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Lesson on "The boy Jesus visits the temple."

  Trading cards of Jesus as a boy (from ebibleteacher.com)

Optional Memory Verse:

"The thing you should seek is God's kingdom.  Then 
all the other things you need will be given to you."
                Luke 12:31

Today's Theme:

God wants us to seek him like treasure.
 ~ Treasure map with clues for 'Treasure Hunt' game ~ 

Prior to class, print a picture of Jesus (8.5 "x 11") and glue it on strong heavy paper (or glue it on cereal box cardboard). Cut it in 5 or 6 pieces (simple mosaic shapes) to create a puzzle.
 Hide each piece of the puzzle, in separate envelope and hide each one in different place (inside or outside) that you can describe easily.
 Make a map of the location of each piece with a clue like the first letter where it's hided (W for window by example) . Make a simple map for each piece and divide your class in team to look for the piece.  
  After the kids find the "treasure", make the puzzle (wait until all pieces are found). Tell them that God wants us to seek Him like treasure.

Telling the Story: 

 Today we're learning that God wants us to seek Him like we would seek treasure.
 How are the Bible and the temple like treasures?  They help us to find God.   
 Today we're learning about Jesus when he was a boy.  

~ Show a map of the Promised Land ~

 Jesus was seeking something in today's story.  
 I want you to listen carefully to find out what he was seeking and to find out where he went to look for it.  
 The family of Jesus lived in a place called Nazareth. 
(Point out the area near the Sea of Galilee.)   

 In today's story Jesus was 12 years old.
 Every year all of God's people traveled to the temple in the city of Jerusalem for a special holiday  called Passover.  Jerusalem was a big city not like Nazareth. 
 When Jesus was 12 years old he and his family traveled to the temple to celebrate the Passover holiday. 
 They traveled as a big group with all their aunts and uncles and cousins. 

 The Passover holiday lasted for many days.  
 After Passover was over Jesus wanted to learn all he could from the priests about God. 
 So he went to see the priests and asked them questions.
 The priests were amazed with Jesus' understanding and his wise answers. 
 Mary, Joseph and all his relatives packed up and started home.   
 They did not know that Jesus was not with them.  They walked all day. 
 When night time came, Mary and Joseph set up camp to sleep for the night.   
 They thought Jesus had been traveling with his aunts and uncles and cousins so they went to look for Him.  But they could not find Jesus anywhere. 
 So Mary and Joseph traveled all the way back Jerusalem, where the temple was and started hunting for Jesus there. 
 Mary and Joseph searched everywhere for 3 days. 
 Finally they went to the temple.  There was Jesus at the temple talking with the priests.   
 Mary said to Jesus, "Son, why did you do this to us.  Your father and I were very worried about you. We have been looking for you." 
 Jesus was very surprised that his parents wouldn't have known to look for him at the temple.   
 He said to his parents,  "Why did you have to look for me? You should have known that I must be where my father's work is."
 But they didn't understand that Jesus was talking about God as His father. 
 Then Jesus left with Mary and Joseph and they traveled all the way back to their home in Nazareth. 

Closing Discussion

 What was Jesus seeking in today's story?  He wanted to know all about God and His laws and history. 
 Where did Jesus seek out God?  To the temple 
 Who did Jesus talk to learn about God?  The priests. 
 God was like a treasure to Jesus.  
 He wanted to learn everything He could about God. 
 Going to the temple and talking to the priests was the best place to learn about God.  

 How can we seek God like a treasure?  (Let the children answer)
 By praying that God will help us want to seek Him like Jesus did. 
 By reading the Bible and other spiritual readings, or asking someone to read it for us.  
 By going to church.
 By asking questions about God, like Jesus did.  

Close in Prayer asking God to give us the desire to seek God the way Jesus did: 

  Optional Snack:  Foods that Jesus would have eaten  Let kids snack on the types of foods that Jesus probably ate as a child:  figs or dates, 
 matzo crackers that they called unleavened bread,  goat milk.
Supplemental Bible Readings:
(Suggested daily readings)

 1. Luke 5:27-35 
 2. Luke 6:1-11 
 3. Luke 6:27-36  
 4. Luke 6: 37-49 
 5. Luke 7:1-17 
 6. Luke 7:36-50