Use Week of: Leader BIBLE STUDY

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1 Leader BIBLE STUDY Use Week of: 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. 2 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. Older Kids Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 30 Session 2 1

2 Older Kids BIBLE STUDY OVERVIEW 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, but few will choose to come. Key Passage: Matthew 13:10-11 Unit Christ Connection: Jesus taught in parables so His followers would understand how to live in anticipation of His second coming. U N I T 30 2 Small Group Opening Welcome time Activity page (5 minutes) Session starter (10 minutes) Large Group Leader Countdown Introduce the session (3 minutes) Timeline map (1 minute) Big picture question (1 minute)tell the Bible story (10 minutes) The Gospel: God s Plan for Me (optional)key passage (5 minutes)discussion starter video (5 minutes) Sing (3 minutes) Prayer (2 minutes) Small Group Leader Key passage activity (5 minutes) Bible story review & Bible skills (10 minutes) Activity choice (10 minutes) Journal and prayer (5 minutes) Additional suggestions for specific groups are available at gospelproject.com/kids/additional-resources. For free online training on how to lead a group, visit ministrygrid.com/web/thegospelproject. 2

3 The BIBLE STORY Parable of the Wedding Feast Matthew 22:1-14 Jesus often told parables, or stories, to teach people about God s kingdom. One of the parables Jesus used to teach people was about a wedding feast. Jesus said, This is what God s kingdom is like. A king s son was getting married, so the king prepared a big wedding feast. The king sent out his servants to tell everyone who was invited to the banquet that the feast was ready. The servants went out and came back. They told the king that the people did not want to come. So the king sent out his servants again. The king said, Tell the guests that I have prepared a feast! I have killed the best oxen and fattened cattle. Dinner is ready! Come to the wedding banquet! The servants went out, but the people did not listen to the king s message. One man went to his farm, and another man went to his business. Some of the people even captured the king s servants and killed them. When the king found out what happened, he was angry! The king sent out his army, punished the murderers, and burned down their city. Then the king told his servants, The feast is ready, but the people who were invited do not deserve to come to my feast. Go out to the streets and invite everyone you see. So the servants went out and did what the king asked. They invited all the people they saw good people and evil people. The wedding feast was filled with guests. But when the king came in to see the guests, he saw a man who was not dressed in the right clothes for a wedding. The king said to the man, Friend, how did you get in here without wedding clothes? The man was speechless. The king ordered his servants, Tie this man up hand and foot, and throw him out. Jesus ended His story by saying, Many people are invited to God s kingdom, but only a few are chosen. Older Kids Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 30 Session 2 3

4 Christ Connection: Salvation is a free gift. We can t earn our way into heaven. Jesus did all the work when He died for our sins on the cross. This story reminds us that we need to be clothed in Christ s righteousness. Jesus invites us to join Him in heaven the great wedding feast. When we receive His invitation, Jesus gets us ready by clothing us in His righteousness. Want to discover God s Word? Get Bible Express! Invite kids to check out today s devotional to discover that, like the wedding guests, we can choose to serve Jesus. We can choose to thank Him for dying on the cross for us! Order in bulk, subscribe quarterly, or purchase individually. For more information, check out 4

5 Small Group OPENING 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, but few will choose to come. Key Passage: Matthew 13:10-11 Unit Christ Connection: Jesus taught in parables so His followers would understand how to live in anticipation of His second coming. Welcome time Greet each kid as she arrives. Use this time to collect the offering, fill out attendance sheets, and help new kids connect to your group. Let kids describe their favorite foods. If they were to host a party, what foods would they serve? Whom would they invite? You re Invited activity page, 1 per kid pencils paper pencils LOW PREP Activity page (5 minutes) Invite kids to work individually to complete the activity page You re Invited. Prompt kids to consider who they would want to invite to a feast. Provide crayons and markers for kids to draw in the faces of people at the party and the foods that might be included on the plates. Say How many of you enjoy parties? Have you ever been to a wedding where food was served afterward? Today we are going to hear about a story Jesus told about a great wedding feast. Session starter (10 minutes) Option 1: Rigorous requirements Allow kids to work together, or form two groups. Give Older Kids Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 30 Session 2 5

6 each group a piece of paper and a pencil. Guide them to imagine that they are in charge of the guest list for a fancy celebration with a world leader such as a king or president. Rather than listing names, kids should list qualities the guests should have or requirements the guests should meet to come to the event. (Examples: wear fancy clothes, be famous, drive a fancy car, and so forth.) After a few minutes, invite the groups to share their lists. Say Those are some strict requirements! Do you think you should be invited to the fancy celebration? Why or why not? What kind of people do you think are invited to heaven? What are the requirements for getting into heaven? We ll answer some of those questions after we hear today s Bible story. bowls of dry beans or dry rice, 2 spoons, 2 paper plates, 6 Option: For an added challenge, specify various numbers of beans for kids to spoon onto each plate. Option 2: Service relay Form two teams of kids. Position three paper plates for each team along opposite sides of a table. Guide the teams to stand single file a few feet from the end of the table. Give the first player in each line a spoon and a bowl of dry beans. Explain that teams will race to serve the beans. The first player will spoon a single bean onto each plate and then return to her team. The next player will do the same. Continue until every player has served the food. The first team to finish should sit down and shout, Dinner is served! Say Great job! Today s Bible story is about a wedding feast. At the feast, the king provided the very best food for his guests. Transition to large group 6

7 Large Group LEADER 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, but few will choose to come. Key Passage: Matthew 13:10-11 Unit Christ Connection: Jesus taught in parables so His followers would understand how to live in anticipation of His second coming. countdown video leader attire name tag flashlight Timeline Map Countdown Show the countdown video as your kids arrive, and set it to end as large group time begins. Introduce the session (3 minutes) [Large Group Leader enters wearing a vest, bow tie, and name tag. Leader is also carrying a flashlight.] Leader Hi, everyone! [Point to name tag.] I m [your name]. It s good to see you all again. You must be here for this week s movie. You might remember from last time that we ve started a movie marathon! All the movies are about parables, or stories, Jesus told. These stories are some of my favorites! They come straight from the Bible. Are you ready? Let s get started. Timeline map (1 minute) Use the timeline map to point out and review the previous Bible story, Parable of the Vineyard Workers. Leader Does anyone remember the parable we learned about last time? Oh, yes. It s right here: Parable of the Vineyard Workers. That one had a surprise ending! Older Kids Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 30 Session 2 7

8 The landowner paid all the workers the same. He was generous! This week s Bible story, Parable of the Wedding Feast, has a surprise ending too! Oops, I better not spoil it. You ll hear how it ends soon enough. Big picture question (1 minute) Leader Remember to listen carefully for the answer to our big picture question. Today s big picture question is, Who is invited to the kingdom of heaven? Oh, that is a tough question. I can t wait to find out the answer. Parable of the Wedding Feast video Bibles, 1 per kid Bible Story Picture Slide or PosterBig Picture Question Slide or Poster Tell the Bible story (10 minutes) Open your Bible to Matthew 22:1-14. Tell the Bible story in your own words, or show the Bible story video Parable of the Wedding Feast. Leader Imagine being invited to a party by a king or president. A king would serve the best food he had to celebrate his son s wedding. He would have the best of everything! To be invited to such a special event would be a great honor. Jesus told a story about a king who had a big wedding feast for his son. When the feast was ready, the king sent his servants to tell the guests to come, but the guests did not want to come. The guests did not have any good reasons for not coming; they went to work on their farms and at their businesses like they did every day. Some of the guests were mean to the king s servants and hurt them. When the king heard that the guests did not want to come and that they were mean to his servants, how did he feel? The king was angry! The guests had insulted him, so he sent out his army to punish those guests and burn down their city. Now the feast was ready, but no one had come. So the 8

9 Note: Isaiah 64:6 says that our own attempts at righteousness amount to filthy rags. We need to be clothed in Jesus righteousness! king told his servants to go into the streets and invite anyone they could find. It did not matter if the people were good or evil. So these guests came to the feast. One of the men who came did not come in wedding clothes. The king asked him why he didn t wear his wedding clothes, but the man did not have an answer. So the king ordered his servants to throw the man out. Jesus story about the wedding feast was a story about God s kingdom. God is like the king in the story, and Jesus is like the king s son. Heaven is like the wedding feast. Who is invited to the kingdom of heaven? Everyone is invited to the kingdom of heaven, but few will choose to come. To reject God s invitation is to insult God. He punishes those who reject His Son, Jesus. Now what about the man who came in the wrong clothes? Do you think we need to have a fancy outfit to wear to heaven? No. In this parable, the king likely provided clothes for the guests. The man chose not to wear the clothes. He thought he could come to the party in his own clothes. That s like our actions. We aren t good enough to deserve to be with God in heaven. Imagine your clothes are dirty or muddy. Jesus invites us into His kingdom. Jesus never did anything wrong, and when we receive His invitation, He gives us His righteousness. Imagine Jesus giving you a beautiful, white outfit. You wouldn t wear your dirty clothes to a party when you have clean, beautiful ones! Jesus does not require us to bring anything to the kingdom of heaven. We do not have to have a certain amount of money, and we do not need to be popular. He invites us and gives us everything we need. Who is invited to the kingdom of heaven? Everyone is invited to the kingdom of heaven, but few will choose to come. Older Kids Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 30 Session 2 9

10 Bible Key Passage Slide or Poster Secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven song Unit 30 Session 2 discussion starter video The Gospel: God s Plan for Me (optional) Using Scripture and the guide provided, explain to boys and girls how to become a Christian. Tell kids how they can respond, and provide counselors to speak with each kid individually. Guide counselors to use open-ended questions to allow kids to determine the direction of the conversation. Encourage boys and girls to ask their parents, small group leaders, or other adults any questions they may have about becoming a Christian. Key passage (5 minutes) Display the key passage poster and prompt the group to read it aloud together. Leader The king in today s Bible story is actually God. God wants to honor His Son, Jesus. The Bible says that heaven will be like a wedding feast for everyone who trusts in Jesus as Lord and Savior. Our key passage is about why Jesus spoke in parables. Jesus could have just told people that He invites people to the kingdom of heaven, but the stories Jesus told are easier to remember. Can you picture the wedding feast? Who is invited to the kingdom of heaven? Everyone is invited to the kingdom of heaven, but few will choose to come. Lead kids to say the key passage again, and then sing the Secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven song. Discussion starter video (5 minutes) Leader Imagine you and your best friend have free tickets to see your favorite music artist in concert! Would you go? Would you be excited? Watch this. Show the Unit 30 Session 2 video. Leader Wow! Why would anyone turn down such a great 10

11 opportunity? Why do you think some people might turn down an invitation to spend eternity with God in heaven? [Allow kids to respond.] Who is invited to the kingdom of heaven? Everyone is invited to the kingdom of heaven, but few will choose to come. Point out that in today s Bible story, some people preferred to stay home or to go to work instead of going to the wedding feast for the king s son. Remind them that heaven is greater than anything on earth. Jesus invites us to join Him in heaven the great wedding feast. Jesus! song Sing (3 minutes) Leader We know that God hates sin. Everyone sins, but when we trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior, Jesus clothes us in His righteousness like the beautiful wedding clothes! We can t enter heaven on our own, but Jesus made the way for us to be with God forever. Let s sing! Invite kids to sing Jesus! together. Prayer (2 minutes) Leader Jesus simple story about a wedding feast is about so much more. It s about the kingdom of heaven! Let s pray, and then you can go to your small groups. Lord God, You are King over everything and You invite us into Your kingdom. Lead us to accept Your invitation and to honor Your Son, Jesus, who gave His life so we can be with You forever. We pray that we would not reject You for anything in the world. We love You. Amen. Dismiss to small groups Older Kids Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 30 Session 2 11

12 The Gospel: God s Plan for Me Ask kids if they have ever heard the word gospel. Clarify that the word gospel means good news. It is the message about Christ, the kingdom of God, and salvation. Use the following guide to share the gospel with kids. God rules. Explain to kids that the Bible tells us God created everything, and He is in charge of everything. Invite a volunteer to read Genesis 1:1 from the Bible. Read Revelation 4:11 or Colossians 1:16-17 aloud and explain what these verses mean. We sinned. Tell kids that since the time of Adam and Eve, everyone has chosen to disobey God. (Romans 3:23) The Bible calls this sin. Because God is holy, God cannot be around sin. Sin separates us from God and deserves God s punishment of death. (Romans 6:23) God provided. Choose a child to read John 3:16 aloud. Say that God sent His Son, Jesus, the perfect solution to our sin problem, to rescue us from the punishment we deserve. It s something we, as sinners, could never earn on our own. Jesus alone saves us. Read and explain Ephesians 2:8-9. Jesus gives. Share with kids that Jesus lived a perfect life, died on the cross for our sins, and rose again. Because Jesus gave up His life for us, we can be welcomed into God s family for eternity. This is the best gift ever! Read Romans 5:8; 2 Corinthians 5:21; or 1 Peter 3:18. We respond. Tell kids that they can respond to Jesus. Read Romans 10:9-10,13. Review these aspects of our response: Believe in your heart that Jesus alone saves you through what He s already done on the cross. Repent, turning from self and sin to Jesus. Tell God and others that your faith is in Jesus. Offer to talk with any child who is interested in responding to Jesus. 12

13 Small Group LEADER 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, but few will choose to come. Key Passage: Matthew 13:10-11 Unit Christ Connection: Jesus taught in parables so His followers would understand how to live in anticipation of His second coming. Key Passage Poster dry erase board dry erase markers Bibles, 1 per kid Small Group Visual Pack Key passage activity (5 minutes) Write the key passage on a dry erase board. Lead kids to say the key passage aloud a few times. Then erase one or two words. Lead kids to say the key passage again, supplying the missing words. Continue erasing a few words at a time until kids can recite the key passage from memory. Say Great job. Keep working to memorize our key passage. Matthew 13:10-11 tells us why Jesus spoke in parables. Jesus said that some people would understand what the parables mean, and some would not understand. Like the first guests in today s Bible story, not everyone who hears the truth about Jesus is happy to accept it. Bible story review & Bible skills (10 minutes) Provide a Bible for each kid and instruct kids to sit. Guide them to find the Book of Matthew in the Bible. Assist any kids who need help. Review the timeline in the small group visual pack. Retell or review the Bible story in your own words, or use Older Kids Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 30 Session 2 13

14 the bolded text of the Bible story script. Direct kids to turn to Matthew 22:1-14 and use the Bible to answer the following questions about the Bible story. When a kid has located the answer in the Bible, she should stand. Allow time for several kids to stand, and then call on someone to give the answer and the verse(s) where the answer is found. Then instruct all kids to be seated as you ask the next question. 1. What type of party did the king have for his son? (a wedding feast, Matt. 22:2) 2. What did the invited guests say when the feast was ready? (They said they did not want to come, Matt. 22:3) 3. How did the invited guests treat the king s servants? (They ignored the servants or killed them; Matt. 22:5-6) 4. Whom did the king tell the servants to invite to the feast? (Everyone they could find, both evil and good; Matt. 22:9-10) 5. What was wrong with the man who came to the banquet? (He was not dressed for a wedding, Matt. 22:11-12) 6. Who is invited to the kingdom of heaven? Everyone is invited to the kingdom of heaven, but few will choose to come. Say Salvation is a free gift. We can t earn our way into heaven. Jesus did all the work when He died for our sins on the cross. When we receive His invitation, Jesus gets us ready by clothing us in His righteousness. Jesus invites us to join Him in heaven the great wedding feast. If you choose to review with boys and girls how to become a Christian, explain that kids are welcome to speak with you or another teacher if they have questions. 14

15 God rules. God created and is in charge of everything. (Gen. 1:1; Rev. 4:11; Col. 1:16-17) We sinned. Since Adam and Eve, everyone has chosen to disobey God. (Rom. 3:23; 6:23) God provided. God sent His Son, Jesus, to rescue us from the punishment we deserve. (John 3:16; Eph. 2:8-9) Jesus gives. Jesus lived a perfect life, died on the cross for our sins, and rose again so we can be welcomed into God s family. (Rom. 5:8; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 Pet. 3:18) We respond. Believe that Jesus alone saves you. Repent. Tell God that your faith is in Jesus. (Rom. 10:9-10,13) LOW PREP Bible sticky notes marker Activity choice (10 minutes) Option 1: Clothed in righteousness Write the following letters on separate sticky notes: I, S, A, I, A, H. On another sticky note, write 61:10. Hide the sticky notes around the room. Challenge the kids to find the seven hidden sticky notes. Then kids should work together to rearrange the letters and discover the Bible verse reference. Instruct a volunteer to find the verse in the Bible and read it aloud. Ask kids what this verse reminds them of in today s Bible story. (the wedding clothes) Say Salvation is a free gift. We can t earn our way into heaven. Jesus did all the work when He died for our sins on the cross. When we receive Jesus invitation, Jesus gets us ready by clothing us in His righteousness. Jesus invites us to join Him in heaven the great wedding feast. Who is invited to the kingdom of heaven? Everyone Older Kids Bible Study Leader Guide Unit 30 Session 2 15

16 is invited to the kingdom of heaven, but few will choose to come. construction paper envelopes markers other art supplies pencils journals Bibles Journal Page, 1 per kid Wedding Feast Maze activity page, 1 per kid Option 2: Make invitations Supply construction paper, markers, and other art supplies for kids to make invitations. Suggest kids think of friends or classmates who do not attend church. Kids can create invitations to distribute during the week. They may fold the construction paper to fit into an envelope, decorate the construction paper, and write a welcoming message. Be sure to include information about your church s location, what time in what room your class meets, and other relevant information. Encourage the kids to invite friends or classmates to church. Say Who is invited to the kingdom of heaven? Everyone is invited to the kingdom of heaven, but few will choose to come. Inviting our friends and neighbors to church is important. What s even more important is that they hear the gospel the good news about Jesus. Pray that each person you invite to church will receive Jesus invitation to the kingdom of God. Journal and prayer (5 minutes) Distribute pencils and journal pages. Instruct kids to write the big picture question and answer. Then prompt them to answer the following question. Say Have you received Jesus invitation to the kingdom of heaven? Why or why not? Invite kids to share prayer requests. Close the group in prayer, asking God to lead kids to receive His invitation to the kingdom of heaven. As time allows, lead kids to complete the activity page Wedding Feast Maze. 16

17 Journal Page Key Passage: Matthew 13:10-11 Session 1: Parable of the Vineyard Workers Matthew 20:1-16 Session 2: Parable of the Wedding Feast Matthew 22:1-14 Session 3: Parable of the Faithful Servant Matthew 24:45-51; Luke 12:42-48 Session 4: Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus Luke 16:19-31 Session 5: Parable of the Talents Matthew 25:14-30; Luke 19:11-27 OK TO PRINT

18 Then the disciples came up and asked Him, Why do You speak to them in parables? He answered them, Because the secrets of the kingdom of heaven have been given for you to know, but it has not been given to them. Matthew 13:10-11 UNIT 30 Key Passage Poster (HCSB) OK TO PRINT

19 And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. Matthew 13:10-11 UNIT 30 Key Passage Poster (KJV) OK TO PRINT

20 Then the disciples came and said to him, Why do you speak to them in parables? And he answered them, To you it has been given to know the secrets of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. Matthew 13:10-11 UNIT 30 Key Passage Poster (ESV) OK TO PRINT

21 The disciples came to him and asked, Why do you speak to the people in parables? He replied, Because the knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to you, but not to them. Matthew 13:10-11 UNIT 30 Key Passage Poster (NIV) OK TO PRINT

22 And the disciples came and said to Him, Why do You speak to them in parables? He answered and said to them, Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. Matthew 13:10-11 UNIT 30 Key Passage Poster (NKJV) OK TO PRINT

23 UNIT 30 Key Passage Poster OK TO PRINT

24 Who is invited to the kingdom of heaven? UNIT 30 Session 2 Big Picture Question OK TO PRINT

25 Who is invited to the kingdom of heaven? Everyone is invited to the kingdom of heaven, but few will choose to come. UNIT 30 Session 2 Big Picture Question OK TO PRINT

26 UNIT 30 Big Picture Question OK TO PRINT

27 UNIT 30 Session 2 Parable of the Wedding Feast OK TO PRINT

28 Instructions: The feast is ready, but where are the guests? Draw in the faces of the people you want to invite to a party. Include some of your favorite foods on the plates. UNIT 30 Session 2 Older Kids Activity Pages

29 Instructions: Help the guest get to the wedding feast. UNIT 30 Session 2 Older Kids Activity Pages

30 Today we will be tasting/ touching/sniffing: Please notify the leader if your child should not participate. Instructions: Print this poster. You may laminate it and reuse it throughout the quarter. Use a dry erase marker to fill in the necessary information. Display the poster where parents and kids can see it before class. UNIT 30 Allergy Alert Poster OK TO PRINT

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