This world is confusing -- kids need to learn who they can trust. This message from John 10:22-30 will help them listen for the voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Download the printable PDF and watch the video teaching example below.
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Main Objective: This lesson comes from an intriguing passage of John’s Gospel. Jesus is questioned about His identity, and responds by asserting that His true sheep know His voice. In this children’s message, we discuss how we can be a “sheep” and know what Jesus tells us.
Law/Gospel Theme: Sometimes it is challenging to know who or what we can trust. We know that we do wrong and we need a savior, and it’s important to know that what Christ said was true. His words in the Bible are verifiable. But His grace is also applicable to us now. We demonstrate that we are followers (“sheep”) of Jesus when we do what obeys God. We recognize the familiarity of His voice by reading the Bible, praying, and focusing on Him.
Object Lesson Materials: Noise-making items (jingle bells, coins, paper, etc.); bag; congregation participant preparation
More Ideas: The following website also offer children’s sermons based on this same passage in John 10:22-30.
- In the Palm of His Hand from Sermons 4 Kids (offiste link)
- They Will Know Us By Our Love from Sermon Writer (offsite link)
- May 12, 2019 from Dollar Store Children’s Sermons (offsite link)
- Don’t miss our full Sunday School Lesson and coloring pages from this same passage
John 10:22-30 Children’s Message: The Good Shepherd
All elements are open to adjustment. Cater to the needs and ages of your group
Ahead of time, arrange a few congregation members to say a couple of words during your message, to emphasize the listening elements. Greet children and introduce the “listening” theme of the message.
Today I want us to talk about listening. There are a lot of things that we might listen out for… and some things we might tune out! The ice cream truck or your favorite TV show are probably exciting to hear…on the other hand, your mom reminding you to clean your room might not be so attractive. I know that my cat gets excited when she hears a can of food open, because she has come to recognize that sound.
Well, I have here a few things I want you to listen to. Let’s see if you can guess what they are. (Within bag, rustle items one at a time so that they make noise. See if children identify what the items are. Suggestions include shaking coins, jingle bells, car keys, tic tacs, paper, etc. Feel free to be creative).
Okay, good! Now, some of those items were easy to tell because you are familiar with them and have heard those noises a lot.
Well, listen to this, and see if you can figure out who is talking. (Point to or cue congregation member/participant. You might need to ask children to close their eyes or turn around in order to guess authentically. Make sure your co-conspirator knows what to say). Who was that? Well, you knew because you know what their voice(s) sound like, right?
In the Gospel lesson today, Jesus talked about recognizing His voice. Some people came and asked Him if He was really the Messiah, the savior. Jesus responded by saying that His sheep knew Him. There are several times in the Bible that Jesus called Himself a good shepherd, saying that He would take care of His people.
Here, He is basically saying that His followers recognized the significance of who He was, but others missed it. The church leaders and questioners did not understand. Jesus said that His sheep, those who truly followed Him, knew His voice.
So what does that matter for us? How can we be sheep? We know that Jesus was the Messiah because He rose from the grave, and the claims of the Bible are verifiable. But how can we use that now? We can still be followers of the Good Shepherd. We know that the promises Jesus made were not just for the Bible, but for our lives too. He promises to provide blessing and strength if we follow Him now. And we can!
How do we recognize His voice? By being familiar with who Jesus is and what He says. We read the Bible, and look to the Word of God for information about Christ. We pray and ask for understanding and wisdom. We think about things that are true, and lovely, and Holy, and we rest in the guidance and peace of God. As we go through this week, let’s listen carefully so we can understand what He might have for us!
Prayer: Have kids repeat each line, if desired
Thank you for the Bible and its truth
Thank you for calling us yours
Help us to recognize your voice, and do what you ask
Help us to follow you more closely
Thank you for your love
Thank you for Jesus!
In His name, amen
Bible Verses/story to Reference:
John 10:22-30 (NIV) Further Conflict Over Jesus’ Claims
22 Then came the Festival of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter,23 and Jesus was in the temple courts walking in Solomon’s Colonnade.24 The Jews who were there gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.”
25 Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify about me, 26 but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish;no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one.”