VERSES: Matthew 18:21-35
MEMORY VERSE: Ephesians 4:32 "And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you." The Bible teacher may want to shorten this verse for young students.
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Leviticus. Write "Leviticus" on small slips of paper and hand out to the students at the end class, so they will be able to add another Old Testament book to memory.
PRAYER: We pray that we can be forgiving of others even when they are not kind to us.
SPECIAL SONG: Jesus Taught By Parable And Miracle (see March - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)
VISUAL AID: Large Activity (see below for directions)
- Peter, one of Jesus' disciples, came to Jesus and asked Him, "How often shall I forgive my brother when he sins against me? Seven times?" Jesus answered Peter, "I say not only seven times, but seventy times seven." Jesus was telling Peter that no matter how many times his brother or friend sinned against him, Peter should keep forgiving his brother an endless about of times. Jesus then taught Peter more by telling him a parable.
- Jesus said that the kingdom of heaven was like a certain king who decided to call in his servants who owed him money, so they could pay their debt or what was owed the king. He called in one servant who owed him a great sum of money,10,000 talents, but the servant did not have the money to pay the king. Because the servant could not repay the king what he owed, the king commanded that the servant, his wife, his family, and all that he owned be sold and the money be given to the king as payment.
- The servant then fell down at the king's feet and worshiped and said, "Please, King, have patience with me and I will repay everything I owe to you!" The king was moved with compassion and felt sorry for his servant and forgave him of the entire debt of all that money! The servant did not need to pay back the money to the king and he was free to go!
- Then that same servant went out and found a man who worked with him who owed him a small amount of money compared to what he had owed the king. When he found his fellow worker, he grabbed him and took him by the throat and said, "Pay me all that you owe to me now!" But his co-worker did not have the money he owed, and fell down at the servant's feet and said, "Please, have patience with me, and I will pay you back everything I owe to you!" But, the first servant would not be patient with him and threw him into prison till he had the money to pay the servant back.
- There were other men who worked with the servant and they saw how he had treated the one who had owed him a small amount of money. The men went to the king and told them what had happened . The king called his servant in and said, "You are a very wicked servant! I forgave you of all the money that you owed to me because you wanted me to, you should have had compassion on your co-worker like I had compassion on you!" The king was very angry and sent the servant to the prison until he could repay the 10,000 talents.
- Jesus said that His heavenly Father would do the same to those who would not forgive others of their sins against their brothers. Jesus said that we must forgive with our hearts.
- Forgiveness comes from the heart (Matthew 18:35). When a person forgives another, they should forget as well. Sometimes we say we forgive, but we still remember how we were treated and treat the one who mistreated us with contempt or disrespect. Forgiving and forgetting go hand in hand.
- Discuss the memory verse, Ephesians 4:32.
Materials needed: 9" x 12" yellow construction paper, crayons.
- Hand out yellow paper.
- Coming down 2" from the top of the paper, draw a line from one side to the other side of the paper.
- Coming up 2" from the bottom of the paper, draw a line from one side to the other side of the paper.
- Draw a line down the middle of the paper. See picture.
- Write "The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant" and "Matthew 12:21-35" in the top box
- In the box on the left side of the paper, draw a king standing up saying, "You are forgiven." Stick figures will do.
- In the same box, draw the servant falling at the king's feet and saying, "Please be patient with me."
- In the box on the right, draw the servant standing up saying, "Throw him in prison!"
- In that same box, draw the servant's co-worker falling at the servant's feet and saying, "Please be patient with me."
- Write "If we want God to forgive us, then we must forgive others." in the bottom box.