a good reason to help the hurt man. But he loved his neighbor anyway. You might explain to the children that the Jewish man hadn’t done anything nice to the Samaritan so the Samaritan would return the favor. The Samaritan was loving his neighbor like God wanted him to without looking for anything in return.
This would be the perfect opportunity to share the Gospel to the children in your class. When Jesus came to rescue us from our sin, we had not done anything to deserve this. In fact, we were God’s enemies when Jesus died on the cross and rose from the dead to pay for our sin.
The Samaratin man was loving his neighbor like God wanted him to without looking for anything in return.
The kids in your Sunday school may enjoy singing some songs about these truths. You can find music videos for kids like “That the World Might be Saved (John 3:16-17)” and “You Shall Love (Matthew 22:37-39)” on U-Nite TV®.
If time allows, you can have the kids practice loving their neighbor by making first aid boxes.
- Small boxes
- Cotton balls
- Cotton swabs
- Small candy
- Give each child a small box and markers.
- Use the markers to write Luke 10:27b on the box: “You shall 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 your neighbor as yourself.”
- After the verses are written on the boxes, let the children decorate the rest of the box with the markers.
- Instruct the children to put a couple bandages, cotton balls, cotton swabs, gauze, and candies in the box.
- Send the boxes home with the children. Encourage them to give the box to someone in need or someone they don’t get along with so the children can put what they learned from the parable into action.