Use this Calling of Matthew Sunday School lesson to show kids how much potential we have in Christ.
Lesson: (Note: Always allow students enough time to think about and to give their answers to the questions before clarifying the teaching.)
(Have a student read Matthew 9:9, or read it yourself.)
Matthew was doing his job, but when Jesus said, “Follow Me”, Matthew got right up and followed Him. Why do you think Matthew didn’t wait to follow Jesus until he got off work? (Matthew knew that nothing is as important as following Jesus. Jesus is the most important thing, no matter what we’re doing.)
What was Matthew’s job? (He was a tax collector.)
In those days, people hated tax collectors. The tax collectors’ job was to take some of your money and give it to the king. But the tax collectors would always charge you too much money, more than the king said you had to give him, and then they would keep the extras for themselves. So most people probably didn’t like Matthew because he stole from them and wasn’t a very good person.
But then Jesus asked Matthew to follow Him and to believe in Him. Why do you think Jesus asked Matthew to follow Him when He knew that Matthew was stealing from people? (Jesus wanted to give Matthew a chance to change.)
(Have students take turns reading Matthew 9:10-11, or read it yourself.)
The Pharisees saw Jesus eating with tax collectors, those people who stole money, and all kinds of other bad people and they asked why Jesus was eating with them. They didn’t think Matthew and his friends were good enough to hang out with Jesus because they did wrong things. They didn’t think Matthew could change and be better. But Jesus knew that Matthew and his friends could change and be better.
Everyone stand up…Now everyone raise your hand. Raise it up as high as it will go...Is it up as high as you can make it?
Now everyone raise your hands a little more…It went up a little further, didn’t it?
Jesus knows that we can always do more than we think we can and we can always do more than other people think we can.
People didn’t think that Matthew could change and be better, but he did. He believed in Jesus and he stopped stealing and he became one of Jesus’s twelve disciples. That was a very important job. And Matthew even got to write one of the books of the Bible. That’s a really important job.
What I want you to think about today is that Jesus can change your life too. Even if you do bad things sometimes, like Matthew did when he stole from people, if you believe in Jesus, He will forgive you for those things and change you so that you don’t do those bad things anymore. And He can use to do great and important things for Him, just like He used Matthew to do important things, like being one of His disciples or writing a book of the Bible.