Category Archives: People in New Testament

Sermons for the Season after Pentecost

Trinity Sunday is the first Sunday in the season after Pentecost. Jesus shares with Nicodemus about spiritual rebirth in Born Again. As Christians we will experience mountain top moments when our circumstances are blessed, as well as moments of testing and trials. The apostle Paul explains how to maintain a positive attitude no matter what circumstances we face in Lord of the Valley. Next, we learn to Look Inside at the character of a person rather than judge based on outward appearances. A children’s favorite is the story of the underdog defeating the physically superior challenger in David & Goliath. The next children’s sermon is the miracle when Jesus raises a 12-year-old girl from the dead in Raising of Jairus’ Daughter. Then we learn that our physical strength is not nearly as important as our spiritual well-being in Strength in Weakness. We find out how wonderful it is to be Adopted by God as his children. Another miracle is shown by Jesus in Feeding the 5000 when he takes what they have and multiply it to meet their needs.

Sermons for the Season of Lent

The season of Lent starts with Ash Wednesday and the sermon Treasure in Heaven. This sermon explains the difference between treasures that will last and treasures that are temporary. The first Sunday in Lent is Noah’s Ark: Rainbows and Promises. God promised to never destroy the earth with water again. He gave us the rainbow as a reminder of his promise. We should keep our promises just as God keeps His promises. In Journey to Faith the story of Abraham’s journey to faith and his blessing to us was realized in Jesus Christ. Next, in the Ten Commandments we learn to obey God’s commands out of love for Him and our fellowman. Then we learn God punishes sin in Oh No! Snakes! God provides a healing from poisonous snakebites in the wilderness for the Israelites that turn to Him in faith and look upon the bronze serpent. Jesus is the only remedy for our sin. Then in Sir, We Would See Jesus we learn to live in a manner so that others can see Jesus in us. For Palm Sunday, we read the story Pokey, the little Burro. Jesus was humble on Palm Sunday when he was presented as Israel’s Messiah. We should be humble and not make fun of others less fortunate than ourselves. This sermon helps young children learn to accept the mentally disabled. The season of Easter begins with the story of the resurrection of Jesus in He is Risen!

Back to School Children’s Sermons

In America the Labor Day holiday marks the end of summer and typically all students have returned to school for the new school year calendar. The Labor Day children’s sermon explains why it is important to take a day of rest and explains what the holiday means. Here are the back to school children’s sermons for autumn 2014:

The Passover story of the Hebrew people being freed by the Egyptian pharaoh is explained and how that memorial was transformed at the Last Supper of Jesus and his disciples. After their release, the Egyptian pharaoh changed his mind and pursued the Israelites into the desert and his army was drowned as they made their Red Sea Escape. This sermon can be done as a skit using balloons and can be great fun for the children. Next, Jesus tells the parable of the laborers in The Last Shall Be First. Salvation is available to all and our response should be one of humility not resentment to those who choose to follow God late in life. That thought is continued with Make Allowance for Others in the many examples we have that teach us to show compassion instead of judging others.

As the Israelites began their journey in the wilderness God gave Moses the Ten Commandments to teach to them. Next, in the Revelation of Jesus Christ to John, the story of the marriage supper of the Lamb is explained. It will be a wonderful Wedding in Heaven that many will be called to attend. As church school years begin anew, the sermon Sunday School explains the importance of Sunday School teachers and regular attendance to learn the truth of God’s Word. As October ends, the sermon No Ghost is a testimony to the risen Christ as he appeared before his disciples after his resurrection.

End of Summer Sermons

This is a summary of the children’s sermons for the coming weeks at the end of summer.

As we near the end of summer the children’s sermons are about wisdom, faith, perseverance, and providence.

Jesus teaches with parables on the kingdom. He tells that people must act on the truth they understand in Seeds that Grow. He prophesies that evil will be removed from the world upon his return in Wheat and Weeds. Solomon makes a humble request to know right from wrong in Solomon’s Wisdom.  Jesus demonstrates that he can multiply our resources when we offer to him in faith in Feeding the 5000.  Peter shows we can do impossible things by faith if we keep our eyes on Jesus in Peter Walks on Water. Joseph perseveres through many years of hardships and learns to trust God no matter what his circumstances were in Joseph & the Colorful Coat.  God seeks to find the lost and makes his will known through Moses: Lost and Found.  Moses is called to serve God at the Burning Bush.

Mary, Mother of Jesus

Text: Luke 1: 26-38

The Annunciation by Henry Owassa Tanner, 1898
The Annunciation by Henry Owassa Tanner, 1898

Prop: A picture of the Virgin Mary

Summary: Mary is a role model for mothers who are women of God.

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favor with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest.  – Luke 1:30-32

Look what I brought with me. It is a picture of the Virgin Mary being visited by the angel Gabriel. This is when Mary found out she was going to be a mother. Being a mother is something very special. It is an awesome responsibility. Any child is a gift from God and the rearing of children is one of the most important things a parent has to do. Today is a day when we thank God for what our mothers do and have done to rear us in a fashion that honors God.

The love and caring of a mother starts before we are even born. With Mary it started with a humble obedience to the will of God. When she learned of her role in bringing Jesus into the world, she replied to the angel, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word (Luke 1:38). As frightened as she must have been from seeing an angel, she answered God’s call to duty. She cared for her yet unborn child when she visited her cousin Elizabeth. Even while she was pregnant, she helped her cousin in the last few months before Elizabeth gave birth to John the Baptist (Luke 1:39-56). Mary followed the customs of worship when she brought Jesus to be circumcised according to the law (Luke 2:21). She made worship a priority in her life even while Jesus was an infant.

Mary protected the baby Jesus from harm by fleeing to Egypt when an angel warned Joseph that King Herod would try to destroy him (Matthew 2:12-14). She took Jesus to the feast of Passover where he stayed in the temple when he was twelve years old (Luke 2:41-50). It was important for her to take her child to the temple, just as your mother today brings you to church. She attended the wedding in Cana and encouraged her son to perform his first miracle. Mothers encourage us to be our best. She was always concerned for his safety. One time when he had so many people following him they couldn’t even enter the house it was so full, and she wanted to be sure he was alright (Mark 3:21,31-35). Mothers will naturally be concerned for our safety.

Mary followed Jesus to the cross and watched in horror as they crucified the Lord of Life. She loved her son and must have cried as he entrusted her care to John from the cross (John 19:25-27). She visited the tomb on Easter morning and her grief turned to joy when she saw the empty grave! A mother is devoted and sticks by her children through good times and bad times. What a wonderful example we have of motherhood when we consider the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus. Be sure to thank God for your mother today and tell her how much you love her.

©1997 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

The Annunciation by Henry Owassa Tanner, 1898, Philadelphia Museum of Art, courtesy of The Artchive. Used by permission.

Martha, Martha

Text: Luke 10:38-42

Prop: The book, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff by Carlson.

Summary: The story of Martha sitting at the feet of Jesus demonstrates that we need to spend time with God.

This book is called Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. Do you ever worry about something that isn’t important? Do you ever get so busy you forget to spend time with God? Sometimes we get busy playing with our friends. Sometimes we get busy doing things for ourselves. If we don’t take time to read the Bible or pray, we can easily forget about God. Did you know there’s a story in the Bible about that?

(Read text.)

Martha had invited Jesus to her house. When the men sat down to listen to Jesus teach about God, the women were usually working around the house. They would prepare food for the guests, keep the house clean, and clean up after meals. Martha was getting mad because Mary was sitting and listening to Jesus. She wasn’t helping with all the chores. Martha was a busy bee. She was cooking and setting the table and she wanted some help. So she complained to Jesus and asked him to tell Mary to help out. She didn’t stop to think about what she was saying. She just knew she didn’t want to do it all herself.

Jesus didn’t get on to Mary or Martha about what either one of them was doing. He knew Martha was worried and so he tried to calm her down. And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things: He gently got Martha’s attention and told her she was worried and upset over a very small matter. He guided her about what was important.

Jesus, Mary, and Martha
Jesus, Mary, and Martha

But one thing is needful: and Mary has chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her. Jesus was telling busy Martha that Mary was thinking about God. Mary was sitting quietly at the feet of Jesus as he taught about the kingdom of God. She was spending time with Jesus: not cleaning the dirty dishes, not cooking, not sweeping. She was just spending a quiet moment with the Master. Jesus said that she had made a wise decision and that she would benefit from it. He highly praised her for quietly spending time with God.

Today, let’s remember to spend time with Jesus. We can read our Bibles, and we can pray, and we can worship God together. Let’s try to remember when things get busy, that it’s still important to spend time with God.

©1997 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Zacchaeus Repents

Text: Luke 19:1-10

Prop: a picture of Zacchaeus in a sycamore tree

Summary: Zacchaeus repented of taking unfairly from others and repaid them. He believed on Jesus and was saved.

Today I want to tell you the story about Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a chief tax collector (publican) that lived in Jericho. Remember Jericho, where the walls came tumbling down? It was a small town on a trade route and one day Jesus was passing through it, on his way to Jerusalem. Zacchaeus was rich, but he had become rich by taking more taxes from people than the law allowed. He was dishonest. Most people hated tax collectors because they worked for the Roman government.

There are a few stories in the Bible I can really relate to. I’m a short guy. Zacchaeus was short of stature. He was so short he needed to climb a sycamore tree just to be able to see over the crowd. We know the media was there because he couldn’t see Jesus for the press (grin). When Jesus passed by the tree, he looked up and saw Zacchaeus. What Jesus did next shocked everyone. He told him to hurry down out of the tree because he would spend the day at his house. Jesus was criticized for spending time with people with bad reputations, but he explained his reasons for associating with them. For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Jesus cares about everyone, no matter what his or her present situation is. He wants to save everyone from his or her sins.

Zacchaeus was truly a changed man after he met Jesus. He repented of all the wrong things he had done. He understood what Jesus said about “turning around” and following in His ways. He promised Jesus that he would pay back the people he had taken too many taxes from according to the laws of Moses (Leviticus 6:5). Jesus told Zacchaeus he was forgiven. This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham. Jesus was telling Zacchaeus that his faith had caused him to be counted among God’s people. Everyone that comes to Jesus in faith and believes on him is saved by his or her faith in Him. We are all sinners, no better than this corrupt tax collector from Jericho. And like Zacchaeus, we can all turn our eyes upon Jesus and be saved.

©1998 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Follow Me

Text: Luke 5:27-28

Prop: a poster of Footprints.

Summary: Jesus calls us to follow him.

How many of you have ever played “Simon Says?” (Show of hands.) Let’s try it.([Test them to see if they follow directions.) Today I want to talk to you about what it means to follow Jesus.

One day Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi while he was working. Collecting taxes was not a fun job because nobody liked the person who made you pay taxes. Some tax collectors were crooked and took up more tax than they were supposed to take and they spent this extra money on themselves. Jesus didn’t look at Levi for the job he held, or what other people thought about him, he looked at his heart and told him Follow me.

What happened next is one of the most amazing things recorded in the Bible. And he left all, rose up, and followed him. The Bible says that Levi walked off the job, leaving the money behind. He completely left his old way of life and started to follow Jesus immediately. He didn’t want to continue living in sin, doing bad things. He decided right then and there to leave his old ways behind him and start a new life. When someone turns away from doing bad things, we call that repentance. When a person does what God says to do, we call that obedience. Levi did both.

Just as Levi followed Jesus, we are called to follow Jesus also. Jesus knows that we all have sinned and need to repent of our sins. He wants to give us a chance to turn away from doing bad things, and start doing good things. He has given us an example in the Bible of how to live as he lived, without ever doing anything wrong. Does that mean we will be perfect? No, it only means that is what we should try to do.

Just as it’s hard to play “Simon Says” and not make any mistakes, it’s hard to live a perfect life without making mistakes. God knows we will make mistakes, but he wants us to ask Jesus to forgive us when we sin and do bad things. Then we can be closer to God and be followers of Jesus.

©1999 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

Peter’s Pledge

Matthew 16:13-17
National flag or Christian flag


Peter confessed that he believed Jesus was the Son of God.

How many of you know the Pledge of Allegiance? Here in America we stand to recite it at the beginning of the school day. When we make a pledge we are promising to do something. When we pledge our allegiance we promise to stand up for something no matter what it may cost us. To be willing to do that we must really believe in the truth of what we are standing up for. Many patriots gave their lives (the ultimate sacrifice) for what the United States flag stands for. As we near our celebration of Independence Day (July 4), it reminds me of the time Peter stood up for Jesus. Some people only remember that Peter denied Jesus. I want to tell you about the time Peter pledged allegiance to Jesus.

Jesus was on a trip to a secluded area. Caesarea Philippi lies at the extreme northern boundary of Palestine. Perhaps the disciples were on a retreat to relax and reflect on all the miracles Jesus had performed. Jesus asked them who people thought he was. The disciples answered that the people thought he was a great prophet of God.

This was true. Jesus was a great prophet. So then Jesus asked his disciples directly, But whom say ye that I am? This is the most important question we will ever be asked. What are we to think of Jesus? How will we answer that question? How we answer that question will determine where we spend eternity (either in heaven or hell).


Matthew 16:16

Peter's Pledge

Peter stood up to pledge allegiance to Jesus. He believed Jesus was the Son of God, the Christ (or anointed One). Jesus said that God the Father had revealed this to Peter. God the Father shows who Jesus is to each of us. If we believe that Jesus was a holy man only, then we never accept his sacrifice on the cross for our sins. If we believe he is the only Son of God, then we can believe on Him as our Savior. As we pause to thank God for our freedom and our many blessings on this Independence Day, let’s remember how important it is to confess Jesus as our Savior.

©1999 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.

From Darkness to Light

Quote: Teaching kids to count is fine, but teaching them what counts is best. – Bob Talbert

Text: Acts 26:13-20

flashlightProp: A flashlight.

Summary: The story of Paul’s conversion from persecutor to apostle. We are all called to repent and serve God.

Look at this flashlight. When would I need it? (When it is dark.) Would it help me to see in the dark? [Yes.) Today I want to tell you about the day a very bright Light shone down from heaven on a man named Saul. We know him today as the apostle Paul.

(Read text.)

The Conversion of Saul
Conversion of Saul by Gustave Doré (1832-1883). Scan courtesy of The Doré Bible.

Saul used to hunt Christians and throw them in jail. He was very good at what he did and it was hurting God’s plan for people to hear the good news about Jesus. Saul was very smart and knew the Jewish law but he was ignorant about who Jesus was. Saul’s spiritual darkness made him an enemy of Christ. So the Lord Jesus decided to win him over, to shine a light on his understanding, so Saul would use his energy to help God instead. Jesus didn’t see Saul merely for who he was (a persecutor of Christians), but for who he could be (a missionary to win others to Christ).

God’s flashlight from heaven was so bright that even in the middle of the day it blinded Saul for three days! Saul understood that he had been fighting against God. He repented and was baptized. Saul the sinner became Paul the apostle. He began to do for others what Jesus had done for him: to turn them from darkness to light. Paul obeyed God’s call to serve him and became the greatest missionary in the world!

God is still shining his Light from heaven. He is calling you to repent and serve God also. I hope you will hear God’s call and have faith in Jesus today!

©2001 by Jim Kerlin. All rights reserved.