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The Missing Piece (Matthew 18:12-14)

Key Verse

Matthew 18:12-14

Materials Needed

  • 100-piece puzzle
  • sturdy cardboard
  • glue


Assemble the 100-piece puzzle, leaving just one piece missing. Glue the puzzle to the cardboard. Alternately, you could have the children assemble the puzzle as they enter for class and you could hide the last piece in the room. When the children discover that the last piece is missing, you can ask them to look for it until they find it, then teach the object lesson.

Object Lesson

(Show the kids the puzzle) Do you like my puzzle? This is a one hundred-piece puzzle. (Allow response) Oh it has a piece missing?! Then I guess my puzzle only has 99 pieces now! Did you guys ever make a puzzle and then realize that there is one very important piece missing? It sort of ruins the whole puzzle doesn’t it? What do you usually do when you discover that a puzzle piece is missing? (Allow response) Yes!You look for it. You look under the couch, and under the cushions or you check the closet or you check all the other puzzle boxes to see if it’s in there, right?

If you’re anything like me, you cannot rest until you find that last piece because it just bothers you that the puzzle is not complete. Well, Jesus told a story that reminds me of this puzzle. He said in Matthew 18:12 “If a shepherd has one hundred sheep, and one wanders away and is lost, what will he do? Won’t he leave the ninety-nine others and go out into the hills to search for the lost one? 13 And if he finds it, he will surely rejoice over it more than over the ninety-nine that didn’t wander away! 14 In the same way, it is not my heavenly Father’s will that even one of these little ones should perish.”

Now, Jesus told us this story to show us how much he wants each one of us to be saved. He loves us so much, that He is always searching for us and calling us to be saved. It is not God’s will that any one of us be lost, or separated from God. He rejoices, or is happy, thrilled, delighted when even one person comes to know Him and is saved. Sort of like how we feel when we search and search and search and finally find that last puzzle piece (Put in the last piece of the puzzle). God’s family is not complete without you being a part of it.

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