Children's Sermon (Matthew 17:1-9) The Transfiguration of Jesus

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This Children’s Message is about The Transfiguration of Jesus. The Bible reference is Matthew 17:1-9. Use it in your Sunday School or Church Service this Sunday, February 23, 2020. Watch our demonstration of the object lesson and download the free teaching notes. All you need is the props to finish your Children’s Sermon preparation.

Children’s Sermon: The Transfiguration of Jesus

An Object Lesson from Matthew 17:1-9

Teaching Objective: The transfiguration is an important and celebrated event, but can be a little confusing for younger learners. Some guys went up a mountain, there were clouds, and Jesus got shiny?? What does this mean? This message aims to focus on the element of God’s glory, and how the disciples caught a glimpse of who Jesus truly was.  

Law/Gospel Theme: Jesus was fully and truly God, but also became fully human. In this way, He died for our sins. The transfiguration takes a peek at the divine nature of Christ, but He was certainly still very much human, as well.

Optional Materials / Object Lesson Props: Cups (not transparent), small treats or candies, flashlight

Bible Passage: Matthew 17:1-9 (see also Mark 9:1-8 or Luke 9:28-36)

More Ideas for Teaching about the Transfiguration of Jesus

Transfiguration of Jesus Children’s Sermon & Object Lesson from Matthew 17:1-19

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. In this instance, the idea of love is reviewed in the context of Valentine’s Day, but this message may not coincide with the holiday directly, and any “love item” might work. Use what best suits you and those you teach.

Greet the children, and have with you three or more cups or bowls, placed upside down. It may be helpful to place them on a tray or a clipboard for stability, if you don’t have a table or other solid surface accessible. Under one of the cups, place some sort of treat, toy, or shiny object.

Hello, children of God! How are you?

Well, I have a little treat I would like to share with you today. Would you like a little special something? It’s right here on this tray, BUT…it’s sort of hidden. One of these cups has the treat underneath it, but the other two are empty. They all look the same, but I want you to guess which cup has the treat. Do you think you can do that? You have to be absolutely sure which one it’s under, if you’re going to try and guess. Do you think you can be totally sure? (Allow kids to point or speculate about which cup they think it might be).

What do you think might make this easier to guess? Would it be helpful if I….let you peek under the cup? What if I lift it up just a little bit; would that help? (Slightly lift the cup with the treat, revealing just a glimpse of what is underneath).

Oh! Did you see what that was? Did you see a peek at the treat under there? You know, the Gospel story we are talking about today has to do with something similar. It wasn’t a peek at candy, but it was a small glimpse of something even better—God’s glory!

The event we are talking about is called “transfiguration.” That’s a pretty big word—can you say it? See, Jesus went up on this mountain, and He took with Him a few of His closest friends: Peter, James, and John. As they were up there, Jesus was suddenly shining like the sun, all full of light (option: shine a flashlight for added effect)!

It made the disciples pretty terrified. Then they saw Moses and Elijah, well-known historical figures. They didn’t know what to do, and then they heard God’s voice announce “this is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased—listen to Him!”

The disciples realized they were in God’s presence, and they fell flat on their faces in fear…but Jesus comforted and encouraged them to get back up. The disciples had caught a peek of who Christ was. When Jesus came to Earth, it was sort of like He was God in disguise. He was truly and completely a human person, but He was also totally God. Many people had been waiting for a Messiah and wondering what He would be like. The disciples had wondered if Jesus was the one they had long awaited. They thought He was. But this experience on the mountain took away any possible doubt. Seeing Jesus transformed, in a way, and hearing God’s voice made them absolutely certain of who they were following. This was really and truly God.

How do you think that made them feel? They were probably pretty relieved at knowing who Jesus was for sure…and they were also probably excited! I’ll bet they hurried to tell the other disciples, and couldn’t wait to spend more time with Jesus. Why aren’t we that excited? After all, we have more than just a peek. We know the rest of the story…Jesus not only lived as a human, but He died and rose again so that we could have life with God. He was really God, and became a person like us. Knowing that should make us shine with the hope of Jesus. We should be eager to share that with others, and celebrate the love God has for us!

It’s a wonderful and blessed gift, and we don’t have to go up on a mountain to witness it. We know that Jesus was the final fulfillment of all that had been hoped for, and He is still our joy today! Why don’t we say thank you to God for that beautiful understanding?

(Optional: after prayer, let each child have a treat from the cup.)

Children’s Prayer Moment: 

(Have kids repeat each line)
Dear God,
Thank you for showing us who you are
Help us to be amazed by your glory
And to shine like the sun with your love
Thank you for the Bible
Thank you for the love of Jesus
We love you, God!
In Jesus’s name, Amen!

Matthew 17:1-9 (NIV) The Transfiguration of Jesus

17 After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. There he was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light. Just then there appeared before them Moses and Elijah, talking with Jesus.

Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you wish, I will put up three shelters—one for you, one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

While he was still speaking, a bright cloud covered them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased. Listen to him!”

When the disciples heard this, they fell facedown to the ground, terrified. But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus instructed them, “Don’t tell anyone what you have seen, until the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”

5 thoughts on “Children's Sermon (Matthew 17:1-9) The Transfiguration of Jesus”

  1. Nice lesson. Thank you for referring readers to the additional activies on my website at Mission Bible Class.
    Have a blessed day,
    Mary Nelson
    Mission Bible Class

  2. No problem Mary – You do an excellent job and I’m always happy to link out when I’m referencing other sites!

  3. Kristen, your work and ideas are a blessing. I am in Australia and part of a small church plant. Your ideas help me to communicate creatively with the kids. Thank you for sharing. Fiona

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