Jesus Sets Us Free (Martin Wiles’ Lessons for Children and Youth)

Theme: Freedom

Scripture Reference: John 8:31-47

Memory Verse: John 8:36

Students will learn how Jesus shows us the way to be set free through salvation. The Bible tells us we are all sinners. We have done bad things that make God sad. The only way God will forgive us is if we believe and accept what Jesus did on the cross.

Let’s say our memory verse together. If the Son sets you free, you will indeed be free John 8:36 NLT.

Activity Time:

Game: Tied Up for Snack Time

Materials Needed:


Snack Pack Pudding Cups


Paper Towels


Tell children the bandanas represent sin and eating the pudding represents obeying God.

Loosely tie children’s hands with bandanas.

Have them try to eat pudding using a spoon.

Then untie bandanas and let them see how much easier it is to eat.

Explain that sin ties us up so we can’t obey God. Only by believing in Jesus can we be untied and have the ability to obey God’s commands.

Bible Story Time:

Icebreaker Questions:

Was it difficult trying to eat with your hands tied?

How do you think you’d feel if you had to eat all the time with your hands tied?

How do you think sin ties us up?

How can Jesus help us?

There was once a time when the United States of America was tied up or ruled by another country.

Reflection: Does anyone know what that country was?

The country’s name was Great Britain or England. While the Indians were the first people to live in America, the early colonists came here because they didn’t want another country telling them what church they had to attend or taxing them to support that church. And Great Britain was doing that to the colonists.

Even after the colonists settled here, Great Britain still tried to rule them and tell them what they could and couldn’t do. Finally, the founding fathers of our country got together and wrote the Declaration of Independence. In it they said, “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

When England heard what the colonists had done, they wanted to fight them—and did. Although England couldn’t believe it, the colonists won the war, and America won her freedom. But not all in the young nation enjoyed every freedom. Women couldn’t vote for people to hold office until 1920. Native Americans (Indians) and African Americans (blacks) legally won the right to elect people to office in 1870 with the Fifteenth Amendment but didn’t realize it in practice until 1924 and 1965.

Reflection: How do you think you’d feel if you lived in a country where you weren’t allowed to do something everyone else could do?

Just as the colonists were tied up by Great Britain, so every person who is born is tied up with something even worse: sin.

Say: Who can tell me what sin is?

All people have a tendency to want to do things God says are wrong. Without God’s help, we will always do wrong things. If we don’t ask him to help us do things that please him, the Bible says we will go to a terrible place called hell after we die. But if we love God and obey him, we will go to heaven.

Only Jesus can set us free from sin. He died on a cross to pay for our sins so we wouldn’t have to. When we ask God to forgive us, he does because his Son has paid for those sins. Forgiveness sets us free to obey God. Jesus says if we love God we will obey his commands.

The people Jesus talked to didn’t think they were sinners or bad people because they went to church and did good things. Jesus told them that wasn’t enough. They had to believe in him. We have to as well.

Reflection: Invite children to talk with you or the preacher if they would like to ask Jesus to be their Savior.

God wants us to trust his Son as our Savior so he can set us free from sin.