We’re learning about the Sermon on the Mount. It’s Jesus’ most famous sermon! It’s called the Sermon on the Mount because Jesus stood up on a hill—or mountain—to preach. Today we’re learning that Jesus said to treat others the way you want to be treated.
SUNDAY SCHOOL WORSHIP
We’re learning to treat others the way you want to be treated. It’s something Jesus said that we call the Golden Rule! Jesus also told a story that showed an example of someone who did not follow the Golden Rule. Let’s watch that story
What would you do if you owed someone a lot of money and they forgave your debt?
Why do you think the servant didn’t pass on that gift?
What bad things can happen to us when we don’t follow the Golden Rule? What can happen to others?
It’s usually easier to think about what we’d like others to do for us than to think about nice things we could do to help someone else. Maybe that’s why Jesus said treat others the way you want to be treated. He made it easy to think about what we’d want! Let’s find out more about what Jesus said in the Bible, God’s special book. The Bible is God’s true story of the love and grace he’s treated us with, and it can help us know how to treat others.
In today’s part of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus shared a very short but important teaching. Let’s read it.
Matthew 7:12 -- Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.
Jesus taught that this command summarized all Ten Commandments and everything else in the Old Testament. This command is known today as the Golden Rule. Even people who don’t know Jesus quote this one! Here’s a simple way to say it: Treat others the way you want to be treated.
In another part of the Bible, Jesus told a story, known as a parable, to show what happens when people don’t follow the Golden Rule.
Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”
“No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!
“Therefore, the Kingdom of Heaven can be compared to a king who decided to bring his accounts up to date with servants who had borrowed money from him. In the process, one of his debtors was brought in who owed him millions of dollars. He couldn’t pay, so his master ordered that he be sold—along with his wife, his children, and everything he owned—to pay the debt.
“But the man fell down before his master and begged him, ‘Please, be patient with me, and I will pay it all.’ Then his master was filled with pity for him, and he released him and forgave his debt.
“But when the man left the king, he went to a fellow servant who owed him a few thousand dollars. He grabbed him by the throat and demanded instant payment.
“His fellow servant fell down before him and begged for a little more time. ‘Be patient with me, and I will pay it,’ he pleaded. But his creditor wouldn’t wait. He had the man arrested and put in prison until the debt could be paid in full.
“When some of the other servants saw this, they were very upset. They went to the king and told him everything that had happened. Then the king called in the man he had forgiven and said, ‘You evil servant! I forgave you that tremendous debt because you pleaded with me. Shouldn’t you have mercy on your fellow servant, just as I had mercy on you?’ Then the angry king sent the man to prison to be tortured until he had paid his entire debt.
“That’s what my heavenly Father will do to you if you refuse to forgive your brothers and sisters from your heart.”
What can you learn from this story?
In real life, who are you more like: the king, the debtor, or the fellow servant? Why? Be honest. If people have a hard time forgiving, they might identify with the debtor—and that honesty is great!
Jesus told this story to show why we should forgive other people: because God forgave us! But it also shows why it’s important to treat others the way we want to be treated. The debtor was happy to have his giant loan forgiven, but he wouldn’t forgive a small loan. He wasn’t willing to treat others the way he had been treated. And in the end, it cost him.
Let’s make up modern-day stories like this that show what can happen when we don’t treat others the way we want to be treated.
Make Up Skits
You can work with your family to come up with 30-second skits that show today’s point. They can use any of their props, or use stuffed animals as extra characters. The oldest person in each group will be the leader, who will help the group stay on track and make sure everyone is involved. If families need help, there are suggested stories below.
Besides what you saw in these skits, what are things you appreciate when people do them for you?
Think of a specific example of a way you can do those things for others this week.
Why don’t people always follow the Golden Rule?
Jesus helps us treat others the way we want to be treated. In the parable, the unforgiving debtor didn’t do that. But when we’re not sure how to treat someone, we can just think about how we’d like to be treated and do that. You just acted out examples of how you can do that! But it’s a lot easier to say you’ll do the right thing than to actually do it. I challenge you to live out the Golden Rule this week. Ask Jesus to help you treat others the way you want to be treated.
God, thank you that you have treated us with so much love and kindness. We pray that you will help us to be kind to others. Help us to treat others the way we would like to be treated.
In Jesus’ name, amen.
Thanks for joining us for online Sunday School! See you next week!