This free Bible lesson is based on Matthew 22:1-14 where Jesus tells the parable of the ‘Wedding Banquet”. It is designed for children’s church or Sunday School. Please modify as best fits your ministry.
If your church follows the Revised Common Lectionary, this teaching plan would correspond to Year A – 18th Sunday After Pentecost, Gospel Reading – Matthew 22:1-14
Opening Activity – You’re Invited – Party Charades
Supplies – paper, writing utensils, small container
Before class write each of the following on a small piece of paper and place them in a small container. If you have younger kids try drawing a picture next to the word.
When the kids arrive ask for volunteers to choose an activity to act out without using any words or noises, while the remainder of the class guesses.
After all clues have been given, ask the class if they know how all of those clues go together.
Lesson – You’re Invited
Yay, it’s party time! I LOVE parties! Doesn’t matter if it’s my party or a friends. Doesn’t matter if it’s a swim party or a slumber party. Doesn’t matter if it’s a baby shower or a wedding. If it’s a party, I’m there!
How about you guys? Raise your left hand if you love parties. Awesome! Just like me! Now, I need you to leave your hand up, and touch your nose with your right hand if you like birthday parties. Bob your head if you like slumber parties. Stick out your tongue if you like swim parties. Lift your feet up if you like weddings. And wiggle all over if you like Christmas parties.
Awesome job guys! And I loved to see just how much you enjoy parties too; which is perfect, because today is all about parties.
Jesus liked to tell stories to help people understand things better, and those stories were called parables. Today’s parable is about a huge party that a king threw for his son’s wedding.
Now, when you throw a birthday party, is it just you? Or do you have friends come over? Of course you have friends over! Birthday parties by yourself are just birthdays. A slumber party by yourself would just be going to bed. And a wedding reception by yourself would just be dinner.
The King didn’t want just a dinner for his son, he wanted something special, a party! So he invited all his friends, and all his family, and all of the people that were important to him and his son, and since this was a king throwing a party for a prince, it was a WHOLE LOT OF PEOPLE.
How many people do you think showed up? … Zero. Not a single person. Not one!
The king even sent some messengers out to get them, but they all said they were just too busy. They didn’t have time for all that, and their lives were much more important than the prince’s or king’s lives. The king was upset, but he wasn’t going to let this party become just a dinner, so he sent out his messengers again, and this time he told them to invite anyone and everyone they saw.
The room began to fill up and that dinner turned into a party! These people weren’t special. They weren’t the king’s friends or family. They weren’t rich or famous. But they came. And the king was very happy.
That’s kind of like how heaven is going to be. Way back in the Old Testament, God chose the Jews as his chosen people. They were the only ones invited and that made them very special. Then when Jesus came, many of the Jews didn’t want anything to do with Him. Crazy right?!? But once Jesus came, that invitation to heaven was opened up to anyone who wanted to come. It didn’t matter if they were a Jew. And that invitation is still open today. Everyone is invited!
Activity A – You’re Invited – Bible Verse Challenge
Supplies – Bibles
Verse – Matthew 22:8-10
Pass out Bibles to students. Bibles should be closed and sitting on the table face up in front of each child. When you say go, have the kids look up this week’s Bible verse. As each child finds the verse, have them stick one finger on the verse and quietly raise their other hand. The first one to find the verse gets to read it to the rest of the class.
Help younger kids and new kids find the verse by following these steps.
- Look in the Table of Contents for the book you are looking for. Make an effort to show them if it is found in the Old Testament or New Testament to help them in the future. Then open the Bible to the page number listed in the Table of Contents.
- Show them the large numbers in the text, known as the chapters. Flip through pages until you find the large chapter number you are looking for.
- Then scan through the text with them pointing out the smaller verse numbers until the correct number is found.
Activity B – You’re Invited – I’m Invited!
Supplies – “I’m Invited!” activity page (download here), various arts and craft supplies
Print out a copy of the “I’m Invited!” activity page for each child. Have them trace over the words while you read them, then give them crayons, markers, stickers, etc. to decorate them.
Activity C — Inviting Others
Print out our free invitation coloring page and have children invite someone they know.
Closing Prayer – You’re Invited
Ask for a volunteer to pray for the class before leaving, and encourage them to thank God for invited EVERYONE to come to His party in heaven.
For even more lesson inspiration, browse these related posts from our website:
- “Producing Fruit” Lectionary Lesson from Matthew 21:33-46
- Jesus Turns Water Into Wine Bible Lesson for Kids
- Lord’s Prayer Lesson #5 – May Your Kingdom Come Soon