Listen to Jesus!

Need a children’s sermon on the Transfiguration? Try this one…

Title: “Listen to Jesus!”

Scripture text: Mark 9:2-13

Materials you need: A soccer ball and, if possible, a photo of a famous soccer player like Tim Howard

Opening question: How many of you like to play soccer? (interact with the children’s answers)

download (1)Message: Let’s pretend for a few minutes. Let’s pretend we’re at soccer camp. Soccer camp helps you become a better soccer player. And let’s pretend it’s the last day of soccer camp, and the coach says, “Today, boys and girls, a special guest will be joining us. He happens to be one of the best goalkeepers in the world. In fact, in the 2014 World Cup game against Belgium, he made 16 saves–a World Cup record! His name is Tim Howard!” (show photo) 

What would you do if Tim Howard were to show up at soccer camp? How would you behave? Do you think it would be OK to cut up and joke around with your friends while Tim Howard was telling you about playing soccer? (No, of course not!) What if you got scared and nervous and started saying all kinds of bizarre things. Suppose you said, “WOW! Tim Howard! This is amazing! I’m going to run to Wal-Mart right now and buy a tent, and I want to put you in the tent!!”–would that be a good way to react to Tim Howard? (No!)

Well, let me tell you a story that happened in Jesus’ ministry. One day he took Peter, James, and John up a high mountain. The Bible says that there Jesus was transfigured before them. That means his whole body was suddenly lit up like the sun. Mark 2:3 says “his clothes became radiant, intensely white, as no one on earth could bleach them.” Two men from Old Testament times–Moses and Elijah–suddenly appeared with Jesus and talked with him. And Peter got so afraid and nervous about what was going on that he started saying the craziest things. He said, “Rabbi, it’s good that we are here. Let us make three tents, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” The Bible says Peter did not know what to say, he was so terrified. I suppose he was scared and nervous and puzzled and amazed, all at the same time.

All of a sudden, a cloud came down and overshadowed Jesus, Elijah, Moses, and the three disciples. God the Father spoke from the cloud and said, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him!” And with that, the cloud disappeared, along with Moses and Elijah.

That’s a really wild story, isn’t it, boys and girls? But it shows how important it is to listen to Jesus. He is much, much greater than a sports hero like Tim Howard. He’s greater than Moses and Elijah. And guess what–he’s here with us this morning. He’s right here in our church. Of course, his body is not with us, but he is here in the person of the Holy Spirit. He’s also here in his Word, the Bible. We’re about to hear from him in the sermon. So I hope each of you will listen carefully to the reading and preaching of the Word of God. God loves us so much that he sent Jesus to earth 2,000 years ago, and he’s still speaking to us today through the Bible. Jesus is God’s beloved Son. Listen to him!