Children’s Message on Making a Difference for Jesus
For more teaching material for your Matthew 5:13-20 Sunday School Lesson – see the Bible craft ideas and Salt & Light Bible Lesson for kids.
Main Objective: What do light and salt have in common? Both can make quite a difference in things, and are very much missed when not present. In addition to that, Jesus used them to describe our Christian lives! We are called to light the world with the hope of Jesus, and to be “salt”, making a difference in the lives of others. This message describes how light and salt impact things, and how we can influence others with God’s love.
Law/Gospel Theme: We want to encourage students to be “salt and light”, making a difference in the lives of those around them. Yet the way they can make that impact comes first from recognizing how much Jesus changes us. He is the light that guides our way, and it’s because of His light that we can shine for others. He is the “salt” in our lives, flavoring and preserving us to great things for His kingdom. As you encourage young students, be sure to emphasize the blessings we have been given in Christ!
Optional Materials: Salt, flashlight or light bulb, salty items
Bible Passage: Matthew 5:13-20
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 on Matthew 5:13-20 Salt and Light for Jesus
Greet children, and start off by reviewing concepts of light…
Hello, children of God!
Note: If possible, depending on the context of the message, start off in darkness, to emphasize how important it is to have light. If this does not work for the occasion, simply demonstrate the power of a flashlight or lamp of some sort.
Wow, it sure seems dark in here, doesn’t it? It’s hard to even see you! Hmm, I wonder if there’s something I could do to fix that. Turn on a light or flashlight. Oh, there we go! Phew, that’s much better, isn’t it? It’s remarkable how much difference something like light can make, isn’t it? Why do you think light is so important? Allow and encourage answers: it helps us see, guides our way, takes away the darkness, etc. Yes, we certainly need light for a lot of things. Light makes a difference. Sometimes you don’t even realize what an impact it has, until it’s not there anymore. You might not think about light until you try to turn on the lamp, and the bulb is burned out, or you realize you’re out of batteries in your flashlight. There are other things in life like this, too, things that we don’t realize how important they are until they’re not there. Can you think of any others?
How about salt? Now, I know it might sound a bit strange, but bear with me, this is going somewhere… salt is quite an important thing. In fact, it used to be so valuable that people would use it like money, paying for things in salt rather than gold! Salt can keep things fresh, and it can keep things cold, and keep us from slipping on ice…and, of course, it gives things flavor! I mean, have you ever had a pretzel with no salt? They exist, but it’s hardly worth anyone’s time. Things like chips and pretzels just have to have salt to taste better! It’s like having French fries with no ketchup…why even bother?
But what does salt have to do with light, and why are we discussing it? Salt and light are both things that can really influence other things, and you notice when they’re present or not. Did you know that we are called to make a difference in the lives of others? As Christians, part of our special role is influencing other people. In fact, in the Bible, Jesus said that we are the light of the world. We are called to shine in the darkness and guide the way to the Lord. We are to influence people and make a difference in their lives. Jesus similarly said that we are the “salt of the Earth.” We are here to keep things “fresh”, in a sense, and add “flavor” to the world! What does this all mean? It means that we want to impact others. We want them to see that there is something different and special about us because we have Jesus. We want to live in a way that is noticeably distinct, in all the best ways.
How can we do this? Well, there are several things we can do. We can tell other people about Jesus, and the wonderful things He does in and through us. We can share His gospel and invite people to church or Sunday School. But perhaps the most important influence we have is by loving others. When we demonstrate to people that we care about them, it goes a long way. Just by showing genuine love, we can share God’s love. We can shine His light for other people. It’s important to realize, too, that our light comes from Him. We are able to share the love of Jesus because He gives it to us. He lights our way so that we can light the way for others. He “salts” our lives so that we can have a powerful influence on His people. We should pray that He allows us to be His salt and light, and that He would bring us opportunities to love and serve people who need Him.
Why don’t we pray about that now?
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for giving us your light
Help us to shine brightly to all around us
Give us opportunities to be your light and salt
So that all can know you
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference:
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.
17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. -Matthew 5:13-20