Use this free object lesson message to teach children from Luke 14 and the Parable of the Wedding Feast. Watch the demonstration below or share it directly with your Sunday School or Kids Church. You can also download the complete Sunday School Lesson from Luke 14:7-11.
Don’t Honor Yourself! Children’s Message on the Parable of Banquet Seats
Main Objective: In this day and age, we see a lot of self-promotion. Social media, online presence, “influencers”, and celebrities make it easy to gain attention and seek it for ourselves. However, Christ warns us not to think too highly of our own interests. In the parable of the banquet, Jesus describes the danger of trying to boost our own status, and instead being demoted. This message relates the parable and its message to modern efforts to pridefully boost our own egos. The only thing that truly matters is not what others think of us, but what God thinks!
Law/Gospel Theme: We tend to seek the best for ourselves, somehow imagining that we can earn our way into God’s good graces. Jesus reminds us, though, of the importance of humility. Life is not about what we do but about what He has done for us. Jesus warns us that pride can lead to disgrace. We don’t do things to get something back in return, but to honor and please God, who has already done everything for us.
Optional Materials: (Optional) Phone or representation of social media
Bible Passage: Luke 14:1, 7-14
Message: Note: As with most messages, the details of how you choose to communicate this are adaptable and should cater to timing as well as to your audience and student needs.
Before greeting children (or right after), act distracted, browsing through a phone or stack of items. Feel free to ad lib as desired.
Hmm…that latest post only got 14 “likes”? Come on, I thought it was brilliant! Everyone wants to know my opinions on whether pineapple belongs on pizza…and let’s see, not too many views on that Instagram story either. But at least I got some Kudos for my workout on Strava…
Oh, hello, children of God! Sorry to be distracted, I was just scrolling through some of my social media accounts. It’s important to put your best foot forward on these things. After all, people are watching me out there. They want to see the shiny wonderful things that are happening in my life! I want people to see me and notice me and pay attention to what I’m doing. If it’s not on social media, after all, did it even happen?
Well…I guess maybe that’s not the MOST important thing out there. I should pay attention to the real 3-dimensional life I’m living, and to the people right in front of me! You know, sometimes we work really hard to try getting attention. We put things online for everyone to see, or we base our importance on who notices us. The people who seem to “make it” are those who are popular, after all. We watch people on YouTube and boost their platforms. We want to be the most important. We elevate our own lives and want other people to tell us how great we are, but sometimes we forget what should truly be first and foremost.
Jesus warns us about this. In the Bible, He told a story about people who try to promote themselves. He explained that those who try to get themselves into a special place of honor will probably be pushed back to a lesser place. In those days, where you sat at the table was quite important. Jesus was explaining that if we try to think too much of ourselves, sometimes it backfires. We cannot earn our own success, in the long run. Jesus advised people to take a lesser spot. If we are thinking less of ourselves and aiming to serve God, we let other people go first. We don’t try to do things for applause or attention, but for the Lord.
Jesus also warned that if we are inviting people to something, we shouldn’t just invite people who can give us something in return. Whether it’s positive behavior, things that we can do, or even our prayers, it’s important to recognize that we don’t earn God’s love by what we do. In this world, love seems to come with attention or popularity. That isn’t how God sees it. We don’t do things to get something back. We don’t do things for others to like us or congratulate us. We should realize that nothing is our own. God enables us and strengthens us. All we have comes from Him, and we want to remember that reliance. Don’t think too much of yourself. GOD comes first in line!
Why don’t we say a prayer to ask God for humility and perspective?
Prayer: (Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for giving us honor and blessing
Help us to not think too highly of ourselves
But to keep our hearts fixed on you.
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference:
One Sabbath, when he went to dine at the house of a ruler of the Pharisees, they were watching him carefully.
Now he told a parable to those who were invited, when he noticed how they chose the places of honor, saying to them, 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in a place of honor, lest someone more distinguished than you be invited by him, 9 and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this person,’ and then you will begin with shame to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place, so that when your host comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at table with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” 12 He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid. 13 But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” -Luke 14:1, 7-14