Blessings come in many forms, and Jesus told us we will be blessed when we obey, serve, and follow his example. It’s important for kids to understand the biblical promises of rewards. However, it’s equally important for them to know that wrong motives will get in the way of God’s blessings. Jesus explains the criteria for receiving blessings in part 6 of the “Servanthood for Kids Series.”
TARGET AGES: 9 – 13 Older Elementary. You may need to simplify this lesson when working with younger children.
CURRICULUM UNIT: This lesson is part of the Servanthood for Kids: The Life of Jesus
OBJECTIVE: To familiarize the students with the Beatitudes and make the connection that blessings follow obedient service to Christ.
MAIN IDEA: God’s word promises blessings when we are obedient. When we serve we should remember that God knows our true motives and will reward us for serving him.
SCRIPTURE PASSAGES: John 2:1-11, John 4:46-54, Matthew 5:1-12, Psalm 41:1, Psalm 84:12, Acts 20:35
MATERIAL(S): white board or poster board, writing utensils, canvas pencil bags, craft paints, glitter glue, paint pens
Introduction (5 minutes)
OPENING PRAYER: “Lord, help us understand that you will bless us when we are obedient to you. Amen.”
PREVIOUS LESSON REVIEW: Say, “Who remembers the first miracle Jesus performed from last week’s lesson (water to wine – John 2:1-11)? And what were the details of his first healing (John 4:46-54)?” Remind the students that Jesus performed signs to show people that he was the Son of God and to lead them into a relationship with him. Through these signs he also showed people that he cared and sympathized with what was happening in their lives. Comment, “Never forget that Jesus wants to help us – he’s not the bad guy! He always has something good in store for those who have faith (just like the people in Cana). But, most of all, Jesus showed perfect servanthood when he willingly gave up his perfect life to die for our sins.”
Lesson (15 minutes)
- Announce to the students that today’s lesson is about Jesus’ first formal sermon, the Sermon on the Mount. Say, “After Jesus called his first four disciples (Peter, Andrew, James and John), he gave a special sermon while sitting on a hill. Let’s read Matthew 5:1-12 to learn about the first part of this sermon called, ‘The Beatitudes.’” After reading the passage, write the definition of beatitude (“to be blessed”) on the board. Explain that we will also find God’s favor and protection when we are obedient to him. Next, go verse by verse to explain each of the beatitudes:
Vs. 3: “Poor in spirit” means those who humbly accept their need for Christ.
Vs. 4: “Those who mourn…shall be comforted,” is possible because Jesus is our Comforter.
Vs. 5: “The meek,” describes being gentle, slow to anger, and having controlled strength.
Vs. 6: “Hunger and thirst for righteousness,” means longing to be more like Christ.
Vs. 7: “The merciful,” means responding with compassion toward others when they deserve to be punished.
Vs. 8: “Pure in heart,” means having the right motives and being blameless before God.
Vs. 9: “Peacemakers,” seek to bring peace among opposition or bad circumstances.
Vs. 10: “Persecuted for righteousness’ sake,” means being mistreated for being obedient to God.
Vs. 11: “Revile…say all kinds of evil against you,” means when we’re wrongly accused of evil.
Vs. 12: (Goes with verse 11) “Rejoice and be exceedingly glad…” is hard to do when we are mistreated, but Jesus promises we will be rewarded for doing the right thing!
- Say, “There are additional verses in the bible that tell us we will be blessed when we do certain things.” Read Psalm 41:1 (when we help others/the poor), Psalm 84:12 (when we trust in God), and Acts 20:35 (when we give without receiving). Emphasize that we should never to good things simply to be blessed by God because he looks at our hearts and our motives and knows if we are sincere! Comment, “If our motives are wrong when we serve, then we will not be blessed. Blessings are part of God’s rewards and encouragement to believers, so if we serve him for the right reasons and with all our hearts, then we can expect his blessings!”
Craft (20 minutes)
Emphasize to the class that it’s important to have reminders of being obedient to God. Say, “Today we are going to decorate pencil bags that you can take to school with you as a reminder to serve God and others.” Pass out the canvas pencil bags and craft supplies. Encourage the students to write a word, phrase, or bible verse on their bags as a reminder to serve.
Conclusion (5 minutes)
RECAP: We can expect blessings when we obey God’s word. Also, Jesus assured believers through his Sermon on the Mount that rewards are in store for those who wholeheartedly serve God and others.
CLOSING PRAYER: “God, thank you for the blessings in our lives! Please help us continue serving you with the right motives. Amen.”
You can find many more lessons about the Beatitudes on our website.
Servanthood Lessons in the Life of Jesus
This lesson is part of a 10 unit curriculum for older children (age 9 – 13) that follows the life of Jesus and explains how he was a model of serving others.