A faith lesson on the Bible story where Jesus heals the blind man provides parents and teachers with an opportunity to highlight the healer and helper aspects of Jesus' character. This episode also illustrates how God removes a person's spiritual blindness so she can see Him and draw close in a saving relationship. Craft ideas for Jesus' healing of the blind man allow children to experience what it is like to be blind, play with "mud" and create props for retelling the story.
Jesus instructed the blind man to put mud on his eyes and wash them in the river. When the man obeyed, his sight was restored. Children can finger paint with chocolate pudding to get a feel for the consistency of mud and act out the story as you read. Give them a picture of a face outline and tell them to spread "mud" on the eyes when you read that part. When the man washes in the river and receives his sight, ask the children to wipe the "mud" away and shout, "Thank you Jesus! I can see!"
You can give children a small taste of blindness by letting them make a blindfold. Cut an eye mask from poster board and punch a hole on both sides. Tie a string through both holes to fit the size of the child's head. Ask the children to put the masks on and give them some simple tasks such as eat a snack, drink juice or walk to the door. Discuss how it feels to do everyday tasks without being able to see. Read Jesus' instructions to the blind man. Have the children say, "I will obey Jesus," and pretend to wash their faces in water and remove the mask. Try the tasks again and compare the relative difficulty of accomplishing them with and without sight.
Before a person knows Jesus, the Bible states in 2 Corinthians 4: 3 to 4, "If our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, in whose case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God." But when someone turns to God for help, God will open his eyes to see and know the truth. Illustrate this by pairing up children to make blind drawings. Blindfold one child in each pair and give him a pencil and paper. Give the other partner a simple drawing. She must give her blinded partner step-by-step instructions to recreate the drawing. Let the children compare the original with their blind attempt and discuss how people need God's help. Replace the blindfold and start with a new drawing but this time have the seeing partner physically guide the blind partner's hand as God guides a person to walk in His way even when she can't see the big picture.
Before and After Puppet
A simple paper plate stick puppet gives children a hands-on visual for retelling the story of Jesus healing the blind man. Draw faces on the back of two paper plates; or use craft materials such as wiggly eyes, yarn hair, and buttons to create the faces. One side should have closed eyes or flaps over the eyes to represent the blind man. The other side has open, seeing eyes to represent the healed man. Tape a large craft stick or paint stirrer to the inside of one plate and staple the two plates together around the rim with the faces facing out so they appear alternately by flipping the puppet on the stick. Let children pair up and retell the story using their puppets to illustrate the transformation of Jesus' healing power.