Listen for God’s Wisdom

Scripture: Luke 8:40-56, Mark 5:21-43

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn Jesus cares about our problems.
  • Students will learn Jesus does not want us to be afraid of life’s problems, but have faith in him.
  • Students will learn nothing is impossible if it is God’s Will.
  • Students will learn it is important to listen to Jesus and not the world about what we should do.

Guiding Question: How can we make sure we are listening to God and doing what he wants us to do?


Procedure: Tell students the story of Jesus raising the daughter of Jairus from the dead. Point out that more than once someone told Jairus not to bother Jesus or laughed at the idea that Jesus could raise Jairus’ daughter from the dead. Ask them if Jairus listened to the people or listened to Jesus.

Explain to students Jairus listened to Jesus and Jesus raised his daughter and healed her. Tell students that in life people will sometimes try to get us to ignore God and do something God does not want us to do.

Have a brief discussion of some of the things God wants them to do. Ask students what other people may say to try to get them to not do what God wants them to do.

Tell students you are going to play a game to see how quickly they can decide if someone is telling them something God wants them to do or something God does not want them to do.

Play a game of Red Light/Green Light with your class. Say various statements to your students. If it is something God would want them to do like “Obey your mom”, then they go run towards you until you say ‘stop”. If it is something God would not want them to do like “take your brother’s toy without asking”, they should stay frozen. If they run when they should stay frozen, they have to go back to the beginning.

As students begin to understand the game, make it more difficult by quoting proverbs – some from the book of Proverbs and some from people outside of the Bible. Explain that it’s important to understand proverbs outside of the Bible may or may not be helpful, true and/or godly. The object of the game this time is to run when the proverb is from the book of Proverbs and freeze when it is from someone outside of the Bible. The list below can get you started. (Remember to mix it up a bit and not have too many Bible proverbs or human proverbs in a row!)

Here are some to get you started:

Proverbs from the Bible

• My child, listen when your father corrects you.
• Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction (1:8).
• My child, don’t reject the Lord’s discipline, and don’t be upset when he corrects you. For the Lord corrects those he loves (3: 11,12).
•People who despise advice are asking for trouble; those who respect a command will succeed (13: 13).
•Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the Lord will be joyful (16: 20).
•Intelligent people are always ready to learn. Their ears are open for knowledge (18:15).
•Keep the commandments and keep your life; despising them leads to death. (19: 16).
• If you listen to constructive criticism, you will be at home among the wise (15: 31).
•To reject the law is to praise the wicked; to obey the law is to fight them (28: 4).
•The Lord is more pleased when we do what is right and just than when we offer him sacrifices (21: 3).
•So give your father and mother joy! May she who gave you birth be happy (23: 25).
•The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom (9:10 *NKJV).
•Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding (3:5).
•Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do!
And whatever else you do, develop good judgment (4: 7).
•If you become wise, you will be the one to benefit. If you scorn wisdom, you will be the one to suffer (9:12).
•To learn, you must love discipline; it is stupid to hate correction (12: 1).
• The lips of the wise disperse knowledge, But the heart of the fool does not do so (15: 7 NKJV).
• A wise person is hungry for knowledge, the fool feeds on trash (15: 14).
•It is senseless to pay tuition to educate a fool,
since he has no heart for learning (17: 16).
• Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. (19: 20).
• To acquire wisdom is to love oneself; people who cherish understanding will prosper (19:8).
*New King James Version
•Work hard and become a leader; be lazy and become a slave (12:24).
•A gossip goes around telling secrets, but those who are trustworthy can keep a confidence (11: 13).
•The godly care for their animals, but the wicked are always cruel (12: 10).
•The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in those who tell the truth (12: 22).
• Wise people think before they act; fools don’t—and even brag about their foolishness (13: 16).
• A soft answer turns away wrath,
But a harsh word stirs up anger (15: 1 NKJV).
•A hot-tempered person starts fights; a cool-tempered person stops them (15: 18).
• Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall (16:18).
•Greed causes fighting; trusting the Lord leads to prosperity (28:25).
• Blessed are those who fear to do wrong, but the stubborn are headed for serious trouble (28: 14).
•Be very careful about what you think. Your thoughts run your life (4: 23 *ICB)
•Even children are known by the way they act,
whether their conduct is pure, and whether it is right (20: 11).
• Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman, from the seductive words of the promiscuous woman (2: 16).
• The man who loves wisdom brings joy to his father,
but if he hangs around with prostitutes, his wealth is wasted (29:3).
• Wine produces mockers; alcohol leads to brawls. Those led astray by drink cannot be wise (20: 1).
•People may be right in their own eyes, but the Lord examines their heart. (21: 2).
• Avoid all perverse talk;
stay away from corrupt speech (4:24).
•People with integrity walk safely, but those who follow crooked paths will slip and fall (10:9).
•People who conceal their sins will not prosper, but if they confess and turn from them, they will receive mercy (28: 13).
*ICB International Children’s Bible
•Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble (13: 20).
•Love prospers when a fault is forgiven, but dwelling on it separates close friends (16: 9).
•Just as damaging as a madman shooting a deadly weapon
is someone who lies to a friend and then says, “I was only joking” (26: 18, 19).
•Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy (27:6).
• The heartfelt counsel of a friend is as sweet as perfume and incense (27:9).
•Never abandon a friend—either yours or your father’s.
When disaster strikes, you won’t have to ask your brother for assistance (27:10).
•As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend (27: 17).
• The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray (12:26).
•Never let loyalty and kindness leave you! Tie them around your neck as a reminder (3:3).
• Do not withhold good from those who deserve it when it’s in your power to help them (3:27).

Proverbs from people outside of the Bible:

• Beggars can’t be choosey
• Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
• Every cloud has a silver lining
• Don’t cry over spilled milk
• A stitch in time saves nine.
• Don’t judge a book by its cover
• If it’s not broken, don’t fix it
• Penny wise, pound foolish.
• Haste makes waste
• It’s an ill wind that blows no good
• Ignorance is bliss.
• A miss is as good as a mile
• A fool and his money are soon parted.
• The squeaking wheel gets greased.
• Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
• Every dog has its day.
• Don’t change horses in midstream.
• The grass is always greener on the other side
• Two wrongs don’t make a right
• Absence makes the heart grow fonder
• There is nothing new under the sun. (This one is actually a more modern way of a verse in Ecclesiastes.1:9)
• Time cures all ills.

Before leaving class, remind students it is important to always listen to God first and do what he says to do. Tell them the best way to know what God wants them to do is to know what is in the Bible.

Additional Questions:

  • How does obedience to God and Godly authority actually make life better?
  • How can you discern whether wisdom in Godly or not?

Supplemental Activities:

  • Let students choose a wise, Biblical Proverb to memorize and focus on living by for the week. Teach them skills to memorize such as posting it in frequent places, repeating it regularly, breaking it into chunks, putting it to a tune, etc. Students can even journal each day about how it was to live by the Proverb that week.
  • Have students research any of the Proverbs that they do not understand. Chose one to illustrate to show understanding.
  • Have students analyze the nonbiblical Proverbs. Sort them according to which ones correspond with Biblical wisdom.