Jesus Without Language

Kid's Ministry & Sunday School Resources

Simon the Zealot (Matthew 12) | Craft 3

The lesson on Simon is both a lesson on rules and a story about a simple healing, this craft pushes Simon the Zealot to the side and just focus’ on the healing element. It’s simple flap reminds us what the hand was like before meeting Jesus but leaves us with the healed image of after the encounter. Simon the Zealot craft 3

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Simon the Zealot (Matthew 12) | Games


For people like Simon being a Zealot was a big deal, while some have suggested it may have been a mere nickname, this man was obviously full of religious fervour. Unlike the Pharisees, Sadducees, and other religious leaders Jesus’s message hit a note with the Zealots as he talked transformation, but Zealots were ready to use force to get their message across, and Jesus clearly disagreed. Also in this Story we meet the man with the withered hand, his transformation is not ideological but physical. These games look at aspects of the Zealots views, Simon’s commitment to God and transformation in general.


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I will fight – for this activity you need a couple of toy swords or newspaper swords. Gather the children in a circle and put the swords in the middle. Remind the children that swords are weapons, and while these are toys, real weapons are not to be played with. Ask the children to come up with reasons why they might fight. This can be silly, I like red better than blue, I prefer apple juice to orange juice… etc. When you find a person on each side of the argument they can have a pretend fight for 30 seconds. Once most of the children have had a go ask for serious reasons, things actually worth getting hurt for. If they come up with a suggestion they can play fight with a friend as a reward. Zealots believed fighting was the way to convince people they needed to change, did fighting make anyone change their minds in this activity?

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Foolish leader – play follow the leader, make it fun and interesting my making big shapes and adding sounds. At one point in the game have the leader do something it is either unwise or impossible for everyone to follow. Stop the game and talk about why it’s not always wise to follow everything someone does. start the game again, at the end discuss who would be a good leader to follow in life.
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Simon the Zealot (Matthew 12) | Worksheet

Simon the Zealot worksheet
This Simon worksheet is a bit of a mixture of things, with themes of sabbath, healing, transformation and most importantly Simon’s status as a Zealot! It’s a sheet that could be used with younger children working in groups but is better for independent readers.

To complete the worksheet you will need something to write and draw with.

The PDF can can be downloaded by clicking on the image.

Simon the Zealot (Matthew 12) | Craft 2


This is a simple craft that can tie into either character in the story. These beautiful and really simple hand shaped bowls are both a lovely thing to take home and use as well as being a great thing to create a bold wall display with. Please note this activity needs close supervision. Simon the Zealot (Matthew 12) | Craft 2

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Simon the Zealot (Matthew 12) | Craft


Simon the Zealot is transformed by becoming part of Jesus’ Apostles, his change is psychological and not physical, meanwhile the man with the shrivelled hand undergoes a very physical transformation. This pop-up craft begs us to question how the characters are transformed and how does our relationship with Jesus transform us? Simon the Zealot (Matthew 12) | Craft

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Simon the Zealot (Matthew 12) | Character Images


Here are the images you need for the hero’s attributes linked to Simon the Zealot (Matthew 12).
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.)










Extra’s for this lesson


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Simon the Zealot (Matthew 12) | Story

Simon Zealot 
If you want the teachers page then please click on the image for the pdf.

Today’s hero is Simon the Zealot because he show us the gift of Commitment.

Essential Teachers notes:
Children ride the latest fad hard and often being different equals exclusion. But being passionate about something doesn’t always go had in hand with other popular pursuits. Being a Zealot is just that, being zealous, passionate, about your beliefs – it would have made some of Jesus’ other companions uncomfortable choices for travelling partners.

Main Passage : Matthew 12
Additional passages : Matthew 10, 1 Samuel 21

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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.


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