Middle School

Choosing to Help

Lesson 8 

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Winter 2019-20

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By: Kelsey Grulke 

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January 19, 2020

Lesson Focus:

Take time to be compassionate.

Bible Basis:

Matthew 14:14; Mark 1:40-45; 6:30-34

Materials Needed:

Step 1:

  • Internet access
  • Whiteboard/markers

Summary & Links:

Students will watch videos about compassionate acts as they explore the compassion of Jesus.

Memory Verse:

Finally, all of you, be like-minded, be sympathetic, love one another, be compassionate and humble.
—1 Peter 3:8

Step 1:

Students will watch videos about compassionate acts as they explore the compassion of Jesus.

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access
  • Whiteboard/markers

Welcome your students as they enter. As everyone settles in, ask your students what their least favorite chore is. Picking up their dog’s poop? Emptying the trash? Cleaning toilets? When everyone is settled, ask your students to make a list together of all the things they might be asked to help with in a given week. Make a master list on the whiteboard. When the list is finished, ask your students to put a smiley face next to the things they enjoy helping with, a neutral face next to the things they feel neutral about, and a frowny face next to the things they don’t like helping with.

  • Do you feel like you have to help too much? Just the right amount? Not enough? (Answers will vary.)
  • What makes helping feel better or worse? (Answers will vary. If your help is appreciated, if it’s a job that’s not too hard, if the person your helping is nice, etc.)
  • When you have a choice (like your parents or teachers aren’t forcing you to help) what factors make you more likely to want to help someone? (If they’re nice, if they deserve help, if they’ve helped you before, if you have the time, etc.)

Share the following video with your students [1:12]:
How Bill Gates Helped Jeff Bezos Become the Richest Person in the World | CNBC Make It

  • What impressed you the most about this video? (Answers will vary; how rich these two men are, that Bill Gates has given away so much money, all the causes Bill Gates and his wife contribute to, etc.)
  • How do you think they feel about being asked for help (mostly through donations) all the time? (Being asked all the time is overwhelming. You might not know who your true friends are because everyone would be nice to you just to get what they want. You just want a minute to yourself, etc.)

Sometimes, being asked for help can be overwhelming. Sometimes it feels like we just have nothing left to give. Jesus felt that way sometimes, too. He helped and He helped and the people just wanted more. But Jesus showed compassion on those people, even when He was tired or they could make Him sick. He helped them no matter what.

Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?

You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.

Step 4:

Materials Needed:

  • Internet access

Jesus on earth lived out perfect compassion. Not only did he physically heal people’s bodies, he healed our souls through his death and resurrection. His compassion for us is so huge that it can be intimidating sometimes! I mean, what can I possibly do that would matter compared to what Jesus has already done for the whole world? Fortunately, Jesus has promised us the help of the Holy Spirit. Our job isn’t to try and do everything Jesus did (I mean, we couldn’t!), but to find the place that God is calling us to serve and to show compassion. Let’s watch a video. Pay special attention to all the different ways compassion shows up in this video.

Share this video with  your students [4:18]:
The Present – OFFICIAL

  • Let’s start with the negative—where was compassion missing in this video? (When the boy rejects his puppy because of its disability.)
  • How did you feel toward the boy when he rejected his new puppy? (Answers will vary: Outraged, angry, etc.)
  • Did your feelings changed when we saw that the boy also had a disability? (Possible answers may include: I understood why he might have rejected the puppy. He must have some angry feelings because of his disability. I still wish he would have been kinder to the puppy, though.)
  • What other examples of compassion did you notice in this video? (The mom was compassionate in bringing her son a gift. The puppy showed compassion by continuing to love the boy even when he was rejected. The boy eventually acts compassionately to the puppy by playing with him.)

Jesus showed compassion even when it messed with His plans and even when the people didn’t deserve it. That puppy loved that boy even when the boy didn’t deserve it. True compassion does not depend on the person receiving it, but on the person giving it. When we show compassion, our motivation has to be that we are doing it for God, regardless of how the receiver feels.

  • How might God be calling you to demonstrate compassion, even to someone who doesn’t deserve it? (Allow your students some time to process this. Examples might be: I can be kind to my siblings, even when they’re mean to me. I can patiently help my friend learn how to do our math problems, even though he wasn’t paying attention in class. I can shovel my neighbor’s sidewalk, even though they’re grumpy, etc.)

Remind your students that true compassion comes from the Lord. When we act in true compassion, we’re following Jesus. Divide the students into pairs. Ask them to come up with one concrete way they plan to show compassion to another this week. Ask the pairs to exchange contact information and hold one another accountable to their commitment this week.

End by praying that God would open your hearts to the opportunities to show compassion that He puts in front of you this week

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