It’s decision time for Pilate
But he can’t see that there isn’t a fence to sit on
Thanks for waiting the extra week for Pilate. This is the first in the series where Jesus has met someone who hasn’t decided to follow him. How many children in Sunday schools are ‘still making their minds up’? This week was a good reminder for me to pray: that we’d teach them what they need to know to decide to follow Jesus, that they’d see the truth, and that the Spirit would be at work making up for where we fall short.
Pilate is running late
but I rediscovered some amazing Bible based artwork to share with you instead!
I’ve been a big fan of Graham Kennedy’s art for a long, long time. Not only is it beautifully drawn and specifically designed to accompany Bible stories it’s also incredibly well researched. His desire to draw accurately has led to meticulous research into the cultures, buildings, landscape and traditions written about throughout the Bible.
His blog is a fascinating record of this: it covers everything from would the Pharisees have had dark blue or black lines on their prayer shawls to the shape of the stone tablets (probably square!). It’s made me double check a passage to find out if Jesus was talking to a crowd or just the twelve or an unspecified number of disciples in between – things that if I hadn’t considered it from an artist’s perspective I may never have noticed; but which can change the way you apply a passage.
He also does the best drawings of angels! Unlike the slightly soppy kind that usually adorn my Christmas Cards; you can understand why these angels always have to open every conversation with ‘Don’t be afraid.’
Now for the moment you’ve all been waiting for: Read his blog at bibleillustration.blogspot.co.uk and get a free samples of his work (including pictures for when Jesus met the woman at the well) here. Unfortunately all the links I know of to buy his illustrations are broken: I’ll update you if I find any.
Enjoy and subscribe below so you don’t miss it when Jesus meets Pilate.
Jesus meets Martha and Lazarus again
in spectacularly surprising circumstances (especially for Lazarus)
I read this passage not too long ago with a friend who’d never read it before. She had no idea that Jesus would bring Lazarus back to life and it was amazing! I don’t remember this ever being a surprise to me but it’s so nice to see someone really appreciating this event for the dramatic incident it obviously is. So try to institute a ‘No spoilers’ approach and let and newbies really appreciate the power Jesus has.
Here’s Jesus meets Martha but there is honestly so much in this passage I could easily write a few more sessions on it: Jesus is the life-giver. Jesus deeply cares. There is life after death. And of course that throw away comment from Caiaphas in verse 50:
You do not realise that it is better for you that one man die for the people than the whole nation perish
How can anyone be so right and so wrong at the same time?! Yes, you’ve got the right man in mind but for completely different reasons than you think. Yes, it’s better for him to die but it’ll be his decision not yours, and the stakes are not a nation but the whole world!
A miracle and three responses.
Jesus meets a man born blind
When we did this with a Saturday kids club our ‘actor’ playing the man born blind perfectly performed part one as a blind man and then popped outside. While waiting outside he bumped into a Brazilian couple who needed directions and wanting to be helpful and practise his Portuguese he naturally put his glasses on and chatted away. After having given directions he dashed back in for part 2 as a totally healed, formerly blind man … complete with glasses!
Fortunately the power of acting (and common sense and the Holy Spirit) won the day and none of the kids went home believing that Jesus healed imperfectly.
If you’d like to recreate the healing of the man born blind and do it better check out the drama here, and you can also find songs, a talk, games and more drama to link to the theme.
Living water and eternal life
Jesus the Jewish religious teacher chats to a Samaritan woman
I absolutely love that this happened; that Jesus would go through Samaria instead of avoid it. That he’d send the disciples of for food and stay there alone. That he’d start a conversation that breaks all the ‘rules’ of his society. That he’d talk about something so controversial as religion without getting into a fight. That he’d challenge someone about their lifestyle directly and gently. That he’d stay in this town so that he could explain things fully to them. And that he’d open up to this stranger and tell her in no uncertain terms that he is the Messiah – God’s chosen rescuer!
Help your children to unpack the surprises of this conversation here.