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The Faith of Syrophoenician woman: What does a Christian look like?       Mark 7:24ff  Trinity 13
 
Children’s sermon idea: Who can be a true believer in Jesus? We might be surprised where Jesus would find faith.  Show children various pictures of people (obviously different races / color) and ask them to guess who the Christian is. They may be surprised to find out that the black man from Ethiopia / Iran (or where ever) is the person with faith in Jesus.  -- I’ve got a picture from Time magazine of an Iranian Christian that I will use.
 
Objects Lesson props: Pictures of various people (different races and nationalities)
On the back of the pictures put a blank piece of paper. Mark the one least expected foreigner with a big cross to symbolize they are a Christian
 
Children’s sermon on prejudice and faith:
Good Morning Children. This morning I have some “people” pictures that I would like to show you. (Hold up the various pictures so the children can see them clearly.) Look at this person here. Where do you think they come from? Do they look rich or poor? Etc.
Look at these other pictures here.
Which person might come from Japan?
Which person do you think is the youngest?
Which of these people lives in the desert in Africa?
Who do you think looks the wealthiest?
Now here is a harder question. Which of these people looks like a believer in Jesus?
(Let the children respond. I’m guessing that most children in Canada and the United States will pick the white / Caucasian as the Christian.)
Those are some good guesses. Most people would pick this person. It’s probably because many of our friends who are Christians have white skin like most of us do. (You could take a vote on which is the picture of the Christian)
On the back of the person who is the Christian I’ve put a big cross.
Is it this one? (Turn over the picture) – No.
Is it this one? (Turn over the picture) – No.
(Continue on until you hold up the picture of foreigner)
Is it this one? (Turn over the picture) – Yes!

Most of you didn’t pick this person from Iran as the believer in Jesus. It surprised me too. When I first saw this picture I was surprised to find out they were a Christian. This man from Iran was ever willing to go to jail for his trust in Jesus.
Main point: We might be very surprised at who has faith in Jesus Christ. We certainly can’t tell by the color of people’s skin or where they come from. In today’s bible reading Jesus met a woman who was considered by others to be an outsider who couldn’t possibly be drawn to God. But it turned out that she had great faith in Jesus. In response to her faith Jesus heard her prayer and healed her daughter.
 
Pray: Lord God, Thank you for the many different people all around the world who are followers of your son Jesus. These believers are our brothers and sisters in God’s family.
Help us to fully trust in you like this Christian from Iran, and like this foreign women that Jesus met. – We ask this in Jesus’ name – Amen!

Copyright 2009 Andrew Hewlett  SundayChildrensFocus.com     Feel free to use this story on Sunday Morning but please give credit to SundayChildrensFocus.com and do consider linking to this site. Thank you. A.H.