Jesus Without Language

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Kid's Ministry & Sunday School Resources

Nathanael (John 1) | Make 3

Nathanael discovered that Jesus really knew who he was and Nathanaels story starts when he’s sitting under a tree – it’s not a big leap to fingerprint trees from there. This is one of those lovely crafts that allow the child to choose how much involvement they wish to have; perhaps they just add a few leaves, perhaps they make patterns, perhaps they break out the colouring pens and add grass and landscape… it’s all up to them.

NB: I’ve gone for something that’s not a fig tree, because the shape worked so much better.
Nathanael craft 3

 
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Preparing to Teach : The Apostles

 
Preparing to Teach : The Apostles
 

Quick notes:

The 12 were ordinary men, all would have learnt scripture in school but none had been selected by a rabbi as an exceptional student to carry on their studies.

There were no volunteers, Jesus chose these 12, which suggests there was more.
The number 12 is so key in Jewish symbolism that after Judas died the apostles felt compelled to replace him.

While most would have been seen as poor in their Jewish devotions, others were noticeably devote.

Many had strong social, political, and religious views and expectations when they came to Jesus.

It’s believed many were teenagers, young and impulsive, malleable to new ideas but headstrong and stubborn in accepting them.

Names you need to know

 
Peter (Simon) – Probably the most vocal, impulsive, emotional and well known disciples, Simon is renamed Peter (the rock) by Jesus and goes onto be the sort of leader of the pack.

James & John – These brothers are called the sons of thunder by Jesus, over excitable and fiery they form the inner circle with Peter and seem glued to Jesus’s side.

Andrew – Leaving John the Baptist, Andrew seeks greater truth in Jesus, while brother to Simon-Peter, Andrew is much less impulsive and outspoken than his fellow Galilean fishermen.

Philip – Is clearly a seeker and will pull people into the discussion, inviting Nathaniel into the crowd. Not to be confused with Philip the deacon who met the eunuch.

Thomas – Is a man of declarations, be they boldly supportive, deeply theological, or famously doubtful, he’s the first to grasp that Jesus is fully God.

Nathaniel – Is a devout Israelite, a true Jew whose faith is very much alive and makes him able to see Jesus for who is really is, the messiah, right from the beginning.

Matthew – Longs to be accepted and loved, something he would never get being a tax collector, he sees an opportunity in Jesus’ invitation and doesn’t hesitate to leave it all behind.

Little James – James the less or the little is probably the most obscure of all the disciples, but Jesus did not always choose the dramatic and some stories are untold.

Simon – Another man of strong convictions, a Zealot defending tradition and Jewishness, to be in a crowd with the tax collector Matthew shows how Jesus would include all in his kingdom.

Jude – Sometimes called Judas or Thaddeus, he wasn’t very outspoken but may have shared some of Simons strong beliefs. Some people believe he wrote the epistle Jude.

Judas – The money keeper and betrayer, it’s the 30 pieces of silver and kiss Judas will always be remembered for, the only disciple not to see Jesus resurrected.
 

Historical significance

 
These 12 brash, uncouth, foolish, brave, but importantly ordinary men were chosen by Jesus himself as his top team. The number 12 was hugely significant, signalling completeness in scriptures. The 12 tribes of Israel represented the whole of God’s chosen people, and so for Jesus to chose only 12 of his crowd was to symbolically show he was there for the whole of the Jewish nation. In acts Judas is replaced with Matthias to continue this idea.

ApostlesUnlike some other biblical heroes, the Apostles stories are usually a bi-product, a means to illustrating a greater lesson, and for some their presence in the list is the greatest fact we can verify about them. For evangelicals the titbits of information can’t be bumped out with church tradition, though whatever your perspective on the validity of the non-biblical accounts it’s usually worth taking a look at.

These 12 men were chosen, there were no volunteers and their status as chosen lead to persecution for many. They accepted a role with no security, no pay, and often involving abandoning family. While the risks were great, and the sacrifice total, in return these 12 had an intensive discipleship course, at times having hidden meaning revealed to them while the rest of the crowd were left to ponder. As well as being sent out as part of the 70, and commissioned by the resurrected Christ, they were witness to countless miracles and the arrival of Pentecost. Many were martyred and some went on to write scripture.

Taking a closer look at the list reveals that they were neither all Galilean, nor all fishermen as they are often portrayed. Rather than gormless teens looking for something to do, most had careers they abandoned and were actively searching for a deeper truth. Many came to Jesus with a strong faith and firm opinions. The world they lived in was in turmoil, the religious groups torn between appeasing the empire that detested their religion, and fighting against it. Some were part of these groups, some on opposite sides. While elements of the Roman world shaped the early church, they met Jesus as an oppressed people dreaming of a ‘Messiah’, a great warrior who would rescue his people from it’s clutches. Jesus turned their dreams on their heads and seemed to spend significant time confusing their preconceived ideas.
 

Nathanael (John 1) | Play

 

Nathanael seems to encompass various parallel ideas in his short passage, there is the question of identity, the invitation, and the character trait of honesty. These games explore these ideas so choose the game that best supports the idea you are trying to highlight.
 

Nathanael (John 1) | PlayNathanael (John 1) | PlayNathanael (John 1) | PlayNathanael (John 1) | PlayNathanael (John 1) | Play

Who am I?– This is an classic party game. The idea is that each person is assigned a character and the name is then stuck on the persons forehead or back. By only asking yes/no questions the individual must discover the identity written on the paper. Choose people that the whole group will be familiar with and with younger children choose a specific that the child agrees on – e.g. which character from SpongeBob SquarePants are you? or what Disney princess are you?
 

Nathanael (John 1) | PlayNathanael (John 1) | PlayNathanael (John 1) | PlayNathanael (John 1) | PlayNathanael (John 1) | Play

Guess who – if you have a small group and can access enough individual games then play this classic game. If not then make a human sized one by splitting your group into 2 and having each player pick a person from the opposing side. Get everybody to stand up and when they are excluded have them sit down. For smaller groups don’t split, rather have the leader write a name on a piece of paper and answer the questions.
 

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Nathanael (John 1) | Make 2

 

This is a really simple cut and colour in craft. It depicts the first six apostles – James, John, Andrew, Peter, Philip and Nathanael.

Theological disclaimer : Johns gospel is ambiguous about the order of the disciples, We know Andrew and one other left John the Baptist, Andrew brought Peter and so there were 3, Philip is called and brings Nathanael. I am assuming John is the mystery disciple and along with him, James.
Nathanael (John 1) | Make 2

 
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Nathanael (John 1) | Direct

 
Nathanael
This Nathanael Bartholomew worksheet plays on the question to Jesus; ‘How do you know me?’. Exploring identity, it is an examination of who we are to our Heavenly Father, how Jesus sees us, and how our identity can be rooted in him. While suitable for individual work it is best completed in small groups.

To complete the worksheet you will need something to write with and a bible (or a new testament). You may also choose to have some colouring pencils for the small sketch.

The PDF can be downloaded by clicking on the image.

 

Nathanael (John 1) | Make

 

twist prayer trees

 
Yippee! My first guest post appeared on Frame Creative Childrens Ministry. Head over there to learn about these Nathanael inspired prayer trees.
 

Nathanael (John 1) | Talk

Nathanael (John 1) | Talk 
If you want the teachers page then please click on the image for the pdf.

Today’s hero is Nathanael, because he shows us the gift of Honesty

Essential Teachers notes:
For this story we are going to assume that Nathanael and Bartholomew are the same character, while some scholars are more convinced of this than others, it is a widely held belief throughout many church traditions. His gift is honesty – sometimes translated as without deceit. because his heart was open and honest he could meet Jesus and see exactly who he was without reservation.

Main Passage : John 1
Additional Passages : Genesis 12, 14,18,19

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Nathanael (John 1) | Heroes

 
Here are the images you need for the hero’s attributes linked to Nathanael (John 1).

Each hero set contains a high quality graphic of the character, a take home bible card and a colouring page.

The images are displayed small here, click on the image you wish to have, then save the image that loads.
(Please note : these images have no watermark but are not copyright free, they are only intended for classroom use.)

 
NB: Nathanael is assumed to be the same as Bartholomew – literally translated bar-tomley – son of Tomley, hence I’ve use Nathanael as a given name and Bartholomew as a surname.
 

English

 

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45-Nathanael45-Nathanael
45-Colouring-page45-Colouring-page

 

German

 

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45-Nathanael45-Nathanael
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