As students settle in for the lesson, start by talking with your class about how it might feel to have a lot of money.
It’s pretty common for people to imagine what their lives would be like if they suddenly had more money than they could ever spend. People often say they would take a vacation, or buy a nicer house or car, or maybe give some of the money away. A few months ago, a single mom got the surprise of her life when she won a Powerball lottery prize of 344 million dollars.
- What’s the largest amount of money you’ve ever seen? (Answers may vary.)
- What would you do if you had that much money? (Allow students to fantasize and respond.)
That must have been really exciting when she won! Let’s see what she decided to do with part of the money.
Play the following video for your students [3:34]:
Ellen Meets Powerball Winner and Single Mom Lerynne West
Three hundred and forty-four million dollars is such a big number that it’s hard to really imagine. Let’s try to see if we can get a better idea of what that’s like. Invite students to gather in the front of the classroom, then pour out a small pile of pennies onto a table or desk. Each of these is worth just a single cent. But let’s pretend that instead of being ordinary pennies, these are super coins worth $100 each! To illustrate, stack several pennies on top of each other one by one, counting out loud in increments of $100.
Now, how high do you think we would have to make this stack of super coins to have $344 million? Place the small stack of pennies on a small table or chair beneath the whiteboard. Invite students to guess how high the stack would need to become by coming up and drawing vertical lines on the whiteboard with a dry erase marker. Once several students have drawn lines to show their guesses, reveal the truth: I’m afraid that this wasn’t a fair question, because this whiteboard isn’t quite big enough. Even if each of these pennies was worth $100, it would still take 3,440,000 of them to make $344 million. The stack would be almost three miles high!
Once students return to their seats, continue. With that much money, it might seem like you could do just about anything you wanted. But where would you start? Everyone would want you to help them with something; how would you choose who to help first? There are so many needs out there, you just wouldn’t be able to get to them all—even with $344 million.
In today’s lesson, we’re going to learn about Someone who really does have the power to help everyone. Let’s see what He did.
Wolfram Alpha Result
Looking for Steps 2, 3 & 4?
You can find Steps 2 and 3 in your teacher’s guide. For upper elementary, middle school, and high school your Step 4 appears below. For adult, use the Step 4 in your teacher’s guide. To purchase a teacher’s guide, please visit: Bible-in-Life or Echoes.
- Internet access
- Whiteboard and marker
- Index cards
While students are cleaning up from their Step 3 activities, prompt a return to the lesson focus with the following discussion and questions. Today, we learned about how Jesus healed a man whom no one else would touch.
- What disease did the man in the lesson have? Why wouldn’t anyone touch him? (The man had leprosy, a disease which was believed to be contagious and was usually fatal.)
- How did Jesus heal the man with leprosy? (Jesus touched the man, and he was healed.)
At the beginning of our lesson today, we talked about what it might be like to have millions of dollars. With that kind of money, it might seem like you could do anything you wanted and help everyone! But no matter how much money you have, there will always be some things you can’t do. With Jesus, it is different: He really can help every single person!
- How would it feel to be able to really help every person in the whole world? (Possible answers might include: amazing, overwhelming, hard to imagine.)
Imagine having that kind of power! It sure is a good thing that God’s in control instead of us. Just as it is difficult to picture what a $344,000,000 is like, it’s difficult to comprehend everything Jesus is able to do. Compared to Jesus, it might seem like there’s not much we can do. But did you know that Jesus said, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12)?
Jesus is willing to help anyone who needs Him. He was willing to heal the lepers when no one else would touch them. Through His power, we can still follow His example when we help people no one else is willing to help.
The Powerball winner we learned about earlier was able to help a lot of people with all that money. But most of us don’t have that kind of money and aren’t able to write big checks to meet a need.
- What are some needs that we could meet without having to spend huge amounts of money? (Allow students to brainstorm; write their ideas on the whiteboard as they call them out. Answers might include sticking up for someone who is being bullied; sharing your lunch with someone who forgot theirs; helping an elderly neighbor shovel snow off their sidewalk; eating lunch with someone who is all alone; donating coats you have outgrown to the local shelter, etc.)
Pass out index cards and pencils. Give your preteens opportunity to think of at least two people who need help in some way. Have your students write down these names and some specific ways they can reach out to them. This week, challenge yourself to find a way to help them out, even if it’s just listening or being kind.
Close in prayer, asking God to help us be more like Jesus as we seek to help others.
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(For our upper elementary, middle school, and high school customers: David C Cook is not affiliated with and does not endorse any website or any other media listed on these pages. At the time of writing, David C Cook editors carefully review the referenced material and non-referenced web page content. However, due to the nature of the Internet, non-cited content on the website [including pop-ups, links, and ads] changes frequently and is beyond our control. Please review carefully before shoeing links in the classroom.)