In this lesson, we will study a personal letter from the apostle Paul to Philemon. Paul teaches us through this letter the power of the gospel to transform individual lives and our new relationships in Jesus.

Key Points:

  • We should forgive our Christian brothers.
  • We should do the right thing.
  • We should thank God always.

Lesson Guide – Philemon

Explain to your child that a slave is a person that has to work for someone else. Depending on the age of the child, you may choose to go into more depth on the subject. Ask the child if they would like to always have to do work when someone else told them to. Explain that a slave named Onesimus decided to run away and not do the work anymore that he was supposed to. He also stole something from Philemon.

Explain that stealing is wrong.

Now, talk about how we can be forgiven by God when we repent. Repentance means to turn away from what we are doing and do the opposite. It is not enough to say sorry and not mean it. Pour a glass of ice water. Have your child feel the temperature. Ask the child if it is comfortable to keep their hand in the water. When they say no, tell them that you are sorry it is cold. Ask them if telling them you are sorry change the temperature of the water. When they say no, empty out the water and replace it with lukewarm water. Ask them if changing the water made it comfortable to put their hand in. Talk about how it is not enough to say sorry without changing. We should say sorry and then show we were sorry

Onesimus did a bad thing, but he then met Paul and became a believer. Paul sent him home to Philemon so that he could do the right thing. Paul told Philemon to put down Onesimus’s things on his own account. 

Talk about how in a store, we can buy things. You may choose to take your child to a store or create a “store” in your own home. Explain that each item can be redeemed by money (for the home “store” you may choose to use some other currency such as chores). Explain that if someone doesn’t have money to redeem the purchase than they cannot buy the item. Talk about how we couldn’t purchase our freedom from sin, but that Jesus paid the debt for believers, just like Paul was willing to pay Onesimus’s debt. 

Explain that those who have received forgiveness from God will forgive others. You may speak about the parable of the two debtors, or you may enact it out. Imagine with your child that their sibling or friend owes them two pennies, and that they owe you a houseful of pennies. Talk about how we should forgive others the small debts because Jesus forgave us the big debts. Paul also was grateful for Philemon and Onesimus. We should be grateful to God always. We should also thank God for the Christian brothers and sisters He has given us. 

Philemon Bible story for kids

Games and activities

Run away

Talk about how Onesimus ran away from Philemon.

Have the child stand behind you. They must make it to the other side of the room without you seeing them move.

Turn away from the child. Whenever you turn around the must stay still. If you see them move, they must return to the start.

Philemon says…

Philemon was Onesimus master. That means, that Onesimus had to obey him and do whatever he said. This game is a twist on ‘Simon says’ whenever you say, ‘Philemon says…’ the child must obey. If you don’t say ‘Philemon says…’ the child should ignore the instruction.

Send a letter

Paul wrote a personal letter to Philemon.

Have the child make a personal letter or picture to send to a friend or family member. Draw a picture, place it in an envelope and post or deliver the letter.

Worksheets

Free Bible Coloring Pages – Philemon

Craft – Philemon wheel craft

What you need:

  • Template page (on card for best results),
  • Colouring equipment,
  • Scissors,
  • Split-pin.

What to do:

  1. Colour the template page.
  2. Cut out the template.  Carefully remove the door section.
  3. Fix wheel behind house with a split pin.

Philemon slide craft

What you need:

  • Template page (on card for best results),
  • Colouring equipment,
  • Scissors,
  • Split-pin.

What to do:

  1. Colour the template page.
  2. Cut out the template.  Carefully remove the door section.
  3. Fix wheel behind house with a split pin.

Download the lesson for FREE

Translations

Free printable Bible lesson. Learn how Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego took a stand for God and the fiery furnace. Worksheets, games, coloring sheets, and more.

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