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Free Workshop Rotation Model Lessons - Season 3

Children’s Sermon

Matthew 5:21-37

Jesus Teaches His Disciples What NOT To Do

February 12, 2017

6th Sunday after Epiphany

Lectionary Year A

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ASK    (a.k.a The On-Ramp)

  • Good morning!
  • Can you tell me what were some of your first words that you ever said? [wait for responses, if there are any]
  • Maybe it was Ma-ma or Da-da?
  • You also probably learned to say the word “No” pretty early on as well.
  • Did you know that the word “No” is one of the first words that kids learn to say?
  • That might be because our parents were always saying it to us when we were really little.
  • Can you believe that?
  • I mean, do your parents sometimes still say that word to you? Once in awhile, right?
  • And why is it, do you think -- and be fair here, ok! -- that parents and teachers and other adults say “No” to kids?  [ who knows what answers you’ll get here! I suggest NOT holding the mic in front of the children as they answer. Instead, repeat what they say so that you can possibly rephrase it for the congregation ]
  • Those are good answers!
  • And I especially want to highlight that parents and teachers and adults say “No” because they are helping us know what is ok and what is not okay.

TELL    (a.k.a. The Freeway)

  • So in today’s scripture story, Jesus is telling his disciples some things that they should not be doing.
  • Now remember, the disciples are people who want to know God better. They are learning how to better know God and better work for and with God.
  • So when Jesus tells them not to do something, like he is in today’s scripture passage, it is because he is teaching them what not to do.
  • What is a little surprising is what Jesus tells them not to do.
  • He tells the disciples to not be so angry at someone that they can’t or won’t forgive that person.
  • He tells them to not want something so badly that they stop being thankful for the things that they have
  • He tells them to stop trying to get people to believe in them and their words.
  • These don’t seem like super bad things, do they?
  • But what Jesus is teaching his disciples is that when they think and feel these ways towards other people, then what the disciples are doing is saying NO to knowing and working with God, which is just the OPPOSITE of what the disciples want to do, right?
  • Because, what the disciples want to do is think and feel and act in ways that say YES to knowing and working with God.

SHARE the Good News   (a.k.a. The Destination)

  • In the same way the disciples are learning from what Jesus is saying, so too, can we.
  • Today’s story is a good reminder for us of the ways we might be saying “No” to working with and knowing God.
  • And, also in today’s story, are reminders from Jesus about how we can can say YES to God.
  • Jesus teaches us to talk with God in prayer, to worship God and to talk to each other about the scripture stories.  Some of which, we’re doing right now!
  • And when we do the things Jesus tells us to do and don’t do the things Jesus tells us to not do, then we are doing the same things that Jesus’ disciples were doing: Getting to better know God and learning how we can better work with God.
  • And that’s the good news for today.


  • Let’s pray.  This is a repeat-after-me prayer.

Dear God…

Dear God…

Thank you for Jesus…

Thank you for Jesus…

…who teaches us…

…who teaches us…

…how to say “yes” to you.

…how to say “yes” to you.

Thank you and Amen.  

Originally posted February 7, 2014
Updated on January 28, 2017
Written and edited by Nathanael Vissia

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