Jesus Without Language

Kid's Ministry & Sunday School Resources

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.

Andrew (Matthew 4) | Craft 2

The story of Andrew is beautifully simple on the outside, the events the scripture tells us about are easy to retell, and with that in mind I’d like to introduce the simple bible theatre. This craft is probably best done in small groups with a time at the end for them to tell the story using what they have created. fishers of men

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Andrew (Matthew 4) | Games


Andrew’s lesson has 2 main symbols, that of fishing for men, and the idea of discipleship. The lessons emphasis can be bolstered with the choice of games and craft activities, as long as at the end of each game you take a moment to highlight the teaching point.

Andrew (Matthew 4) | GamesAndrew (Matthew 4) | GamesAndrew (Matthew 4) | GamesAndrew (Matthew 4) | Games

Magnet men – this is a traditional and a good one. Make up fishing poles using dowel, string, and a magnet hook. Then cut out some small man shapes and slide a paper-clip around their waist. A quick time-saver is to cut a people paper chain and then divide it up. Add a twist by writing a task for the child to fulfil on each paper man.

Andrew (Matthew 4) | GamesAndrew (Matthew 4) | GamesAndrew (Matthew 4) | GamesAndrew (Matthew 4) | GamesAndrew (Matthew 4) | Games

Imitation – this game is as simple as it’s title. Choose someone to copy and for 30 seconds copy everything they do or say. Use a timer so it can be ended easily, older children will pick up more delicate expressions and mannerisms. You can make it more silly by having the person move about the room.

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Andrew (Matthew 4) | Worksheet

Andrew Andrew answers
This Andrew worksheet looks at the idea of Rabbi and Disciple. It first examines what a rabbi is and then looks at how we can become like our Rabbi Jesus. The worksheet is best completed in small groups. There is a second PDF for younger children which contains the bible verse answers in a simplified form. these can be used as a cut and stick activity. For very young children simply have the children match colours, for older children read the full verse and have them find the correct simplification.

To complete the worksheet you will need something to write with and a full bible. You may also choose to have some colouring pencils to add some clothes to our disciple.

The PDF’s can can be downloaded by clicking on the relevant image.


Andrew (Matthew 4) | Craft 1

As Andrew was the first called to be a ‘fisher of men’ alongside his brother Simon-Peter, I couldn’t resist giving him a couple fish-hooks on his character image and making this really simple hanging craft. fishers of men

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Andrew (Matthew 4) | Story

Andrew (Matthew 4) | Story 
If you want the teachers page then please click on the image for the pdf.

Today’s hero is Andrew, because he shows us the gift of a Disciple

Essential Teachers notes:
While the idea of fishing is very easy for children to comprehend the idea of discipleship is sometimes a bit harder. How is following Jesus different from following your favourite celebrity? This story is an explanation of what discipleship really meant, culminating in the iconic fishing for men idea. Remember, this is just a guide, tell the story in your own voice.

Main Passage : Matthew 4
Additional Passages : John 1

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Andrew (Matthew 4) | Character Images

Here are the images you need for the hero’s attributes linked to Apostle Andrew (Matthew 4).

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.)











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