Prayer. “Lord help the children to learn to forgive others, from Jesus’ story about the unforgiving servant.”
Choose any of these children’s learning activities.
Let the children copy this picture.
Let an older child or teacher read or tell by memory the story of the Unforgiving Servant (Matthew 18:21-34). It tells how Jesus used a story to explain to us how we should always forgive those who have done us wrong.
After telling the story, ask these questions. [The answers appear after each question.]
· Do we ever stop forgiving people? [See verse 21. We must always forgive.]
· What did the master do for the servant who could not pay his debt? [See verse 27]
· What did that same servant do to another servant who owed him money? [See verse 30]
· How did the master respond to this? [See verse 34]
· How does our Lord in heaven want us to treat those who do us wrong? [See verse 35.]
Dramatize parts of the story of the unforgiving servant. Arrange with the congregation’s worship leader to have the children present this drama. Use your time with the children to prepare the drama. You do not have to use all the parts. Let older children help younger ones to prepare.
· Let older children or adults play the parts of Narrator, Master (with paper] and Ungrateful Servant.
· Let younger children play the parts of Peter, Friends, Jailers and Second Servant.
Narrator: Tell the first part of the story, verses 21-27). Then say, “Hear what Peter asked Jesus.”
Peter: Look up and say, “Lord, how many times do I have to forgive my brother?”
Narrator: “Jesus answered with a story about a Master and his servant. The servant owed him a lot of money. Listen to the Master.”
Master: “This paper is your loan agreement. It shows that you owe me a very large debt. Pay me what you owe me or I sell you and your family as slaves.”
Ungrateful Servant: Kneel and beg, “Have mercy! I will pay. Please have mercy!”
Master: Tear up the paper and say, “I will have mercy on you. I forgive all your debt.”
Narrator: Tell the second part of the story, verses 28-35. Then say, “See what the ungrateful servant does.”
Ungrateful Servant: Walk away from the king, to the second servant and shake him, saying, “Pay what you owe me! Now!”
Second servant. Kneel and beg, “Please have mercy. I will pay you soon.”
Ungrateful Servant. “No. Jailers, come take him away!”
Jailers: Drag the second servant away, saying, “You will stay in jail until you pay your debt.”
Friends: Go to king and say, “Master, that servant that you forgive does not forgive others! He put another man in jail who owed him a small amount of money.”
King: Call to the ungrateful servant. “Come here, you! (The ungrateful servant comes.)
Ungrateful servant: Run to the Master, bow and say, “I am at your service, great and generous Master!”
Master (Angrily), “Why did you not forgive like I forgave you? Jailers, take him away!”
Jailers: Drag away the ungrateful servant saying, “You will stay in jail until you pay.”
Narrator or older child: Thank those who helped.
If the children dramatize this story for the adults, let them also ask the adults the same questions that are listed above.
Ask the children, “What are other examples of stories that Jesus told to teach people about the kingdom of God?” (Let the children give examples.)
Draw a king’s royal crown. Let the children copy it and show their pictures to the adults at the next worship time, or to their parents at home.
· Let the children explain that the king’s royal crown illustrates Jesus’ story.
· God is our spiritual King. We owe him everything.
· Sometimes we do not serve Him as we should, but he forgives us.
· We should forgive others just as Jesus our Master has forgiven us.
Memorize Colossians 3:16.
Poem. Let three children each recite one of the verses from Psalm 45, verses1, 2 and 4.
Let older children write poems, songs or dramas about Jesus’ story of the faithful servants. They might do this during the week.
Prayer: “Dear Lord and King. Everything we have that is a blessing comes from you. You forgive us all our sins and free us from evil. Sometimes we forget this and fail to forgive other people. Help us to forgive like you do.”