Parable of the Wedding Feast Lesson 2 February 7 & 8

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1 Parable of the Wedding Feast Lesson 2 February 7 & 8 Session Title: Parable of the Wedding Feast Bible Passage: Matthew 22:1-14 Big Picture Question: Who is invited to the kingdom of heaven? Everyone is invited to the kingdom of heaven. Key Passage: Matthew 13:11 Unit Christ Connection: Jesus taught in parables so His followers would understand how to live in anticipation of His second coming. LEADER BIBLE STUDY Jesus parable of the wedding feast is more than a simple story about a king s rude guests. The parable reveals the King (God the Father) who seeks to honor His Son (Jesus) with a banquet. Though many people are invited to the kingdom of heaven, few will choose to come. When Jesus told this parable, He had been teaching for three years. Many people who heard Jesus opposed Him, including the religious leaders. It was to this audience that Jesus told such a shocking story in which the attitudes and actions of the people who rejected the king s invitation clearly paralleled the religious leaders. In the parable, the religious leaders are represented by the guests who refused to come to the wedding banquet. They had been invited, but when the king s servants told them the feast was ready, they did not want to come. Instead, they went about their lives to their farms and businesses. Some of them even killed the king s messengers! What an insult to the king! These people had turned down an invitation to the most wonderful and joyous event they could imagine. The king would have given his best to honor his son, and the king reacted justly. He punished those who rejected him and invited others instead those not in the city, both the good and the bad. Likewise, God invites Gentiles into His kingdom. No one is refused based on his or her economic or social standing. The King Himself provides the required attire robes of righteousness like those given to Joshua the high priest. (See Zech. 3:3-4.) The King rejects those who try to come by their own merit in their own clothes as the man without wedding clothes did. This story reminds us that we need to be clothed in Christ s righteousness. The kingdom of heaven is like a wedding feast for the Lamb (Jesus) and His bride (the Church). (See Rev. 19:7-9.) Those who receive the invitation to come will be clothed in Jesus righteousness, made fit for an eternity in the presence of a holy God. Welcome Activity (15 minutes) Playground (15 minutes) Large Group Chapel (20 minutes) Small Group Activities (15 minutes) Snack and Transition (10 minutes) Preschool Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 30, Session LifeWay

2 WELCOME ACTIVITY Toss and color Supplies: copy of Beanbag Toss Images page for each child; cut out the color Beanbag Toss Images and tape each picture to a paper plate; beanbag; crayons; masking tape Tip: For younger preschoolers or for time constraints, invite all the kids to color whatever picture the beanbag lands on as you or an adult helper tosses the beanbag. Tape the paper plates in a line on the floor. During the session, give each child a page and some crayons. Kids will take turns tossing a beanbag onto the paper plates. When a child s beanbag lands on a paper plate, she will color in the matching food on her page. Continue until all kids have colored their wedding feast foods. Say Jesus told a story about a king who threw a humongous feast for his son s wedding and invited many guests. Have you ever been to a wedding? Was there food at the wedding? What kinds of foods? Have you ever been to a prince s wedding? Think about what kind of foods would be at a royal wedding feast! PLAYGROUND LARGE GROUP CHAPEL Music Mighty, Mighty God Our God is mighty! What are some examples of how we know this to be true? What are some ways that God serves us? Marvelous! Matchless! Magnificent! What are some other ways we can describe God? I Will Love and Serve You What are some things God has given us that show us His love? What are some ways we can show Jesus we love him? How can we serve others to show we love Jesus? Introduce the Bible story Point to the timeline map as you review the previous week s Bible story. Say Last week we heard Jesus story about a man who owned a vineyard and paid every worker the same amount even the workers who only worked for an hour! Jesus told about a vineyard, but He was really speaking about God s kingdom. [Point to the key passage in your Bible or on the poster.] Jesus said in our key passage that He told parables, or stories, about God s kingdom so the disciples, His friends, could understand them. Review the key passage by saying it a few times. Say This week our story is about a king who was planning a wedding feast for his son. A feast is a meal with plenty of food and drinks for everyone! Feasts are a time to celebrate! At a feast, you have a good time with the people you love. Preschool Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 30, Session LifeWay

3 Watch or tell the Bible story The Bible Story: Parable of the Wedding Feast Matthew 22:1-14 People did not know what God s kingdom is like. It is unlike anything they were used to. So Jesus told the people stories to teach them about God s kingdom. One day, Jesus told the people a story about a wedding feast. When people got married, they had big parties with lots of food to celebrate. They invited all of their friends and family members to come to the party. Jesus told this story. He said, A king s son was getting married, so the king planned a big wedding feast. The feast would have plenty of food and drinks for everyone! It would be a great party for the king s son and his bride. But a feast was not fun unless people came! Jesus said, The king sent out his servants to find the people who were invited. So the servants went out and told the people that the feast was ready! Then they came back to the king, but the guests did not come with them. The servants told the king that the guests did not want to come to the feast. The king sent out his servants again. This time, the servants told the guests that the king s feast was ready! The king was serving the best food. Dinner is ready! Come to the wedding feast! the servants said. But the people still did not listen to the king s message. One of the guests went to his farm, and another man went to work. Some of the guests were mean to the servants. When the king heard about this, he was angry! The king sent out his army and punished the guests. Then the king told his servants, The feast is ready, but the people who were invited are not coming. They do not deserve to come to my feast. Go out to the streets and invite everyone you see. So the servants did what the king asked. They went out to the streets and invited all the people they saw good people and bad people. All the people came to the feast. But the king came in and saw a man who was not wearing the right clothes for a wedding. The king said to the man, Friend, how did you get into the party without the right clothes? The man did not know what to say. The king told his servants to take the man and throw him out. Finally, Jesus said, Many people are invited to God s kingdom, but only a few will come. Christ Connection: Heaven is like a great wedding feast, and Jesus invites everyone to come. Jesus makes a place for people who say yes to His invitation, and they can be with Him forever. Preschool Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 30, Session LifeWay

4 Talk about the Bible story Ask the following review questions. Who was getting married? (the king s son) To whom did the servants go first? (the people who were invited to the feast) Did the guests come to the feast with the servants? (No! One guest went to his farm, another went to his work, and some guests were mean to the servants.) Who did the king tell the servants to invite next? (everyone they could find in the streets) Who is invited to the kingdom of heaven? Everyone (one thumb up while other pointer finger makes a circular motion next to it) is invited (flat hand, palm up moves inward toward the body) to the kingdom of heaven (flat hands point to each other at eye level, move to center of forehead with flat palms outward). Say Heaven is like a great wedding feast, and Jesus invites everyone to come. Jesus makes a place for people who say yes to His invitation, and they can be with Him forever. SMALL GROUP ACTIVITIES Make invitations Supplies: paper, envelopes, art supplies, and toy food & dishes (optional) Provide paper, envelopes, stickers, crayons, markers, ribbons, stencils, gems, pom-poms, glue, glitter, and so forth. Allow the children to use the materials to design a beautiful invitation to a fancy feast. If time permits, you may guide kids to set the table for a feast using toy dishes and toy food. Say The king sent his servants to tell his guests, The feast is ready is ready! The king is serving his best food! Did the guests come with the servants? No, they thought they had better things to do. Who is invited to the kingdom of heaven? Everyone (one thumb up while other pointer finger makes a circular motion next to it) is invited (flat hand, palm up moves inward toward the body) to the kingdom of heaven (flat hands point to each other at eye level, move to center of forehead with flat palms outward). Is there anything better than being part of God s kingdom? No, there is nothing better than loving God and others! SNACK AND TRANSITION Enjoy your snacks and practice the Big Picture Question together while you eat. Be sure to place a Big Picture Question Sticker on each child while you practice. This would also be a good time to pray over the children. Pray that God would show them that we cannot earn our way to heaven. Say Dear God, we thank You for inviting people to go to heaven only through faith alone in Your Son, Jesus. May these children be eager to tell people about how to enter Your kingdom, both now and as they grow up. Please help us tell others about you, even if you send some of us to the ends of the earth to tell the good news about Jesus. We love You, Jesus! Amen! Preschool Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 30, Session LifeWay

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