During Jesus’ ministry, He called twelve men to be his disciples. One of those men was Matthew. We read about his calling in Matthew 9:9-17.
Some of the key points we will study are–
- Mathew left his old life behind to follow Jesus.
- People didn’t like the tax collectors, because they stole money.
- Jesus is full of grace and invites us to know Him even though we are not good.
- Jesus calls all men to repent and follow Him.
Jesus friend of sinners – Lesson Guide
Ask the child if they remember any of the names of Jesus’ disciples? You can reference our ‘Fishers of Men’ lesson from a few weeks ago.
Talk about how Jesus called all different kinds of people to follow Him. Remind them that some of the disciples were fishermen, but Matthew was a tax collector.
Give a simple explanation about taxes. Point out that in Jesus’ day, people hated tax collectors. Share how they took more money than they should.
To illustrate, offer the child a handful of objects (candy, buttons, or coins.) Appoint someone the government, your child the taxpayer, and you the tax collector. Point out that the government asked you to take three candies from your child. When the child gives you three, ask if they would be angry if you suddenly asked for six. Explain that many tax collectors did this, and people hated them because of it.
Explain how Jesus always gives us a second chance. Point out that many people were angry that Jesus had time for sinners. Jesus told them that the sick need a doctor and not the well just like sinners need a Saviour and not the perfect. Remind the child that none of us are perfect.
Point out that even though Matthew was a thief and not very nice, Jesus gave him another chance. Share how Matthew left behind his old life to follow Jesus.
Remind your child that Jesus offers grace to sinners. Grace is a free gift that no one can earn. God loves us even when we do bad things and wants to forgive us and give us a fresh start.
Think about sometimes we get angry with people and don’t want to give them a second chance. Maybe if someone calls names or steals a toy. Share how grace means forgiving someone even when they don’t deserve it.
Share how Matthew wanted all his friends to experience this forgiveness and meet Jesus, so he invited them to his house. Think about ways we can tell our friends about Jesus.
Pray and thank Jesus for offering us grace. Ask Him to help you be more like Him every day.
Free Printable Bible Story
Games and Activities
Who would you call?
Place the cards on the following page on the table. Ask your child a question like, “Who would I call if I was sick?” or “Who would I call if I saw a fire?”
If your child is old enough, allow them to ask the questions also. Speak about how Jesus is the only one who can help us with our sin problem.
Set up a teddy bear hospital. Allow the child to be a doctor and bring toys with different issues. You can have them bandage a leg with some toilet paper or take the toys temperature.
Remember your child’s imagination is much better than yours. They will find the objects they need to treat their patient.
Money Exchange Game
Take turns to roll a dice. The number on the dice shows how many pennies (cents) the child gets. Make it a race for example the first person to make one pound or dollar.
For older children, swap coins as you go. For example, when they get 10 pennies, they would swap for a 10p coin or a dime.
Use real money, plastic coins or buttons.
Bible Coloring pages – Jesus calls Matthew to follow Him.
Follow me Sandal Craft – Includes free template and Memory verse
What you need:
- Template page (white card for best results)
- Colouring pencils or crayons,
- Sticky tape.
What to do:
- Colour the template page
- Cut around sandal and make small holes where indicated.
- Thread two length of ribbon through holes, tie and tape underneath.
Jesus said Follow Me – Matthew 9:9
Recommended links and videos
- Jesus Calls Matthew – Saddleback kids – https://youtu.be/xgy6TWuUkK0
- Jesus Friend Of Sinners – https://youtu.be/odRLLRSvP90
- I Have a Friend in Jesus – https://youtu.be/65Yk8-yJxEg
- Follow Me – https://youtu.be/jyHIa0hmPfg
Download the lesson