Free Toddler Lesson - Week 2

Jesus Prays for His Friends, Even Me

My Bible Crafts has a lesson for the Garden of Gethsemane Bible story in digital download format with lots of color-illustrated story pictures, crafts and activities.

Bible Kids Fun Zone also has the Garden of Gethsemane lesson as a digital download.

Concepts Children Learn:
Jesus tells us to love one another, as he loves us.
Jesus prayed special prayers for the disciples.

Jesus loves you so much that he prays special prayers for you too.

Supplies needed: Optional supplies (If you are setting up stations).

Story pictures: 1 bw or 1 color, 2 & 3(color), 4, 5

Activities Page for songs and games instructions. New PDF pics for Happy-Sad Faces - Page 2,3 bw, Page 2,3 color

puppet , page 1 and page 2 A few small plants (real or artificial - see instructions below)
Circle Time: Love Olive trees (see instructions below)
PREP: PICTURES: Mark your bible with the memory verse: John 15:17. Print the Story Pictures and cover with clear shelf paper (optional). PUPPET: You can do this lesson with Marshmallow the Lamb puppet or an assistant. Instructions for puppet are on the Arts & Crafts Activities Page for Lesson 4. Since the teacher will be handling all of the Story pictures, have an assistant play the puppet part. Tell the children that you are going to have Marshmallow the Lamb help you tell the story today. Only read words that are in bold. The words in parentheses tell you what to do with the puppets, or actions for yourself. The puppet or assistant reads the words in italics. If you're not using a puppet, you can just have the assistant say the words. The puppet is a fun part to play. You'll need two copies of the printable lesson, one for the teacher and one for the assistant. Each can highlight their dialog on their own copy. The puppet's lines are in italics. STATIONS: You also have the option to set up different stations and have the children pretend to be at the different events of the evening. Or you can just keep it simple and teach with the children sitting at a table. If you are not using the stations, do not say the last sentence of each station (puppet's lines). Set up Station 1 at a table, or sitting on the carpet or pillows. Set up Station 3 as the Garden of Gethsemane, with a few small plants around. If the plants are not real, make sure there are no small parts - (choking hazard). Make olive trees for Station 4: Just cut simple tree shapes out of construction paper or tag board. You could put these on a bulletin board near the station or tape them on a wall.
Bible Memory Verse:

Bible Verse: John 15:17. (Other verses used as reference in lesson: John 14:1-4 John 16 & 17, Matthew 26:1-74, Mark 14, Luke 22.

Use the story pages, as indicated below:


Today we are going to learn what happened to Jesus before he died on the cross. We'll be walking around to different areas in the classroom. Marshmallow the Lamb, our puppet, will help me tell the story. It will be a lot of fun.

Station 1, Picture 1 - rooster

See Activities Page for Lesson 2 for songs.

Remember last week, when we learned how Jesus ate his last supper with the disciples? Well, after Judas left that evening, Jesus still had some more things he wanted to tell the other eleven disciples. Do you remember what a disciple is? Yeah, The disciples were the ones who followed Jesus. They were his friends who stayed with him and helped him; And, they listened to him teach lots of times too. Yes, Marshmallow, that's right. So, Jesus said to his disciples, "I will soon be going away. You cannot come to the place where I am going. I have a new command for you: Love one another. If you love each other, everyone will know that you my friends." Well, Peter wanted to know exactly where Jesus was going, so he asked Jesus. Jesus told him that he could not follow him there now, but later he could come. But Peter was stubborn. He said, Lord, why can't I follow you now? Jesus knew that Peter was not as good a friend to Jesus as he wanted to be. (1) Jesus told him that he would pretend that he didn't know Jesus three times before the rooster crowed! Oh, no! After Jesus was done talking with his disciples, they sang a song. So, why don't we sing a song now too? That's a great idea. I have a song for you. Marshmallow, do you want to lead it? O.k. (Have Marshmallow lead the song). When they were done singing, they went to the Mount of Olives. So let's pretend that we're going there too. Ok, let's go. (Have children follow you to the next station).
Station 2 - Picture 2 & 3 Sad face, happy face

So, now we'll pretend that we are on the Mount of Olives with Jesus and his disciples. He had some more things he wanted to tell them because he knew he would be leaving soon. Jesus told his friends that soon he would die; but that in three days, he would rise from the grave, and he would be alive again! (happy side of puppet). He also told them that in a little while they would not see him any more. (picture 2, and sad side of lamb puppet) (Make a sad face.) They would be sad and cry for a little while. Can everybody make a sad face with me? (3, and happy side of lamb). But, then later they would see him again, and be full of joy! Joy means that you are happy on the inside. Can everybody make a happy face with me? (Smile big). Jesus also told his friends that they would soon all run away and leave him all alone. But, Jesus explained that he would not really be alone because his God would be with him. Just like God is with us all the time too, even though we can't see him? Yes, just like that, Marshmallow. But, before Jesus was taken away, he and his friends went to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. So let's pretend we are going to the garden with Jesus and his friends. (Have children follow you to the next station).

Station 3 Garden- Picture 4: Disciples sleeping.

So, here we are in the garden of Gethsemane. Now Jesus told his friends that he was going to go pray. He asked Peter, James and John to stay there and keep watch while he went off to pray. Can everybody show me how we pray? (Place your hands palms together, as if praying). Jesus went a little ways away, and then knelt down and prayed to God. He asked God, if possible, that he would not have to suffer, but most of all he wanted to do what God wanted. He loved God and wanted to obey him, even if it meant dying on the cross. (4) When Jesus was done praying, he went back to Peter, James and John, and he saw that they were fast asleep! He asked them to wake up and pray with him again. Hey, let's tell them to get up: (Marshmallow touches each disciple in the picture as he says this:) "Wake up, Peter, wake up! Wake up, Jo-ohn, wake up! Wake up Ja-ames, wake up!" Let's all try to wake up the disciples. (Have the children join in and try to wake up the disciples by saying the last sentence again).

So Jesus went and prayed again. He asked his disciples to stay awake and pray again too. Jesus prayed for his disciples. He prayed that God would keep them safe when he was gone. When Jesus was done praying, he went back to the disciples again. There they were - sleeping again! (4) They were so sad that Jesus was leaving, that they couldn't stay awake. Let's all tell them to get up again: (Have Marshmallow touch each disciple on the board again as you all say together: "Wake up, Peter, wake up! Wake up, Jo-ohn, wake up! Wake up Ja-ames, wake up!"

Jesus went back to pray one more time; And, Jesus again asked them to please stay awake and ask God to help them not sin. Jesus prayed for all the people who would someday believe in him. Isn't that great! Jesus was praying for you and me! He prayed for each one of you, that God's love would be in each of you. (Point to each child and teacher as you say:) Jesus prayed for _____(child's name).. and for _____(another child's name)...etc.". Wow! It really makes me feel loved to know that Jesus was praying for me! I hope each person here knows how much Jesus loves them! Then Jesus went back to his friends one more time. Can you believe it? He found them sleeping again! (4) Wow! They must've been really tired! Let's all tell them to get up again: (Have Marshmallow touch each disciple on the board again as you all say together: "Wake up, Peter, wake up! Wake up, Jo-ohn, wake up! Wake up Ja-ames, wake up!" But, by now there was no more time. Jesus told them it was time to go now. So Jesus and his disciples left and went to the olive grove. So let's all pretend we are leaving with Jesus and his disciples. (Have children follow you to the next station).

Station 4 - Olive grove. Picture 5 - Judas with mean leaders, Picture 1 again, rooster.

So, here we are in the olive grove. (5) As Jesus was talking, Judas showed up. He brought with him a whole bunch of mean leaders. They looked like they were ready to fight. They had helmets on, and they were carrying swords and clubs too. That must've been scary! Judas came right up to Jesus and kissed him, pretending to be friendly. But Judas was really leading the mean leaders to Jesus. He was not being friendly at all. Yeah, I remember from last week that the mean leaders paid him 30 pieces of silver to tell them where Jesus was! Yes, that's right Marshmallow. Then all of Jesus' disciples got scared and ran away. They left Jesus all alone! Just like Jesus had said they would. Then the mean leaders tied up Jesus and took him away.

Peter and another disciple were following Jesus a little ways behind. They took Jesus to the house of one of the main leaders. Peter waited outside. Peter was trying to get warm by the fire. The slave girl who worked at the house asked Peter if he was one of Jesus' disciples. Peter said, "No, I'm not". (Shake your head no). A little while later some other people asked Peter if he was a disciple of Jesus. Again, Peter pretended that he did not know Jesus and said, "No". (Shake your head no). Then, someone else asked Peter if he was with Jesus in the garden a little while before. For the third time, Peter said "no". (Shake your head no). (1) Just then, a rooster began to crow! Cock-a-doodle-doo-ooo! O.k., Thank you Marshmallow. Let's all pretend to be roosters. (Show the children how to make wings by bending their arms and flapping them. Give the children a chance to make the rooster sounds). Uh-oh. Now Peter remembered what Jesus had said. Do you all remember? Jesus had said that three times Peter would pretend that he didn't know Jesus, and then the rooster would crow. And, that is exactly what happened. Then Peter felt really bad. He ran away and cried.

At the same time, Jesus was in the leader's house. They were asking him many questions. Next week, we'll find out what happens to Jesus after that. Don't worry too much about Peter, because Jesus forgives him later. Yes, that's right. Now let's talk about the story.

CIRCLE TIME: (What does this mean for me?)

Remember in the story how the disciples kept falling asleep when Jesus asked them to stay awake and pray with him? Jesus really cared for them. He knew they would need God's help with all that was going on. But they couldn't even stay awake and pray with Jesus. Even though Jesus' disciples were not good friends to him, Jesus was still a good friend to them. He still showed his love for them in lots of ways. He prayed special prayers for them. He comforted them by telling them he would be rising again after he died on the cross. And, do you remember when the disciples all ran away when the mean leaders came to take Jesus away? Instead of sticking by him, they were afraid and ran away. But, Jesus loved them anyway. He loved them enough to teach them before he left. He even loved them enough to die for them, and all people, as we will see next week.

Did you know that Jesus showed his love for us too? And, he still does show his love to us every day. Remember how we also learned that Jesus prayed for everyone who would someday believe in him? Jesus prayed that we would all have God's love in us, and that we have love for one another. That's how much Jesus cares about us! And he comforts us too. He comforts us with the Holy Spirit and with the words in the Bible that we can read. He heals us and forgives us. He helps us whenever we call out to him. He listens every time we pray to him. And, he watches over us every single day, all the time. That's how much he loves us! And as we'll see next week, he even loves us so much that he died for all of us too.

Does everyone remember our Bible Verse? I'll say it first, then we can say it together. (Read John 15:17, and repeat it with children.) So, how do we show love to each other? We talked about this a little bit last week. When we see a way we could help someone, and we help them, that is loving them. When we listen closely, that is showing love too. (6) We can give someone a hug to show them love. We can help mom and dad with chores. We can help our baby brother or sister with things that we already know how to do. We can make a card for someone who is sick and give it to them. There are lots of ways to show our love to people. When we love other people, that shows that we are Jesus' friends. And God is very happy when we show love. THE END.

PRAYER: Allow children to take turns praying after you or a helper prays.
Transition: Now we have some fun crafts and activities that go with this lesson. (Go To Activities Page for this week's activities). Go to Crafts Page for art and craft activities.

© copyright Virginia Sigle /