Jesus’ Disciples (Elementary Lesson)

Children learn about the friends Jesus made with this grab-and-go lesson.
8 min read

“The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory.”

John 1:14

Teacher Preparation

Dear Teacher,

Using the word “glory” with kids usually gives me blank looks. But do I understand the word well? It can mean renown, honor, magnificence, great beauty—then add the biblical ideas of the splendor or light of God’s presence, the weight of His power. Wow.

But I need to understand this word because John said he and his friends had seen Jesus’ glory (see John 1:14). Spending time with Jesus, they saw in Him a great resemblance to God: full of grace (kindness, love, generosity) and truth (honesty, no pretending, trustworthiness)—He is the express image of God the Father (see Hebrews 1:3). So for John, “glory” like God’s was the only word to use!

Once we recognize who Jesus is—and how glorious He is—there’s no other response than to follow Him with everything we’ve got!

Lesson Extras

Supplies

Connect

  • How do you think you would feel if you really got to meet the person whose picture you drew?
  • What would you say to the person whose picture you drew if you got to meet the person? What would you want to ask the person?
  • Today we’re going to talk about meeting the MOST important Person ever— and talk about what it means to follow Him!

Big Idea

Jesus is the Savior God promised to send.

Action Plan

Recognize who Jesus is and choose to follow Him.

Disciples Follow Jesus

Supplies

Bible for yourself and each student

Mailing box

Story Starter

Let’s play Charades! Each of these is about a kind of job. Whisper the name of a job (truck driver) to a volunteer. Volunteer acts out the job as other students guess. Student who guesses correctly takes a turn to act out another job (pet groomer, fruit picker, musician, football player or baker) as time allows. End with the job of fisherman. 

Who here has ever gone fishing? Today we’re going to find out what amazing thing happened to some fishermen! Help students find John 1 in their Bibles. Find verses 35-36. Find two names that begin with J.

Storytelling Idea

Create and practice a motion for the words “friends” and “follow.” Students respond with action whenever they hear these words, as directed throughout the story.

Announcing the Lamb!

John was Jesus’ relative. He told people to get ready for the coming Savior. Then he baptized Jesus. One day John was talking to two of his friends when Jesus walked by. John pointed at Jesus.

“Look,” he said. “The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!” John was saying that Jesus would take the punishment for people’s sins.

WHAT? The One who would take away the sins of the world? John’s friends HAD to know more! They hurried after Jesus.

cute-girls-classroom-drawing-smiling
Image Credit: danchooalex/E+/Getty Images
Bible in Life Curriculum Trial
Bible in Life curriculum trial

Jesus saw them follow Him. He asked, “What is it you want?”

They didn’t really know what to say! They just knew that they wanted to talk with Jesus! So they asked Him, “Rabbi, where are You staying?”

Jesus kindly smiled. He said, “Come and you’ll see.”

The two friends went with Jesus. They spent the afternoon with Him. They must have asked many questions! By the end of their time with Jesus, they both believed that Jesus is the Messiah, the One God had promised to send. WOW! God’s promise had come true!

Come and Meet Jesus!

One man who’d been talking with Jesus was Andrew. He hurried right out to find his brother Simon. He excitedly told Simon, “We have found the MESSIAH!”

They hurried back to where Jesus was staying. Jesus looked at Simon and said, “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas.” The name “Cephas” is the same as “Peter.” They both mean “rock.” When Jesus gave Simon this new name, Simon had NO idea what it meant. He couldn’t have imagined he would become a leader of the people who followed Jesus! But Jesus knew!

The very next day, Jesus found a man named Philip. Philip was from Andrew and Simon’s hometown, Bethsaida. Jesus simply said to Philip, “Follow Me!” What do you think Philip did? Yes! He got right up and FOLLOWED Jesus!

It seems that the very NEXT thing Philip did was to go and find his friend Nathanael.

“We have FOUND the One Moses wrote about,” Philip excitedly told him. “He is the Messiah! This is the One the prophets said would come! His name is Jesus—and He’s from Nazareth.”

Nathanael laughed. “Nazareth! Can ANYTHING good come from THERE?” No one thought Nazareth was a very good place. Nobody important came from there!

But Philip insisted that his friend meet Jesus! “Come and see!” he said. What do you think Nathanael did?

Nathanael went with his friend Philip. When Jesus met Nathanael, He looked at him and said, “Here is a true Israelite! He’s a very honest man!”

Nathanael was puzzled. He asked Jesus, “How do you know me?”

Jesus smiled. “I saw you under the fig tree, before Philip ever called you!” WHAT? Jesus knew where Nathanael had been. Nathanael could see that Jesus knew ALL about him! He realized that Jesus must be the Messiah, the Son of God. How ELSE could He know so much about him? Listen as I read John 1:50-51 to find out what Jesus told Nathanael.

Jesus wanted His friends to know that was only the beginning of FAR more amazing things than any they had ever imagined. These friends had met the Messiah. They now knew that He is the Lamb of God. So they WANTED to follow Him. They wanted to know Him and see what He was doing and do it WITH Him! Knowing who Jesus is and following Him changed their lives—and our lives—forever!

Wrap-Up

Supplies

Jesus’ friends were excited to find out that He is God’s Son! God sent Jesus to Earth to take the punishment for our sins so we could be forgiven and join His family. Jesus invites us to follow Him, just as He invited His disciples. We can join God’s family, follow Him and learn from Him.

Read John 1:14 aloud. “Word” is another name for Jesus. John, who wrote these words, could tell that God had sent Jesus. Show mailing box. When we see a box like this, we know something important is inside. Companies who send boxes like this promise that the package will come to just the right place at the right time. And here’s something so much better than a package in the mail: God sent Jesus, the most IMPORTANT Person ever, to just the right place at just the right time, to be our Savior! Talk with interested students about becoming members of God’s family. 

GET TALKING

Kindergarten teacher in class reading to students
Image Credit: Dean Mitchell/E+/Getty Images

Supplies

Distribute Lesson 5 Kid Talk Cards and read verse on Side 1 aloud. Students draw pictures to complete the comic strip.

  • Who were some of the people who followed Jesus? (John. Andrew. Simon Peter. Philip. Nathanael.)
  • Why do you think they followed Jesus? (John said Jesus is the Lamb of God. Brother told him. Jesus asked him. Friend asked him twice.)
  • What did these men do to follow Jesus? (Listened to Him. Asked Him questions. Spent time with Him. Watched what He did. Did things with Him.)

Students look at Side 2 of Kid Talk Cards. Students match shapes and talk about ways they’ll show they follow Jesus.

  • Point to photo of mailing box. A box like this usually holds something important. It is guaranteed to come to the right place at the right time. It reminds us that God sent Jesus, the MOST important Person ever, to just the right place at just the right time. He came to be our Savior!
  • What are ways we show we follow Jesus today? (Learn about Him. Pray to Him. Obey Him. Tell others about His love. Show His love by the way we act and talk.)
  • What would you tell a friend who asked you about how to follow Jesus?

Prayer

Invite volunteers to tell prayer requests as you write them on the whiteboard. Together, list ways people can show they follow Jesus. Volunteers pray, asking God’s help to show others they follow Jesus. Then pray with students about the needs and concerns they mentioned.

Art

Supplies

Scissors

Markers

Paper scraps

Glue sticks

Give each student a Puppet Pattern. With adult’s help, student cuts out the marked circles. Then student cuts out and decorates both puppets, adding details as desired and using paper scraps for clothes and/ or hair. Students use completed puppets to act out telling each other who Jesus is and why it is good to follow Him.

Connect

You made very creative puppets! I like the way they are all different—just like you. When you take these home, have a puppet show for your family to tell them about Jesus!

Game

Supplies

Playground ball

Stand with students in a circle large enough to accommodate a bouncing ball. Bounce the ball to a student in the circle. Student who catches the ball quickly tells one thing he or she knows about Jesus and then bounces the ball to another student. Continue bouncing the ball to different students in the circle until each one has given an answer. Then play another round with students telling ways a person shows he or she follows Jesus. To increase the challenge, encourage students to play faster with each round.

Connect

I like the way you were so fast with the ball—and with your answers! It is good to know the reasons we follow Jesus and ways we show we follow Him. What way will you show you follow Jesus this week?

Get Going

Supplies

Direct students to look again at Side 2 of their Kid Talk CardsAs we listen to this song, thank Jesus for who He is. Ask Him to show you what you can do this week to show that you follow Him. Play “J-E-S-U-S” (on Worship DVD or track 8 on Worship CD), inviting students to listen or sing along. Distribute Lesson 5 Family Fridge Fun papers as students leave.

Bible in Life Curriculum Trial
Bible in Life curriculum trial
post article end mark
  Updated on February 3, 2021

About the Author

  • Gospel Light curriculum is built on the belief that the gospel changes lives! A successful Jesus-centered ministry starts with a comprehensive plan—a plan that builds year upon year from birth through preteen with a proven scope and sequence and age-appropriate lessons. Couple that with Gospel Light's deep rooted passion to bring God’s Word to kids in fun, easy-to-learn ways, based on a strong foundation in the Bible that gives kids godly values they can carry with them throughout their lives. That’s the Gospel Light difference!

© 2020 David C Cook. All rights reserved.
© 2019 David C Cook. All rights reserved.
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