This children's sermon was originally written for The Christ Kids Club of Faisalabad, Pakistan.
Needed: Nothing, but you may want to find some pictures of the animals mentioned or the stories referenced
Lesson: Have a student look up and read Matthew 10:16.
“I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”
Explain that these are Jesus’ words to His disciples.
In this passage, Jesus says that we are to be like three animals. What are the three animals does Jesus say we should be like? (Have the student read the verse again if the group needs to be reminded.)
The three animals we should be like are sheep, snakes, and doves.
Everyone, make a sound like a sheep.
Now, make a sound like a snake.
Now, flap your wings and make a sound like a dove.
How are Jesus’ followers like sheep? (We follow Jesus, just like sheep follow their shepherd.)
Jesus says that we’re also supposed to be like snakes. Does anyone remember another snake in the Bible? (Remind students of the snake in the Garden of Eden and have one of them read Genesis the first sentence of Genesis 3:1.)
“Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made.”
The snake in this story was very bad, but the Bible says that he was crafty. He was more crafty than any other animal. What do you think it means to be crafty?
Part of being crafty means lying, but the other part means being smart. We know that Jesus doesn’t want us to lie, but He does want us to be smart. When Jesus says He wants us to be as shrewd as snakes, He means that He wants us to be smart like a snake.
How can we be smart like Jesus wants us to be? (We can learn our lessons in school and at Sunday School and at home.)
A snake is also very careful. If a snake senses danger is near, he’ll slither away and hide. And Jesus says that we have to be careful because He mentioned another animal in this verse, didn’t He? Does anyone remember what the fourth animal Jesus mentioned was? (Re-read the verse if children forget.)
Jesus said that He’s sending us like sheep among wolves.
Everyone, make a sound like a wolf.
Wolves are very beautiful creatures that God made, but they’re also very dangerous. How are some people dangerous like wolves against followers of Jesus?
Some people don’t want us to follow Jesus, and they might try to make us stop believing in Jesus. They might make life hard for us or threaten us or even attack us.
That’s why Jesus said that we must be like snakes and be very careful.
But He also said that we must be innocent like doves. How can we be innocent?
We can keep ourselves from doing anything wrong. And if we do something wrong, we can pray and ask God to forgive us.
A dove doesn’t harm anyone or do anything wrong. In fact, doves are often used as symbols of purity and safety in the Bible.
Does anyone remember a story in the Bible about a dove? (The dove bringing a leaf back to Noah to let him know it was safe to come out of the ark, and the dove landing on Jesus after He was baptized to show that He was pure and holy.)
So, even though some people are like wolves and might try to hurt us, Jesus wants us to be His followers, like sheep following their shepherd. He wants us to be like snakes and be smart and learn our lessons and be careful in life. And He wants us to be innocent like doves, not doing anything wrong or hurting anyone.
Prayer: Jesus, help us to follow You smartly, carefully, and innocently. Amen.
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