Sunday School Lesson

Jesus Calms the Storm

Mark 4:35-41
One day, while Jesus was in a boat with His disciples, there was suddenly a fierce storm. But just as quickly as the storm started, it became completely calm when Jesus commanded the wind and the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Through games, a skit, a Storm in a Jar craft, and a balloon-that-won’t-pop science activity, children learn that Jesus has power over nature because He is God. Use this lesson to help kids have faith in Jesus.

Lesson Overview

1

Get Them Curious

Prepare kids for an exciting
learning journey.

Blow Wind Blow

Play a game of blow wind blow to get kids ready for the lesson on Jesus Calms the Storm.

2

Screen Time

Show kids a video on the
Bible story.

Jesus Calms the Storm

Jesus Calms the Storm, by Saddleback Kids

3

Make it Stick

Help kids remember the
Bible story.

Skit with Sound and Wave Effects

Kids perform a skit to re-tell the story of Jesus Calms the Storm.

4

Dig Deeper

Help kids grasp
the big idea.

Storm in a Jar

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Calms the Storm4

This craft activity illustrates how Jesus has power over the wind and the waves because He is God.

5

Walk the Talk

Help kids live out
the
big idea.

The Balloon Won’t Pop!

In this science activity, kids skewer a balloon without popping it!

6

Take it Home

Send kids home with a concrete action plan and fun midweek activities.

With Christ in the Vessel You can Smile at the Storm

Jesus Calms the Storm Take it Home-01

Help kids trust Jesus because He is God.

Big Idea

Jesus has power over nature because He is God.

Key Verse

They were terrified and asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” Mark 4:41

Live it Out

We should have faith in Jesus because He is God.

This Sunday School Lesson requires some advance preparation. For a consolidated summary of preparation, supplies and free printables required, please scroll to the bottom of this lesson.

1. Get Them Curious – Blow Wind Blow

Set up chairs in a circle, facing the center.
Set up as many chairs as there are players minus 1.
For example, for 10 players, you will need 9 chairs.

Alternatively, you can use anything to mark the position of each “seat” (examples: labels, masking tape, shoes, books).

 

Ask one player to stand in the center of the circle and have everyone else sit on the chairs.

To start the game, the player in the center shouts, “Blow wind blow!”

The other players respond by shouting, “Blow what?”

The player in the center replies, “Blow everyone who ________.”
(Examples, “… is wearing glasses”, “… is wearing white”, “… ate breakfast this morning”, “… likes pineapples”.)

 

All the players who fit that description must quickly get up and move to a seat vacated by another player; the player in the center tries to get a seat.

One player will be left without a seat.

This player must now stand in the center of the circle and shout, “Blow wind blow!”…

 

You can play for as long as you like.

 

Discuss: Can anyone guess the title of today’s Bible story?

 

Say: Let’s watch a video on Jesus Calms the Storm.

 

Pray: Dear God, thank you for our game of Blow Wind Blow! Please help us learn what this game has to do with today’s lesson and teach us how you want us to live it out! In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

2. Screen Time – Jesus Calms the Storm

This is our favorite YouTube video on Jesus Calms the Storm: https://youtu.be/uYLHqdSO9OY

Before you begin, tell the children to pay attention to the various characters in the story.

3. Make it Stick – Skit with Sound and Wave Effects

Remember to download and print Jesus Calms the Storm Script in advance.

Jesus Calms the Storm Script    

 

Discuss: What Bible story did we just watch?

Show Slide 1 (Sunday School Lesson Title & Bible Reference):
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Calms the Storm Slide1

For older kids, you may like to have them open their Bibles to today’s passage (Mark 4:35-41).

 

Discuss: Who are the characters in this story?

 

Say: We are going perform a skit together.
One (or two) of us will be the narrator(s) who must retell the story that we have just watched.
I will give you a script to read from.

One of us will act as Jesus.
A few of us can act as Jesus’ disciples.
The rest of us will either be the wind or the waves.

 

Appoint or ask for volunteers for these key roles:

  • 1 or 2 narrator(s)
  • Jesus
  • A few disciples

Divide the remaining students into 2 groups.
One group will be the wind, and the other group will be the waves.

 

Say: Before we begin, let’s have a little practice as we recall what happened in today’s story.
We will start our skit from the part where Jesus and His disciples decide to cross over to the opposite side of the lake.

Have “Jesus” practice saying the line, “Let us go over to the other side.”
Then “Jesus and the disciples” get into a boat and sit down.

 

Say: What happened soon after Jesus and the disciples set sail in the boat?

 

Have the “wind” stand up.
They must say, “Whoosh” while gently swaying side to side.

Say: Very good! That’s exactly what you should do later during the skit, when the narrator says, “The wind blew.”

 

Have the “waves” sit in a row and hold hands.
The first person on the left says “Splish!” while raising the left hand.
Then lower the left hand and say “Splash!” while raising the right hand (which is holding on to the left hand of the next person).
The next person does the same, thereby forming a “wave effect” down the line.

Say: Very good! That’s exactly what you should do later during the skit, when the narrator says, “The waves crashed into the boat.”

 

Say: What happens when waves crash into the boat? What should the disciples do?

Have the “disciples” practice scooping water out of the boat.

Say: Very good! That’s exactly what you should do later during the skit, when the narrator says, “Water poured into the boat.”

 

Say: What was Jesus doing at the beginning of the storm?

Have “Jesus” lie down and snore.

 

Say: As Jesus slept, the storm grow fiercer!

This time, the “wind” must “Whoosh” louder and sway their bodies rigorously.

Have the “waves” make a bigger “wave effect” this time.
Instead of sitting, squat in a row and hold hands.
The first person on the left says “Splish!” (louder than before) while raising the left hand and standing up.
Then lower the left hand and say “Splash!” (also louder than before).
Then sit down.
The next person does the same, thereby forming a bigger “wave effect” down the line.

Have “the disciples” scoop out water more frantically.

Say: Very good! That’s exactly what you should do later during the skit, when the narrator says, “The wind blew stronger!”, “The waves crashed harder into the boat!” and “More water poured into the boat.”

 

Say: And what was Jesus doing while the storm grew fiercer?

Have “Jesus” continue to sleep, snoring louder.

 

Say: What did the disciples do next? What did they say to Jesus?

Have one of the “disciples” wake Jesus and say, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”

 

Say: What did Jesus do?

Have “Jesus” say to the “wind” and the “waves”, “Quiet! Be still!”

 

Everyone becomes totally quiet and still.

Then have “Jesus” look at “the disciples” and say, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?”

 

Say: How did the disciples feel? What did they say to each other?

Have “the disciples” look terrified and say to each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

 

Say: Now that we have had a little practice, we are ready to begin our skit.

Give the narrator(s) a copy of the script.
Everyone must play their parts according to the narration.
(“Jesus” and the “disciples” may need a little prompting with their lines.)
Encourage everyone to exaggerate their actions and have fun!
After the kids have finished performing the skit, thank everyone for their participation.

 

You may like to repeat the skit, with different kids playing the various roles.

Recording a video of the skit may also add to the fun.

Ultimate Bible Guessing Game - Bible Triple Showdown

4. Dig Deeper – Storm in a Jar

Show kids a sample of the Storm in a Jar Craft that you have made.

Jesus Calms the Storm Sunday School Craft

Here’s how to make a Storm in a Jar Craft.

Note that weight/density of your foam and tape may be slightly different from what we used, so you will need to test your Storm in a Jar Craft in advance. If your sailboat doesn’t return to an upright position after your “storm”, replace the Nickel with a Quarter. Alternatively, use two Nickels instead of one.

 

You will need for each child:

  • 1 piece of Polystyrene Foam (also known as Styrofoam or EPS)
    Thickness: ½ inch.
    Pre-cut to 2 x 1 inch for each child.
  • 1 Nickel
  • 1 Toothpick
  • 2-inch Cloth Bookbinding Tape
  • Scissors
  • 1 plastic jar pre-filled with some bluish water (water tinted with blue food coloring).
  • Hot glue or sticky tape to seal the jars (optional)

You will also need a sharp instrument to help kids poke a small hole in their boat to insert the sail.

 

To make the Storm in a Jar Craft:

For the boat
1. Cut a piece of Cloth Bookbinding Tape, about 4 inches long.
Place the tape on the table in front of each child, sticky side up. (Warning: the tape can be very sticky!)

Jesus Calms the Storm Sunday School Craft1

 

2. Place the Polystyrene Foam in the middle of the tape.

Jesus Calms the Storm Sunday School Craft2

 

3. Place the coin in the middle of the foam.

Jesus Calms the Storm Sunday School Craft3

 

4. Hold the coin in place with 1 hand, then use the other hand to wrap 1 side of the tape around the foam. Press the tape down firmly, ensuring there is as little air trapped inside as possible.

Jesus Calms the Storm Sunday School Craft4

 

5. Repeat with the other side of the tape.

Jesus Calms the Storm Sunday School Craft5

 

The side with the coin is the bottom of the boat. The coin will help the boat to remain upright in the “storm”.

 

For the sail
1. Cut another piece of tape, about 2½ inches long.
Place the tape on the table in front of each child, sticky side up:

Jesus Calms the Storm Sunday School Craft6

 

2. Place a toothpick in the middle of the tape. Ensure that about ¾ inch of the pointed end of the toothpick is outside the tape.

Jesus Calms the Storm Sunday School Craft7

 

3. Hold the toothpick in place and fold the tape over.

Jesus Calms the Storm Sunday School Craft8

 

4. Cut the tape to make a triangle-shaped sail.
Jesus Calms the Storm Sunday School Craft9

 

Final Assembly
1. Have an adult poke a small hole in the middle of the top of the boat.

Jesus Calms the Storm Sunday School Craft10

 

2. Insert the sail into the boat. Tilt the sail at a slight angle. This will prevent the sail from sticking to the surface of the water after the “storm”.

Jesus Calms the Storm Sunday School Craft11

 

4. Place the sailboat in a jar and close it tightly. For younger kids, you may like to seal the jar with hot glue or sticky tape.

Jesus Calms the Storm Sunday School Craft

 

5. Shake the jar to create a storm.

 

6. Stop shaking to make it calm again.
The boat should always return to an upright position.

 

Discuss:

  • Did you enjoy making your sailboat?
  • How did you create a storm in your jar?
  • How did you make it calm again?

Read Mark 4:35-41

 

Discuss:

  • In today’s Bible passage, what made the disciples say to Jesus, “Teacher, don’t you care if we drown?”
  • What did Jesus do about the storm?
  • Is it possible for any man to do what Jesus did?
  • The disciples asked each other, “Who is this? Even the wind and the waves obey him!” What do you think is the answer to the question?

Say:

  • We can start and stop the storm in our jars. But we cannot do that with a real storm. No human being can.
  • But in today’s Bible passage, we read that Jesus stopped a real storm!
  • Jesus can stop a real storm because He is God!
  • Jesus was born as a baby boy and grew up to be a man. But He is different from any other man. He is God! (John 10:30)
  • Jesus has power over the wind, the waves and all of nature because He is God!

Show Slide 2 (Big Idea):

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Calms the Storm Slide2

Have everyone read the slide.

5. Walk the Talk – The Balloon Won’t Pop!

You will need to practice doing this trick in advance.

Inflate a balloon, let some air out, then tie it up.
(For this trick to work properly, the balloon should only be inflated to about two-thirds its capacity.)

 

Hold up a long wooden or bamboo skewer with a sharp tip.

 

Tell everyone that you are going to show the class how to poke the skewer through the balloon without bursting the balloon.

 

Have fun with the kids’ reactions.
Allow them to examine the balloon and the skewer.

 

Ask for a show of hands: Who believes that you can skewer the balloon without popping it?

 

Ask those who believe: Who wants to give it a try?

 

Invite a volunteer to help you with the trick.

Have the volunteer coat the tip of the skewer with a little olive oil or dish detergent.

Then guide the volunteer to slowly twist the skewer into the top of the balloon.
(This part of the balloon will be thicker and darker in color.) 

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Calms the Storm Object Lesson1

 

Continue to slowly twist the skewer out through the bottom of the balloon, near the knot.

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Calms the Storm Object Lesson2

 

If you have done it correctly, the balloon should not pop!

Thank the volunteer for helping you with the trick.

 

Ask for a show of hands again: Who believes that you can skewer a balloon without popping it?

 

Ask for a show of hands again: Who wants to give it a try?

 

Allow a few more volunteers to do the trick with your help.

 

Discuss:

  • How did you feel when I first told you that you could skewer the balloon without popping it?
  • Did you believe me at first? Why or why not?
  • Do you believe me now?
  • What made you change your mind?

Say:

  • Before my demonstration, some (or all) of you did not believe that it was possible to skewer a balloon without popping it.
  • But after seeing it done, all of you believed!

Discuss: By calming the storm, what do you think Jesus wanted his disciples to believe?

 

Show Slide 3 (Key Verse):

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Calms the Storm Slide3

Have everyone read the slide.

 

Discuss: Who is Jesus?

 

Say: Jesus wanted His disciples to know that He is God. He wanted them to trust Him. Instead of simply telling them, Jesus showed them that He had power over the wind and the waves. Then the disciples understood that, since only God has such powers, therefore Jesus must be God!

Discuss:

  • After calming the storm, Jesus asked the disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Do you still have no faith?” What does it mean to have faith in Jesus?
  • Is it easy to have faith in Jesus? Why or why not?

Say: To have faith in Jesus means to believe in everything He says and to trust Him. We can trust Jesus because He is God!

 

Show Slide 4 (Live it Out):

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Calms the Storm Slide4

Have everyone read the slide.

6. Take it Home – With Christ in the Vessel You can Smile at the Storm

Say: Let’s recall all that we have learned today. Can you remember the title of today’s Bible Story?

Show Slide 1 again (Sunday School Lesson Title & Bible Reference):
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Calms the Storm Slide1

Have everyone read the slide.

 

Say: Can you remember today’s big idea?

Show Slide 2 again (Big Idea):
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Calms the Storm Slide2

Have everyone read the slide.

 

Say: Can you remember today’s key verse?

Show Slide 3 again (Key Verse): 
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Calms the Storm Slide3

Have everyone read the slide.

 

Say: How can we live out today’s lesson?

Show Slide 4 again (Live it Out): 
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Calms the Storm Slide4

Have everyone read the slide.

 

Say:

  • In today’s story, Jesus calmed the storm! He showed His disciples that He has power over the wind, the waves and all of nature because He is God! Jesus did this because He wanted His disciples to have faith in Him. He wants them to believe and trust him.
  • Today, we cannot see Jesus. But for those of us who have invited Jesus to come into our lives, Jesus is with us all the time. It is just like having Jesus in our boat.

If you have pre-believer kids in your class, you may like to do a Gospel presentation and invite them to put their faith in Jesus. Here are some resources that you may find helpful: www.LetTheLittleChildrenCome.com

 

Say: Do you know the song “With Christ in the Vessel”? It goes like this: “With Christ in the vessel we can smile at the storm as we go sailing home”.

Sing the song “With Christ In The Vessel” together. (You can learn this song here: https://youtu.be/h33ZCUtIcbY)

 

Show Slide 5 (With Christ in the Vessel Lyrics):

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Calms the Storm Slide5

 

Discuss: What do you think the author of this song meant by “with Christ in the vessel we can smile at the storm”?

 

Say: This song reminds us that with Jesus in our lives, we don’t have to be afraid even if we encounter difficulties in our lives. It is just like being in the same boat as Jesus during a storm! Jesus has the power to help us!

 

Discuss: Today, we learned that Jesus calmed a storm! Jesus has power over the wind, the waves and all of nature because He is God. How can we put today’s lesson into practice?

 

Give each child a copy of Jesus Calms the Storm Take it Home Handout.

Jesus Calms the Storm Take it Home-01  Jesus Calms the Storm Take it Home-02

 

Help kids think of concrete things that they can do this week.

  • Have they invited Jesus into their lives? They can do so now!
  • Are there some things they are afraid of? They can write these down and pray about them.

Say:

  • Let’s write down your personal responses to God in the Live it Out section on the first page. Then spend some time on your own talking to God about these things.
  • The other pages are for you to do at home. Tell me next week about what you did at home!

Give everyone some time to write down their Live it Out action plan before ending the lesson with this closing prayer:

Pray: Dear Jesus, thank you for today’s Bible lesson on Jesus Calms the Storm. Thank you for teaching us that you have power over the wind, the waves and all of nature because you are God! Thank you that when we believe in you, you will come and live with us. It is just like we are in the same boat as you! We pray that you will help us to always believe and trust in you. Whenever we are afraid, please help us to talk to you because we know you are always with us, and you have the power to help us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Lesson Preparation and Supplies

Here’s a summary of all the preparation, supplies and free printables required for this lesson.

1

Get Them Curious

Prepare kids for an exciting
learning journey.

Blow Wind Blow

Play a game of blow wind blow to get kids ready for the lesson on Jesus Calms the Storm.

You will need chairs or anything that can mark the position of each “seat” (examples: labels, masking tape, shoes, books).

2

Screen Time

Show kids a video on the
Bible story.

Jesus Calms the Storm

Jesus Calms the Storm, by Saddleback Kids

Ensure that you can play this YouTube video:
Jesus Calms the Storm, by Saddleback Kids
(Video URL: https://youtu.be/uYLHqdSO9OY)

3

Make it Stick

Help kids remember the
Bible story.

Skit with Sound and Wave Effects

Kids perform a skit to re-tell the story of Jesus Calms the Storm.

Download Jesus Calms the Storm Script.

Jesus Calms the Storm Script    

Print 2 copies: 1 copy for the teacher and 1 copy for the narrators.

Download Slide 1 (Sunday School Lesson Title & Bible Reference):

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Calms the Storm Slide1

4

Dig Deeper

Help kids grasp
the big idea
.

Storm in a Jar

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Calms the Storm4

This craft activity illustrates how Jesus has power over the wind and the waves because He is God.

Make 1 Storm in a Jar in advance.
(Follow the instructions in “Dig Deeper” section above.)
You will need to show your Storm in a Jar Craft to the children as a sample.

You will need for each child:

  • 1 piece of Polystyrene Foam (also known as Styrofoam or EPS)
    Thickness: ½ inch.
    Pre-cut to 2 x 1 inch for each child.
  • 1 Nickel
  • 1 Toothpick
  • 2-inch Cloth Bookbinding Tape
  • Scissors
  • 1 plastic jar pre-filled with some bluish water (water tinted with blue food coloring).
  • Hot glue or sticky tape to seal the jars (optional)

You will also need a sharp instrument to help kids poke a small hole in their boat to insert the sail.

 

Note that weight/density of your foam and tape may be slightly different from ours, so you will need to test your Storm in a Jar Craft in advance. If your sailboat doesn’t return to an upright position after your “storm”, replace the Nickel with a Quarter. Alternatively, use two Nickels instead of one.

 

Download Slide 2 (Big Idea):
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Calms the Storm Slide2

5

Walk the Talk

Help kids live out
the big idea
.

The Balloon Won’t Pop!

In this science activity, kids skewer a balloon without popping it!

Try out this trick in advance.
(Follow the instructions in “Walk the Talk” section above.)
You will need:

  • Balloons.
  • Long wooden or bamboo skewers.
  • Olive oil or dish detergent.

Download Slide 3 (Key Verse):
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Calms the Storm Slide3

 

Download Slide 4 (Live It Out):
Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Calms the Storm Slide4

6

Take it Home

Send kids home with a concrete action plan and fun midweek activities.

With Christ in the Vessel You can Smile at the Storm

Jesus Calms the Storm Take it Home-01

Help kids trust Jesus because He is God.

Download Slide 5 (With Christ in the Vessel Lyrics):

Sunday School Lesson - Jesus Calms the Storm Slide5

 

Download Jesus Calms the Storm Take it Home Handout.
You will need to print 1 copy for each child.
Jesus Calms the Storm Take it Home-01

 

It would be good to tell parents about the Take it Home Handout. Encourage them to do the suggested family activity with their child.

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