Unlimited Chances

The children will know that:-

  • because Jesus sacrificed Himself for us, God gives us unlimited chances to start over when we truly repent.

Bible Story Reference: Mathew 18:21-22

Memory Verse: 

Colossians 3:13 (NIV) 

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.


  • Oh, no my pencil is broken. The lead snapped on me. I don’t like pencils that keep breaking. They are pointless. I just want to throw it away. Do you think I should throw it away or just get a new pencil? (Allow children to respond.)

  • Well, I don’t have another pencil. I do have a pencil sharpener. Maybe I should just sharpen it. (Sharpen the pencil.) Wow, just as good as new. (Start writing on the paper and break the lead again.)

  • Oh no, it broke again. That’s ok, let me give it a good sharpening this time. (Sharpen the pencil.) Oh, that is perfect. (Start to write on the paper and push hard enough for the lead to snap again.) That’s it., how many chances do I give this pencil? Do you think I should sharpen it again or throw it away? (Allow responses.) I wonder what the Bible says about how many chances we should give those that break our hearts or hurt us.

  • In the story, we are going to learn about forgiveness. We will read a passage from God’s Word that explains His mercy and forgiveness.

Bible Story

  • Follow along with me as I read Matthew 18:21-35.
    Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!
  • Peter asks Jesus how many times he is supposed to forgive someone who sins against him, who does something wrong to him. Peter guesses that seven times should be enough. It seems like a strange number to pick out, doesn’t it? It also seems like a lot of times to forgive someone when they keep sinning against you.
  • Imagine you are playing football with a group, and your best friend keeps stealing the ball from you. You hardly get to play because they are being such ball hogs! But every time your best friend steals the ball, he at least says he’s sorry. I don’t know about you, but by about the third or fourth time that happens, I don’t think I would want to play football anymore. What do you think? (Give children a moment to share.)
  • Peter probably thought he was being very generous by saying he could forgive someone seven times. A lot of Rabbis, who were the Jewish religious teachers at the time, said that it was plenty to forgive someone three times. Most people in Jesus’ time thought that if you forgave someone three times and they still wronged you, that you would not have to forgive them. So, with that in mind, Peter’s guess is that forgiving someone seven times seems kind. But Jesus has a different idea of what forgiveness looks like.
  • How does Jesus respond to Peter in verse 22 of Matthew 18? (Allow a child to respond.) Jesus says we must forgive them seventy times seven times! Let’s do a little math to figure out exactly how many times that is. (Work out this multiplication problem briefly on the board, or have the older children figure it out.)
  • Seventy times seven is 490! Now that is a lot of times to forgive someone. Think of our story of playing football with our friend, or a time in your own life where someone kept sinning against you and hurting your feelings. Can you imagine forgiving them 490 times? It’s not likely we could forgive someone 490 times and still be kind to them and not be bitter or angry with them.
  • But do you think that is really what Jesus means? Do you think he really wants us to forgive people exactly 490 times, and then we stop forgiving them? I don’t think so.
  • For one thing, that would be really hard to keep track of. I would have to keep a little notebook with people’s names in it, and little tally marks for every time I forgive them. (Demonstrate tally marks on the board.) Jesus does NOT want us to do this.
  • The Bible tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:5 that love keeps no record of wrongs. As Christians, we love everyone. Jesus told us in Mark 12:31 that we are to love our neighbour as ourselves. So, if we love everyone, and keep no record of wrongs, then we shouldn’t be keeping tally marks of the number of times we forgive someone, should we? That is literally keeping a record of the wrong things they do against us.
  • So, if Jesus does not want us to literally forgive 490 times, what do you think he means? (Allow a child to answer.) Jesus gives this really big number for two reasons.
  • One is to tell us that we should forgive endlessly. We can’t keep a record of wrongs; we can’t tally up the number of times we must forgive. We cannot keep track of the number of times we forgive. We must keep forgiving and forgiving and forgiving, no matter what, even if it means forgiving more than 490 times!
  • The other reason he gives us such a big number is to tell us that we cannot forgive endlessly on our own. We need Jesus to help us forgive.
  • This is a new year. Each week is a new week, each day is a new day and each hour is a new hour. We can come to our Father in Heaven through His Son and ask for forgiveness as often as needed when we are truly repentant. God will forgive us an unlimited number of times because His mercy and love are unlimited. When we truly repent and are sorry for our sin, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross will allow us to be cleansed from our sin.


  1. Who asked Jesus the question? (Peter.)
  2. How many chances did Peter feel he should give his brother and sister? (He was thinking seven was enough.)
  3. How many chances do you give your siblings or friends when they hurt your feelings?
  4. Do you forgive them right away or stay angry at them for days, months, years?
  5. How many times did Jesus say we are to forgive? (70 times 7 which is 490 times.)
  6. So, does this mean, right at the 491st time someone hurts me I can say enough I am not going to forgive you anymore? (No, because Jesus is saying the number is unlimited. Keep walking in mercy, love, and forgiveness.)


Thank you, Lord, for your son. We praise and worship you for this merciful act of sending your son.


One of our valued behaviours as a church is “Aliveness in the Spirit”. This means you are filled by the Holy Spirit who will help you discover, nurture and use your spiritual gifts to serve others.

Dependent on Prayer: Keep a prayer journal in a notebook or papers in a prayer jar for this month and at the end of the month see what God has answered.



Forgive each Other

What You Need

  • Paper
  • Colouring pencils
  • Scissor
  • Glue


  1. Draw the outline of a man and colour him.

  2. Draw the face on the man.

  3. Draw around both your hands onto paper.

  4. Draw a heart and write “Forgive each other. Colossians 3:13”

  5. Glue arms and legs behind the heart. Glue on hands.