VERSES: Matthew 25:31-46
MEMORY VERSE: Matthew 25:34 "...Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Jeremiah. Write "Jeremiah" on small slips of paper for the students to take home and memorize.
PRAYER: Pray that we will do everything we can for others and be a good example of how God wants us to live.
SPECIAL SONGS: Be Careful Little Eyes What you See (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune); Read, Read Every Day (see February 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #1 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)
VISUAL AID: Write "I WANT TO BE A SHEEP!" on the whiteboard or chalkboard. Draw a sheep in the middle of the board. Write the good things about the sheep all around the board as the lesson is told (see below for possible words).
- Jesus continued teaching His disciples in parables as the Passover drew near. He told them about when He would come back again. He said that when the Son of Man would come in His glory and all of His holy angels with Him, then He would sit upon the His glorious throne. All nations would be gathered before Him, and He would separate them from each other as a shepherd would divide his sheep from the goats. He would set the sheep on His right side and the goats would be on His left side.
- Then the King would say to all the sheep or the righteous ones on His right side, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared from you from the foundation of the world." The King said that those on His right side gave Him food when He was hungry, gave Him a drink when He was thirsty, gave Him a place to stay when He was a stranger, and gave Him clothes when He had no clothes. When He was sick, they visited Him and when He was in prison, they came to see Him.
- The sheep or the righteous ones asked the King, "When did we see you hungry and thirsty? When did we see you when you were a stranger and took you in? When did we see you without clothes or sick or in prison?" The King answered them, "When you did any of these things to the least of my disciples, you did it to me."
- Then He said to all the goats or the unrighteous ones on His left side, "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire which is prepared for the devil and his angels. I was hungry and you did not feed Me, I was thirsty and you did not give me anything to drink, I was a stranger and you did not give Me a place to stay, I had no clothes and you gave Me no clothing, and I was in prison and you did not visit Me."
- The goats or the unrighteous ones asked Him, "When did we see you hungry and thirsty? When did we see you when you were a stranger and took you in? When did we see you without clothes or sick or in prison?" The King then answered them, "When you did not do any of these things to the least of my disciples, you did not do it to Me. These will go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous ones will go into life eternal."
- We should all want to be rewarded with eternal life like the sheep were rewarded. They did the will of their Father in heaven, obeying what He wanted them to do, and, in the end, were rewarded with a wonderful home in heaven where God and Jesus would be. On the other hand, the goats or the ones who did whatever they wanted to do in this earthly life, were punished an everlasting punishment. We should want to be the sheep and not the goats in this parable!
- Jesus was talking about the Judgment Day when He would come back to judge the people according to what they had done in this life on earth. The ones who were good and obedient were rewarded for their efforts on the earth, but the ones who neglected their Father's Will were punished just like a father rewards or punishes his children.
- Matthew 25:34 said that the kingdom that the sheep were going to inherit was a PREPARED place. Heaven was not an afterthought; it was prepared just as a place of punishment was PREPARED for the devil and his angels. As terrible a place as 'everlasting punishment' is, that will be the opposite of a wonderful, loving, and beautiful place called heaven.
- Some people do not want to believe that God will punish bad people who do not obey Him, but this parable and verses in 2 Thessalonians 1:7-10 tell us--warn us--that there will be a time where there will be a difference in the righteous and unrighteous. We are taught that there are TWO places prepared and they are very different places. Even if there are people who do not want to believe that a loving God could send the disobedient to an everlasting punishment does not make it so. God is a loving God, but He is also a just God and never fails in keeping His promises as we learned last time in Matthew 25:14-30 when we talked about the parables of the talents. God says what He means and means what He says.
Materials needed: 9" x 12" turquoise construction paper, cotton balls, crayons, marker, glue.
- Hand out turquoise paper.
- In the very middle draw a sheep.
- At the top of the paper, write "I WANT TO BE A"
- At the bottom of the paper, write "SHEEP!"
- At the bottom of the paper, write "Matthew 25:31-46."
- Glue cotton balls on to sheep.
- With a marker, make a dot for the sheep's eye.
- All around the sheep, write
- "Come, ye blessed of my Father"
- "You gave me food."
- "You gave me a drink."
- "You gave me clothes."
- "You visited me."
- "You gave me a play to stay."
- "The righteous in life eternal."