Use this Parable of the Unmerciful Servant Sunday School lesson to teach children about the importance of forgiving others.
Lesson: (Note: Always allow students enough time to think about and to give their answers to the questions before clarifying the teaching.)
Ask students, If someone does something wrong to you, and then says they’re sorry, should you forgive them? (Yes.)
If they do something wrong to you again, and then they say they’re sorry again, should you forgive them again? (Yes.)
How many times should you forgive a person when they do wrong things to you?
(Have a student read Matthew 18:21, or read it yourself.)
How many times does Peter think he should forgive his brother? (Seven times.)
(Have another student read Matthew 18:22, or read it yourself.)
How many times does Jesus say Peter should forgive his brother? (Seventy-seven times, or seven times seven times.)
Jesus said that Peter should forgive his brother a lot. Jesus wasn’t saying that we have to stop forgiving people after seven-seven times. He was saying that we have to forgive people a lot.
(Have students take turns reading Matthew 18:23-25, or read it yourself.)
Why was the king going to throw the servant in jail? (Because the servant owed the king money, but couldn’t pay it.)
(Have students take turns reading Matthew 18:26-27, or read it yourself.)
The servant begged the king not to send him to jail and what did the king do? (He forgave the servant and said that the servant didn’t have to pay him the money he owed.)
Do you think it was nice for the king to forgive the servant and not make him pay the money he owed? (Yes.)
(Have students take turns reading Matthew 18:28-29, or read it yourself.)
Now the servant wants another servant to pay him the money that they owe him. But the other servant can’t pay the money and is begging the servant not to throw him in jail. What do you think the servant should do? Should he forgive the other servant or should he send him to jail? (He should forgive the other servant and not send him to jail since the king forgave him and didn’t make him go to jail.)
(Have another student read Matthew 18:30, or read it yourself.)
The servant wasn’t very nice, was he? He didn’t forgive the other servant, even though the king had forgiven him.
(Have students take turns reading Matthew 18:31-34, or read it yourself.)
What did the king do to the servant? (The king yelled at the servant and put him in jail.)
Why did the king do that? (Because the servant was mean and wouldn’t forgive the other servant even though the king had forgiven him.)
(Have another student read Matthew 18:35, or read it yourself.)
Jesus says that God will punish us if we don’t forgive other people. In the story, God was like the king and we’re like the servant. God forgives us when we do wrong things, so He wants us to forgive other people when they do wrong things. God wants everyone to forgive everyone.
Find more Sunday School lesson ideas on our Free Children Sunday School Lesson Helps page.