First Baptist Church

Hammond, Indiana

Elementary Sunday School Lesson


Romans 13

Objects to have:

An umbrella

A separate sign for each of these words, with the words written vertically: PARENTS, TEACHERS, PREACHER, GOVERNMENT

Safety pins or Scotch tape

A picture of a big fish with a coin taped to the underside at his mouth

Your Bible.

Introducing the lesson:

(Open your umbrella and hold it over your head. Talk to the children about how an umbrella can protect you; it protects you from getting wet when you are in the rain. Then say the following while holding the umbrella over your head.)

Let's think about something else. Let's think about a little tiny baby. A little tiny baby is lying on his back, kicking his feet and waving his hands. He is wearing a nice, warm blue suit. He has little shoes on his feet. He is chubby, and he is happy. He is laughing. He is clean, and his hair is brushed down nicely. That little baby did not give himself a bath. That little baby did not feed himself some food. That little baby did not put on his nice, clean clothes himself. That little baby cannot get up and walk across the room and decide to lie down without the help of someone. That little tiny baby needs somebody to take care of him. His mother and his daddy take care of the little baby.

Think about yourself. You did not go to work yesterday and bring home money. You did not take your own money and buy some hamburger and some bread and some cereal and some milk and bring it home for yourself to eat. Your mother and/or your daddy do that for you. We could think of lots and lots of things that our mothers and our daddies do for us. God knew that every little baby and every child would need parents or grandparents or someone else to care for that child. Mothers and daddies take care of their children. God decided that's the way it should be. Let's put this sign which says PARENTS on our umbrella. (Fasten it with the pin or the Scotch tape to the edge of the open umbrella.) Parents-our mothers and our daddies-watch over us and take care of us.

Let's think about this: A big crowd of people are going to church. Men, women, boys, and girls walk down the sidewalk toward the church building. Some of them got out of cars. Some of them got out of buses. Some just walked out the door of their houses and walked to church.

Let's pretend that we see lots of people coming inside the church building. They are coming to church to hear what God will tell them today from the Bible. So all the men and the women and the boys and the girls go to their Sunday school rooms and sit down. Later on, a teacher stands up to talk to them. A teacher teaches them a lesson from the Bible. (Hang the word TEACHER from a side of the umbrella.) Children go to school every day. They have teachers there, too. Children cannot teach themselves! They could not learn by themselves! They have to have teachers.

Now, let's pretend that we are watching all the people who are coming into the church auditorium. They are coming in on Sunday morning or Sunday night or Wednesday night. In our church auditorium the people hear a preacher. (Hang the word PREACHER from the umbrella.) Nobody can be his own preacher to tell himself all that he needs to know from God's Word. God has chosen a certain man to be our preacher.

We all live someplace in or near a city, in a state, in our country. We have a city government, a state government and a national government. Somebody in our city or our state or our country has to say how fast all the cars can go down the street. Somebody has to decide when and where to build new schools. Somebody has to decide where there should be a park. Somebody has to make the laws of the land. We have mayors and governors and congressmen and a President. We need all these people in the government. (Put the word GOVERNMENT on the umbrella.)

Now, there is something that we are supposed to do about all these people who are over us, all these people who look out for us. Let us look at my Bible to see what we are supposed to do. (With one hand pick up your Bible, which is already open to Romans 13:1. Keep the open umbrella in the other hand. Read Romans 13:1 to the children.) God is saying to us, "Love your parents. Know that they know more than you do. Honor them." This is what we are supposed to do about our teachers. We are supposed to listen to them; we are to obey them when they say, "Look at me; listen to me; learn this." This is what we are supposed to do about our preacher. We are to love our preacher as the man of God. Our preacher is Brother Schaap. Our preacher is God's man to tell us the message that God has for us. We are to listen to our preacher. We are to obey what he says that God wants us to do. This is what we are supposed to do about the President of our country or the mayor of our city or anybody else in government. We are to respect these leaders of the land. We are to honor them; our Bible tells us to do that.

Jesus did all that He said we should do. (Close your umbrella and lay it down.) Telling the story:

Peter was walking with Jesus. Peter and Jesus were walking beside the Sea of Galilee. They were walking away from the pretty blue-green water; they were walking toward a town. They were walking away from the country where there were no houses; they were walking into the city where there were streets, and there were houses on both sides of the streets. Peter and Jesus were walking into Capernaum. There were other people around, also; other disciples were there, too.

As Jesus and Peter came into Capernaum, the first people they saw were the tax collectors. One of the tax collectors walked up to Peter. He asked, "Does your master pay taxes?" Peter did not answer the tax collector; he was thinking that Jesus was not rich. Peter knew that Jesus was really poor. Peter knew that Jesus probably did not have money enough to pay taxes. Peter did not have enough money to pay taxes, either. What should he do?! What could he say?!

Peter and Jesus and others were going into a house. Peter was thinking while he walked into the house. Peter was thinking, "Why do we need to pay taxes? A lot of people in the government are sinful people, and my tax money would go to help take care of those sinful people."

Jesus stopped Peter. Jesus said to Peter, "What are you thinking, Peter?" Peter looked up at Jesus. Jesus knows our very thoughts, children. Jesus said, "We should obey the laws of our country, Peter." How were they going to do that-they had no money for the taxes.

Then Jesus told Peter to do something very strange! Jesus said, "Peter, go down to the Sea of Galilee. Take a fishing line with you. Be sure that there is a hook on the end of the line. Throw the fishing hook into the water. Pull in the first fish that you catch."

"What does fishing for just one fish have to do with getting money to pay taxes?" Peter was probably wondering.

Peter obeyed Jesus. Peter got a fishing pole, put a hook on the end of the fishing line, and put a wiggly worm on the hook. Peter threw the fishing line into the water. He soon felt a tug on the line! Peter pulled up on the pole, and he pulled in a fish! (Pick up your fish.)

Jesus was standing there watching Peter pull in the fish. "Take the hook out of the fish's mouth, Peter," said Jesus, "and look inside the fish's mouth. You will find money in there." (Pretend to do this and pull the coin from behind the fish's mouth.)

Peter looked; guess what he found! He found a big coin in the fish's mouth! Peter pulled out the big piece of money and showed it to Jesus. Jesus said, "Take that piece of money, Peter, and go pay the taxes for you and for Me."

I think that Peter almost bounced away from the seashore! He was so happy! Their problem was solved. Jesus knew where to find the money that they needed for paying their taxes. Peter and Jesus were able to obey the tax law.

(Pick up the umbrella and open it again. Review with the children the powers that are over all of us and how God wants us to behave toward those powers.) God will help us always to do right, if we ask Him and then listen to His instructions.

Learn our Bible verse: Romans 13:1, "Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers...."

Sunday School Lessons