Use this children’s sermon to teach about the Parable of the Wheat and Tares found in Matthew 13:24-30. This is our recommended children’s message for Sunday, July 19th 2020. Download the object lesson notes and watch our demonstration video as you prepare.
“Let the Farmer Judge”
Children’s Sermon on the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares
Main Objective: On the outset, the parable of the weeds sewn among the seed might seem a bit odd, or even negative and judgmental. Separate the “bad seeds”, and throw them away to be burned? Does this mean we ought to shun those who are not deemed good enough? On the contrary, the parable teaches quite the opposite. The farmer will dictate which plants to keep and which to throw away. God will judge the hearts of man. It is for Him to determine, not us. The object of this lesson is to communicate to children that we have difficulty discerning things by sight, and it is not our job to do so. We pray that all would come to know Christ, and while we recognize that some will not, we acknowledge God as the ultimate judge.
Law/Gospel Theme: When we seek to live “by the rules” alone, it is tempting to strictly follow the letter of the Law, and to think we know better than others who seem to live differently. The truth is that we are all sinners, fallen short of God’s glory and in need of grace. The good news of the Gospel reminds us that His love is for everyone. True, there will be some who reject the Gospel and are punished. But God’s desire is for us to know Him and be part of His family, and we have the opportunity if we only accept it.
Optional Materials Object Lesson Props: Weeds, flowers; pictures of items that look similar, but are different: an innocent and venomous snake or insect, a poisonous and harmless flower, a convict and an innocent person, etc.
Bible Passage: Matthew 13:24-30
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. Use your judgment and ideas to best serve students.
- See all our ministry ideas based on the Parable of the Wheat and the tares
- Watch our teaching example of this sermon and our Wheat and Tares playlist
- Don’t miss the full Wheat and Tares Sunday School Lesson
Children’s Message on Matthew 13:24-30: Let the Farmer Judge the Weeds
Greet children, and introduce another planting topic:
Hello, children of God! Guess what? I hope you brought your garden tools with you, because we have another plant story to discuss today! Remember that we recently talked about different soils, and what plants need to grow. We mentioned weeds, and in the parable we look at today, we are going to consider weeds in particular. I need to ask you something first, though. I want you to help me identify some things I have here, can you do that?
So first, I have here some plants: do you know what they are? (Hold up various types of weeds, some that look like flowers; hold up a couple of flowers, as well. Allow students to guess which are which.)
It’s a little tricky to tell them apart in some cases, isn’t it? A lot of these are weeds that should probably get plucked out of a garden, but sometimes the weeds look like flowers. Speaking of which, I want to show you some pictures of flowers. (Hold up photos of two plants: one poisonous and one harmless.)
One of these is perfectly fine to touch, look at, or even consume. The other is poisonous, and will make you very sick if you eat it. Do you know which is which? Okay, how about these bugs: one of them is a harmless honeybee, and the other is an African killer bee. Which one is which?
(Do this with as many examples as you care to use to get the point across. Feel free to use people, as well, perhaps showing photos of good-looking but dangerous criminals.)
Now, the point is that it is difficult for us to discern by appearance which things are good, and which are bad. We can’t always tell just by looking, if we don’t have the right understanding or knowledge about things. Well, in today’s parable, Jesus talked about how some weeds got mixed in among good seeds. A farmer was planting, but an enemy came and threw in some weed plants so that they would get mixed up with the wheat. The workers asked if they should try to pluck them out, and the farmer told them to wait until they grew, and then let the farmer decide which ones were good and which needed tossed out.
What in the world does that mean for us? Well, God is like that farmer. He is the ultimate judge of men’s hearts. In the end, there are some people who will reject God’s grace, and will not go to Heaven. But it is not our job to decide who those people are. We may sometimes be tempted to look at someone’s appearance or actions, and think that they are evil, or that they should be thrown out of the church or ignored or cast aside. We might hope to huddle together in our own “bubble” of righteousness, and we might point fingers and think we know better than other people. That’s simply not true. We don’t know what is in the hearts of those around us. We don’t get to play judge or condemn certain people.
The truth is, all of us are sinful. We are only saved by the blood of Jesus, which is a blessed and wonderful thing! In the end, God’s desire is that all people would come to know Him. He is a just judge, but He loves all of His people and wants them to love Him. He doesn’t force it, but He desires our hearts. Rather than judging or shutting out people who seem different from us, we should pray for them. We should ask God to soften the hearts of those that are unkind, and to use us to bring others into His family. Why don’t we pray for that right now?
Children’s Prayer Moment
Thank you for your grace
You have sent your son for all people
Help us to love as you do
To not judge one another
And bring others to a knowledge of you
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Matthew 13:23-30 The Parable of the Wheat and the Tares
He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field, 25 but while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weedsamong the wheat and went away. 26 So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared also. 27 And the servantsof the master of the house came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have weeds?’ 28 He said to them, ‘An enemy has done this.’ So the servants said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ 29 But he said, ‘No, lest in gathering the weeds you root up the wheat along with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest, and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, “Gather the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.”’” –Matthew 13:24-30