Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Best Elisha Online Sunday School Lessons

Includes 2 lessons on Elisha healing Naaman and Elisha striking the Aramean army blind

Elisha Heals Naaman for Free, but Gehazi is Greedy Children’s Sunday School Lesson

Use this children’s Sunday School lesson about Elisha and his servant to teach children about generosity and helping others.

Needed: Bibles, pennies

Intro Game: Disciple Tag – Choose one student to be It. When they tag someone, that person links hands with them and joins their team. They continue adding people to their team, linking hands with each one until all but one student is part of their chain. That remaining student becomes It for the next round.

Play two or three rounds and then, say that you’ll explain why you played that version of tag after the lesson.

Lesson: Say, Last time, we learned about how Elijah went up to Heaven. Does anyone remember how Elijah got to Heaven? (God sent a fiery chariot down to get him and carry him up to Heaven.)

Then Elijah’s helper, Elisha, became an even greater prophet than Elijah. Today, we’re going to learn about one of the miracles Elisha did for someone.

(Read 2 Kings 5:1 with your students.)

“Now Naaman was commander of the army of the king of Aram. He was a great man in the sight of his master and highly regarded, because through him the Lord had given victory to Aram. He was a valiant soldier, but he had leprosy.”

Who was Naaman? (He was the army commander for Aram, one of Israel’s enemies.)

And what disease did Naaman have? (Leprosy.)

Does anyone know what leprosy does to you? (Leprosy is a disease that makes your skin rot off and makes you look kind of like a zombie. It can even make your nose or ears or fingers or toes fall off.)

(Read 2 Kings 5:2-7 with your students.)

“Now bands of raiders from Aram had gone out and had taken captive a young girl from Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. She said to her mistress, ‘If only my master would see the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.’

Naaman went to his master and told him what the girl from Israel had said. ‘By all means, go,’ the king of Aram replied. ‘I will send a letter to the king of Israel.’ So Naaman left, taking with him [a lot] of silver, six thousand shekels of gold and ten sets of clothing. The letter that he took to the king of Israel read: ‘With this letter I am sending my servant Naaman to you so that you may cure him of his leprosy.’

As soon as the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his robes and said, ‘Am I God? Can I kill and bring back to life? Why does this fellow send someone to me to be cured of his leprosy? See how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me!’”

Why is the king of Israel upset? (The king of Aram sent his army commander, Naaman, to Israel so that Naaman could be cured of his leprosy. But the king of Israel can’t cure leprosy so he thinks the king of Aram will get mad and attack him because he couldn’t cure Naaman’s leprosy.)

(Read 2 Kings 5:8-12 with your students.)

“When Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his robes, he sent him this message: ‘Why have you torn your robes? Have the man come to me and he will know that there is a prophet in Israel.’ So Naaman went with his horses and chariots and stopped at the door of Elisha’s house. Elisha sent a messenger to say to him, ‘Go, wash yourself seven times in the Jordan, and your flesh will be restored and you will be cleansed.’

“But Naaman went away angry and said, ‘I thought that he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, wave his hand over the spot and cure me of my leprosy. Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Couldn’t I wash in them and be cleansed?’ So he turned and went off in a rage.”

Why is Naaman angry? (Because Naaman wanted Elisha to do a special miracle for him to cure him of his leprosy, but Elisha didn’t even come out of his house to see Naaman. He just sent his servant to tell Naaman to go wash in the river. Naaman thought Elisha was tricking him because he knew that just washing in the river usually wouldn’t be enough to heal him of his leprosy.)

(Read 2 Kings 5:13-14 with your students.)

“Naaman’s servants went to him and said, ‘My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, “Wash and be cleansed”!’ So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.”

How did simply washing in the river heal Naaman? (Washing in the river usually wouldn’t have been enough to heal Naaman, but God did a miracle for Naaman and healed him.)

When Naaman did what Elisha said and went to wash in the river, God did a miracle for him. If we want God to help us, then we have to do what He says. How do we know what God wants us to do? (The Bible tells us what God wants us to do.)

If we do the right things that God tells us to do in the Bible, then He will help us.

(Read 2 Kings 5:15-16 with your students.)

“Then Naaman and all his attendants went back to the man of God. He stood before him and said, ‘Now I know that there is no God in all the world except in Israel. So please accept a gift from your servant.’

The prophet answered, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, whom I serve, I will not accept a thing.’ And even though Naaman urged him, he refused.”

Why didn’t Elisha want Naaman to pay him for healing him? (Elisha didn’t want money for healing Naaman. He only wanted to help him.)

God likes it when we help people for free. We shouldn’t always do things for money. We should do things because we want to help people.

And did Elisha care that Naaman was one of Israel’s enemies? (No.)

Even though Naaman was one of Israel’s enemies, Elisha still helped him. God likes it when we help everyone, even the people we don’t like very much.

(Read 2 Kings 5:17 with your students.)

“’If you will not [take anything],’ said Naaman, ‘please let me, your servant, be given as much earth as a pair of mules can carry, for your servant will never again make burnt offerings and sacrifices to any other god but the Lord.’”

Naaman said that he was only going to worship the real God now, and not any of the fake gods. Why do you think Naaman decided to believe in the real God? (Because God and Elisha had healed him from his leprosy.)

That’s why we should help other people too. Sometimes, when we help people in God’s name, it makes them want to believe in God, and God is happy when more people believe in Him. God loves them and wants them to go to Heaven when they die so that they can live forever with Him.

Activity: Acting It Out – Divide students into groups of two or three. Have each group decide on and act out one way that they can help someone and convince them to believe in Jesus. Name some outreach activities that your church does if students need help thinking of something.

Lesson Continues: Read 2 Kings 5:18-20 with your students.

“’But may the Lord forgive your servant for this one thing: When my master enters the temple of Rimmon to bow down and he is leaning on my arm and I have to bow there also—when I bow down in the temple of Rimmon, may the Lord forgive your servant for this.’

“’Go in peace,’ Elisha said.

“After Naaman had traveled some distance, Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said to himself, ‘My master was too easy on Naaman, this Aramean, by not accepting from him what he brought. As surely as the Lord lives, I will run after him and get something from him.’”

Elisha said he wouldn’t take any money for helping Naaman because he only wanted to help Naaman, but what is Elisha’s servant doing? (He’s going to try to get something from Naaman.)

Do you think Gehazi, the servant, is doing the right thing or the wrong thing by trying to get something from Naaman?

(Read 2 Kings 5:21-22 with your students.)

“So Gehazi hurried after Naaman. When Naaman saw him running toward him, he got down from the chariot to meet him. ‘Is everything all right?’ he asked.

“’Everything is all right,’ Gehazi answered. ‘My master sent me to say, “Two young men from the company of the prophets have just come to me from the hill country of Ephraim. Please give them [some] silver and two sets of clothing.”’”

Did Elisha send Gehazi to say that? (No.)

So Gehazi is lying and trying to get money for himself.

(Read 2 Kings 5:23-27 with your students.)

“’By all means, take [the silver],’ said Naaman. He urged Gehazi to accept them, and then tied up the [pieces of] silver in two bags, with two sets of clothing. He gave them to two of his servants, and they carried them ahead of Gehazi. When Gehazi came to the hill, he took the things from the servants and put them away in the house. He sent the men away and they left.

“When he went in and stood before his master, Elisha asked him, ‘Where have you been, Gehazi?’

“‘Your servant didn’t go anywhere,’ Gehazi answered.

“But Elisha said to him, ‘Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money or to accept clothes—or olive groves and vineyards, or flocks and herds, or male and female slaves? Naaman’s leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever.’ Then Gehazi went from Elisha’s presence and his skin was leprous—it had become as white as snow.”

What happened to Gehazi because he lied? (He got Naaman’s disease of leprosy.)

So, remember, God likes it when we help people for free because it’s nice to help people and because maybe when we help people in God’s name, that will make them want to believe in God as we do. Then, they will get to go to Heaven when they die and live forever with God.

Game: Disciple Tag – Play the intro game again and then, explain that when we tell people about Jesus, we want them to believe in Jesus too. If they do, they become a Christian and join our team. Then, they help us tell more people about Jesus.

Game: Give it Away – Remind students that Elijah wanted to help Naaman for free, but Gehazi was greedy. To help them not be greedy, you’re going to play a game about money.

Divide students into two teams. Give one team a handful of pennies. Have them keep as much as they think they need, giving a rationale for each cent. Question their decision on what they need to keep their money for and what they don’t. You are trying to get them to see the difference between needs and wants.

Tell them to give away the rest, putting it into an offering plate. The leader takes some of that money, explaining that it’s for the church to pay its bills, and then gives the rest to the other team. Now, ask the second team to keep what they need from what they’ve been given by the first team. Again, they put their extra into the offering.

Then, the leader pulls out more money to give to the first team to reward them for their generosity. The more they gave away during their round, the more they receive as a reward from God. They are also given the offering from team two. This is how offering works and how God rewards us for it.

Play three rounds. At the beginning of each round, the money that the teams kept is “spent” on their necessities and recycles back into the leader’s supply.

Closing Prayer: Lord, make us generous and giving like Elisha was. Help us want to help people in Your name so that they can believe in You. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Recommended Extras

Superbook:Naaman and the Servant Girl – an animated video from the updated Superbook series, includes time-traveling children who learn lessons from the story

Superbook: Naaman and the Servant Girl

The Widow’s Oil – free coloring and activity pages

Elisha is Merciful to His Enemies Children’s Sunday School Lessons

Use this children’s Sunday School lesson about Elisha to teach kids about being merciful to their enemies.

Needed: Bibles, soft balls or paper wads, drawing paper and crayons or colored pencils

Intro Game: Spy Among Us! – Have students close their eyes. Explain that when you walk among them and tap one student on the shoulder, that student is the Spy. When you tap them, they should look up and point to another student.

Have everyone open their eyes and say that the student the Spy pointed is not the Spy. Students then have the opportunity to guess who the Spy is. If they guess more than one person, have them take a vote. If the majority votes for the actual Spy, they win and the game is over. Choose a new Spy and play again.

If the majority is wrong, the person the Spy pointed at is out. Have everyone close their eyes and then, ask the Spy to point to another student. The game continues until students guess the real Spy or the Spy is one of the last two students left. If the Spy makes it to the end, they win.

Play as long as time allows. Then, explain that your story today is about a king who thought there was a spy in his army.

Lesson: Say, So far, we’ve learned about how Elijah went up to Heaven. Does anyone remember how Elijah got to Heaven? (God sent a fiery chariot down to get him and carry him up to Heaven.)

Then Elijah’s helper, Elisha, became an even greater prophet than Elijah. Today, we’re going to learn about one more miracle that Elisha did.

(Read 2 Kings 6:8-10 with your students.)

“Now the king of Aram was at war with Israel. After conferring with his officers, he said, ‘I will set up my camp in such and such a place.’

“[Elisha, the] man of God sent word to the king of Israel: ‘Beware of passing that place, because the Arameans are going down there.’ So the king of Israel checked on the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he was on his guard in such places.”

So, the king of Aram keeps taking his soldiers and having them camp at different places so that they can attack Israel, but the prophet Elisha keeps telling the king of Israel where the Aramean army is. How does Elisha know where the Aramean army is? (God keeps telling him.)

Did you know that God knows everything? Anything that we do, anything that we say, anything that we think, God knows about it. So, God knew exactly where the Aramean army was, and He told Elisha.

(Read 2 Kings 6:11-14 with your students.)

“This enraged the king of Aram. He summoned his officers and demanded of them, ‘Tell me! Which of us is on the side of the king of Israel?’

“’None of us, my lord the king,’ said one of his officers, ‘but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the very words you speak in your bedroom.’

“’Go, find out where he is,’ the king ordered, ‘so I can send men and capture him.’ The report came back: ‘He is in Dothan.’ Then he sent horses and chariots and a strong force there. They went by night and surrounded the city.”

Why is the king of Aram sending his army to Elisha? (To capture him so he can’t tell the king of Israel where the Aramean army is going to attack anymore.)

Do you think God will let the Aramean army capture Elisha?

(Read 2 Kings 6:15-17 with your students.)

“When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, an army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. ‘Oh no, my lord! What shall we do?’ the servant asked.

“’Don’t be afraid,’ the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them.’

“And Elisha prayed, ‘Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.”

The Bible says that there were invisible horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha, protecting him. Where do you think those horses and chariots came from? (They came from God.)

Those invisible horses and chariots of fire were from Heaven. God sent them down to protect Elisha from the Aramean army. They were angels. Did you know that there are angels all around us too? We can’t see them most of the time, but God sends His angels down from Heaven to protect us and help us. They’re always with us, just like God is always with us, even if we can’t see them.

(Read 2 Kings 6:18-22 with your students.)

“As the enemy came down toward him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, ‘Strike this army with blindness.’ So he struck them with blindness, as Elisha had asked.

“Elisha told them, ‘This is not the road and this is not the city. Follow me, and I will lead you to the man you are looking for.’ And he led them to Samaria.

“After they entered the city, Elisha said, ‘Lord, open the eyes of these men so they can see.’ Then the Lord opened their eyes and they looked, and there they were, inside Samaria.

“When the king of Israel saw them, he asked Elisha, ‘Shall I kill them, my father? Shall I kill them?’

“’Do not kill them,’ he answered. ‘Would you kill those you have captured with your own sword or bow? Set food and water before them so that they may eat and drink and then go back to their master.’”

So Elisha tricked the Aramean army and took them to the king of Israel. The king of Israel wanted to kill the Aramean soldiers, but Elisha said not to. Why do you think Elisha didn’t want to kill the Aramean soldiers? (They didn’t need to kill them. The Arameans had already been captured and couldn’t fight, so there was no need to kill them.)

God likes it when we are merciful and forgive our enemies. If someone does something mean to us, we shouldn’t try to hurt them back but should be nice to them.

(Read 2 Kings 6:23 with your students.)

“So he prepared a great feast for them, and after they had finished eating and drinking, he sent them away, and they returned to their master. So the bands from Aram stopped raiding Israel’s territory.

What happened when Elisha was nice to the Aramean army? (They stopped attacking Israel.)

Even though the Arameans had come to capture him, Elisha was nice to them. And because he was nice to them, they stopped attacking. If we are nice to people who are mean to us, that might make them feel bad for being mean to us and try to be nicer to us next time.

So, remember, God likes it when we are nice to the people who are mean to us.

Game: Angels’ Protection Dodgeball – Divide your play area in half and divide the students into two teams. Give each team an equal number of soft balls or paper wads to throw. They have to stay on their side of the play area.

The trick to this version is that each team can choose one or two players to be Angels. The Angels run in front of the balls or paper wads to protect their teammates. They can’t get out. Remind students that God sends His invisible angels to protect and help us.

The team who gets all of the opposite team’s regular members out first wins.

Craft: Angels All Around! – Give students paper and crayons or colored pencils. Have students draw themselves in a scary situation. Then, instruct them to add angels to the picture to protect them.

Remind students that God’s invisible angels are always with us to protect us and help us, just like God is always with us.

Closing Prayer: Lord, we thank You for sending Your angels to help us. Help us to trust in you as Elisha did and to be merciful to people who are mean to us. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.

Recommended Extras

Superbook: Elisha and the Syrians – an animated video from the updated Superbook series, includes time-traveling children who learn lessons from the story

Elisha Leads a Blind Army – free coloring and activity pages


Both of these lessons are included in my book, Kings and Prophets: Children Sunday School Lessons on the Great and Not-So-Great Leaders of Israel. 

Kindle $2.99, Print $5.99

Find more resources on my Free Children's Sunday School Lessons page!

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