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Related Bible reading(s): Matthew 11.2-11

Present the reading & Talk together

Open the Bible at Matthew 11.2-11

John doubts who Jesus is, but Jesus sends a message sharing the good things he is doing.

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

See I am sending

Ask the children to listen to the story carefully. Demonstrate creating circles with your fingers to represent glasses and explain that during the story when they hear the word ‘see’ they are to do this action.

Message for the messenger

Choose one child to stand at one end of the room as John and another child to stand at the opposite end of the room as Jesus. The other children are to be the messengers going between the two. Read the first section of the passage, and at the end of John’s first message, the children run to ‘Jesus’. After Jesus has given his reply they run back to ‘John’ once more. After this, the group of children can become the ‘crowd’ Jesus is speaking to.

Geoff Hays, www.geoffrey-hays.co.uk

Although he had been thrown into prison, John the Baptist heard about the amazing things Jesus was doing. John sent his followers to Jesus with a question: ‘Are you the one we’ve been waiting for, or should we wait for someone else?’ He asked this because he wanted to know whether Jesus was the Messiah, whom God had promised to send, hundreds of years before. Jesus replied, ‘Tell John what you hear and see: the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are made clean, the deaf hear, the dead return to life and the poor are given good news. Tell him that anyone who accepts me is blessed by God.’

John’s followers went away and Jesus spoke to the crowds: ‘When you went to see John in the desert, what did you go to see? Someone who changes their mind like a reed shaken by the wind? No? What, then? Someone dressed like a prince? You need to go to palaces to see people dressed up in soft clothes. What did you go to see? A prophet? Yes, that’s who you went to see.

‘And what’s more,’ Jesus said, ‘John isn’t just any prophet. Isaiah wrote about him in the Old Testament. Isaiah said, “I am sending a messenger ahead of you, who will prepare the way for you.” Truly I tell you,’ said Jesus, ‘there is not one person on earth greater than John. But in the kingdom of heaven, even the lowest person is greater than he is.’

Glossary

Messiah the 'anointed one', someone chosen by God to save the Jewish people, also a title used for Jesus.
lepers people with a contagious skin disease called leprosy
prophet someone who receives messages from God to pass on to the people
Isaiah a Jewish prophet

Talk together  ( Connect faith with everyday life)

  • Why do you think John had doubts about who Jesus was?
  • When did you last doubt or feel sad about something?
  • How can you help others who are feeling sad or unsure?
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