The Gospel of Luke's Parable of the Good Samaritan serves as just one example of Jesus' commandment to love your neighbour (Luke: 10:25-37). Sunday schoolchildren read and reflect on the meanings of charity and being a neighbour. Sunday school teachers have an opportunity to teach children not only about how to show love of neighbour, but to challenge children's ideas about what it means to be a good person and what it means to love.
Although short, the Parable of the Good Samaritan has a host of characters. Write the roles and any dialogue of the lawyer, Jesus, the victim, robbers, priest, the Levite and the Samaritan on separate index cards. Read the parable to the class. Assign the roles to different children. Ask them to act out the parable.
Reflection on Goodness
Challenge older Sunday schoolchildren to think about what constitutes goodness. Read the parable of the Good Samaritan by breaking it into chunks. Read about the scholar's reply when Jesus asks what the law says about who inherits eternal life. Explain that knowing the law and living it are two different things.
Read about the priest and the Levite. Tell students that these two men also knew the law and were obeying another aspect of Jewish law about ritual cleanliness. Ask students to discuss which law was more important.
Read the section about the Samaritan, explaining that this group experienced discrimination in biblical times. Ask students why Jesus made the Samaritan the good man.
Sing and Color
Younger Sunday school students begin to learn about the Bible's messages by identifying passages with songs and by participating in simple activities such as colouring. The DLTK Bible website offers a remake of the nursery song, "The Farmer in the Dell." Teach children "The Good Samaritan Song" to introduce them to the characters, the action and Jesus' message in Luke's parable. Give your class handouts with the song and an image from the parable to colour (see Resources section).
The Law of Love
Behind every parable in the Bible and every other lesson Jesus taught is the law of love. Teach Sunday schoolchildren to think about love, using a suggestion from the Ministry to Children website. Write "Love" on the board. Ask children to sit still and to think about someone they love very much. Ask the children to share who came to mind and write those names on the board.
Affirm that every person listed deserves love. Read the parable. Ask who loved whom in the story. Write each loved person from the parable on the board. Discuss how important it is for people to love everyone without exception, even people who are hard to love.
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