Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids that God forgives us if we place our faith in Jesus.
Needed: Bibles, a blackboard or whiteboard, two six-sided dice, drawing paper, crayons or colored pencils
Intro Game: Forgiven Much
In this game show, you’ll divide your students into two teams. The first student from each team comes forward to answer a question. You’ll read the question, and listen for both of their answers. They can each answer one time.
The first student to get the correct answer incurs no negative points for their team. If one or both of the students answer incorrectly, or if one student answered correctly but not fast enough to answer first, they roll a die. The number on the die represents how many sins the team has against them. Write the number on the board.
The first student to answer correctly can then roll a die to see how many sins their team is forgiven of. Deduct this number of points from their total on the board.
If either of the students answered incorrectly, they can also roll a die and deduct that number of sins from their total.
Play until every student has had a chance to answer and roll. The team with the lowest number of sins on the board wins.
Tell students, I want you to close your eyes and imagine that a man killed another man and then went to jail. He was about to be put to death for murdering someone, but then the governor called the jail and told the jail not to kill the man but to let him go free instead. How do you think that would make the man feel? (Good.)
Now, I want you to think of one wrong thing that you have done. It could be not listening to your parents, or fighting with one of your friends at school, or calling someone a name. But then, you said you were sorry about it, and the other person forgave you. How does it feel when you know that someone else has forgiven you for the wrong thing that you did? (It feels good.)
Well, today, we’re going to read a story about a woman who needed God to forgive her for some things that she had done wrong.
(Read Luke 7:36-37.)
“When one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, He went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. A woman in that town who lived a sinful life learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, so she came there with an alabaster jar of perfume.”
What kind of woman came to see Jesus? (A sinful woman, a woman who had done a lot of bad things.)
(Read Luke 7:38-39.)
“As she stood behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.
“When the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, ‘If this man were a prophet, He would know who is touching Him and what kind of woman she is—that she is a sinner.’”
Did the Pharisee think that Jesus should let the woman touch Him? (No.)
The Pharisee thought that Jesus shouldn’t let the woman touch Him because she had done too many bad things.
Why do you think Jesus let the woman touch Him?
I think it’s because Jesus still loved her, no matter what bad things she had done.
(Read Luke 7:40-48.)
“Jesus answered him, ‘Simon, I have something to tell you.’
“’Tell me, teacher,’ he said.
“’Two people owed money to a certain moneylender. One owed him five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. Neither of them had the money to pay him back, so he forgave the debts of both. Now which of them will love him more?’
“Simon replied, ‘I suppose the one who had the bigger debt forgiven.’
“’You have judged correctly,’ Jesus said.
“Then He turned toward the woman and said to Simon, ‘Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give Me any water for My feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You did not give Me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing My feet. You did not put oil on My head, but she has poured perfume on My feet. Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown. But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
“Then Jesus said to her, ‘Your sins are forgiven.’”
Why do you think the woman loved Jesus so much and was kissing and washing His feet? (The woman loved Jesus because He had forgiven her for all of her sins.)
Do you think Jesus can forgive you for all of your sins too? (Yes. Jesus can forgive us for anything and everything that we have done, even if we have a lot of sins stacked up against us.)
(Read Luke 7:49-50.)
“The other guests began to say among themselves, ‘Who is this who even forgives sins?’
“Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace.’”
What did Jesus say saved the woman? (Her faith.)
Because she had faith in Jesus, her sins were forgiven, and now, she is saved. She won’t have to go to Hell when she dies but will go to Heaven. What do you have to do for your sins to be forgiven and to be saved? (Have faith in Jesus.)
It’s as easy as that. If you believe in Jesus and believe that Jesus died on the cross to take the punishment for your sins, then God forgives you for all of your sins!
Craft: Paired Portrait
Give students drawing supplies and have them draw a picture of themselves and the woman who was forgiven in the story together, both being happy that Jesus has forgiven them. Explain that Jesus has forgiven them just as He forgave the woman in the story.
Game: Forgiven Much
Play the intro game again. Remind students that the woman loved Jesus because He forgave her for her many sins.
Jesus, we thank You for coming to take our punishment so that we could be forgiven for our sins. Help us to put our faith in You and to love You like the woman in the story did for our whole lives. Amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, The Parables and Teachings of Jesus Vol. 1.