Jesus did a lot of remarkable things and fulfilled many roles while on Earth. He continues to hold tremendous power and authority over all things, especially our lives. This message considers some of the titles that describe Jesus, such as Good Shepherd, bread of life, and Lamb of God. Most importantly, though, Jesus is the king. He is God made flesh, ruling not over an Earthly kingdom but an eternal one. It’s important to remind children that Jesus is more powerful and magnificent than any royalty we can imagine.
Law/Gospel Theme: Jesus came to Earth to live and die for us…unfortunately, there were many alive at the time who did not recognize the significance of who He was or what He was doing. They expected a ruler who might free them from political oppression or overthrow the human powers of the time. Jesus came to be king, but He did so by service and sacrifice. He came to free us from the powers of sin and death. This message reminds us all that Jesus is king of Heaven, and king of our hearts.
Optional Materials: Items representing work of Christ on Earth (shepherd staff, light, bread); items representing jobs we might have (tools, working hats, etc.).
Bible Passage: John 18:33-37
More Teaching Ideas:
- Watch the video of this children’s sermon lesson or related Bible Craft directions
- Download our full John 18:33-37 Sunday School Lesson
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.
Children’s Sermon (John 18:33-37) Christ is King!
Greet children, and have several props handy.
Hello, children of God! Do you know what you want to be when you grow up? There are a lot of possibilities that you could try to pursue… (Take answers from students of job hopes and dreams. Use the various props you might have to expand or offer other options, displaying or demonstrating the props as you describe). You might want to be a chef, or a fire fighter, or a teacher, or maybe go into the military…or maybe you want to be president! Sometimes people have multiple jobs. Or they might start in one career and shift to another…
Who was Jesus? If you had to describe His roles and “jobs”, what do you think you might say? There are a lot of wonderful, amazing, and miraculous things that He did while He lived on Earth. As far as jobs go, we know He was a carpenter. He worked with a lot of fishermen disciples. He also did amazing healing miracles, so in a way He was sort of like a doctor, too. And then there are some special ways that Jesus described Himself. (Hold up props for these as you describe, if you are using). He is the light of the world; He is the bread of life; He is the Good Shepherd; He is living water…
There’s another special and important title that Jesus has: He is the king! Now, this was somewhat confusing to some people around Him. Some of Christ’s followers wanted Him to be ruler of an Earthly kingdom, and hoped that He would be king over the political powers of the time. When He was arrested and questioned before His crucifixion, Pilate (the governor) asked Him if He was the King of the Jews. That became the accusation made against Him that got Him killed, in fact. People made fun of Jesus and gave Him a crown made of thorns to mock Him for saying that He was king. When they put Him on the cross, they said His “crime” was being king of the Jews.
But they didn’t know the whole story, and they missed out on something very important. Jesus did not come to rule over people on Earth. He was not trying to overthrow political power. Jesus was the king of the people in a spiritual sense. He was—and is—King of all things. He is God, reigning in Heaven. He wants to rule and reign in our hearts, too. He is the victorious conqueror of sin and death. In all of the things that Jesus did and does for us, He is master and king. He is not a tyrant, but a loving king who sacrificed His life to save ours. He continues to love us, and He wants us to honor and serve Him as we recognize His authority. We show that we love and respect Him when we live lives of devotion to God. We can pray, read our Bibles, go to church, and do positive things. But all of that “doing” is not as important as putting Jesus first in our lives. We can recognize His kingship when we truly love Him and love others. We remember He is present with us each and every day, in all things. We act as though He is the king because He IS! Jesus is the king!
Let’s pray and thank God for our wonderful king Jesus…
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for giving us Jesus
He is the king!
Help us to keep Him king of our lives
We want to serve you with all we have
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference:
So Pilate entered his headquarters again and called Jesus and said to him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” 34 Jesus answered, “Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?” 35 Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have delivered you over to me. What have you done?” 36 Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews. But my kingdom is not from the world.” 37 Then Pilate said to him, “So you are a king?” Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world—to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” –John 18:33-37