Mark 2:1-12 from the Bible is the story of very special friends determined to bring their paralysed friend to Jesus. They did not give up because the house was crowded. They opened a hole in the roof to let their friend down right in front of Jesus. Jesus healed their friend and then silenced those who criticised him when he also forgave the man's sins. Activities can help children better understand love and friendship.
"Lower Him Down" Craft
After telling the story of the healing of the paralytic, talk about friendship and how friends don't give up on one another. The friends went to extremes to help their friend find healing. Explain this showed how much they also trusted that Jesus could and would heal their friend. Create a craft in which the children can lower a representation of the paralysed man down through the roof in order to bring their friend to Jesus for healing.
Use a shoebox tipped on its side. Create cutout figures from the story. Cut a slit in the top of the box, add yarn to the sides of a cutout of the paralysed man in his bed and let the illustration down through the "roof" in front of Jesus.
A simpler version of this craft is to print out the scene on paper or card stock. Cut a slit in the roof of the printout to slide the man on his bed down to Jesus. Have the children tell the story of this healing using their craft.
Who Was There
Give children the reference Mark 2:1-12 from the Bible. Ask them to take turns reading the verses out loud. Discuss the story. Pass out a sheet of paper with all the characters from the story listed, along with characters from other stories such as Lazarus, Paul, Moses and Daniel. Have the children cross out the people who were not present and circle the ones who were. After reading the story, ask the children to close their Bibles and remember who was present during this healing: Jesus, the paralysed man and his four friends, the crowd and scribes.
Make a House
Talk about how houses were built and used during Jesus' day. If you have a class of children, divide them into teams. Provide each team with a cardboard box and supplies needed to create the house described in the Mark 2:1-12 story. Let younger children colour a New Testament-style house, adding the Biblical reference. Older children can create the house on card stock using their drawing and colouring skills. They can also use coloured construction paper to make and glue on elements they wish to add.
Focus on Friendship
Center the lesson on the value of being a true friend. With the Bible story from Mark 2:1-12 use the verses on friendship from Proverbs 17:17 (King James version), "A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity"; and Proverbs 18:24 (King James version), "A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother."
You might wish to use a contemporary version of the verses or the Bible version used by your church. Discuss what having friends means. From these verses as well as the Mark passage, pair up children and have them list what makes a good friend. Ask them to think of some way they can be a good friend in the coming week.