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Related Bible reading(s): John 18.33-37

Present the reading & Talk together

Open the Bible at John 18.33-37

Jesus is brought to Pontius Pilate, who asks him if he is the king of the Jews. Jesus says that his kingship is not from this world.

Choose from these two ways telling the story, followed by ideas for discussion time.

Question time

Split the children into two groups. One group represents Pilate and the other Jesus. Stand the groups at opposite ends of the room, facing each other. Read the story, and each time Pilate or Jesus asks a question, their group takes a stride forwards. Both groups should advance towards each other and finish in a confrontation.

Role play

Invite three confident readers to narrate the story, and play Pontius Pilate and Jesus. Give them each a copy of the script, allow them time to practise, and then ask them to present the story to the rest of the group.

Martina Farrow

Jesus was arrested and taken to a Jewish court. They decided to send him to the Roman rulers, because only the Romans could sentence someone to death. Pontius Pilate was the leader in charge. Pilate was worried that Jesus wanted to be the king and would get rid of the Romans from the land of Judea. Pilate tested Jesus by asking him, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’

Jesus answered, ‘Is that your own question? Or did somebody else tell you to ask me this?’

Pilate replied, ‘I am not a Jew and so I am not interested in Jewish ideas. Your own people and your own chief priests have handed you over as a prisoner to me. Now, what is it that you have done wrong?’

Jesus answered, ‘My kingdom is not from this world. If my kingdom were from this world, my followers would be fighting to stop me from being handed over as a prisoner. But as it is, my kingdom is not from here.’ Pilate asked him, ‘So you are a king?’ Jesus answered, ‘You say that I am a king. For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to speak up for the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.’

Glossary

Pontius Pilate a Roman governor, in charge of the province of Judea from AD 26 to 36;

kingdom when Jesus uses this term he doesn’t mean a place, but the power of God’s love in people’s lives;

world in John’s Gospel, this means more than just our planet, it is anyone’s life lived without thinking about God.

Talk together  ( Connect faith with everyday life)

  • Why does Pilate seem so confused by Jesus’ answers and questions?
  • What do you think Jesus’ kingdom is like?
  • How can you speak up for the truth in your life?
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