A way for leaders to help all ages explore the reading.
Split everyone present into two teams. Say that you are going to ask each team, in turn, to find out as much as they can about a particular person. For the first team, display a picture of an ordinary person known to you but not to others present.
Invite the team to write on a large sheet of paper what they ‘know’ (or can deduce) about that person. Stop after a minute or two, saying that you will look at their score later. For the second team, ask someone you have approached in advance (someone not known, or not well known, to those present) to come and stand at the front. The team can ask questions of the person, and should write up what they ‘know’ (or can find out) about the person. Again, stop them after a minute or two. The teams’ scores are simply the number of accurate statements written up. The difference between the two scores should be very clear. Discuss together what made the difference.
Now, ask: How do we know about Jesus? Do we look at him, trying to deduce something about him, rather as the first team looked at their picture? Or do we engage with him, as the second team did with their person? We see this difference in today’s Gospel story too. As in that story, Jesus doesn’t ask us to guess things about him; he takes time to walk with us, and he invites us to ask questions and to explore Scripture together to find answers.
You may also find this week's Sermon ideas useful.