In this lesson, we will learn about the time when Jesus appeared to Mary Magdalene after He rose from the dead. This special story can be found in the Bible, in the book of John 20:11-18.
- Mary Magdalene was the first person to see the risen Jesus.
- Jesus comforted Mary and revealed Himself to her.
- Jesus told Mary to go and tell the disciples that He was alive.
Lesson Guide – Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
If the weather allows, visit a garden or a park to connect to the Bible passage.
Begin by talking about surprises and how they can be both exciting and unexpected. Share a story of a time when you were surprised and ask the child if they have ever experienced a surprise.
Introduce the Bible passage by explaining that Jesus had a big surprise for one of His friends named Mary Magdalene. Read the story of Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene from John 20:11-18 together. You can read it out loud while your child follows along or take turns reading the verses.
Discuss with your child how Mary was sad, confused, and crying because Jesus had died, and she didn’t know what had happened to His body. Talk about how sometimes, we might feel confused by the way God works in our lives, but we can trust that He has a plan.
Ask the child if they can think of a time when they felt sad, and then something surprising and happy happened.
Explain that Mary saw two angels in the tomb, and they asked her why she was crying. Share how the angels were there to give Mary a message, and they helped her understand that Jesus was no longer in the tomb.
Play a game called “Who’s That?” to help children understand how Mary didn’t recognize Jesus at first. Have the child close their eyes while you, or another family member, change something about your appearance. Then, have the child open their eyes and guess what has changed. Explain that sometimes, we might not recognize important things right away, just like Mary didn’t recognize Jesus at first.
Talk about how Mary didn’t recognize Jesus at first, but when He spoke to her, she recognized His voice. Share the idea that Jesus said His sheep would recognize His voice, and we should listen carefully for Jesus in our lives.
Play a game called “Whose Voice Is It?” to help children understand the importance of recognizing Jesus’ voice. Have the child close their eyes while you, or other family members, say something in your normal voice or change the tone of your voice. Then, have the child open their eyes and guess who was speaking. Explain that by listening carefully, we can learn to recognize Jesus’ voice in our lives.
Talk about how Jesus asked Mary to go and tell the disciples that He was alive. Explain that sometimes, Jesus asks us to share good news with others, too. As an activity, have your child think of a piece of good news they can share with someone else. Practice sharing this good news with each other.
End the lesson by praying together, thanking Jesus for His love and the surprises He brings into our lives. Ask for His help in recognizing His presence, listening to His voice, and sharing the good news of His love with others.
Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene – Bible story for kids
Games and Activities
Garden Treasure Hunt
Create a simple treasure hunt in your backyard or a nearby park, placing small items related to the story of Jesus appearing to Mary Magdalene. Items could include a small cross, a flower, a picture of an angel, or a small stone to represent the empty tomb. Give the children clues to find each item and discuss its significance to the story as they find them.
Who’s Voice is it?
Have children sit in a circle with their eyes closed. One person, representing Jesus, will walk around the circle and gently tap a child on the shoulder. The child who is tapped must say, “Jesus is risen.” The other children must try to guess who was tapped by listening carefully to the voice. This game helps children practice recognizing voices and reinforces the idea of listening for Jesus’ voice in their lives.
Go and tell
Set up stations around the room with children or soft toys. Place the names of the children in one bowl and messages in another bowl. Have the first child pick a piece of paper from each bowl. Then say “Go and tell (name of child on paper) – (The message on the other pieces of paper). The child should then go and repeat the message. Repeat until no more pieces of paper are left. Try to use short verse for the message.
Free Bible Coloring Pages – Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene
Craft – Garden Tomb Sunrise
What you need:
- Chalks, Pastels or other colouring equipment
- Template pages
- Craft Material
What to do:
- Create lines of chalk on the paper and smudge to make a sunrise scene.
- Cut out and glue the images from the template page over the sunrise scene.
- Add any other creative designs using craft material of stickers.