- "Godspell", This parable (Unmerciful Servant) is acted out in the movie where Jesus is teaching the disciples.
- DVD Chapters are links to songs (times approximate), excerpt below.
[0 min] Prologue - (Gen 1)
[1 min] John the Baptist - (Matt 3:1-12)
Prepare ye the way of the Lord
[9 min] Baptism of Jesus - (Matt 3:13-17)
Save the people
[14 min] Fulfil the Law - (Matt 5:17-20)
[17 min] Pharisee & Publican - (Luke 18:10-14)
[18 min] Settling Disputes - (Matt 5:23-26)
[19 min] Unmerciful Servant - (Matt 18:23-35)
Day by day (lyrics)
- VeggieTales "God Wants Me to Forgive Them?!"
God Wants Me to Forgive Them!?! contains two approx 15 min. stories that teach children a Biblical perspective on forgiveness.
The Grapes of Wrath What do you get when a bunch of very cranky grapes make fun of five-year old Junior Asparagus? One sad asparagus, and one big problem! Can Junior's dad show the grapes the error of their ways? Will Junior ever be able to forgive them?
The Forgive-O-Matic, instead of a silly song, a commercial about a machine that forgives sins from a company called Wrongco. Junior tells Scallion #1 that he knows lots of people who have been forgiven without the scallion's product. He says that if we ask God for forgiveness, then he will forgive us.
Larry's Lagoon A three hour boat tour takes a turn for the worse when first mate Larry absentmindedly crashes into an uncharted tropical island! Can Skipper Bob and the passengers possibly forgive Larry for making such a huge blunder? While the professor discovers how many contraptions can be built out of bamboo and coconuts, the others discover the real reasons God wants us to forgive!
"After Peter clashes with a tax collector, Jesus speaks to him about forgiveness. Parable of the Unmerciful Servant (also known as the Parable of the Unforgiving Official) with the teachings of Jesus to His disciples.
Jesus teaches Peter about the power to forgive and how to control his anger at those who do him wrong. Christ tells the story about a man who owes his King ten thousand talents to demonstrate that the ability to forgive comes from our Heavenly Father. In the end, the King takes pity and forgives the man of the debt. Ironically, however, the pardoned man leaves the King’s presence and immediately casts one of his own debtors into prison."
The Unforgiving Servant
Video Viewpoint – Video Workshop
Summary of Lesson Activities:
Nest Animated Stories: Forgive Us Our Debts by Nest Entertainment.
Afterward, show The Proud Tree by Ligouri Publications (1992).
Scripture Reference: Matthew 18:21-35
- Read the scripture ahead of time.
- Gather the materials.
- Preview the videos.
- Nest Animated Stories: Forgive Us Our Debts by Nest Entertainment.
- The Proud Tree by Ligouri Publications (1992).
Opening - Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet the children and introduce yourself.
Open with a prayer,
Review again the memory verse and the bonus verse, and ask children to share some things they’ve learned about these verses over the previous three weeks of rotation. Then ask about the Parable of the Unforgiving Servant.
Dig - Main Content and Reflection:
- First, ask where in the Bible it is found and who told it.(ANS: In Matthew 18:21-35; Jesus told it.)
- Why was it told? (ANS: Because Peter asked how many times he had to forgive someone who wronged him.)
- What was the story in the Parable about? (ANS: It was about a king who forgave a man who owed him over a million dollars, and about how the man then demanded payment of a small debt owed to him by another man. Then the king had the first man put in prison for the rest of his life.)
- How can “not forgiving another person” become a kind of prison for you? (Let students ponder this question, and return to it after the videos.)
- What happened to Peter on the night before Jesus was put on the cross? (ANS: He denied that he was one of Jesus’ followers; he made Jesus very sad.)
- Did Jesus ever forgive Peter for this? How do we know? (ANS: Yes; we know because after Jesus was alive again, he asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?” and Peter said, “yes”, and Jesus said to “feed his sheep”. He didn’t mean little, furry sheep, but He wanted Peter to care for and lead the other followers of Jesus.)
You should have previewed the videos, and so have each one cued to an appropriate starting point and have plans for when to pause the videos and ask any more questions. Pass out the popcorn and start the video,Animated Stories: Forgive Us Our Debts by Nest Entertainment. Afterward, show The Proud Tree by Ligouri Publications (1992).
Moderator notes: The Proud Tree DVD (25 mins) is available through Liguori Publications.
Story outline: The proud tree was named Rex (King) because he acted like he was the king tree of the forest. This video tells the story of the crucifixion from the viewpoint of Rex, the tree that became the cross Jesus carried to Calvary. Proud and ungrateful at first, Rex learns a lesson in love from the humble and gentle Jesus. Children will come to understand the importance of Jesus' sacrifice and the power of his love.
After the videos, go back to the unanswered question, “How can NOT forgiving another person become a kind of prison for you?” (ANS: Jesus said we must forgive others before we can fully know God’s forgiveness. The Great Commandment, Matthew 22:37-40, is “…Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind…and…Love your neighbor as yourself.” If you do not forgive another person, you are not loving that person as God commanded, and your love for God is also imperfect.)
Close with a circle of prayer, and invite everyone to return next week with their Bible and a friend for a new rotation.
The Unforgiving Servant
JOHN: (Editor's Note: this next dialog is a bit long, and could be broken up by having a group of students "improv" each of the following sections as the narrator reads and pauses.)
“This is how Jesus taught us that God the Father wants us always to forgive one another. Here is another story; it’s a true story about Peter. When Jesus was on trial, the night before He was put on the cross, Peter and I were watching and waiting in the shadows in the courtyard outside the high priest’s house. We were afraid we would also be put on trial and killed for being followers of Jesus. There were guards with swords and spears standing nearby, and several servant girls too. We could hear the judgment condemning Jesus to death as He stood before the high priest.
As we were standing in the crowd trying to keep warm, someone else spoke out concerning Peter, ‘You talk like one of those Galileans; you must be one of them!’ Peter shouted, ‘I tell you, I don’t know the man!’
And then the rooster crowed. Peter and I remembered that Jesus had told Peter that he would deny Him three times tonight before the rooster crowed. Peter left; he was crying bitterly.
After Jesus was crucified on the cross and was in the tomb, we thought all was finished. What could we do? But then, on the third day after the crucifixion, early in the morning, as we huddled together in an upper room, one of the women came running and pounded on the door. She was shouting, ‘They’ve taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they’ve put him!’ Peter and I ran to the tomb. The heavy stone had been rolled away from the entrance; we thought someone had come at night and had taken Jesus’ body away. But no, I looked and I saw the grave clothes lying as if His body had just gone right through them! Later, we met Jesus! He was alive! He came and went from us at times when we never heard or saw Him coming.
Finally, one day, Peter said, ‘Let’s go fishing.’ We did, Peter and I and James, Thomas, Nathanael and two others. We fished all night in our favorite fishing spot on Lake Galilee, but we caught nothing. Finally, just as the sun began to rise, we saw a man on shore. He called out to us, ‘Have you caught any fish yet?’ We called back, ‘No!’ He called, ‘Cast the net on the other side of the boat!’ We did, and whoa! What a catch! Before we could haul it in, I knew it was Jesus on the shore. I yelled, ‘It is the Lord!’ Peter jumped into the water and swam for shore.
Jesus met us as we pulled in the gigantic catch of fish; 153 fish in all! And Jesus had made breakfast. After breakfast, Jesus had a special talk with Peter, except that He called him by the name he had before he followed Jesus. He called him ‘Simon’:”
(Scene near the fire on the beach, both men seated near each other, looking at each other)
JESUS: “Simon, …do you love me more than these?”
PETER: “Yes, Lord. You know I love you.”
JESUS: “Feed my lambs.”
JESUS: “Simon…do you truly love me?”
PETER: “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you!”
JESUS: “Take care of my sheep.”
JESUS: “Simon…do you love me?”
PETER: “Lord, you know all things. You know that I love you.”
JESUS: “Feed my sheep.” “Follow me!”
JOHN: “Peter did follow Jesus. After Jesus went back to heaven, Peter was a bold leader in the church. He was filled with the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and he preached to thousands of people on the day of Pentecost. He preached that people must repent of their sins and believe on Jesus, the Son of God, and be forgiven. Peter remembered how Jesus had forgiven him for denying Him three times. Peter wasn’t perfect, but he remembered to forgive those who wronged him. He was faithful to Jesus to the end of his life.” [Teacher, explain that by “sheep” or “lambs” Jesus meant people, not furry animals.]
- Peter denied Jesus three times; he said he “never knew Him”. What does it mean to deny Jesus? Have you ever done that? (ANS: Denying Jesus is like what Peter said, saying something that means that you don’t really care about Jesus.)
- If you have denied Jesus, you can ask Jesus to forgive you, and you can decide to follow Jesus just as Peter did. When Peter was filled with the Spirit of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, on Pentecost, he was not afraid to talk to anybody about Jesus. What is one way you can speak about Jesus to other people? (ANS: If you’re in a group that is talking about Jesus, do not join in with saying things against Jesus. If someone wants to know, you can say you believe that Jesus really is the Son of God. You can always pray and ask God to help you know what to say. Sometimes, just offering to pray for someone who is in need is a way of saying that you love Jesus.)
- Is there anything wrong with “getting even” with somebody for doing something wrong against you? (ANS: Yes; “getting even” is the opposite of forgiving somebody.)
- What about saying, “That’s OK; I don’t care,” when somebody wrongs you. Is that OK? (ANS: It’s not really OK if you mean you’re not really dealing with the issue. If it means you aren’t thinking about really forgiving the person, that you just don’t want to discuss it, then you still need to talk to the person about the issue and forgive each other.)
- Does God say, “That’s OK; you didn’t mean it.” Or does He say, “That’s OK; I know you were afraid.” (ANS: No, although God knows why we did it, God wants us to confess what we’ve done wrong and to believe that He forgives us. God can have mercy on us when we confess the wrong, and ask for and receive forgiveness through Jesus. God says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12)
Journal: If you have time, let students choose one question to draw or write about in their journals.
Close with a circle of prayer; invite everyone to return for another workshop next week and to bring their Bible and a friend.
Lesson sketches by Gail Smith for Kids’ Faith T.R.E.K. at Silverdale United Methodist Church (SUMC), Silverdale, WA
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