Faith of the Centurion Sunday School Lesson for Kids -
Jesus Helps Us from Far Away!
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Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to show kids that they can pray to Jesus even though He’s not physically near.
Needed: Bibles, Faith vs. Doubt cards, telephone, drawing paper, crayons or colored pencils, “Faith” slips of paper
Intro Game: Faith vs. DoubtPrint out or write the words Doubt or Faith on a set of index cards. You should have an equal number of cards that say Faith as Doubt.
Divide students into two teams, and have the teams line up on separate sides of the room in single file lines. Mix up the cards and give each student a card that says Faith or Doubt. Set a timer for 3-5 minutes, depending on how many students you have. When you say “Go!” the first two students run toward each and show each other their cards.
If one says Faith and the other says Doubt, the student with Faith scores a point for their team. The person with Doubt does not score. If both say Faith, both score a point and if both say Doubt, neither does. Both return to the back of their lines and trade their cards for a new card.
As soon as they leave the center, the second two players run up and do the same thing. Play continues until the timer runs out. The team with the most points at the end wins.
LessonRead Matthew 8:5-6.
“When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to Him, asking for help. ‘Lord,’ he said, ‘my servant lies at home paralyzed, suffering terribly.’”
What was the problem in this story? (The man’s servant was sick.)
And the man who came to ask Jesus for help was a centurion, a soldier in the Roman army who was in charge of 100 soldiers.
So, this Roman soldier comes to ask Jesus for help.
That’s interesting because most Romans didn’t believe in the real God, but this one must have because He came to ask Jesus for help.
(Read Matthew 8:7-13.)
“Jesus said to him, ‘Shall I come and heal him?’
“The centurion replied, ‘Lord, I do not deserve to have You come under my roof. But just say the word, and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, “Go,” and he goes; and that one, “Come,” and he comes. I say to my servant, “Do this,” and he does it.’
‘When Jesus heard this, He was amazed and said to those following Him, ‘Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
“Then Jesus said to the centurion, ‘Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.’ And his servant was healed at that moment.”
Jesus said He would go with the man to heal his servant, but did Jesus have to go see the servant to heal him? (No.)
The soldier told Jesus He didn’t have to come with him because he had faith that Jesus can help people from far away. So, Jesus stayed right where He was and healed the servant who was probably miles away.
That’s kind of like us. Jesus is far away right now, up in Heaven, but we know we can still ask Him to help us.
(Show students your phone.) Have any of you ever called someone on the telephone? When you call someone, you can talk to them even if they’re really far away. And when we pray, we can talk to Jesus even though He’s really far away.
We know that Jesus can help us from where He is, far away in Heaven, because He still sees us and hears us and can help us from there because He’s so powerful. We simply need to have faith like the centurion did.
The centurion had so much faith that Jesus said not even the people in Israel had as much faith as him.
Even though the people of Israel were supposed to believe in God, this Roman soldier had more faith than they did. And Jesus said that anyone who had faith would get to go to Heaven, but anyone who doesn’t have faith in God can’t go to Heaven.
Game: Finding FaithBefore class, hide strips of paper around the room with the word “Faith” written on them. Then, divide students into two or more teams. When you say, “Go!” the team members search the room to find the slips of paper. Once someone finds a slip of paper, they return to their team’s starting area and wait for the others to find theirs. The first team to have all their members find a slip of paper and make it to their team’s starting area wins.
When the game is finished, remind students that we all need to have faith, and we all need to have our own faith, if we want to go to Heaven.
Craft: Long Distance PrayersGive students drawing supplies and have them draw a picture of them praying to Jesus asking Him to help them with something. Remind them that even though Jesus is far away in Heaven, He still hears our prayers and can still help us from where He is.
Closing PrayerJesus, we thank You that even though You’re up in Heaven, You can still hear us and help us. Help us all to have faith in You like the centurion did. Amen.
Recommended ExtrasSuperbook: The Miracles of Jesus and Jesus Heals the Blind – animated videos from the updated Superbook series, includes time-traveling children who learn lessons from the story
The Greatest Adventure Stories from the Bible: The Miracles of Jesus – animated video with time-traveling teenagers who witness the Biblical story, realistic art style
Greatest Heroes and Legends of the Bible: Miracles of Jesus – another animated video with a Disneyesque art style and no time traveling
The Complete Illustrated Children’s Bible – for telling the stories with beautiful artwork and Biblical accuracy
The Beginner’s Bible: Timeless Stories for Children – for telling the stories to younger children
The Faith of the Centurion – free coloring and activity pages