Sorry it’s late…
what else do you expect from a disorganised blog?
I hope it was worth the wait though as Jesus meets us is the conclusion to our series in John’s gospel. Jesus meets a truly diverse group of people and it just goes to show that he is definitely for everyone!
For God so Loved the world he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
We planned this one to show you don’t have to have physically met Jesus to be able to know him and that the very same Jesus is still working in people today, including you – the leaders of your Sunday School/afterschool club/children’s church!
As a bonus, and because even I had noticed it was nearly Easter, here is a play I wrote for our 11-14’s. In it Luke investigates the mysterious tales of one man’s resurrection.
Introducing Doctor Luke and the Mysterious events in Jerusalem!
Jesus meets Mary Magdalene
and sadness turns to joy!
While, as a woman, her experience would have counted for nothing in a court of law what Mary Mag saw that day changed the world forever!
I always have this verse (1 Corinthians 15:17) in mind whenever I read/teach about the resurrection:
if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.
He has been raised FACT
Our faith is fruitful FACT
We are free from sin and alive in Christ FACT
And Mary’s testimony tells us just how wonderful that is!
Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
I wonder if there is space in heaven for books of all of these extraordinary ‘other things’, certainly on an e-reader I guess and we’ll have time to sit and peruse them.
The events John recorded here might not be one of the most extraordinary but it is beautifully poignant. Peter rejected all relationship even all knowledge of Jesus and yet Jesus takes great care to forgive him for each of those things, without any need to make it up to him. Not only that he trusts the forgiven Peter with the care of his church – a great responsibility for someone who was such a massive failure. And his story is my story – one ransomed, healed, restored and forgiven. Get games, songs, drama, teaching and more here.
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.
Secret meetings and spiritual rebirth
Jesus meets the highly religious Nicodemus
Everyone one thought Nicodemus was the best of the best; clever, academic, devoted. He was respected and religious, law-abiding and looked up to, everybody would have said that he was doing everything right as far as God was concerned.
Is this the position our Sunday School kids are in? It was for me. I was a good girl at school (and not completely awful at home). I prayed with my mum every night and went to church every week. I knew who was who in the Bible, certainly more than any of my friends at my CofE juniors. I could say the Lord’s prayer and the Nicene Creed. I thought I was definitely good enough.
So this then may be just the wake up call they need. Do they really have a new life in Jesus? Have they left their old life behind? Do they know it doesn’t depend on them; the Father freely gives them his love through his Son? That’s what Nicodemus discovered when he met Jesus.
New Series in John’s Gospel
Jesus meets a sceptical Nathanael
Our ‘Jesus meets…’ series kicks off properly this week with the ‘guest’ format (and I think this is the last time I can get away with calling it a new series). This session is built around John 1:43-51 with Nathanael visiting the kids to tell them about the first time he met Jesus.
I wrote these for our monthly Saturday kids club and it was wonderful to get people from our church who wouldn’t normally be there to come and pretend to be Bible characters. It’s much easier than you think to ask people to do this, they don’t need to stay for the whole session so it’s very little time to give up and Bible characters are allowed to bring notes to remind them of what they wanted to say so it’s low pressure too. Lots of our guests had great fun dressing up and putting on accents! Of course, if you’ve got the technology you could film them in advance and have your guest present in that way, although it might be handy to have a back up plan – just in case. If anyone decides to do this I’d love to see them – leave a comment and we’ll work out how to make it happen.
Have a think now about whether you can manage authentic costumes for your guests or whether modern day equivalents will do nicely. We went modern day for ours but as long as you’re consistent it really doesn’t matter.
Enjoy getting to know Nathanael and of course Jesus!
Discover Jesus in the gospel of John through the eyes of the people he meets.
Explore the mystery of the Word becoming flesh through the eyes of the Shepherds and the Wise Men. This Christmassy session, based on John chapter 1, is a great kickstart to the gospel of John (although it borrows the people from Luke and Matthew) and is great for any time of the year.
Click here for games, songs, dramas, talks and more!
If you haven’t already, follow this blog and catch the rest of this series.