Use this free children’s Sermon and object lesson when teaching from Matthew 25:1-12, the Parable of the Ten Virgins. Download our message notes below, gather your teaching props, and watch the demonstration video below as you prepare for your Sunday School or Kids Church.
Main Objective: This parable can seem a bit strange at face value, especially as we communicate it with kids. Why are these women waiting for their groom? Why would a light need oil? And what’s a virgin, anyway? The goal of communication here is to remind students how important it is to be aware of the closeness of Christ. We prepare for His eventual return at the Second Coming, and recognize we don’t know when that will take place. Meanwhile, we recognize that He is present with us at all times, and we want to act accordingly, demonstrating love for one another and for Him.
Law/Gospel Theme: In one sense, the message of this parable seems to lend itself to a works-based faith. We want to be wise and prepared like the women who had plenty of oil, and that might mean doing the right thing at all times. There’s nothing wrong with doing the right thing and being aware of God’s nearness, but we should be careul to avoid letting ourselves become the center of attention. We wait for Jesus, who loves us and wants to be with us. We don’t want to abandon that joy or “fall asleep” in our faith, but with a sense of excitement we can be eager that Christ has come, and promised to come again!
Optional Materials: Items to use in being prepared (“survival supplies”, toolkit, batteries, umbrella, snacks, etc.); (optional) lamp or oil lamp.
Bible Passage: Matthew 25:1-12
- You can watch a teaching demonstration of this children’s sermon on our YouTube
- Don’t miss the Bible craft ideas for this same passage
- See our full Sunday School lesson on Matthew 25:1-12
- Compare the Parable of the Bridegroom lesson from Mission Bible Class
“Be Ready” Children’s Sermon (Matthew 25:1-12) The Parable of the Ten Virgins
Greet children, with some sort of first aid kit, knapsack, or collection of items:
Hello, children of God!
Are you ready? You might be wondering, “ready for what?” Well, ready for anything! It’s important to be prepared for what life might throw our way, right? Now, I happen to have here a handy dandy preparedness kit. These are things I carry in my car, so that I can always be ready for whatever circumstances come along. Would you like to peek at what I have inside here? Let’s see… (Pull out items one by one, describing as you go)
So here’s some hand sanitizer and some cleaning wipes, because these days it’s always important to carry those things with you…now, I also have a jacket and gloves, because I like to be warm, and you never know when a cold front might hit! I also have a flashlight here, to help find things in the dark, and an extra phone charger, and a tow strap in case my car gets stuck somewhere. Oh, and I’ve got band-aids in case someone gets hurt, and some snacks for when I feel hungry…and here’s my book, just in case I find myself bored and needing something to do.
It’s good to be prepared for a variety of things to happen, isn’t it? You know, Jesus told a parable about being ready for anything. In fact, you might even call this a “prepare-able”! Anyway, He was telling people about ten women who were getting ready to celebrate a wedding. Now, these ladies were waiting for the groom to arrive for the marriage celebration. Some of the women were prepared, and had plenty of oil for their lamps. You see, in those days, you had to put oil in lanterns to keep the flame going. The smart ladies brought extra oil to fuel their lanterns and see. It was sort of like putting batteries in a flashlight. But there were other women who didn’t really think ahead, and did not bring back-up oil with them. After they waited awhile for this groom, the ladies got drowsy and fell asleep. When they woke up, they realized it was time for the groom to arrive. The wise and prepared women were ready, but the others had run out of oil. They had to go into town and get some, and by the time they got back, it was too late. They missed out on the groom and the wedding party because they weren’t ready.
So what in the world does this mean? Well, Jesus was explaining that at the end of time, He would be coming back. This is a promise that will someday be fulfilled. Jesus is coming again! We don’t know when it will be, though. Jesus wants us to be prepared for His return, whenever it happens to be. How do we do that? Well, we pray, and we read God’s word to know how He wants us to live our lives. We also show we’re ready to meet Jesus by offering kindness to those around us. It’s important to attend church, too. But all of this is not just positive for helping us be prepared for Jesus to return someday.
These are things that are helpful for us to do now, every day. We know that Jesus is with us, present in every moment. When we keep that in mind, we should want to live in a way that honors and recognizes Him. And this doesn’t mean worrying or being afraid of God. We know that He is near, and that gives us joy and excitement! He will return, and that will be better than any party we can imagine. So we want to make sure we’re ready! Be watchful for those around you, be aware of Jesus with us now, and be joyful in the hope of the Resurrection.
Why don’t we pray now to thank God for His promises, and we can ask Him to help us prepare?
Children’s Prayer Moment
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for the Bible
We know that you keep all your promises
Someday, Jesus will come back
Help us be ready and excited for that time
Meanwhile, help us live joyfully in your presence
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference: Matthew 25:1-12
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be like ten virgins who took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. 2 Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. 3 For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. 5 As the bridegroom was delayed, they all became drowsy and slept. 6 But at midnight there was a cry, ‘Here is the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ 7 Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. 8 And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘Since there will not be enough for us and for you, go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they were going to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was shut. 11 Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open to us.’ 12 But he answered, ‘Truly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour. -Matthew 25:1-12