Heart to Heart Teacher Devotion

When Jairus’s daughter was brought back to life, the people were “completely astonished” (Mark 5:42). According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, astonish means “to make a strong impression on (someone) with something unexpected.”

From His birth to His resurrection, Jesus’ life was filled with events and teachings that astounded and dumbfounded all who came in contact with Him. What strong impression has Jesus made on your life? Does Jesus’ love for you astonish you? Teach your students to be astonished by Jesus too.



Leader Resources


Use one of these activities to help children explore surprising things. Use the Bible Memory activity to introduce the memory verse.


  • Welcome each child by name.
  • Early arrivers will enjoy doing the additional activities described on the Unit 1 Overview.

What Surprises You?

Image Credit: Thanasis Zovoilis/Moment/Getty Images


  • Whiteboard
  • Dry-erase markers


Have the children gather in a circle.

SAY: Raise your hand if you like surprises. Let children respond, and then continue. Maybe you’ve been to a surprise birthday party. That’s a great surprise! But maybe you fell off your bike and broke your arm. That’s not such a great surprise. Let’s make a list of surprises you have had. 

Encourage kids to think about and name surprises that have taken place in different areas of their lives: school (a surprise quiz), home (a surprise treat), outdoors (a loud clap of thunder). Let the kids draw smiley or sad faces beside each situation as you list it on the board.

SAY: In today’s Bible story, we’ll learn about some things that surprised people. Jesus is God. He knows everything. That’s both amazing and surprising!


Surprise! Special Needs Friendly


  • Slips of paper
  • Pen
  • Plastic cups
  • Tray
Bible in Life Curriculum Trial
Bible in Life curriculum trial

Before Class

Turn the cups upside down on a tray. On separate slips of paper, write (or draw simple pictures of) a variety of surprising situations. (Examples: a surprise party, a surprise quiz, a sudden storm, falling and breaking a bone, a surprise treat) Fold the slips and place one under each cup. Leave a couple cups with no slips under them—as a surprise!

Have the children gather in a circle. SAY: In today’s Bible story, we’ll learn about a time when some people were surprised. Let’s have fun discovering some things that might surprise us. Show the prepared tray of cups. Explain that there are papers under the cups that tell about both happy and sad surprises.

Let the kids take turns choosing cups. As each cup is chosen, read the surprise written on the slip of paper under the cup. Talk about whether the surprise is a happy or a sad surprise.

ASK: Do you like surprises? Why or why not?
What is the best surprise you’ve ever had?  Let kids share.

SAY: We are surprised when we don’t know something is about to happen. But Jesus is God. He knows everything. Let’s find out what happened one time when Jesus knew something the people didn’t know.

Bible Memory

John 20:31


  • Bibles
  • Reusable adhesive
  • Self-stick notes

Before class, place self-stick notes over several of the words or pictures on the Bible Memory poster. Ask whether anyone wants to try to say the verse, even though some of the words are covered. Let volunteers try saying the verse; then remove the self-stick notes and say the verse together.

SAY: Maybe you were surprised when I asked you to say the verse even though some of the words were covered. You were surprised because you didn’t know I was going to do that. Jesus is God. He knows everything.

He knows what we need even before we ask Him. Let’s learn about a time when Jesus surprised some people and showed that He is the Messiah, the Son of God.


Image Credit: Lisa5201/E+/Getty Images

Use all of these activities to help children tell about a time when Jesus healed both a woman and a young girl.

Bible Background For The Teacher

A synagogue ruler would have been in charge of administrative responsibilities at the synagogue, the building where people worshipped. He would have arranged for services and looked after the building. Jairus obviously had heard about Jesus’ power and believed that Jesus could heal his daughter, who was about 12 years old (see Luke 8:42).

Jesus’ journey to Jairus’s house was interrupted by another incident. An unnamed woman, who had suffered from bleeding for 12 years, came in search of her own healing. The very fact that this woman had the courage to make her way through the crowd is worth noting. Not only was she a woman, but she also was considered to be socially unclean.

It was customary to hire professional mourners, people who would wail and mourn at the time of death of a family member. Perhaps it was the professional mourners who so quickly stopped crying and began to laugh at Jesus when He said that the girl was only sleeping. In the end, however, those who had doubted Jesus’ power to heal were the ones amazed.

There are both differences and similarities between the two stories told here. In one instance, a person of prominence is named; in the other, a social outcast remains unnamed. One person who needed Jesus’ help had lived for 12 years; the other had suffered for 12 years. Both Jairus and the unnamed woman knelt before Jesus. Both believed in His power, and both received the restoration they needed.

Bible Exploration

Mark 5:21-42


  • Whiteboard
  • Dry-erase marker
  • Bibles
  • 2 paper lunch bags
  • Glue
  • CD player
  • CD track 3

Worship Time

Before Class

Attach the puppet pieces to paper bags, as illustrated.

How To Say It

SAY: Today’s Bible story comes from the New Testament book of Mark. Write “Mark 5:21” on the board. Help the children turn to Mark 5:21 in their Bibles. Ask for a volunteer to read the verse.

SAY: It is no surprise that large crowds gathered around Jesus. The people had seen Jesus perform miracles that no other person could do. Jesus could make sick people well without even being in the same place. 

Show Teaching Picture 1. Jesus could help people walk who had never walked before. Show Teaching Picture 2. The people wanted to learn more about Jesus.

On this occasion, an important man came to see Jesus. Let’s listen to his story. We’ll hear about some surprising things that happened. Play scene 1 recording (or use the script provided). Use the Jairus puppet, moving the puppet’s mouth as the story is told. Pause the CD after the sentence: “It might surprise you, but Jesus went with me!”

Ask the children what they think happened next. After a few responses,

SAY: Those were all good guesses. But something else surprising happened before Jesus arrived at Jairus’s house. A woman came through the crowd and made her way to Jesus. Let’s listen to her story. There are more surprises. 

Keep It Going

Play scene 2 (or use the printed script) and use the woman puppet as the narration is told. Pause the CD after the sentence: “Go, and don’t suffer anymore.”

What a happy surprise the woman received from Jesus! While Jesus was still speaking to the woman, some people came from Jairus’s house. 

Ask the children whether they can guess what was happening. After a few guesses, SAY: Let’s find out whether you are correct. Play scene 3 (or use the printed script) and use the Jairus puppet. Stop the CD player at the end of the track.

Show Teaching Picture 3. The Bible tells us that when the people saw that Jairus’s daughter was alive, they were “completely astonished.” The word astonished means “surprised, amazed, speechless, shocked.” The people were learning that Jesus is God.

He knows everything.  Jesus knew when His power had helped a woman be healed. Jesus knew He had the power to bring a young girl back to life. And that’s just what He did!

Bible Memory

John 20:31


  • Whiteboard
  • Dry-erase marker
  • Bibles

“These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.”

Write “John 20:31” on the board. Remind children how to use the table of contents in their Bibles to find the book of John. Give children help as needed in turning to John 20:31. Ask a volunteer to read the verse.

Review the motions taught in lesson 2: written —pretend to write; believe —using the index finger, point to the forehead and then bring the hand down to clasp the other hand (as holding onto a thought); Jesus — touch the middle finger of one hand to the middle of the palm of the other hand and then repeat with the other hand; God —an open hand is raised to the heavens and then downward.

Say the verse together, while doing the motions.

SAY: Only Jesus, the Son of God, could do the surprising miracles Jesus did. We can believe that Jesus is God. He knows everything.

Optional Bible Skill Builder

Print copies of the Books of the New Testament bookmarks included in the Classroom Tools folder. Cut apart and give each student a bookmark. Read together the list of New Testament book names. Have the children place their bookmarks at the first page of John, the fourth book in the New Testament.


Happy family mother and child daughter laughing in bed
Image Credit: evgenyatamanenko/iStock/Getty Images Plus

Use one of these activities to help children name surprising things Jesus has done for them.

Look What Jesus Did!

SAY: Jesus did some surprising things for Jairus and the woman who came to Jesus in the crowd. Let’s act out some surprising things Jesus has done for us. 

Start the activity by acting out something that Jesus has done for you. (Examples: helped you feel better, helped you learn to do something that was hard for you to do, etc.) Let the children guess what surprising thing Jesus did for you.

Then let volunteers act out something surprising Jesus has done for them. (Examples: healed a broken bone, helped a parent find a new job, helped them feel happy when they have been feeling sad, etc.)

SAY: Jesus is God. He knows everything. We can believe that Jesus knows us. He will help us when we talk to Him in prayer.


Story From Weekly Bible Reader



SAY: I’m going to read a story. Listen for whom Jesus knew and what surprising thing Jesus did. Read “A Sick Friend.”

ASK: Who did Jesus know about? (Michael and Tyler)
What did Jesus do?  (heard Michael’s prayer, helped to heal Tyler)

SAY: Jesus is God. He knows everything. We can believe that Jesus knows us. He will help us when we talk to Him in prayer.


Kneeling Before Jesus

SAY: Jairus and the woman who was healed both knelt on the ground before Jesus. Kneeling when we pray is one way we can show Jesus that we know He is greater than us or anyone else. We can pray and ask Jesus for things we need. We can pray and tell Jesus the whole truth about something we have done, and we can pray and worship Jesus. When we worship Jesus, we give honor to Him and show our love for Him.

ASK: What could you say to Jesus to worship Him? Let children respond. (Examples: “I love You, Jesus.” “You are great.”)

Invite the children to kneel with you. Ask whether any of them want to pray aloud. After children who want to pray have done so, you can close the prayer time.

PRAY: Dear Jesus, we know You have power over everything. We know You see our needs and can help us. Jesus, You are God. You know everything. Thank You for all the surprising things You do for us. In Your name we pray, amen.


Worship Pop-Up Cards


  • Colored pencils (or markers)
  • Scissors

SAY: We have learned that Jesus is God. He knows everything. Worshipping Jesus is one way that we let Jesus know we believe in Him. When we worship Jesus, we give honor to Him and show our love for Him. Sometimes it’s hard to remember to worship Jesus. Let’s make cards that will remind us of some of the surprising things Jesus does for us. We’ll use our cards as we worship Him.

Distribute the activity pages, stickers, and supplies. Encourage children to take their time and do their best as they make the cards.

SAY: Doing our best with the abilities God has given us is one way we worship Jesus. 

Help the children fold the cards so the center portion pops up when the card is opened. Ask volunteers to show and tell what they have drawn on the inside of their cards. Repeat the Bible verse together, emphasizing the words included on the stickers: Jesus, Messiah, Son, God. Encourage the children to set the cards where they will see them and remember to tell Jesus how much they love Him.

For more fun lessons like this one check out this post!