John: Jesus meets Philip and Nathanael

Then Nathanael Declared, ‘Rabbi, you are the Son of God; you are the King of Israel.’

Have you ever heard the phrase ‘too good to be true’? What do you think it means? It means that something seems so good there has to be a catch: like your mum offering you a sweet and then saying ‘you can have it after you’ve cleaned your room’ or your teacher saying ‘everyone can go out early to play … as long as you’ve finished your work.’ We’re going to meet someone today who wouldn’t believe Jesus could be God’s king; someone who thought that having the chance to meet the man who was God was just too good to be true!

Game: Bulldog
1 person stands in the middle to catch people as they run across. Kids may run across the room if what is said is true of them, if they get to the other side they are safe but if they are touched by someone in the middle they will join them to help catch people next time.
Things that are true:
Run if you are blonde;
Run if you can swim;
… have curly hair;
… are wearing trousers;
… are an older brother/sister;
… have been on an aeroplane;
… were born in March;

Game: Blind man’s bluff
Tie a scarf over someone’s eyes (making sure they can still breathe) that person has to try to catch other people, guessing where they are from what they can hear, if they catch them either the caught person is it or the ‘blind man’ has to guess who they have caught before they can see again.

Memory Verse:
He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognise him. John 1:10
To learn: you could blow up balloons (blue or green) to be the world with a paper man inside (roll the man up loosely and put him inside then try and straighten him out before you inflate the balloon). Write the memory verse on the outside.
Or play on ‘the world did not recognise him’ by writing the memory verse on a scrap of material for a blindfold.

Introduce Nathanael (or Nate) who has come to tell them about the first time he met Jesus.
Jesus meets Nathanael.

Use these ideas for Sketches to get the kids performing and thinking about what it really means to know somebody. Or this Bible drama to retell the events.

Please download the Teaching notes.

This is a fun quiz where you reveal facts about a person and the kids guess who they are. With young children you may want to have the answers ready for them to match them up. This example sheet (activity) has some well-known British personalities you can use; but it’s well worth updating them to more current or culturally relevent ones for your kids. Although I’ve taken them off the download we also used some facts about the leaders which the kids really enjoyed!

Jesus is Number One – Colin Buchanan: Super Saviour
Jesus Rocks the World – Colin Buchanan: Jesus Rocks the World
(Get these and more songs from Colin on his website)

Person outlinePrayer:
If you’re doing the whole series of Jesus meets…  cutting out a string of 10 people and writing a name of someone on each is a helpful way to keep track. You may want to keep the string until the end if your kids are regular attenders so that they don’t get lost. Fold a long strip of paper like a fan 10 times; cut round this outline or draw a person freehand. Make sure their hands touch the fold of the paper on both sides!
This session pray for someone who has heard about Jesus but doesn’t know he’s their king yet. This is a good time to ask kids if they think Jesus is their king; they can always write their own name as well as or instead of someone else’s. Write the name(s) on the second person of your string. You can also make/draw tiny crowns on this person to help you remember what you are praying for them.