Learning Objectives: After this lesson, children will demonstrate knowledge of this story, by retelling it in their own words.
Target Age: Kindergarten – 5th
Marked Bible for this passage. Prepare the copy in advance by highlighting the significant points to emphasize. Underlining words or ideas that will need additional explanation. I typically make small notes in the margin.
If you prefer, you can use visual aids to help tell the story.
Explanation: This story is a powerful demonstration of the miracle working power of Jesus. It is also a theological illustration of spiritual vs. physical blindness. The beginning of the chapter sets the stage where Jesus describes himself as the light of the world. This theme is revisited at the end of the chapter as Jesus rebukes the Pharisees for their spiritual blindness. Then result is a story of mercy and judgment. When the Son of Man comes, he shows mercy to the humble but judgment to the proud.
The term Son of Man refers to Jesus as the fulfillment of the Old Testament promises of the coming Messiah King.
A key theme in this text is that sickness does not always equal sin. This was contrary to what many in Jesus’ day (and our own) thought.
This story may seem a little sparse on application at first. But if you realize the context of John 9 is Jesus rebuke of the proud Pharisees and their rejection of the mercy of God. This is a powerful warning for kids “growing up Christian.” We all must come to Jesus as humble sinners and rejoice when he saves those we consider “lower” than ourselves.
John 9 Sunday School Lesson: Jesus Heals A Man Born Blind (The Light of the World Gives Light To Blind Eyes)
Ask the children to come up with theories to answer the question, “Why do people get sick?” Encourage children to think of several answers.
Say, “When Jesus was on Earth, many people believed that if someone was sick it was because they had done something really wrong in secret. In our story today, Jesus meets a man who was born blind (he could never see) who people had always assumed was a terrible sinner because he suffered so much.”
Active Listening: In the story I want you to listen very carefully for the main parts of the story. In a little while I will ask you to act the story out, but you will have to do it without me telling you what comes next. So, listen very carefully.
Read (and summarize) John 9. Be sure to engage the children with good story telling. I typically ask unscripted questions to clarify points in the story and retain attention.
How did Jesus heal the blind man? (made mud with his saliva to put on his eyes)
What did the Pharisees say Jesus did wrong? (healed on the Sabbath)
What did the man’s parents say to the Pharisees? (ask him yourself, he is an adult)
What did Jesus ask the man near the end? (do you believe in the Son of Man)
Did This Happen:
Jesus heals the blind man by putting mud on his eyes.
John the Baptist called Jesus the lamb of God
The Pharisees are upset that Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath
The Pharisees planned to kill Jesus.
The Pharisees question the man’s parents
The Pharisees question the man again & throw him out of church
Jesus was born in a special way without a human father.
Jesus finds the man and tells him about the Son of Man.
Act It Out: Ask for volunteers to act out the story. For variation, assign several older students as ‘project leaders’ to coach a group of younger students to act out the parable.