Matthew 18; Luke 10 – Teaching Children the Gospel

Matthew CHAPTER 18 Jesus explains how we are to treat our offending brethren—The Son of Man came to save that which was lost—All of the Twelve receive the keys of the kingdom—Jesus explains why we should forgive.

Luke CHAPTER 10 Jesus calls, empowers, and instructs the Seventy—They preach and heal—Those who receive Christ’s disciples receive Christ—The Father is revealed by the Son—Jesus gives the parable of the good Samaritan.

I should always forgive others.

Matthew 18:21–35

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Matthew 18; Luke 10” As you read Matthew 18:21–35, consider your own experiences with forgiveness and what the children need to know about this principle.

  • Tell the parable of the unmerciful servant (see Matthew 18:23–35). Explain that when someone is unkind or unfair, we will probably feel angry or sad at first. But forgiveness means we can feel peace again. When we forgive someone, we decide not to be angry with them anymore. (Help the children understand that if someone is being unkind or unfair to them, they should ask their parents or another trusted adult for help.)

Friend August 2017 “Jesus Forgives” Jesus teaches Peter to forgive. Jesus forgave sins, and he forgave his crucifiers.

  • Write I forgive you on the board, and tell the children that these words can help turn sad moments into happy ones. Draw a sad face on the board, and share some examples of children forgiving one another. After each example, invite a child to change the sad face to a happy one.

Friend April 2019 “A New Block Tower” Mason accidentally knocks down Bo’s block tower. Mason says sorry and offers to help build another one. Bo forgives him, and they both are happy.

Friend August 2021 “Not Invited” Becky isn’t invited to her friend’s birthday party. She feels really left out and sad. She prays to be able to forgive her friend and is able to play together the next day. When Becky has her birthday party she invites her.

Friend September 2022 “Matt and Mandy” Mandy is about to score her first goal and is knocked over by a player.

  • Sing with the children a song about forgiveness, such as “Help Me, Dear Father” (Children’s Songbook, 99). Share your testimony that Heavenly Father will help us forgive others.

Heavenly Father will forgive me as I forgive others.

Matthew 18:21–35

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Matthew 18; Luke 10” The parable of the unmerciful servant can be a memorable way to teach the children that Heavenly Father wants us to forgive everyone.

  • Show the video “Forgive Every One Their Trespasses: The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant” (ChurchofJesusChrist.org) to help the children visualize this parable.

  • Read Matthew 18:23–35 with the children. Explain that the king or lord represents Heavenly Father, the servant represents us, and the fellow servant represents those who have wronged us.

New Testament Seminary Student Manual (2023) “Matthew 18:21–35”

It is important to know that 10,000 talents is an unpayable debt. It would have taken a poor working man in Jesus’s day over 250,000 years to earn that much money (see Jay A. Parry and Donald W. Parry, Understanding the Parables of Jesus Christ [2006], 95).

  • Why do you think Jesus Christ would use an unpayable debt to teach this parable?

Read the rest of the parable in Matthew 18:28–35 , looking for how we should treat each other and why. It is helpful to know that 100 pence was around “three months’ wages of a poor working man” ( verse 28 , footnote a). One truth we can learn from this parable is that we can follow the example of Jesus Christ by forgiving others as He forgives us.

  • Ask the children questions like “What does this story teach about how we should treat others? When have you found it hard to forgive someone? How did you let go of those hurt feelings? When have you needed to be forgiven for a wrong choice?”

Friend April 1985 “Not a Thief” – A boy is grateful that others forgive his mistakes, so he forgives a friend who took one of his toys.

April 2004 Friend “An Experiment in Forgiving Jared’s three year old sister ruined his science experiment, and he didn’t know if he could ever forgive her. He feels bad the whole day and decides that no science experiment was worth the pain he’d caused his little sister.

April 2004 Friend “Birthday Cookies Leanne purposely gave Cammie a smashed cupcake with only one candy in front of everyone. Cammie wanted Leanne to know how that felt, and decides to give Leanne an ugly, smashed treat when it was her birthday the next week. But when Cammie got to Leanne’s desk she saw that Leanne was upset, expecting payback. Cammie knew she didn’t want someone else to feel like she had felt, so she gave Leanne a big, beautiful cookie instead and felt great.

  • Write on the board the multiplication problem 70 × 7, and help the children solve it. Ask someone to read Matthew 18:21–22, and explain that Jesus used this number to teach us that we should always forgive.

Friend September 1994 “I Forgive You”

  • Have you ever had a difficult time forgiving someone who has been unkind to you? If the person comes to you and says that he is sorry, it is always good to say, “I forgive you.” But if he is unkind again, what should you do then?
  • From the New Testament, we learn that Peter asked Jesus a similar question. Peter wanted to know how often he should forgive someone who had wronged him. He asked if forgiving someone seven times was enough.
  • Jesus answered, “I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven” (Matt. 18:22).
  • Those of you who can multiply know that 70 x 7 = 490! What a large number! Did Jesus really mean that Peter should forgive a person 490 times? Would Peter need to carry a book or a tablet to keep track of each time he forgave until he had forgiven that many times? Elder James E. Talmage, an Apostle in our time, tells us that Jesus meant that Peter—and all of us—should be willing to always forgive. (See Jesus the Christ, page 393.)
  • Why is forgiving others so important? When Jesus told Peter to forgive seventy times seven, was He thinking only of the person being forgiven, or was He thinking of Peter too? Would forgiving others help Peter feel peace?
  • Yes! Jesus knew that Peter would be blessed with a feeling of peace each time he truly forgave someone. Forgiving brings peace to those who forgive as well as to those who are forgiven. Jesus taught that we should forgive and be kind to one another, and He set the example for us.
  • Ask the children to help you think of a few situations where someone might need to forgive another person. Invite the children to act out how they would show forgiveness in those situations.

April 2004 Friend “Loving Our Enemies” After a family home evening lesson on loving your enemies, Curtis is nice to a boy who had been bullying him at school and shares his lunch with him. The boy stopped bullying Curtis after that.

See additional story ideas above.

Friend September 1994 “I Forgive You”

  • Walking in others’ shoes Activity
  • Often it helps us to forgive another person if we try to “walk in his shoes” by imagining how that person feels, or why he might have done or said what he did. As you read the situations, find the shoes that fit each one, and draw a line from them to the situation they match. Then “walk in those shoes” and finish the sentence with possible reasons for that person’s behavior.
  • Sing with the children a song about forgiveness, such as “Help Me, Dear Father” (Children’s Songbook, 99). Help the children understand what the song teaches us about forgiving others.

Friend August 2015 “You Can Repent and Forgive”

Friend March 2015

Friend March 2015

“Rabbinism called upon the offender to initiate a course of reconciliation with his brother and specified that forgiveness should not be extended more than three times to any offender. His soul as yet not afire with the Holy Spirit, Peter asked a question that, as he must have then supposed, assumed a far more liberal rule than that imposed by the Rabbis. ‘Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?’ Jesus answered: ‘I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven,’ meaning there is no limit to the number of times men should forgive their brethren” (The Mortal Messiah: From Bethlehem to Calvary, 4 vols. [1979–81], 3:91).

Jesus taught me to see all people as my neighbors and love them.

Luke 10:25–37

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Matthew 18; Luke 10” The parable of the good Samaritan can show children who our neighbors are and how we should treat them. Think of ways you can inspire the children to “go, and do … likewise” (Luke 10:37).

  • Ask each child, “Who is your neighbor?” Summarize the account in Luke 10:25–37, and share how Jesus answered that question. What did Jesus teach about how we should treat our neighbors?

Who is my neighbor? Anyone who needs your help and love.

New Testament Stories “The Good Samaritan” Video and Images

The Good Samaritan: A Bible Story for Children

Media Library “Primary 2: Choose the Right A Cutouts 2-1, Wounded Man; 2-2, Priest; 2-3, Levite; 2-4, Samaritan”

  • Read Luke 10:25–37 as the children act out the parable of the good Samaritan. Help them think of ways they can be like the good Samaritan by showing love and kindness to others.

Friend October 1984

Friend October 1984
Friend October 1984
Friend October 1984
  • Write a few examples of situations where someone would need help, and hide the papers around the room. Ask the children to find the papers. Read the situations, and invite the children to share how they could show kindness to the person in that situation.

Lesson 28: Primary 2: Choose the Right A

  1. As you are walking down the street, you see that someone has had a bicycle accident. As you get closer, you see that it is a boy who is always teasing you. His pant leg is caught in the chain of his bicycle. He cannot move without help.
    • What could you do to be kind to the boy?
  2. You have planned a special party for your birthday next week, and you want to invite all the children in your neighborhood except one. She is new in the neighborhood. She never smiles and isn’t much fun to play with.
    • What could you do to be kind to this girl?
  3. While playing with your friends you fell down. One of your friends called you clumsy and laughed at you. Now your friend has fallen down and is crying.
    • What could you do to be kind to your friend?
  4. A boy in your class at school uses braces to help him walk. When all the children go out to play, he gets left behind because he walks slowly. He often sits by himself, watching everyone else play ball.
    • What could you do to be kind to this boy?

Friend May 2022 “Hudson the Good Samaritan”

  • Sing with the children a song about kindness, such as “Jesus Said Love Everyone” or “Kindness Begins with Me” (Children’s Songbook, 61, 145). Help the children think of a few ways they show love and kindness to others. They could also draw pictures of themselves doing these things.

I can love and serve others, especially those in need.

Luke 10:30–37

Come, Follow Me—For Primary: New Testament 2023 “Matthew 18; Luke 10” Ponder times in your own life when someone has been “a good Samaritan” to you. How can you inspire children to be “good Samaritans” to others?

Luke 10 | Parables of Jesus: Parable of the Good Samaritan

The Good Samaritan Video

  • Assign each child to quietly read part of the parable of the good Samaritan. Invite the children to tell their parts of the parable in the order the events happened.

New Testament Student Manual “Chapter 17: Luke 9–14” In the written law of Moses, priests and Levites were assigned to serve God and their fellowmen, both in the temple and as teachers and exemplars of God’s law. These priesthood bearers were fully aware of the commandment to “love thy neighbour as thyself” (Leviticus 19:18).

Come, Follow Me—For Individuals and Families: New Testament 2023 “Matthew 18; Luke 10” By Jesus’s day, the animosity between the Jews and Samaritans had lasted for centuries. The Samaritans were descendants of Jews living in Samaria who had intermarried with Gentiles. The Jews felt that the Samaritans had become corrupted by their association with Gentiles and had apostatized. Jews would travel miles out of their way to avoid passing through Samaria. (See also Luke 9:52–5417:11–18John 4:98:48.)

  • Explain to the children that the Jews disliked the Samaritans so much that when they traveled from Jerusalem to Galilee, they would go around Samaria to avoid interacting with any Samaritans. To illustrate this, show Bible map 1, “Physical Map of the Holy Land.” Why would Jesus use a Samaritan as an example of kindness in this parable? What does this story teach us about helping others in need? (See also Mosiah 4:16–22.)
  • Ask the children to share an experience when someone was like the good Samaritan toward them.

For the Strength of Youth April 2023 “The Good Samaritan”

  • Challenge the children to set a goal to be like the good Samaritan this week. You might ask them if they know someone who is sick or lonely or someone who does not attend church regularly. Ask the children how they could help that person. Help the children understand how serving others helps them keep the promises they made at baptism (see Mosiah 18:8–10).

Friend February 2019 “The Baptism Covenant” Cut out and mix up these cards. Then take turns matching cards that go together. With each match, talk about that part of the baptism covenant.

Friend April 2023 “Come, Follow Me Activities” Love Your Neighborhood

Story: Jesus told us to take care of our neighbors (see Luke 10:25–37). Each person around us is our neighbor, even if they look or act differently than we do.

Song: “I’ll Walk with You” (Children’s Songbook, 140–41)

Activity: Draw a picture of your neighborhood. You can include your family, friends, and neighbors. Every day this week, pick a person from your drawing and do something kind for them.

Friend November 2022 “Jesus Said to Love Our Neighbor” See link for stories

Friend August 2018 Find the words below that tell how we can share the Savior’s love with others.

New Testament Coloring Book “The Good Samaritan”

Latter Day Kids “The Good Samaritan” Lesson ideas

We have many opportunities to follow the Savior’s counsel to “go, and do thou likewise” ( Luke 10:37) in many different settings we find ourselves in, such as at home, at school, online, in our ward or branch, and among strangers.

Additional Resources

“Lesson 20: Parable of the Good Samaritan,” Primary 7: New Testament  Lesson ideas

The Red Crystal “Mathew 18; Luke 10” Lesson ideas

News with Naylor “Week 17: The Good Samaritan” Lesson ideas and activities

Latter Day Kids “Forgiveness” Lesson ideas

Come Follow Me with Living Scriptures “Until Seventy times Seven” Lesson ideas

Mary and Martha

“Just because something is good is not a sufficient reason for doing it. The number of good things we can do far exceeds the time available to accomplish them. Some things are better than good, and these are the things that should command priority attention in our lives.

“Jesus taught this principle in the home of Martha. … It was praiseworthy for Martha to be ‘careful and troubled about many things’ (v. 41), but learning the gospel from the Master Teacher was more ‘needful.’ The scriptures contain other teachings that some things are more blessed than others (see Acts 20:35Alma 32:14–15). …

“Consider how we use our time in the choices we make in viewing television, playing video games, surfing the Internet, or reading books or magazines. Of course it is good to view wholesome entertainment or to obtain interesting information. But not everything of that sort is worth the portion of our life we give to obtain it. Some things are better, and others are best. …

“Some uses of individual and family time are better, and others are best. We have to forego some good things in order to choose others that are better or best because they develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and strengthen our families” (“Good, Better, Best,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2007, 104–5, 107).

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