MEETING AIM: To think about how Jesus came to help people see God and to know how much he loves them.
BIBLE PASSAGE: John 9
BACKGROUND: In the previous chapter people had picked up stones to stone Jesus but he’d managed to slip away. Now in this passage he seems completely unflustered as he comes across the blind man. Jesus uses this healing to show again how he is the light of the world, and how he came not only to heal physical blindness but to also open people’s eyes spiritually. He makes it clear that the man is not blind as a punishment but that God intends to use the healing to show his power and love.
Invite the children to sit together in a circle. Encourage them to share stories from their week. Celebrate any birthdays, or special events. It can be helpful to have an object or cuddly toy which you pass around for the child talking to hold as they speak. Ask the children: “How would life be different if you
couldn’t see?” Explain that later on you’ll hear about a man who had been blind his whole life. Thank God that he’s with you and ask him to help you learn more about him today.
You will need: obstacles; blindfolds Create an obstacle course, but not too complicated a one (and risk assess it so that it’s safe to complete). Don’t let the children see it before they start the activity. Put the children into pairs and challenge them to complete the obstacle course with one child blindfolded and one child directing and helping them. Then let them take off the blindfold and do the obstacle course again. (Be sensitive to those who don’t want to be blindfolded.)
You will need: doll; cup of water; dirt (or cocoa powder); large container of water Gather the children together and tell this story:
One day, as Jesus walked along, he a saw a man who had been blind since he was born. Hold up your blind man doll.
Jesus friends asked him: “What did this man, or his family, do wrong that meant he was born blind?”
Jesus replied: “They didn’t do anything wrong to cause it, this happened so that God can show his amazing power. God sent me to the world so that I could share his light with all the people I meet.”
Jesus spat on the ground and made some mud from the dirt. He put it on the man’s eyes. Make some mud from water and dirt or cocoa powder and rub it on your doll’s eyes.
He told the man: “Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam.” Wash your doll in your ‘pool’ (large container of water).
The man did and then he could see for the first time in his life!
The man’s friends and neighbours and the religious leaders couldn’t believe he was the same man who had been blind. The religious leaders were also angry that Jesus healed the man on the Sabbath, a day when people were supposed to rest. Those people missed how amazing God’s power and love was.
Later on, Jesus found the man again and he told him who he was: Jesus, the Son of God. The man believed him and he worshiped Jesus and was thankful to God. He saw how amazing God’s power and love was.
Jesus explained how, as well as healing people who were actually blind, he came to the world to help people to see God. In a way, it was like they were blind to knowing what God was like, so he was helping them to see. To see how much God loved them and how Jesus came to the world for them.
Ask the children these questions, encouraging everyone to take turns in contributing:
- What was your favourite part of the story?
- What do you think it would be like to suddenly see if you’d been blind for your whole life?
- Why do you think Jesus healed the man?
- How do you think the man felt when he was healed? And then when he knew who Jesus was?
You will need: dolls; cup of water; dirt (or cocoa powder); large container of water Set out the dolls and other elements from the story and invite the children to play with the story equipment. They might choose to re-enact the story or simply play with the dolls, mud and water. Let the children lead the play and join in with them as they direct you. As you play, continue chatting about the story and be ready to answer any questions the children have about the story or Jesus himself. Remember, it’s fine to say that you don’t know, but make sure you help the children find the answer to their question!
You will need: paper hearts; paper and pens Invite the children to find a space where they can sit and ‘catch’ from God. Invite them to get comfortable and say it’s OK if they don’t want to join in but remind them that others might want to. Invite the children to ask God: “What do you love about me?” and leave some space. You might like to extend this time and play some music as you spend time together with God.
As you all come back together give the children each a paper heart. Explain that Jesus came for every single person on Earth because God loves each and every one of us. Invite the children to draw or write what they felt God was telling them on their heart. If they’re not sure you could continue your catching time or invite them to draw a picture of themselves to remember that God loves them.
You could also pray for the children in advance and give them each a verse to stick onto their heart.
For the rest of this month’s sessions go to youthandchildrens.work/together.
Supporting documentsClick link to download and view these files
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