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Lesson Prep

Background Scripture (read 2-3 times during the week)

Matthew 5-7, Luke 6:17-49

Story Summary

In this lesson, we are going to learn about a time when Jesus taught a great crowd of people. In fact, Jesus spent a great deal of his time teaching people about the Kingdom of God (remember those parables we learned about?). But there was one famous sermon that is a great example of Jesus' teaching: the Sermon on the Mount. This will be a somewhat unconventional lesson in that we will both teach the story (the setting, characters, etc) as well as some of what Jesus was teaching.

The Setting

This is the longest single teaching recorded in the Gospels. It is actually early on in Jesus' ministry. You may have noticed that we aren't going exactly chronologically through the Gospels as it is difficult to place all the stories in perfect chronological order. There are stories around the beginning of Jesus' ministry, a cluster of them based on themes (Parables, Miracles, Jesus Ministers), and then the beginning of the Passion Week and into the Crucifixion and Resurrection.

The Sermon on the Mount is named as such because Jesus gave this sermon on a mountain. Which mountain? Well, we don't exactly know which one. Matthew 5:1 just says, "Jesus saw the crowds. So he went up on a mountainside and sat down." We are pretty sure it was in Galilee because the verses preceding it in Matthew 4:23-25 indicate that Jesus was teaching all throughout Galilee. BibleWalks.com has a nice page with an overview of the Sea of Galilee and the surrounding towns and mountains that you can use to teach your students about Galilee.

Jesus was teaching both his disciples and great crowds of people. From the Matthew account, Jesus went up onto a hillside by himself and his disciples and the crowds followed him.

The Teaching

Some of the most famous teachings of Jesus are contained in the Sermon on the Mount. Here are some highlights:

  • The Beatitudes (or Blessings) - Matthew 5:2-12 - Jesus teaches us that no matter where we are in life (in mourning, poor in spirit, suffering, persecution, etc), we can find complete contentment in God.
  • Don't Put Your Light Under a Bowl - Matthew 5:15 - Jesus tells us that we shouldn't be ashamed about the fact we are His. We shouldn't hide our light.
  • Turn the Other Cheek - Matthew 5:38-42 - Jesus tells us that we shouldn't react to our enemies or people who persecute us the way people of the world would react.
  • The Lord's Prayer - Matthew 6:9-15 - Jesus teaches us how we should pray.
  • Don't Worry - Matthew 6:25-34 - Jesus tells us that the birds of the air and the flowers of the field don't worry about food and clothing, and neither should we! God cares about us and will provide. Matthew 6:33 is a great memory verse.
  • Take the Plank Out of Your Own Eye - Matthew 7:1-5 - Jesus teaches us that it is not our place to judge others. We all sin and we tend to pay more attention to little things that others do wrong and ignore the big things we do that are wrong.
  • Wise and Foolish Builders - Matthew 7:24-27 - Jesus tells us that if we listen to his words, but don't put them into practice, we're like a man who built a house on sand. It doesn't last when the waves come crashing in! We should do what he says, and then we'll be like a man who builds his house on a rock.

What You Will Need

Resource Sheet

Sermon on the Mount Coloring Sheet

This coloring sheet depicts Jesus teaching a crowd off the Sea of Galilee.

Lesson

1. Warm Up

get your kids talking and engaged

Who is your favorite teacher? Today, we are going to learn about how Jesus was a teacher. 

Or, have you ever built a sand castle at the beach? What happened when the waves came? Today, we are going to learn about a time when Jesus used that as an example when he was teaching.

2. Teach the Story

teach a holistic story

Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.

For older children, read the story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or read directly from the Bible.

3. Bible Mastery

give them basic Bible skills

Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud: Matthew 5:1; 5:14-16; 5:43-48; 6:9-14; 7:24-29

4. Comprehension Questions

make sure they understand the story

First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?

  • Where was Jesus when he was teaching this lesson? (on a mountain in Galilee)
  • What is the name of this sermon? (the Sermon on the Mount)
  • What is the fancy name for the "Blessings" Jesus gave? (the Beatitudes)
  • What did Jesus say we shouldn't do with our light? (hide it under a bowl, or bushel, depending on your translation)
  • Jesus told us not to worry. What 2 examples did he give us to show us that we will be taken care of? (birds of the air and flowers of the field)
  • Jesus said that before you try and take the speck out of someone else's eye, what should you take out of your own eye? (the plank)
  • When we listen to the words of Jesus and don't put them into practice, what did Jesus say that was like? (building a house on sand)

5. Faith Questions

help them apply the story to their lives and open up a conversation about faith and the gospel; close with prayer
  • Jesus tells us that it isn't enough to just listen to his words, that we must put them into practice as well.
  • What is something from this lesson that you should put into practice this week?
  • What should we do when we fail at putting his words into practice?

6. Memory Verse

hide God's Word in their heart
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Love him with all your mind and with all your strength. Mark 12:30

Reinforcement Activities

The Wise and Foolish Builders - Song

Scripture Matthew 7:24-29

  • Teach the song "The Wise Man Built His House Upon The Rock" to the students.

The Wise and Foolish Builders - Painting Project

Scripture Matthew 7:24-29

Supplies sand, medium sized rocks for each student, paint, water, red food coloring

  • Mix food coloring into water.
  • Pour the sand into a dish.
  • Paint a picture of a house onto the sand using the colored water.
  • Paint a picture of a house on a rock.
  • Wait for paint to dry. (Using a hairdryer can speed the process)
  • Pour water over the sand house.
  • Pour water over the rock house.
The Wise and Foolish Builders - Painting Project Example
The Wise and Foolish Builders - Painting Project Example

Take the Plank Out of Your Own Eye - Activity

Scripture Matthew 7:1-6

Supplies pieces of wood, sandpaper, permanent markers

  • Take sand paper and sand off small specks from the wood.
  • Use permanent markers to write Matthew 7:5 onto the piece of wood.
  • Allow students to take their piece of wood home.

Beatitudes - Fortune Teller

Scripture Matthew 5:3-12

Supplies paper, cut into squares, pencil

  • Fold paper to make a fortune teller.
  • Write numbers 1-8 and hungry, thirsty, free of pride, merciful, pure heart, peacemaker, spiritually needy, sad on the flaps.
  • Underneath the flaps, write blessed.
  • See pictures for directions.
  • To determine fortune, ask for a number first.
  • Open and close while counting out that number.
  • Ask them for a word and spell out the word, while opening and closing.
  • Ask for another word and lift the appropriate flap.
  • Each flap reveals the word blessed underneath.
Beatitudes - Fortune Teller Example
Beatitudes - Fortune Teller Example
Beatitudes - Fortune Teller Example

Salt & Light - Let your Light Shine Bracelets

Scripture Matthew 5:14-16

Supplies uv beads, cord or leather string, sunny day,

  • UV beads are white inside and turn colors when you go outside. (These can be found at craft supply stores, and they are relatively inexpensive)
  • String a few beads onto bracelets.
  • Take students outside to see the change in the beads.
  • Allow students to take the bracelets home, as a reminder to let their light shine for Jesus.

Do Not Worry - Nature Experience

Scripture Matthew 6:24-29

Supplies flowers, seeds, bird's nest, worms

  • Take students outside to observe nature, if possible.
  • Look specifically for birds and flowers.
  • How does God provide for the birds?
  • How does he provide for the flowers?
  • If you cannot go outside, bring in items from nature.
  • Have the girls describe their favorite dress. What made it so special?
  • Observe the flowers. Notice the beautiful colors and textures.
  • Pass around some worms for those that would like to hold them. Worms and seeds are a source of food for some birds.

Do Not Worry - Bird's Nest

Scripture Matthew 6:24-29

Supplies twigs, pieces of long grasses, pine needles

  • Bring in a bird's nest, if possible.
  • Challenge the students to make a bird nest, using the supplies.
  • Encourage the students not to use adhesives, such as glue to hold it together.
  • Compare their nests with the one the birds created.
  • God equipped the birds with the skills they needed to make a nest.

The Lord's Prayer - Memory Verse Game

Scripture Matthew 6:5-14

Supplies Lord's Prayer cutout, scissors, 11 balloons of one color, 11 balloons of another

  • Divide class into two teams.
  • Cut one set of the Lord's Prayer cutout into strips
  • There are 11 strips. Fold the strips and place each strip inside of a balloon.
  • Blow up the balloons.
  • Repeat for the other team's balloons in a different color.
  • Give each team a group of colored balloons.
  • Challenge each team to pop the balloons, gather their paper strips and place the strips in order to complete the Lord's Prayer.
  • The first team to assemble the strips in order, wins.

Beatitudes Interactive Board

Heads up! You may want to print and cut these from card stock ahead of time

Supplies card stock, printer, poster board/bulletin board, glue/staples

  • Follow instructions from biblefunforkids.com