Jesus met many people during His ministry on earth. Two women He met were sisters named Mary and Martha. When Jesus visited, they had two different reactions. We read about them in Luke 10:38-42.

Key Points:

  • We must put Jesus first.
  • Jesus wants us to listen to Him.
  • We shouldn’t allow other things to distract us from Jesus.

Lesson Guide – Mary and Martha

Ask your child what they would do if the most important person they can think of was coming to visit? Talk with your child about what preparations would be made. Think about what food would be served and what decorations might be used.

When Jesus came to visit Mary and Martha, how did they react? Martha was very worried about everything being perfect. Mary chose to just listen to Jesus. Create a game by placing ten sheets of paper on the floor in a straight line. At various points along the path, place sheets of paper going off the pathway. At the end of these detours, place a single visible treat. At the end of the straight path, place a box with a much better treat. Explain that each square is one step and they only get ten steps for the game. They can go on any path. Your child may choose to go only up the straight path to the big treat. If they choose to take the side paths, they will be left without the turns needed to reach the big treat. 

After you finish the game, talk about distractions. The little treats distracted them (or not) from the much bigger treat. Many times, in life, we will have to choose between what is more important or less important. Is it more important to read the Bible or a comic book? Is it more important to go to church or a sporting event? Play a game of more important. Say something like cat and dog and allow your child to choose which they feel is more important and why. Include items such as the Bible, praying, or having a relationship with Jesus. 

You may also draw the items on a paper. Write God at the top and then other things in descending order of importance. If too many items are overwhelming your child, select one category such as food and have them list which foods are more important to them. Remind them that God gave us food. Introduce the idea of good, better, best.

Speak about how Martha was too busy doing good things to spend time with Jesus. Emphasize that she wasn’t doing bad things, just at the wrong time. We must be careful not to prioritize things over God. Do the ‘big things first’ activity with your child mentioned in games and activities.

Mary had to choose to whom she would listen. She could choose to let Martha make her leave Jesus or choose to listen to Jesus and not let Martha distract her. Mary chose to listen to Jesus and ignore Martha. We should never listen to someone who tells us to leave Jesus. Play a game of giving your child directions to follow to a surprise. Turn on the television, play music, or create other distractions. Remind them to not let the other things drown out your voice or they will not hear the directions to the surprise. Read Psalm 46:10.

Talk about ways we can learn from Jesus today. We might not be able to sit at His feet physically like Mary did, but we can read His words. Ask the child where we find Jesus’ words.

Thank God that He is the best thing. Ask Him to help you never be distracted by things of lesser importance.

Video lesson for children

Free Printable Bible Story

Games and activities

Big things first

This activity is a fun experiment and important lesson that teaches us about priorities. Practice ahead of time, so you have the correct quantities when doing the activity with your child.

You will need, big rocks, pebbles, sand, water, and a jar. First ask your child to fit the items into the jar, smallest to largest. The jar should be too full to fill in all the rocks.

Next repeat the activity with largest items first until everything fits.  Speak about how we must put God first in our lives.

My day photos

Throughout the day, ask your child to take photos of their daily routine. 

Print out the photos. Ask your child to pin the photos onto a length of string in the correct order.

Throughout the week, you could use a marker pin and ask your child to move it throughout the day as each routine takes place.

Fast Food

Lay out ingredients to make a simple sandwich or snack. Then ask your child to make it as quick as possible. You could also turn this activity into a competition. Speak about how when we rush things and are too busy, we often miss the enjoyment of the activity, make more mistakes and a bigger mess.


Free Bible Coloring Pages – Mary and Martha

Crafts – Make your own Watch

Help your children remember to make time for Jesus with this simple watch craft.

You will need:

  • Template page,
  • Coloured pencils,
  • Scissors,
  • Glue,
  • Fastener pin (brad).

What to do:

  1. Colour the template page.
  2. Cut out the parts. Ask an adult to help with the watch hands.
  3. Fix the hands to the clock face using a fastener pin. Glue the larger circle to the back then, glue it onto the strap.

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