Agony in Gethsemane

Scripture: Matthew 26: 30 – 75 or pages 445 – 447 in the Golden Children’s Bible

Target Age Group:  1st through 6th grade

Welcome the children to the classroom and chat with them about their week as they gather around the table.

Pray and ask God to teach the children not just head knowledge, but also heart knowledge.

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Bible Lesson:
Have the children open their Bibles to Matthew 26 or page 445 in The Golden Children’s Bible.

(Read the story to the children because at this age some of the children do not read smoothly, which hinders comprehension for the whole class.)

Discussion:

  • Jesus told the disciples that they would fall away from him.  Who told Jesus that he would never deny him? Peter
  • How did Jesus answer him?  “Truly I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times.”
  • Where did Jesus and the disciples go?  To the Garden of Gethsemane
  • What did Jesus do there?  Prayed
  • What did Jesus pray?  “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
  • What do you think the “cup” was?  His death on the cross
  • Jesus was in such agony that He sweat what? drops of blood
  • Jesus didn’t want to have to die on the cross, did he.  But, he was willing to do that if it was God’s will.  When you pray do you expect that God always let you have your way, or do you accept a “No.” answer?
  • When you are facing a tough situation or decision, do you go to God in prayer?
  • When Jesus returned to the disciples, what did he find?  They had fallen asleep
  • How many times did He go to pray and return to find them sleeping? 3 times.
  • How do you think Jesus felt about that? upset, hurt, lonely, etc.
  • When you are going through a difficult time are you glad when other people are praying for you?  
  • Do you think that it is important for you to pray for others?
  • Who came with a crowd of people to arrest Jesus? Judas
  • How did Judas signal to the people who Jesus was?  He kissed him.
  • What did one of the disciples do as he tried to defend Jesus? He cut off a man’s ear
  • How did Jesus respond to that?  “Put your sword back in its place, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.  Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and he will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?  But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?”
  • All of the disciples ran away except, which one?  Peter
  • What did Peter do?  He followed them to the courtyard of the High Priest to see what would happen.
  • What did the religious leaders accuse Jesus of? blasphemy, claiming to be God
  • What was the punishment to be?  death
  • How many times did Peter deny Jesus? 3
  • What made Peter realize that he had denied Him? the rooster crowed 3 times
  • How do you know that Peter was sorry that he had done that? He went out and wept bitterly
  • Let’s pray and thank Jesus for doing the Father’s will and dying on the cross for us…

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During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…

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Memorize the verse.

Matthew 26:41  “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” 

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My Little House has a cute craft for this lesson.

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Have the children make this Agony in the Garden Diorama.  Here is another 3D craft that is similar.

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Have the children do this craft from Auntie’s Bible Lessons.

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Have the children fill out these worksheets from Calvary Curriculum.

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Focus on prayer with this Prayer Labyrinth. It’s helpful to view the original idea.

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Try this praying hands craft.

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Share a video clip of this story from The Jesus Film.

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Have the children use colors or pastels to draw their own vision of the story on a sketch pad page. Or have them color a color page related to the story.

Color page #1 from Bible Printables

Color page #2 from Bible Printables

Color page #3 from My Little House

Color page #4 and #5 from What’s In The Bible?  (Jesus Prays in the Garden and Jesus is Betrayed by Judas color pages)

Color page #6 from Bible Wise. (Color by Number)

An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles.  The pages are reproducible.

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This is adorable!

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Here is another great lesson from Mission Bible Class.

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This lesson from Free Sunday School Curriculum has a color page, worksheet and craft idea. (Scroll down to the lesson “Jesus Prays in the Garden”.

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Here is a Peter’s denial puzzle from Bible Wise.

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There are more activity ideas here.

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Sing “He Made Him” or “John’s Song” or “Wages” by Mary Rice Hopkins from the Workmanship album.

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Older kids will like the song “Opposite Way” by Leland. (Find it on i-tunes.) Have them listen to the song, then discuss what the words mean.

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Evaluate what the children have learned.  While they are coloring or crafting ask each one what they learned today.

Send each child’s parent an e-mail (or a hard copy) of the Parents’ Page.

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