Families are wonderful and important…but they certainly are not perfect. Fortunately, we have been given the opportunity to be part of the family of Jesus! This message emphasizes how Jesus calls us His brothers and sisters. We are sons and daughters of God, and siblings of one another and of Christ. This is a blessed and comforting thought, whether or not we have or get along with earthly siblings! We can embrace our relationship with Jesus, knowing it will outlast all else.
Law/Gospel Theme: Sometimes when considering the Law, we might tend to think of God as a strict judge or harsh ruler. Yet Jesus reminds us that God is a loving Father. He wants to welcome us into His family, and we can be brothers and sisters together with Christ, co-heirs of the Kingdom of God. When we seek to know the lord and do His will, we are considered part of His family!
Optional Materials: Pictures of your family (at various ages, ideally); pictures of friends.
Bible Passage: Mark 3:20-35
More Teaching Ideas:
- Watch the video demonstration of this children’s sermon and related craft ideas
- Compare our full Sunday School Lesson on Mark 3:20-35
- Compare the “God’s Family United” message from rfour.org
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. Use your judgment and ideas to best serve students.
Children’s Sermon on the Family of Christ (Mark 3:20-35)
Greet the children, and ask them about their families:
Hello, children of God! How are you?
Who is in your family? Do you have brothers, sisters, cousins…? I want to share with you some pictures of my family. Here they are… Take a minute to display your family pictures, explaining who the people in each photo are and how they are related to you. Finish with a picture or two of friends. Explain that the friends are not part of your biological family, but that they are as close to you as sisters/brothers and are important in your life.
Now, I love my family, and the people in my family are very special to me. Relatives are a wonderful gift from God. He gives us parents to take care of us, and brothers and sisters for companionship. He gives us aunts and uncles and grandparents and cousins. But families are never perfect. We might fight from time to time, and sometimes we don’t love each other the way that we could or should. We are human, and our earthly families won’t always be what we might hope.
But did you know that we are part of another kind of family? We belong to God. You see, when Jesus was on Earth, He didn’t always get along great with His biological family. Of course, His mother Mary understood who He was and believed in Him. But He had half-brothers and sisters and cousins who were a bit more skeptical. In fact, in the Gospel lesson for today they wanted to get Him into trouble, and even said He was out of His mind! They didn’t believe until later that He was truly God. Well, also in the Gospel story we hear from the book of Mark, some people came up to Jesus and told Him that His family was looking for Him. Jesus had an interesting reply. He looked around at the people who were listening to Him, He said, “these are my brothers and sisters! Whoever does the will of God is part of my family.” Jesus wanted to emphasize that all people who loved and sought after God were welcome to be part of His family.
So what does that mean for us? It means that we can do God’s will and be in Christ’s family, too! Family is not just about being related by blood, but being related by the blood of Jesus. God calls us His children, and He loves us no matter what our earthly relations might consist of. And because we are part of that family, we are brothers and sisters to one another! We are united through the bond of Christ, and He wants us to love one another. You (hopefully) wouldn’t want to mistreat your brothers and sisters and parents. So we should care for all of those around us, recognizing that we are welcomed into a Heavenly family when we love and trust God. Whether you have five siblings at home or none, you are surrounded by brothers and sisters through Jesus! We are in His family, and we can rest assured that will always be so. What a beautiful blessing!
Why don’t we thank our Heavenly Father for that now?
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for letting us be part of your family
Help us to do your will
And to love one another as brothers and sisters
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference:
Then he went home, and the crowd gathered again, so that they could not even eat. 21 And when his family heard it, they went out to seize him, for they were saying, “He is out of his mind.” 22 And the scribes who came down from Jerusalem were saying, “He is possessed by Beelzebul,” and “by the prince of demons he casts out the demons.” 23 And he called them to him and said to them in parables, “How can Satan cast out Satan? 24 If a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. 25 And if a house is divided against itself, that house will not be able to stand. 26 And if Satan has risen up against himself and is divided, he cannot stand, but is coming to an end. 27 But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house. 28 “Truly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the children of man, and whatever blasphemies they utter, 29 but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin”— 30 for they were saying, “He has an unclean spirit.”
31 And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. 32 And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” 33 And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” 34 And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! 35 For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.” -Mark 3:20-35