Parables of Jesus

Categories: Children's Church

parables

A 5-week series on some of Jesus’ parables.

 

Topics include:

  • Week 1: Parables of Hidden Treasure & Pearl (Matt 13:44-46)
  • Week 2: Parable of the Wise & Foolish Builder (Matt 7:24-27)
  • Week 3: Parable of the Friend at Midnight (Luke 11:5-13)
  • Week 4: Parable fo the Gracious Moneylender (Luke 7:36-50)
  • Week 5: Parable of the Talents (Matthew 25:14-30)

 

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A 14-week series introducing who Jesus is: His calling, life, miracles and parables.

 

Topics include:

  • Week 1: Jesus is God’s Beloved: Baptism (Mark 1:1-11)
  • Week 2: Jesus is Lord: Driving out the Impure Spirit (Mark 1:21-28)
  • Week 3: Jesus is Able & Willing: Healing the Leper (Mark 1:40-45)
  • Week 4: Jesus Forgives Sin: Healing the Paralytic (Mark 2:1-12)
  • Week 5: Jesus’ Word Bears Fruit: Parable of the Sower (Mark 4:1-20)
  • Week 6: Jesus has Authority over Winds & Waves (Mark 4:35-41)
  • Week 7: Jesus has Authority over Evil Spirits (Mark 5:1-20)
  • Week 8: A Touch of Jesus Heals: Woman with Issue of Blood (Mark 5:21-34)
  • Week 9: Jesus Gives Life: Raising Jairus’ Daughter (Mark 5:21-42)
  • Week 10: Jesus is our Provider: Feeding of 5000 (Mark 6:30-44)
  • Week 11: Jesus is Always Near: Walking on Water (Mark 6:45-52)
  • Week 12: Jesus Qualifies Us: Greek Woman meets Jesus (Mark 7:24-30)
  • Week 13: Jesus Opens Ears/Mouths/Eyes (Mark 7-8)
  • Week 14: Jesus the Messiah (Mark 8-9)

 

 

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The Parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector (Luke 18:9-13)

Categories: Children's Church

1. STORY

  • Jesus told a story about 2 people — a Pharisee and a Tax Collector
  • Who was a Pharisee? He is part of a religious/political group that prides themselves in keeping the law. The word “Pharisee” means set apart — they wanted to keep themselves holy and were careful not to mix with anyone who did anything wrong.
  • Who was a Tax Collector? Tax collectors were Jews who helped the Roman government to collect taxes from their own people. Jews hated the Romans. So they also hated the tax collectors who worked for the Roman government. The tax collectors also often collected extra money for themselves. So if they were supposed to collect 100 dollars, they would collect 150 dollars instead and keep 50 dollars for themselves.
  • Both these men went to pray in the temple.
  • The Pharisee stood apart by himself — he didn’t want to be with the “common” folks in case they contaminated him. He prayed, “I thank you, God, that I am not greedy, dishonest, or an adulterer, like everybody else. I thank you that I am not like that tax collector over there. I fast two days a week, and I give you one tenth of all my income.”
  • The Pharisee took pride in the things that he could do that made him better than everyone else, especially the tax collecter — he was not greedy, not dishonest, not an adulterer, fasts 2 days a week, gives one-tenth of his income.
  • He thought that by doing all these things, he will be able to earn God’s favour. God will be happy with him, and he will be right before God (“righteous”). But actually he was only self-righteous because he thought he could be good enough on his own — he didn’t need God.
  • On the other hand, there was the tax collector. He hid his face down, ashamed. He knew all the wrong things he had done. He knew he could not be right with God on his own. He was a hopeless case. He knew only God could save him. So he beat his breast and said, “God, have pity on me, a sinner.”
  • Jesus told his disciples that it was the tax collector, not the Pharisee, who went home righteous that day.

 

2. LESSON

  • Why?
    • The Pharisee was self-righteous. He believed, by what he does, that he was good enough and didn’t need God. But the Bible tells us that none of us can meet God’s standards on our own (“There is none righteous, not one.” Rom 3:10). But because the Pharisee didn’t see himself as needing a Saviour, he didn’t accept God’s forgiveness.
    • The tax collector was unrighteous.  And he knew it. He didn’t pretend to be better than he was. He didn’t try to hide it. He just called out for help. And God heard him and answered him. That’s why Jesus loved spending time with “sinners” — because they knew their own condition, they didn’t have false pretenses and they could see Jesus’ love for them.
  • When we accepted Jesus into our hearts, we told Him that we couldn’t do it on our own and we needed His help. God heard us, and answered us, and Jesus lives in us forever.
  • Today, because of Jesus, you and I don’t have to beat ourselves up like the tax collector any more.  We can stand before God boldly, not boasting in our works like the Pharisee, but boasting in Jesus’ works — Jesus is our wisdom, our righteousness, our holiness and our redemption (1 Cor 1:31).
  • We can say, “I thank you, God, that because Jesus was not greedy, not dishonest, and not an adulterer. Because Jesus was completely sinless and completely righteous, we are now the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!” Praise the Lord!
  • Memory verse: 1 Cor 1:31 “Therefore, as it is written: ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.’”

 

3. ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS

  • Any related craft with the memory verse or the words “I will boast in Jesus”
  • Close in prayer

Parable of the Lost Sons (Luke 15:11-32)

Categories: Children's Church

1. STORY

  • Last week, we heard a story of a lost coin, and the week before, we heard the story of the lost sheep. Today we are going to hear another story Jesus told of “The lost sons.”
  • Tell story based on Luke 15:11-32. You can act out the story with props: A stack of play money eg monopoly  notes (or you can make your own play money!), a bowl, a robe (or coat), ring, shoes (can use the shoes of the child who is acting as the younger son), balloons, and banner to read, “Welcome home, son.” The teacher or someone who can read well can narrate while the children act out the play.
  • Or use a video: Two Sons and a Father

 

  • There was a man who had two sons. One day, the younger son said to his father, ‘Give me now the part of your property that will be mine.’ So the father divided his wealth between his two sons. (Father gives the play money in equal proportion to both sons). A few days later the younger son took all that he had and left home. He traveled far away to another country, and there he wasted his money on wild living. After he spent everything he had, there was a terrible famine throughout the country. He was hungry and needed money. So he went and got a job with one of the people who lived there. The man sent him into the fields to feed pigs. To the Jews, pigs were unclean (haram) and it was a terrible job to have to look after pigs because they were smelly. The younger son was so hungry that he wanted to eat the food the pigs were eating. (The son reaches his hand out the bowl, but pulls it back). But no one gave him anything.
  • The son realized that he had been very foolish. He thought, ‘All my father’s hired workers have plenty of food. But here I am, almost dead because I have nothing to eat.  I will leave and go to my father. I will say to him: Father, I have sinned against God and have done wrong to you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Take me as one of your hired workers.’ So he left and went to his father.
  • While the son was still a long way off, his father saw him coming and had compassion on him. So he ran to him and hugged and kissed him.  The son said, ‘Father, I have sinned against God and have done wrong to you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’
  • But the father said to his servants, ‘Hurry! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Also, put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it so that we can celebrate with plenty to eat. My son was dead, but now he is alive again! He was lost, but now he is found!’ So they began to have a party.
  • But the older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. He answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has wasted your property comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!’
  • The father said, ‘My son, you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’

 

2. LESSON

  • What can we learn from the story of the lost sons?        
  • God loves us despite our weaknesses and failures
    • The father loved his sons despite of what they did.
    • Younger son: Even though his son disrespected him and squandered his inheritance, the father still longed for him to come home. He waited and watched every day. In those days, there were no photos, e-mail, or Facebook. He didn’t know where his son was, whether he was still alive, but he waited day after day, month after month, year after year. Finally when his son came home, he ran to meet him. He probably looked quite silly running and exposing his legs. He was a rich man and had many servants. But he didn’t care about looking silly. All he could think about was that his son, whom he loved dearly, had come home.
    • Even though we were sinners, God saw our need to be saved and he sent Jesus to save us.  Jesus went through terrible beatings, was made fun of and suffered a very painful death on the cross. He gave up everything for us, even his life.
    • God longs and waits for all His children to come home to him. He waits for each one to receive Jesus as his or her personal Saviour. When we do that, He is overjoyed, like the father. That is how important we are to him.
    • Older son: The older son didn’t want to join the party. He sulked and pouted outside the house. That was a show of disrespect also. But the father still showed love to him — he went out and pleaded with his son.
  • God gives us more than what we deserve
    • The younger son decided to go home and ask his father to let him be a servant after he didn’t have enough food to eat. He remembered how rich his father was, but he didn’t realized how much his father loved him and was willing to forgive him despite of what he did.
    • His father gave him more than he asked. Instead of being a servant, he was received as a son. His father even threw a party for him. To his father, he was always a son, never a servant.
    • We deserved to be punished for our sins, but instead God gave Jesus to be punished for us. Jesus came so that we can have life to the full. (John 10:10)
    • Romans 8:32 says, “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”
  • Know our position
    • The older son was unhappy that his father treated his brother so well. After all, his brother had wasted all his money. All his (older brother) life, he tried to please his father by working hard for him, not realizing that his father loved him unconditionally and all his father’s possessions belonged to him. He thought himself as his father’s servant, when he was actually his son.
    • Even though the older son was with the father all this while, he was still “lost” because he didn’t know his position.
    • To God, we are not his servants. We are his children, very much loved by him. He doesn’t look at how much we serve him, how clever or gifted we are. He accepts us because of Jesus has done on the cross, that he has taken away our sins.
    • Ephesians 2:8 says “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.”
    • Prayer: Ask if any children want to receive Jesus as their Saviour and pray with them.

     

3. ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS

  • Music video: When God Ran
  • Memory Verse activity: Romans 8:32 “He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?”

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The Parable of the Lost Coin (Luke 15:8-10)

Categories: Children's Church

1. HOOK IDEAS

  • Find the Lost Coin
    • Hide coins/circles/chocolate coins around the room. Get the kids to look for them.
  • Video: Lost Coin

 

2. STORY

  • Tell story based on Luke 15:8-10.
    (For older kids, get them to read the Bible passage out loud.)

3. LESSON

  • Jesus loves the lost:
    • Remember that Jesus was friends with the “sinners” — the tax collectors and prostitutes and those who knew that they couldn’t help themselves?
    • Each of these people was like the lost silver coin in the story. They were valuable. Important. Not forgotten.
    • Jesus wanted the religious leaders to understand how he felt about those who were lost.
  • Jesus is the Light:
    • Light the lamp = Jesus, Light of the world
    • John 1:4-5 In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
  • Jesus searched for the lost:
    • Just like the woman lit a lamp, took a broom to sweep the house carefully and searched for the coin until she found it, Jesus came to “hunt us down” in love to rescue us.
    • He did not rest, and He did not give up, searching in the deepest, darkest corners (even when we try to hide in our sins).
    • He sought out the sinners. And He paid the ultimate price to redeem them — His own life.
  • Jesus rejoices over us:
    • Just like the woman rejoiced and celebrated with her friends and neighbours, whenever a sinner returns to God, there is great rejoicing in heaven. (Luke 15:7)
  • This is the whole plan of salvation; this is why Christ came. God seeks sinners and rejoices when they are found. He is not content for any sinner to be away from Him.
  • Memory Verse: 2 Peter 3:9 God is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
    Or Luke 19:10 (younger kids): Jesus came to seek and to save the lost.”

 

4. ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS

  • Memory Verse: Do a game/activity to help kids memorize the verse
    • E.g. Hunt for Letters:
      Write out the memory verse with several missing letters. Hide the missing letters around the classroom. Get the kids to hunt for the missing letters and stick them on the correct blanks, then read the verse out together.

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The Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15:1-7)

Categories: Children's Church

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 1. HOOK

  • Find the Lost Sheep
    • Hide pictures of sheep around the room and get the kids to look for them.
  • Guess the Lost Sheep
    • Get kids to sit in circle and introduce themselves. 1 person is the shepherd. Has to come out and close eyes/turn away from group. Kids choose 1 sheep to get “lost” — kid gets up quietly and hide/goes out of room. The shepherd then has to guess who is missing from the group (aka the “lost sheep”)
    • Alternative: Feed clues to the shepherd about who the missing sheep is (e.g. colour of shirt, gender, hair style etc), and the shepherd has to go and “retrieve” the sheep.
  • Finding the One

    • In this game your whole class is involved in putting a puzzle together when they find that there is one piece of the puzzle missing. After your class has realized that a piece is missing, their new objective is to find the piece that is missing before any other team finds their piece. The team to find their piece first is the winning team. (You can use any normal jigsaw puzzle or cut up a picture of a shepherd and his sheep).

 

2. STORY

  • Tell story based on Luke 15:1-7.
  • GOOD NEWS FOR TODAY 
  • Jesus is the Good Shepherd
    • When Jesus was on earth, many people liked to be His friends. However, many of them were not “respectable” people in the community. They were the outcasts — the tax collectors and the sinners.
    • The Pharisees and scribes saw Jesus eating with these “sinners” — these unholy people — and they criticised Him. “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.”
    • Pharisees didn’t like that Jesus was getting so popular. And they thought that He couldn’t be a holy man because He hung out with the “bad” crowd. After all, they were the holy ones — they kept all the laws and did all the right things.
      • Under the Law: the clean is “contaminated” by the unclean
      • Under Grace: the unclean is made clean by the Righteous
        (e.g. Jesus touched the leper and healed him)
      • Jesus loved to spend time with the “sinners” because they knew that they needed to be saved. They didn’t pretend to be holy like the Pharisees. And they knew that Jesus loved them despite all that they have done.
      • When they repented, they were saying that they don’t want to try to save themselves anymore, but that they want to trust Jesus to save us. Unlike the Pharisees who think they were too good already that they didn’t need a Saviour.
      • They were like the lost sheep. And Jesus loved to spend time with them. He was like the man who would go and search high and low and climb up and down just so that He can rescue them. And each time He finds one, there is great rejoicing in heaven.
  • We were the Lost Sheep whom Jesus came to rescue

    • The Bible uses the picture of “sheep” to describe all of us — sheep cannot survive on their own without the care and protection of their shepherd.
    • Do you know that we were all like that lost sheep too? We went our way. We got trapped. We couldn’t save ourselves.
    • “All we like sheep have gone astray.” (Isaiah 53:6)
      What does “astray” mean?
    • But our wonderful Shepherd, Jesus, didn’t just let us be. He didn’t say that He would just take care of the good sheep, the ones who didn’t wander, who didn’t get lost or who didn’t get trapped.He left all He had just so that He could come look for us. He died a horrible death on the cross just so that He could save us from sin and give us new life.
    • For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)
    • Jesus rescued us, cleaned our wounds and laid us on His shoulders and brought us home with great rejoicing. He’s sooooo happy when we decide to trust in Him and receive His love.
      “In the same way, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine respectable people who do not need to repent.” (Luke 15:7)
    • And even if there were only one of us who were lost, He still would have come to die for us. That’s how great His love is for you and me!

 

3. ACTIVITY SUGGESTIONS

sheep

  • Memory Verse: Do a game/activity to help kids memorize Luke 19:10 For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”
  • Craft: with memory verse
  • Rhyme:
    Lost sheep, lost sheep,
    (Hold right hand above eyes as if you are shielding your eyes from the sun)
    Where did you go?
    (Hold out hands with palms up and begin to shrug shoulders)
    Jesus will find you,
    (Touch right pointer finger to left palm and then left pointer finger to right palm)
    I’m sure you know.
    (Point to your head)

The Parable of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37)

Categories: Children's Church

1. STORY

  • Tell story based on Luke 10:25-37.  (For older kids, get them to read the Bible passage out loud.)

 

2. LESSON

  • In Jesus’ parable: it was not the religious and “good” people who stopped to help the Jewish man. It was the enemy — a despised Samaritan. The Jews hated the Samaritans.
  • The Samaritan could have walked on, and nobody would fault him for that. But he had compassion for the man. He cleaned and bandaged his wounds. Put him on his donkey and paid for his care at the inn.
  • Who would do that for an enemy? Somebody who hated you? Who wouldn’t walk on the same side of the road as you?
  • Do you know: we were once God’s enemy?
  • We were like this man — attacked by robbers (the devil is the thief); stripped, beaten, left half dead in our sin, helpless and hopeless.
    • Col 1:21 “This includes you who were once far away from God. You were His enemies, separated from Him by your evil thoughts and actions.”
    • But even though we were God’s enemy, Jesus still came to die for us.
      • He had compassion for us.
      • He cleaned us with His blood.
      • He bandaged us up.
      • He lifted us and took care of us.
      • He paid the price of our sins for us.
      • And because of that, we can now be God’s friend, we now have His life in us.
        • Romans 5:10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
  • The teacher of the law had asked Jesus 2 questions:
  1. “What should I do to inherit eternal life?”
    We don’t have to do anything to earn an inheritance; it’s what Jesus has done for us when He came down to die for us. We just have to believe and accept this gift of eternal life, and we are born again as sons and daughters of God! Hallelujah!
  2. “Who is my neighbour?” Who showed love to the man?
    The one who showed love to him.
  • Jesus ends His parable by saying, “Go and do likewise.”
    On our own, we cannot. But Jesus’ love fills us up so much that we can show His love to those around us — especially people we don’t like, our “enemies”.
    John 15:12: “Love each other as I have loved you.” We can love because Christ first loved us!
  • Memory Verse: Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Parable of the Tenants

Categories: Children's Church

Lesson: Jesus is the chief cornerstone

1. Story:

tenants_working.jpg (798×600)
  • Tell the Parable of the Tenants based on Luke 20:1-19 and Mark 12:1-12.
          check out these great pictures here (sermon4kids.com)
  • The chief priests and teachers of the law didn’t like Jesus. Jesus was always talking about the Good News that God had for his people. They did not want other people hearing about God from Him. They did not believe that Jesus was God’s Son.
  • They demanded to know what authority he had. So Jesus told them this parable.
    • One day a man planted a vineyard. A vineyard is a place where they grow grapes so they can make wine. The owner put a big wall around it. Then he dug a big hole, called a winepress, in the ground so he could crush and squeeze all the juice out of the fruit.
    • The owner needed to go on a trip, so he found some farmers to stay at the vineyard to work while he was away.
    • Then the time finally came when the fruit was ready to be eaten and used to make wine. So the owner sent someone back to the vineyard to collect some of the fruit.
    • The farmers saw this person coming. What do you think they did? They grabbed him, beat him up, and sent him back with nothing.
    • The owner found out what happened. He sent another person to try and collect some grapes. Do you know what happened? They also beat him and treated him shamefully and sent him back empty handed.
    • So the owner sent still another person. Do you know what they did this time? The farmers wounded the man and threw him out!
    • The owner then decided to send his own son.  He loved his son very much. He thought to himself, “The farmers will respect my son.”
    • The farmers recognized who the man’s son was. They said to themselves, “This is his son. When the owner dies, his son will get the vineyard. But if we kill his son, then the only ones left to get the vineyard will be us.” So they killed him too, and threw him out of the vineyard.
  • After Jesus shared this story, he asked the leaders a question. “What will the owner of the vineyard do now? He will come and kill all those farmers and then give the vineyard to other people.”
  •  Then Jesus quoted from Psalm 118. “Haven’t you read what Scripture says, ‘The stone the builders rejected has become the most important stone of all.”
2. Lesson(extra scripture verses are for your personal reference/study. Not necessary to mention all to the kids … maybe only 1 or 2 key ones. Tks)
  • Who were the people in this story?
    • The vineyard owner represented God
    •  The vineyard was God’s people
    •  The farmers were the religiousleaders and teachers of the law

    • The people sent by the owner were the prophets
      • God had sent these prophets to tell Israel about the coming Messiah
      • The Jews, their religious leaders and teachers of the law had always opposed these prophets and killed them.
      • Jesus once wept over Jerusalem (Luke 13:34): “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you. How often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing!”
    •  
    • Who do you think the vineyard son was? Jesus.
  • God was going to save his people. And even though his prophets were rejected, He still continued His plan of salvation.
  • Jesus knew that He would be put to death. And through this parable, He was telling the religious leaders about His death.
  • Because it was through His death that all man could live through Him.
  •  Jesus was the stone that the builders rejected
    • He was a stumbling block to the religious leaders (1 Cor 1:22; Isaiah 8:14). A stumbling block is a stone that is in your way and you fall/trip over it. For the Jews, Jesus was a stumbling block. They couldn’t accept Him — instead they fell/tripped all over Him.
    • The Jews could not accept that there could be salvation apart from all that they were doing — adhering to the Law and their religious traditions.
    • They wanted to be righteous before God, but they wanted to do it their way — by their own works in trying to fully obey the Lord.
    • The problem is that they could never fulfill it fully. Because God’s way was perfect. And only God could meet that standard.
    • Jesus was saying that those who fell on that stone, who tripped over Jesus and His free gift of righteousness, who rejected it, would be broken to pieces and crushed. They would never be able to be righteous on their own.
  • Despite all that opposition, Jesus has become the cornerstone — the most important stone of all!
    • Even though He was killed, Jesus resurrected after 3 days and became the stone that holds everything together, the rock upon which God built His church (Matt 16:18, 1 Cor 3:11).
    • If we trust in Him alone and accept His gift of righteousness, Jesus becomes our refuge, our shelter, our salvation.
    • As Peter said in Act 4:11-12, Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”
  • Who is Jesus to you? A stumbling block? Or the cornerstone?
    • Let’s not be like the Jews and religious leaders who refuse to accept God’s free gift of salvation and righteousness through Jesus.
    • Let’s trust in Jesus, our cornerstone, our rock of refuge, and enjoy the life He gives to us!
    • 1 Cor 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
  • Memory verse: Luke 20:17‘The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.”
3. Activity Suggestion
  • Memory Verse Review:
    • Use an activity or game to help the kids remember the Memory Verse
  • Wordsearch
 

Parable of the Ten Minas

Categories: Children's Church

1. Lesson:

  • Tell the Parable of the Ten Minas based on Luke 19:11-27.
  •  The noble man who was made king is Jesus
    •  Jesus wanted to prepare His disciples that He was not going to be “king” immediately (as many thought He would)
    •  He would have to go to the cross first, then back to heaven before returning one day
    •  But in His absence, and until His return, He leaves us with valuable treasures (minas, talents) — the gift of His righteousness and the blessings that accompany it, which we can all receive by grace, through faith
  • There are three other groups of people in this parable
    •  The first and second servants: When we accept this gift of Jesus’ life will see it bear fruit in our lives — some five times, some ten times
      • Our work/studies, families, ministries prosper
      •  We are able to bless others because of all that Christ has blessed us with
      •  The word we sow multiplies
      •  We live faithful, victorious and abundant lives in Christ
      •  We enter into the joy of the Lord
    •  The last servant: 
      • If we take this gift but do not understand who God is, we will live in fear, doubt and unfruitfulness. 
      • We will think God is a hard master who is ruthless and unfair
      • We think God is always waiting to punish us for our mistakes
      • We don’t use the gifts that He has blessed us with
      • We rely on our own strength, efforts and works to try to please God, and end up empty
    •  The subjects who rejected the noble man as king:
      • Those who reject Christ as king and His gift of righteousness will fail to enjoy His gift of eternal life
  • Conclusion:
    •  Know who God is — have the right picture of Him. He has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus. He’s not a hard master out to get us. He wants to rejoice with us and call us “good and faithful”.
    •  Know the treasure we have in Christ — don’t hide it away. Use it. Enjoy it. Share it with others. Bless others with it.
    •  Jesus is coming back again — those who do not receive Him as their Saviour and King will be left out of His kingdom. Let’s share with our friends the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ!

2. Activity Suggestions:

  • Related craft with picture of coin and the words “Jesus is my King”
  • Worksheet
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The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

Categories: Children's Church

Lesson: Let us boast in Jesus



1. Story: Tell the Parable of the “Pharisee and the Tax Collector” based on Luke 18:9-13.

  • Jesus told a story about 2 people — a Pharisee and a Tax Collector
  • Who was a Pharisee? 
    • He is part of a religious/political group that prides themselves in keeping the law. The word “Pharisee” means set apart — they wanted to keep themselves holy and were careful not to mix with anyone who did anything wrong.
  • Who was a Tax Collector? 
    • Tax collectors were Jews who helped the Roman government to collect taxes from their own people. Jews hated the Romans. So they also hated the tax collectors who worked for the Roman government. The tax collectors also often collected extra money for themselves. So if they were supposed to collect 100 dollars, they would collect 150 dollars instead and keep 50 dollars for themselves.
  • Both these men went to pray in the temple.
  • The Pharisee stood apart by himself — he didn’t want to be with the “common” folks in case they contaminated him. He prayed, “I thank you, God, that I am not greedy, dishonest, or an adulterer, like everybody else. I thank you that I am not like that tax collector over there. I fast two days a week, and I give you one tenth of all my income.”
  • The Pharisee took pride in the things that he could do that made him better than everyone else, especially the tax collector — he was not greedy, not dishonest, not an adulterer, fasts two days a week, gives one-tenth of his income.
  • He thought that by doing all these, he will be able to earn or deserve God’s favour. God will be happy with him, and he will be right before God (“righteous”). But actually he was only self-righteouse because he thought he could be good enough on his own — he didn’t need God.
  • On the other hand, there was the tax collector. He hid his face down, ashamed. He knew all the wrong things he had done. He knew he could not be right with God on his own. He was a hopeless case. He knew only God could save him. So he beat his chest and said, “God have pity on me, a sinner.”
  • Jesus told his disciples that it was the tax collector, not the Pharisee, who went home righteous that day. 
  • Why?
  • The Pharisee was self-righteous. He believed, by what he does, that he was good enough and didn’t need God. But the Bible tells us that none of us can meet God’s standards on our own (“There is none righteous, not one.” Rom 3:10). But because the Pharisee didn’t see himself as needing a Saviour, he didn’t accept God’s forgiveness.
  • The tax collector was unrighteous.  And he knew it. He didn’t pretend to be better than he was. He didn’t try to hide it. He just called out for help. And God heard him and answered him.

2. Lesson: 

  • When we accepted Jesus into our hearts, we told Him that we couldn’t do it on our own and we needed His help. God heard us, and answered us, and Jesus lives in us forever.
  • Today, because of Jesus, you and I don’t have to beat ourselves up like the tax collector any more.
  • We can stand before God boldly, not boasting in our works like the Pharisee, but boasting in Jesus’ works — Jesus is our wisdom, our righteousness, our holiness and our redemption (1 Cor 1:31).
  • We can say, “I thank you, God, that because Jesus was not greedy, not dishonest, and not  an adulterer, because Jesus was completely sinless and completely righteous, we are now the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!” Praise the Lord!
  • Memory verse: 1 Cor 1:31 “Therefore, as it is written, ‘Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.’”

2.
Activity Suggestion 

 

  • Any related craft with the memory verse or the words “I will boast in Jesus”
  • Worksheet