Lesson 3: God Is Too Mean To Love Me
Have you ever felt worthless? Have you ever looked in the mirror and felt that the person staring back at you was unlovable? Many children feel exactly that way. They feel that God is unable to love them because they see themselves as worthless. For some, it’s because other people have told them that they are worthless for a long time – and now they believe it. God made every one of us. He loves every one of us. Even if we can’t love ourselves or we don’t feel that others love us – we can ALWAYS know that God loves us BIG-TIME. In today’s lesson, we will look at the story of a leper to see just how much God loves those who feel unlovable.
Leader:: I can’t wait to get into our Bible Lesson today... (all of a sudden “The Hamster Dance” song begins playing. Wacky Wally: comes out much differently than usual. He is walking slowly, carrying a very small blanket. Music fades.)
Leader:: Wally:? Are you okay?
Wally:: (trying to hide under the blanket, however failing miserably) There is no Wally: here! I’m just a cute and fuzzy little blankie!
Leader:: Wally:, we can see you.
Wally:: Um…No! No you cannot! You’re seeing things! I am a mirage! A figment of your imagination! NOW GO AWAY!
Leader:: (grabs Wally:’s blanket and tosses it to the side) What are you doing??
Wally:: AGH! WHAT HAVE YOU DONE?! NOW HE CAN SEE ME!
Leader:: We can all see you, Wally:!
Wally:: It’s not YOU I’m worried about! It’s…it’s….HIM.
Leader:: Who are you talking about?
Wally:: The big cheese! The head honcho! The bossman!
Leader:: Have you hit your head or something? We have no clue who you are talking about!
Wally:: The Man Upstairs! The Alpha and Omega! Captain Hallelujah!
Leader:: Ohhh! You mean God! (Pauses) Wait a second, Wally: are you saying you’re trying to hide from God?
Wally:: Bingo! I don’t want God to see me because I am hideous!
Leader:: What do you mean? You’re not hideous!
Wally:: Yes, I am! I am ugly, stupid, worthless, and ridiculously smelly!
Leader:: Where is all this coming from?
Wally:: It’s all the people at school. They have been making fun of me and telling me I am ugly. They say they don’t care about me, and they don’t think anyone would ever care about me. So, I figured that must mean that God doesn’t love me either.
Leader:: Well, of course God loves you.
Wally:: How could He? My breath smells like a dead raccoon. My teeth are yellower than corn on the cob. And my toenails look like pretzels!
Leader:: I doubt all that is true. But, even if it was true, that would never make God not love you.
Wally:: How do you know?
Leader:: Because the Bible tells us so. Here, let me show you…
Leader:: God loves us. He created us so that He could show His love to us. He sent His one and only Son to die on a cross for our sins. That’s how much God loves us. So, even if you don’t feel lovable or worthy of God’s love, He STILL loves you!
Wally:: Really? So, no matter what anybody else thinks about me or how they treat me, God will always love me no matter what!?
Leader:: That’s exactly right!
Wally:: That’s fantastic news! I think I have a new idea for this blanket.
Leader:: What’s that?
Wally:: I’m gonna tie it around my neck and become SUPER WALLY! (music plays as he exits pretending to fly)
Choose five boys and five girls to compete in this crazy game. Let the kids know that the cows have got loose from their corral. We need to round up the cows and get them back in their corral.
Place the ten cows on a table at the end of the room. Place the “corral” box at the front of the room in the middle of the two teams. Have the teams line up in two lines (boys in one line, girls in the other) facing the end of the room where the cows are.
When you say, “GO,” start the game music. The kids have to run to the end of the room, grab a cow, run back, and put the cow in the “corral” box. Then, the next person in line does the same thing. The first team to get all their cows in the corral wins!
Use the string to make a loop so the sign will hang around your neck; familiarize yourself with the story of the leper in Matthew 8:1-3
Today we are busting the myth that says “God Is Too Mean To Love Me!” Many people believe this. Most of the time it is because they have been taught that God is a big ogre in the sky who takes pleasure in making human lives miserable. Some people have been taught that, so they believe that.
Other people have this idea that God is mean and couldn’t love them because that’s the way they feel about themselves. (hold up the mirror) Some people look in the mirror and they hate what they see. They don’t like the way they look, the way they talk, or the way they act. They feel like they are worthless, and because they feel that way about themselves, that’s the way they think God feels about them.
Sadly, so many people have grown up being mistreated by others. They have been yelled at, made fun of, and treated like they are junk. So, since others have treated them that way, they start to believe that they really are worthless. They think God sees them that way, too. So, there is no way that He could love someone who is so worthless.
I’m sure that’s the way the person in our Bible Story felt as well. He was a leper. That means he suffered from a horrible disease called leprosy. Leprosy is a disease that attacks your skin cells. It’s almost as if your skin, fingers, nose, and toes just start to rot and fall off. It was a terrible disease and was very contagious. If you even touched a leper, you could possibly get the disease.
In Jesus’ day, they would make the lepers live outside the city walls. They were not allowed inside. If, for some reason, they ever had to come inside the city walls they had to stay far away from everyone else. Many times they would have to yell “Unclean! Unclean!” as they approached people. (place the “unclean” sign around your neck) Everywhere they went, people would see that they were a leper, and they would go the other way. They treated lepers like they were not even human.
Can you imagine being a leper back then? People treated you like you didn’t even exist. They wouldn’t pay any attention to you or even look at you. They would certainly NEVER touch you. So, in our Bible Story we find a leper. He’s never been touched—never been given a hug. He’s never been shown any kind of love.
Jesus is teaching along a mountainside, when this man with leprosy approaches him. Everyone spreads out because they know this leper is unclean. But, Jesus doesn’t move away. Instead, Jesus looks right at the leper. He walks right up to the leper and looks deep in his eyes.
No one had been willing to look at the leper in a long time. They saw him as someone to avoid, not someone to love. But, not Jesus. Jesus looked at the leper with love in His eyes. Don’t you love Jesus? What an amazing scene it must have been. The leper, kneeling at Jesus’ feet, waiting for a response. Jesus looking in his eyes. Jesus loved the leper.
Then, looking up at Jesus, the leper noticed something remarkable. Tears were forming in Jesus’ eyes! Jesus looked at the man and His eyes filled with tears of compassion. Then, the most remarkable thing of all happened. Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man.
Jesus reached out and touched the man. The crowd gasped. What was Jesus doing? You don’t touch a leper! There are few things more ugly and disgusting than flesh diseased with leprosy. How could Jesus bring Himself to touch this man?
Jesus touched the man no one else was willing to touch. This forgotten, unloved, rejected man would not be rejected by Jesus. The leper, who had not felt a human touch in years, was touched by the Savior of the world.
Then, it got even better. The leper said to Jesus, “Lord, if you are willing make me clean.” Jesus answered him, “I am willing,”… “Be clean!” The leper’s heart began to pound. Jesus was willing to heal him! Could it really be true? Could he escape his life of loneliness, pain, and isolation? Immediately he was cured of his leprosy.
The nasty disease he had carried for so long was gone. That’s the amazing love of God! Jesus looked at the leper when no one else would. Jesus touched the leper when no one else would. Jesus healed the leper when no one else COULD. That’s the love of God.
God loves each of us so much. We may feel like the leper—unloved, unnoticed, and sad. But, God looks at us differently. God loves us so much. He wants to touch us, and heal us of our sadness and broken heart. He wants to show His love to us. He will show it to you if you let Him.
(play soft music)
Pray with the children who have felt worthless and unloved. Pray that they will feel God’s amazing love in their lives. Pray that God would touch them and heal them of their broken heart.
What was today’s Big Idea? Answer: “God Loves Me And God Loves You No Matter What We Say Or Do!”
Who was Wally trying to hide from? Answer: God
What “crazy” myth did the Mythbusters bust today (not the spiritual one)? Answer: Aaron’s brother’s socks are stankier than rotten eggs
What disease did the man have in today’s Bible story? Answer: Leprosy
What did lepers have to yell out when they approached people? Answer: “Unclean!”
When others turned away from the leper, what did Jesus do? Answer: Jesus looked at the leper
When no one else would touch the leper, what did Jesus do? Answer: He touched the leper
When the leper asked Jesus if He was willing to heal him, what did Jesus say? Answer: “I am willing. Be clean.”
True or False: Jesus healed the leper. Answer: True
Where was our Power Verse found? Answer: 1 John 4:16