Objects to have:
A "First-Aid Kit": bandages, medicine for cuts and bruises
A picture of a donkey
Introducing the lesson:
Let's think about who our neighbors are. Our neighbors, we say, are people who live next door to us, who live across the street from us, who live across the alley or across our backyard from us.
We want to be good neighbors. Let's think of some things we can do to be good neighbors. (Let the children suggest several things such as being friendly, being helpful, taking in mail or packages when a neighbor is on vacation, staying off each others' property unless invited to come over, asking our neighbors to come to Sunday school with us, etc.)
(Pick up your Bible.) Jesus talked about being a good neighbor. Right here in the New Testament of my Bible in Luke chapter 10 (show the children) I have read about Jesus' talking about being a good neighbor.
Telling the story:
(Hold up the picture of the donkey.) Just for fun let us let this little donkey tell our story. This donkey played a very important part in the story which Jesus told, so I am going to let him tell the story.
I knew that I would not be staying in my stable that day. My master, who was a Samaritan, came to the stable and took down the saddle from the wall. Why was my master called a Samaritan? It's because his home was in the city of Samaria. The Samaritan strapped the saddle on my back. I thought, "I wonder where we are going. Will it be far away or close by?" I guessed that it would be far away, because my master had in his hand a package (pick up the First-Aid Kit). He fastened that package to the saddle. I guessed that the package was a First-Aid Kit. That was in case he got hurt or got sick and he would need some bandages or some medicine. He strapped another package to my saddle, also. That package seemed to be a big lunch. Then I knew that we were going on a long journey! My master would have to eat while we were traveling. How excited I was! I loved to go places. My master said, "I'm ready. Let's go."
He led me out of the barn. Then he climbed on my back. He took hold of the reins and guided me down the road away from the barn. I walked through the city of Jerusalem with my master on my back. When we got to the edge of the city, my master told me to keep going down the road away from Jerusalem. We started going up one hill and down the other; up another hill and down that hill. I was not afraid of climbing the hills or walking down the hills, for my feet don't slip easily.
Most of the time there was no one else on that road but my master and me. Once in a while we would see someone coming from the other direction. Sometimes when we were on top of one hill, we could see someone on top of another hill. One time we saw a man who was a priest in the temple. The big, important Jewish church was the temple.
The preachers were called priests. We don't call our preacher a priest. The priest was way up in front of us. As the priest rode along down the road, we noticed that he stopped for a moment, rode on, and turned to look back. Then he went quickly on down the road on the same side where he had been. One time we saw another important man of the temple—a Levite. The Levite stopped, went to the other side of the road and looked down for a moment. Then he crossed back over and continued on his way. I wondered what was going on farther down the road. I wondered what the priest saw, and 1 wondered what the Levite saw. I am sure my master wondered, too.
As we continued down the road, we soon found out what the priest and the Levite saw. Just ahead there was something big lying in the road. As we got closer, we could tell that it was a person. A person was lying in the road. With the reins my master kept directing me toward the person. As we got closer, I could see that it was a man. My master could see that a man was lying in the road. My master had me walk right up to the man. My master jumped off my back and bent down over the man. Poor man! He looked as if he had been beaten. Someone had beaten him up until his body was all bloody and he was half dead. Most of his clothes had been taken. He had sore places all over his body. He was so weak and hurt so badly that he could not get up by himself.
My master reached up to my saddle on my back. He got the First-Aid Kit. (Pick up your "First-Aid Kit.") He took out the bottle of medicine and some clean cloths. Where the sores were bleeding, my master poured oil into the sores, and then he put clean bandages on them. Into other sores he just put oil or medicine. (Put down the First-Aid Kit.) He put the First-Aid Kit back into the pocket on my saddle.
Then my master commanded me to stand still. He pulled the man up from the ground, and gently laid him across my saddle. The man could not sit up—he was hurt too badly, and he was too weak to sit up straight in the saddle. Then my master took hold of the reins and walked in front of me, guiding me down the road. I walked very carefully through the hills so as not to slip. I did not want the poor man to fall off my saddle.
I knew that my master was very concerned about the man. I wondered why he was so concerned, however. He did not know the man. He did not know the man's name. The man had never done anything for my master. Still my master treated him very lovingly and led me on down the road to the city of Jericho.
When we got to the city of Jericho, my master led me to the hotel there in the city. He commanded me to stand still. I stood very still while he lifted the poor man off the saddle and helped him walk into the hotel.
My master was gone a long time. The innkeeper came out the door. The innkeeper led me to a stable where I had something to eat and some water to drink. 1 thought that soon we would be continuing on our journey, but 1 stayed in that barn all night long. I would sleep a while and then wake up, wondering where my master was and what he was doing. I wondered about the poor man; was he alive or was he dying?
Finally the next morning my master, the Samaritan, came to the stable. He patted me on the head and stood and talked with me. "My Donkey, I think that poor man is going to be all right now. Let me tell you what happened to him. He was traveling down the road to Jericho. As he traveled, some robbers jumped out from behind the rocks. They knocked him off the animal that he was riding. They took away most of his clothing. The robbers robbed him of all his money. Then the robbers beat him up. He needed someone's help very badly. The priest would not help him. The Levite would not help him. The priest and the Levite say that they love God, but they certainly did not act like it. I decided that I must help him. I have taken care of him all night long, and I think he is going to be all right now. I asked the innkeeper to continue taking care of him because I had to leave." (Take out your coins.) "I gave the innkeeper some money, and I told him that if I owed him more, I would pay him whenever I came back this way." (Put away your money.) "So, Mr. Donkey, let us continue on our journey. After I have taken care of my business in another city, we will come back this way. We will stop here in Jericho on our way back to Jerusalem. I will check to see if I owe the innkeeper any more money."
I was so proud of my master! He took care of a man who had never done anything for him. He was so helpful to him and did so much good for him.
(Lay down your picture; pick up your Bible. Open it to Luke 10.) Jesus told that story about the man who traveled from Jerusalem to Jericho. We can read that story in Luke chapter 10. Jesus told of the Samaritan man who was on his way from Jerusalem. Jesus told how that good Samaritan man stopped to help the man who had been robbed. Jesus said, "The Samaritan was a good neighbor to the poor man who had been hurt."
Oh, so someone else besides the people who live close to us is our neighbor? Anybody who needs our help is our neighbor. Sometimes another boy or girl in your classroom in school needs help with picking up things or with finding his coat or with other things. You are a good neighbor if you help. Sometimes someone here in Sunday school needs your help. You are a good neighbor if you are kind and helpful to everyone who is around you. We cannot help everybody in the whole wide world, but we can help those who are around us.
LEARN OUR BIBLE VERSE: Luke 10:27—"Thou shalt love the Lord thy God...and thy neighbour as thyself."