Who Do You Say that I Am? (Matthew 22:36-40) Lesson

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Hello, My Name Is… A Series on the Names of God

Lesson Sixteen: Who Do You Say that I Am? 

Main Idea: God calls everyone who loves him to praise His name and to proclaim to everyone the wonderful things He does. 
Memory Verse: “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12 
This is part 16 of 16  in our study of the Names of God for kids called, “Hello, My Name Is…  A Series on the Names of God.”  Visit that link to navigate to other lessons in this curriculum.
Teacher Preparation:

  • Read lesson, Scripture references and Matthew 22:36-40
  • Gather: Bible, lesson plan, dry erase markers or chart paper and markers, large index cards, pens or pencils, markers or crayons or colored pencils
  • To help keep track of the names of God learned over this series, write each lesson’s name of God on the board along with the main idea. Tape a strip of paper over the name, and one over the main idea. Use this to review the lesson as you go. Alternatively, use large flash cards with the name of God on the front and the main idea on the back. Create one of these every week and review with the class as you go.
  • Take time to meditate on this lesson and apply it to your own life. Dear teacher, you have led your class through many names of God. I pray that your heart would be changed along with the hearts of your students. It is a wonderful blessing that we get to spend time in God’s Word, learning about him. It is a terrible sin to store up that knowledge and let it rot away uselessly in your heart. Matthew 22:36-40 tells us that the greatest commandments are to love God and to love our neighbors. We can show God we love him through praise, and the best way to love our neighbors is to proclaim to them the Gospel. I encourage you, dear teacher, to take the knowledge you gain through attending church and reading the Bible and studying Scripture, and praise God for revealing himself to you. Then go out and proclaim his greatness!

Scripture References:

  • Psalm 9:10
  • Acts 4:12
  • Matthew 16:13-16
  • Psalm 145

Game: Catch and Call
This simple game will help students review what they have learned through this series. Have students stand in a circle facing in. Use a small ball or scrunched up paper to toss around. When a student catches the ball, the must proclaim one thing they have learned about God through this series. If they draw a blank or haven’t been in class, then they can instead share a praise. As the kids sit, for the lesson, exclaim how wonderful it was to hear all the praise and proclamations they shared! 
Message: Open in prayer, then say, here we are class. This is the very last lesson in our series on the names of God. Let’s give three claps to celebrate all your hard work! (Allow a brief moment of celebration, but don’t let them get too crazy.) We have learned so much over the past several months! Now even though I don’t have a new name of God for you today, we still have a little more work to do as we wrap up these lessons. First we will review what we have learned, and then I’ll give you a call to action, an idea of what to do with all the things you have learned about God’s names and titles.
First, let’s review our memory verses. Do you remember our first memory verse from several weeks ago? Who can tell me what Psalm 9:10 says? “Those who know your name trust in you, for you, O Lord, do not abandon those who search for you.” (You can start by saying the verse as a group. Say it in at a normal volume, then have the class shout it together, and then have them whisper it together. Pick a few students to say this verse. If they want, they can recite it in a silly way by changing the pitch of their voice to be higher or lower.) Great job, everybody! We hid Psalm 9:10 in our hearts, and learned that when we trust in Jesus, he does not leave us alone by ourselves. Who remembers our next memory verse, from Acts 4:12? Let’s say it all together in a normal voice at a normal volume. “There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” (After repeating it as a class, repeat it again together using silly voices. Then call on students to repeat it in whatever accent or silly voice they choose.) Nice work, class. Acts 4:12 reminds us that we can only be saved form our sins when we believe that his Son, Jesus, died to save us so we can spend forever and ever in Heaven with Him!
You put a lot of work into memorizing those verses. I pray that you would remember them always, and that in knowing the Bible, you would come to love God more and more. Now, let’s spend some time reviewing the lessons we have learned over the past few months. (Don’t spend much more than five minutes reviewing previous lessons. You want to stir up your students’ memories, but this is not the time to reteach lessons for those who have forgotten or were not present. Keep a close eye on their attention. If their eyes start to glaze over and they start to fidget, you should probably move on. Below is a list of the name studied in each lesson in this series, along with the main idea. These are the main points your class should recall.)

  1. What’s in a Name: We learn more about God when we learn about his different names and titles. God’s Word is clear about how we are to treat his name.
  2. Elohim: God is the Strong Creator of the universe and of us. We can trust him and through his strength do the good things that he has planned for us to do.
  3. Yahweh, I AM: God’s eternal, special name is Yahweh. Yahweh is the forever God, with no beginning or end and who never changes. Yahweh saves his people.
  4. Adonai: God is our master, and we are his servants. He blesses us with good things when we obey his commands.
  5. Abba: God is a loving Father to those who choose to follow him.
  6. The Consuming Fire/Jealous God judges and punishes the wicked while, in his deep passion and jealousy for us, created a way for everyone to be saved.
  7. Yahweh Shalom sends us in peace, saves us in peace and shields us in peace.
  8. Lord of Hosts, King, King of Kings: God the King is in charge of everything in the Universe, and when we believe in Jesus the King of Kings, he makes us princes and princesses.
  9. God the Rock is our place of safety. Jesus is the cornerstone and we are the living stones that build the church.
  10. Judge/Intercessor: God is perfectly righteous and he demands perfect justice. The Judge has given us a way to be forgiven of our guilt through Jesus Christ.
  11. The Good Shepherd takes wonderful care of us, his sheep, by providing the Lamb of God to take the punishment for our sins.
  12. Refuge: When we trust in God our strong refuge and fortress, he keeps us safe in scary situations and saves us from our sins!
  13. Yahweh-Yireh: When we obey him, Yahweh-Yireh will provide everything we need.
  14. El Olam/ The Everlasting God/Alpha Omega: God is forever. His promises are forever. His love is forever. His Word is forever. And we can live forever when we know God and trust in Jesus, who died for our sins and now lives forever.
  15. Jesus in the Names of God: We can shout praises to God because we read in the Bible that he sent his son Jesus to save us from our sins so we can be with him forever.
  16. Who Do You Say that I Am? God calls everyone who loves him to praise His name and to proclaim to everyone the wonderful things He does.

Wow, guys! I am impressed! You did a good job remembering what all the names of God mean and why they are important to us. Now I’m going to let you in on a little secret. It’s really great to know lots of things about the names of God, and I hope that you spend your whole lives learning more and more about our Lord. But all this knowledge is ABSOLUTELY POINTLESS unless is changes how you live. Let’s have a sword drill. I need you all to see this for yourselves. Take all fingers and bookmarks out of your Bibles and hold them above your heads. When I say go, turn to James 4:17. Go! (Read, or have a student read, James 4:17.) “Remember, it is sin to know what you ought to do and then not do it.” (On the board write, “DO what you KNOW is right.”) You are sinning, you are disobeying God if you know the right thing to do, what God wants you to do, and then you choose not to do it. We have learned a lot about what God is like as we have studied his name and titles. All those different names kept pointing us back to the same ideas: we are to praise God, and we are to tell others about Him. (On the board write, “Praise God, tell people about Him.”)
We’ve read from the book of Psalms quite a bit through this study. There’s one more Psalm I want to read with you now. Open your Bibles to Psalm 145 and follow along as I read.
I will exalt you, my God and King,
and praise your name forever and ever.
I will praise you every day;
yes, I will praise you forever.
Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise!
No one can measure his greatness.
Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts;
let them proclaim your power.
I will meditate on your majestic, glorious splendor
and your wonderful miracles.
Your awe-inspiring deeds will be on every tongue;
I will proclaim your greatness.
Everyone will share the story of your wonderful goodness;
they will sing with joy about your righteousness.
The Lord is merciful and compassionate,
slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.
The Lord is good to everyone.
He showers compassion on all his creation.
10 All of your works will thank you, Lord,
and your faithful followers will praise you.
11 They will speak of the glory of your kingdom;
they will give examples of your power.
12 They will tell about your mighty deeds
and about the majesty and glory of your reign.
13 For your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom.
You rule throughout all generations.
The Lord always keeps his promises;
he is gracious in all he does.
14 The Lord helps the fallen
and lifts those bent beneath their loads.
15 The eyes of all look to you in hope;
you give them their food as they need it.
16 When you open your hand,
you satisfy the hunger and thirst of every living thing.
17 The Lord is righteous in everything he does;
he is filled with kindness.
18 The Lord is close to all who call on him,
yes, to all who call on him in truth.
19 He grants the desires of those who fear him;
he hears their cries for help and rescues them.
20 The Lord protects all those who love him,
but he destroys the wicked.
21 I will praise the Lord,
and may everyone on earth bless his holy name
forever and ever.”
I just love this Psalm. It’s full of praising God and proclaiming His works. Look back at your Bibles. Can anyone tell me where they see examples of David, who wrote this Psalm, praising God? (On the board write, “Praise.” Under “praise,” write the verse numbers where Psalm 145 references praising.) Nice work, you found a lot of examples of praise in the psalm. Now let’s look for places where David talks about proclaiming the Works of the Lord. He uses a few different words, so you will have to look closely. He says things like, “proclaim, tell, share,” “give examples,” and “speak.” (Next to “Praise” on the board, write, “Proclaim.” Beneath that, write the verse numbers where Psalm 145 mentions proclaiming God’s works.) So as you see, there are two things God tells us to do when we believe in Him. We are to praise his Name and proclaim his works.
Before we get to our craft, there is one more thing I want you to think about. Jesus asked his disciples some questions in Matthew 16. I want to read this passage to you. When I read the questions that Jesus asked, I’ll pause for a moment to give you a chance to think about your own answer. Listen as I read Matthew 16:13-16. “When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do people say that the Son of Man is?’” (Pause to allow people to think. Perhaps mention that people today say that the Son of Man, Jesus, was a good guy, or a good teacher, or even a made up story.)
14 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say Jeremiah or one of the other prophets.” (Basically, people thought Jesus was a good guy, a prophet.)
15 “Then he asked them, ‘But who do you say I am?’” (Give a moment for children to really think about this. Encourage them to come up with an answer in their own minds.)
16 “Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’”
Jesus is the Son of God. He is our Savior who God sent to earth to teach us about Him and to live a perfect life and to die for our sins so we wouldn’t have to be punished for all the wrong things we do. Out of all the things for which we can praise God, of all the things to proclaim about Him, this is the absolute most important! God loves us enough to send his own Son to save us from the punishment of sin so we can spend forever in Heaven with Him! (If time allows, shout and sing for a few minutes with your class to communally praise and proclaim the wonders of our Lord.)
Close in prayer. 
Craft: Praise and Proclamation Postcards
Explain to your class that since they have learned so much about who God is through the Names of God series, they HAVE to share the Good News with others. They have learned so many reasons why God is worthy of praise, so now it is time to proclaim His goodness to others! Your class will design postcards to send out to those who need to hear the Good News. You may choose to whom you send the postcards. Some ideas include nursing homes, active duty military, a local homeless shelter, or have the kids take them home to mail to friends and family. Take some time to pray before class, and to discuss with ministry leaders what the best way to use these cards would be, and then let your class know to whom their Praise and Proclamation Postcards will be sent.
On the board, draw what the back of a postcard looks like. (There is room for a stamp in the upper right hand corner, and below that on the right half is where you address the envelope to the recipient. The left hand side is where you write the message.) After passing out large index cards to your students, have them fold it in half and unfold, so they have an area in which they can write. On the front, the blank side, have them illustrate various names and attributes of God. On the back left side, have them write about what that attribute or name means. Be sure they include “God loves you” somewhere in their message, as this is the most basic and important thing they can proclaim. Allow them to make as many and time and materials allow.

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