Jonah, the Shade Tree & the Worm-A Story About Forgiveness

Lesson Snapshot


Forgive, because God forgave you first!


Kids will learn that we can love and forgive others, because God loves and forgives us.


Jonah 4, Jonah’s Anger Over Nineveh and the Shade Tree


“Lord, you are great. You are really worthy of praise. No one can completely understand how great you are.” Psalm 145:3 (NIrV)


God spared the city of Nineveh after they repented of their sins. This made Jonah angry. Even though God had just forgiven Jonah for his sin of running away from God, Jonah did not want God to forgive the people of Nineveh! God used a shade tree and a very hungry worm to show Jonah that he had no right not to forgive others.

Credit to 100 Bible Stories

Object Lesson


A tackle box full of fish hooks

How many of you have been fishing? Have any of you ever learned to hook a worm? I’m not going to ask anyone to do that this morning, but what was it like the first time you put a worm on a hook?

Worms aren’t the cutest creatures God ever made, but like us, worms need food to survive. God used a hungry worm to teach Jonah an important lesson about forgiveness. Just as God had forgiven Jonah for running away from Him, Jonah had to forgive the worm – and the Ninevites.

Has someone done something ugly to you? Is there someone whose ugliness you haven’t forgiven? I know it’s not easy, but I hope you will pray for God to help you forgive that person. Show them that God loves them by loving them. Forgive as you have been forgiven.

Test Your Knowledge

Craft Activity

Have the kids cut out apple shapes from red construction paper. Punch two holes in their apples, and thread a gummy worm through the holes of the apple.

Sing Along-Veggie Tales

Jonah was a prophet-Oooo Ooooo