Many people asked Jesus for help during His time on earth. One man was a Roman officer who displayed amazing faith and asked Jesus to heal his servant. We read the story in Matthew 8:5-13.
- God has authority.
- Distance is no barrier for God.
- We need to have faith in God.
Lesson Guide – The Roman Centurion
During Jesus’s life, His people hated the Romans. The Romans had conquered them, and the Jewish people had to serve them. Jesus taught His disciples to love their enemies. When a Roman officer asked for help, Jesus helped him.
Jesus showed mercy to the soldier when he asked for help. We should never be afraid to ask for God’s help. We should pray over the big things and over the small things. We can pray out loud or silently.
The Roman soldier had faith that Jesus could help him and heal his servant. The Bible says that faith is the evidence of things not seen. Use a flashlight or a lamp. Turn it on. Now cover the whole thing with a sheet or piece of material. Ask the child if the light is there. Ask them how they know it is there. They can see the light, even though they cannot see the item giving off the light. They know it is there by the evidence of the light. In the similar way, faith is the evidence of a God we cannot see, but we can know for certain that He is there. Learn Hebrews 11:1.
Share how the centurion not only had faith but acted on his faith. The Roman centurion believed that Jesus could heal his servant and so he asked. Speak about how we can pray with faith and trust in Jesus’ authority.
Share how the centurion was important and had authority. He was in control of around 100 soldiers, but he recognized that Jesus was more important and had more authority.
Talk about authority. Explain that authority is when someone has “the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.” (Oxford Dictionary)
Get a stack of cups of equal size. You may use disposable cups and write on them with a marker, or you may use tape with the names written on them on non-disposable cups. Write names such as “God,” “Mom,” “Dad,” “President/Prime Minister,” “Child’s name,” “Pet’s name,” etc. For younger children, select two cups at a time. Tell the child to put the cups in the proper order of authority by stacking the lowest authority on the bottom and the higher authorities above. So “Child’s name” would be stacked under “President/Prime Minister” but over “Pet’s Name.” For older children, you may give them more than two cups.
You may also create scenarios that allow the child to determine whose authority should be obeyed, “God says read the Bible, but a friend says no. Who should we obey?” Etc.
Read Matthew 28:18. Explain how all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus.
Pray and thank God that He is always there. Ask Him to help you to always have faith in Him.
Video lesson for children
Free Printable Bible Story
Games and activities
The Romans knew exercise was important to stay healthy. Play a simple exercise game. Roll a dice and do that exercise for 10 seconds. Some ideas are: 1) Ride a horse, 2) Run on the spot, 3) Hold your shield, 4) Shoot arrows, 5) Sword fight, 6) Crawl to safety.
There are lots of other great resources and activities to learn about the Romans online.
The Centurion commands
This game is a twist on the classic ‘Simon says,’ and will remind your children how people had to obey the centurion. When you say, “The Centurion commands” the child must obey. For example, “The Centurion commands touch your head.”
When you say a command without saying, “The Centurion commands” the child should ignore the command.
Create a 10 frame
Ten-Frames are two-by-five rectangular frames into which objects can be placed as counters to show numbers less than or equal to ten. They are a proven way of learning numbers with children. The frame can be repeated to larger numbers. Have your child fill the 10 frames to create 10 groups of 10 objects. Use whichever objects you have (pencils, toys, pasta). Remind your child that the Centurion had command over around 100 men.
Free Bible Coloring Pages – The Roman Centurion
Craft – Easy Roman Helmet
What you need:
- Template pages.
- Paper or cardstock. (white or Colored)
- Glue stick.
- Pens or pencils.
What to do:
- If using white paper or cardstock, color both sides. (Alternatively print onto color paper.)
- Cut out all the parts.
- Glue front and strip together to correct size for child.
- Glue the other two strips in a cross and attach.
- Cut strips to the center of cross piece and glue onto the helmet.
- Glue on earpieces.
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