I Can Be a Friend
To help each child desire to be a good friend.
- Goldfish crackers to share with the class
- Picture 1-3, Jesus the Christ
- Copy of the coloring sheet
Invite a child to give the opening prayer.
Point to yourself and ask, “Who am I?” The children might respond with your name or the word teacher. Explain that you are also their friend, and they are your friends. Explain that friends are people who like each other.
Gather with the children in a circle. Looking at each child in turn, say, “(Name of child) is my friend.” Let each child have a turn doing this, making sure every child is mentioned each time.
We have many friends
Who are your friends?
Allow the children to talk about their friends. Point out that friends can be of any age. Family members can be some of our best friends. Emphasize that each person in the class is a friend.
Show picture 1-3, Jesus the Christ. The person in the picture is a very good friend to everyone in the class.
Who is our friend in this picture?
How do you know that Jesus is your friend?
Sing or say the words to “Jesus Is Our Loving Friend” (Children’s Songbook, p. 58).
Jesus was very good friends with a man named
Lazarus and his two sisters, Mary and Martha. Jesus would travel all over the land preaching. When He was near the town Bethany, where Lazarus lived, He would stay with Lazarus and his sisters.
One day Lazarus became very sick and Jesus was preaching in another town. Mary and Martha were very worried about their brother. He was getting very sick and they thought that he would die. Mary and Martha knew that Jesus had healed many people. He had healed the son of a royal officer, a man that could not walk, ten lepers, a man born blind etc. Mary and Martha knew that Jesus could heal their brother but Jesus was in another town. Mary and Martha sent a messenger to find Jesus and tell Him about Lazarus.
When the messengers found Jesus they asked him to hurry back to Bethany. Jesus told the messenger not to worry, this sickness would not end in death. Jesus stayed in the town preaching for two more days. Jesus wanted everyone would know without question that Lazarus was dead, and raising him would be a stronger witness to Jesus’ divine power and mission.
Two days later, Jesus told His disciples that Lazarus was dead. He said that He would bring him back to life. Jesus used this opportunity so that the faith of His disciples and Mary and Martha could be strengthen. This miracle would help the disciples know that He was the Savior. Jesus and His disciples went to Bethany. When He got there; Lazarus had been dead for four days.
It was the custom for a person to be buried on the same day as they died. The body was washed and anointed with spices. The body was then wrapped in strips of linen. After Jesus’ death, His body was prepared in the same way. The body was then placed into a cave with a big rock covering the opening.
Lots of people had come to Mary and Martha’s house. It was a Jewish custom for neighbors and friends to mourn with the family for several days after a death, many people were with Martha and Mary after Lazarus died and witnessed the great miracle that Jesus performed.
Everyone was crying and sad that Lazarus was dead. Martha told Jesus that Lazarus would still be alive if He had come sooner. Jesus told Martha that Lazarus would live again. He asked Martha if she believed Him. Martha said yes she knew that Jesus was the Savior.
Jesus asked them to take Him to where Lazarus’s body was. Remember it was the Jewish custom to put the body in a cave with a large stone covering the opening. Jesus told the people to remove the stone from the front of the cave. Mary was shocked that Jesus wanted the stone removed. Lazarus had been dead for 4 days and the body would start to smell bad. But Jesus insisted, and the stone was removed.
As the stone was being removed, Jesus looked up and He thanked Heavenly Father for hearing His prayers.
Then, in a loud voice, Jesus told Lazarus to come out of the cave.
Lazarus came out of the tomb still in his burial clothes and he was alive!
Jesus showed His love for His friends and His power over death when He brought Lazarus back to life. They showed His power as the Son of God and Redeemer of the World.
How did Jesus feel about Lazarus?
What did Jesus do for Lazarus?
How do you think Lazarus, Mary, and Martha felt toward Jesus?
Have the children stand and do the action verse “Dear Little Friend”:
I have the dearest little friend (hug self);
I see her [or him] every day.
I love my friendly little friend.
This is how we play:
We play with dolls (pretend to rock a doll in your arms);
We throw our balls (pretend to throw a ball);
We march like soldiers, too (march quietly in place).
We play in the swing (pretend to swing);
We talk and sing;
Like all good friends should do (fold arms and nod head).
We can be good friends
How should we treat our friends?
When we are being good friends, we help others do good things. We care about our friends and want them to be happy.
Discuss the importance of treating others the way we like to be treated.
How could you be a good friends in situations like these:
You and a friend are playing, and another child comes and wants to play with you.
A new child comes to class for the first time and feels shy or afraid.
A child has been teased and feels bad.
How do you feel when your friends are kind to you?
How do you think they feel when you are kind to them?
If you want to have friends, you must be a good friends.
Friends share with each other
If you are playing with (name a toy or something else specific), and a friend comes to play with you, what should you do?
When we let another person play with us, or when we give some of what we have to someone else, we are sharing. Sometimes we can’t divide up what we have, so we take turns with it. This is also sharing.
If one of your friends is hungry and you have food, what should you do?
Jesus was by the Sea of Galilee. There were 5,000 people there to listen to Him teach. It was dinner time but no one brought anything to eat. Jesus’ disciples wanted Jesus to send the people to the nearest village to buy food. Jesus instead told the disciples to see if anyone had brought food with them. The disciples found a boy
who had food. The boy was happy to share the food he had. The boy had five loaves of bread and two small fish.
Jesus told all the people to sit down. He blessed the bread and the fish. The disciples gave the food to the people. Because a young boy shared the food he had, Jesus was able to use his power to make enough food to feed all the people.
There was more than enough for everyone.
What can we share with our friends?
What can we share with our families?
Bring a small bag of goldfish crackers for the class (check with the children’s parents to make sure no child is allergic to the treat). Place the treat where the children can see it. Mention how good it looks and ask the children if they would like you to share it with them. Ask the children how they would feel if you shared the treat with only some of them. Discuss how others feel when they are not included. Share the treat with the children.
Jesus said Love Everyone
Sing or say the words to “Jesus Said Love Everyone” (Children’s Songbook, p. 61).
I am a Good Friend
Give each child a copy of the coloring sheet and let them color it.
Bear your testimony of the importance of being a good friend. You might share a personal experience about a friend of yours. Remind the children that Heavenly Father and Jesus are our friends.
There are 3 options with the lessons. The first one is a color PDF of the full lesson, all the pictures, scriptures and art projects with the watermark removed.
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