Use this children’s sermon to help kids understand the story in Matthew 16:13-20 when Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Download the notes below and watch the object lesson demonstration as you prepare your own version.
“Who do you say I am?”
Children’s Sermon on Proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah
Main Objective: For kids (and adults) who grow up with a “Jesus is the Sunday School answer” sort of mentality, the awe and wonder of Jesus Christ can unfortunately become, in a sense, mundane or commonplace. Additionally, we are often surrounded by conflicting messages or misplaced attitudes about who Jesus is: just a person? A historical figure? Perhaps even a lunatic? It is critical to communicate to children that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah and Son of God. We acknowledge and love who He is, and our natural reaction should also be explaining and sharing that with those around us.
Law/Gospel Theme: Jesus was and is the Messiah, the Savior and Son of God, given to us to redeem us and help us. We recognize and rejoice in who He is, and we also acknowledge the importance of sharing who He is with those around us.
Optional Materials: Tool, small machine, or other item that might be unfamiliar to younger students.
Bible Passage: Matthew 16:13-20
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. Use your judgment and ideas to best serve students.
Children’s Sermon (Matthew 16:13-20) Who do you say that I am?
Greet children, and introduce some sort of unique item:
Hello, children of God! Who am I? Do you recognize me? Hopefully you know who I am, and what I do. You can probably recognize me because you’ve seen me before. I have something else here, and I would like to see if you can identify it. Do you know what this is? (Hold up some sort of tool or unique item, especially one students might not immediately recognize).
Does anyone have an idea what this might do? (Take some guesses). Well, this is…. (Describe what the item is and what it does). You might not have understood that without me telling you about it, right?
Well, our Gospel lesson today involves identification. Jesus gave His disciples a little quiz, asking them who they thought He was. See, not everyone recognized Jesus right away, and some people were confused about interpreting prophecies and understanding. Jesus asked who the disciples thought He was, and got a variety of answers.
The disciples said that some people claimed He was a previous prophet or figure. But good old Peter spoke up and said that Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God. He recognized who Jesus was. This was important to the ministry of Jesus and His followers, even though He told them not to spread the word around too much.
But what about us? Do we know who He is? Do we understand and proclaim it? Sometimes, this side of the Resurrection, it’s easy to become sort of used to this idea, and maybe even bored with it. This is critical and meaningful, though. Jesus wasn’t just a neat person or a healer. He was the savior, the promised redeemer! He came to save us, and fulfilled God’s promises to us. We know that Jesus is God’s son, and is one with God. You know what else? We don’t keep that to ourselves. We want to share it!
You would not have understood how this tool worked without me explaining it. Some people don’t understand Jesus and God’s love. They need people like us to explain and describe it! We know even more than Peter did. Jesus was and IS the Messiah. He died and came back to life, for US! We can’t keep that amazing news to ourselves, but we are called to celebrate it and explain it to others, as well. Who do you think our savior is? It’s more than just a “Sunday School answer”…it truly is all about Jesus!
Children’s Prayer Moment
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for revealing yourself through Jesus
We know that HE is our savior and Messiah
Help us to remember that
And proclaim it to others
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say the Son of Man is?”
14 They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”
15 “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?”
16 Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.”
17 Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by flesh and blood, but by my Father in heaven. 18 And I tell you that you are Peter,[b] and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades[c] will not overcome it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be[d] bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be[e] loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he ordered his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Messiah. -Matthew 16:13-20