DLTK's Sunday School Lessons
The Parable of the Unmerciful Servant

by Leanne Guenther

Sunday School Teacher's Guide - this is just one possible lesson plan. Visit the Unmerciful Servant Bible lesson plan for further ideas to supplement this.


This lesson is about forgiveness.  Peter asks Jesus how many times should he forgive his brother who sins against him and Jesus answers seventy seven times.  The point is that no matter how many times someone has wronged us we need to forgive.  Christ offers his forgiveness to us over and over and that forgiveness never runs out, no matter how bad or sin is.  Forgiving others isn't always easy, but there is a strict message for us if we don't have mercy on others.

The message:

Preschool thru Grade 1: God forgives you and asks you to forgive others.
Grades 2 and 3: God asks us to have mercy and forgive others like he forgives us.

I've split this message into two separate ones depending on the age level.  For the younger children, the message is simple:  God forgives you and asks you to forgive others.  For the older children, we expand on this message and say: God asks us to have mercy and forgive others like he forgives us.

Make sure you repeat the message many times during the lesson.  Send the The Unmerciful Servant Take Home Sheet  home with the children to encourage parents to reiterate the message during the week.  It includes a poster at the bottom that the children can color and hang on their wall or refrigerator.

Preview of the lesson:

Some people like to do craft time first and story time second and some like to switch it around.  I like the first option, myself.

Always consider offering Bible Coloring Pages or the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) Coloring page for children who aren't interested in participating in the group activity (or if you get done the group activities very quickly and need something to fill in the spare time).  Everyone has a need for "alone time" once in awhile.  Also, sending home the coloring pages with the Take Home sheet provides parents with much needed help in reinforcing the lessons.  You can make a nice little booklet each week with the Take Home Sheet on top -- I promise that most parents will appreciate the effort! 


Time Allotted



Receive name tags.  Have the children use crayons, markers, yarn, feathers and whatever other materials (such as sparkle glue) that you have available to personalize their name tag.

Sing the Learning our Names song

10 to 15 minutes Heart name tags, scissors (or adults can precut),  crayons, markers, yarn, safety pins or tape.

Craft time!

Preschool thru Grade 1: Make the  Who's My Neighbor/Brother paper craft.  Talk about Jesus' mercy for everyone.  Who is their brother?  Who does God want us to forgive?  Their brother can be anyone (a person who sits next to them in school, a family member, someone in need, etc.)

Grade 2 and 3:  Make the What Would Jesus Do Activity Page.  On template one, you'll notice a big blank space over the words "What Will You Do?"  Encourage them to draw a picture or write a sentence about who and how they can forgive others that have sinned against them.  Include the number 77 to remind them that they need to keep on forgiving like God keeps forgiving us.

15 to 30 minutes 
depending on your
adult/child ratio

Preschool thru Grade 1: Who's My Neighbor Paper Craft. printer, paper, glue, something to color with, scissors.

Grade 2 and 3: What would Jesus do Activity Page.  printer, paper, crayons, scissors.

Bible Story Time:

Preschool thru Grade 1:  Read The Story of The Unmerciful Servant (or read from your own store bought children's bible).

Grades 2 and 3:  It's tough to know when it's the right time to start readings from the Bible, but if the children have been read a children's version of the story in the past, I believe this is a good age to introduce the King James (or your preferred) bible reading.

10 minutes The Bible Coloring Pages can be distributed to the children so they are able to color at home, or during the story.


Preschool thru Grade 1: depending on the time remaining ask the children what it means to forgive others?  Is it always easy to forgive?  Should we always forgive even if its really hard?  Is there anyone they need to forgive?

Grade 2 and 3: depending on the time remaining ask the children what it means to forgive and forget?  How quickly does God forgive us?  What are some sins that are hard to forgive?  Is there anyone they need to forgive?


Standard ending song: "We Love to Learn Together"

5 to 15 minutes

Brainstorm Board (chalkboard, whiteboard, poster board,...)




Words to:

Standard ending song: "We Love to Learn Together"


Printable version of this Teacher's Guide