Loving others matters to God -- that’s why Jesus told this parable of the Good Samaritan in Luke 10:25-37. Download our free children’s sermon above and watch our teaching example below.
Main Objective: The Good Samaritan is a story that many kids have probably heard before, but it never hurts to explore it again. The themes of unconditional love and action-based faith are important to consistently reinforce. This message reminds students that loving God is the best thing we can do with our lives, and we demonstrate love for God by loving one another, no matter who it is that needs love.
Law/Gospel Theme: Sometimes the Law distracts us. We get caught up in details or following commandments, and like the Priest or the Levite in the story, it prevents us from noticing people who need our help. With the good news of the Gospel, we celebrate the importance of seeing others as God sees them, and showing them our love as a reflection of Christ.
Optional Materials: Bible, pictures of various types of people, puppets
Bonus Ideas: Some more inspiration for your teaching (offsite links)
- Watch our video teaching example of this children’s lesson
- Get a new children’s sermon every week from our website
- Browse more sermons for kids or get a Good Samaritan Sunday School lesson
- Download our free PDF coloring pages on the Good Samaritan
- See the “Good Samaritan” message from Sermons 4 Kids
- Mission Bible Class has some great teaching ideas for this lesson
Note: All elements
are open to adjustment. Cater to the needs and ages of your group
Children’s Message / Object Lesson: Who is My Neighbor? (aka Good Samaritan)
Greet students, carrying a Bible. If you choose to incorporate puppets, have students scheduled ahead of time to manage and act out the scene of the Good Samaritan story.
Hello! — I have a couple of questions for you today…what do you think is the most important commandment? (Take possible answers). It might seem like a tricky question. What if I told you that the whole Bible (hold up Bible) could be summed up in just one word? What do you think that might be?
It’s LOVE. And that is what the commandment is, actually. The most important thing we are to do is to love. Jesus described this and said that the most essential priority in our lives should be loving God with all of our heart, our mind, and our strength. And He said we are to love our neighbor. What does this mean? Who is our neighbor? Is it someone living next door or across the street?
(Optional: hold up several pictures with various types of people, including those who might be considered different or “enemy”) Is this someone we should love?
How about this? We know that God loved everyone, and wants us to do the same. This does not always mean saying that things they do are okay, but it means we show them we care and demonstrate that God does, too. You know, as Jesus was describing this, He told a story.
(If using puppets, have selected students help pantomime or act out the story with the puppets as you go)
There was a man traveling on a not-so-safe road. He was caught by some mean robbers, who beat him up, robbed him, and left him to die! The poor man was lying there, and he heard someone approach. The first person to see him was a priest, someone who worked for the church. Do you think the priest should have stopped to help the man? Wouldn’t that show his faith was real? Well, he didn’t stop! He kept right on going. So another guy walked by. This was a Levite, someone else important in the temple. And guess what? He didn’t stop, either!! He kept right on going. Well, a third man came along, and by this time maybe the poor man was ready to give up. The man who came was a Samaritan.
Now, Samaritans in Jesus’ time were not well-liked. They were considered sort of the “bad guys” who didn’t follow the rules of the Jewish law and were not respected at all. This Samaritan was walking along, and the man on the roadside must have thought he was done for. BUT the Samaritan man stopped! Not only did he stop, he helped the man. He put bandages on his wounds, put the man on his donkey, and took him to an inn. Then he gave the innkeeper money and told him to take care of whatever he needed!
So Jesus told this story to emphasize to the people that love is not just about what we say, but what we do. Sometimes we get caught up in following the law or looking good or saying all of the right things. But if we are not demonstrating love, that’s all pretty silly. God wants us to love people by caring for them. We pray for them, we do things for them, and we treat them with kindness, as Jesus would do. When we can do that, we show the love of God and fulfill His greatest commandment!
Let’s pray to thank God for His love, and to ask for help in sharing that with one another:
Prayer: (Have kids repeat each line, if desired)
Thank you for the words of the Bible
Thank you for those around us
Please help us love you with our whole selves
And help us share your love with everyone around us
Thank you for your love.
We love you, God!
Thank you for Jesus
In His name, Amen!
The Good Samaritan from Luke 10:25-37
On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[c]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[d]”
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[e] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”
37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.” --Luke 10:25-37