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.
 

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Thomas (John 20) | Play

 

For centuries Thomas has been synonymous with doubting, within this lesson we look at both the doubter and the declarations he makes showing his deep, if sometimes over enthusiastic, faith. These games play on those 2 ideas of questioning and making statements.
 

Thomas (John 20) | PlayThomas (John 20) | PlayThomas (John 20) | PlayThomas (John 20) | Play

Feel bags– In a story where the real action is all to do with touch feel bags are a great activity to lead into a discussion of how we use our senses to prove / verify what is real. Fill some small non-transparent bags with various objects and have the kids identify the contents through touch alone.
 

13-P-E

Thomas (John 20) | PlayThomas (John 20) | PlayThomas (John 20) | PlayThomas (John 20) | Play

Replace the missing piece – Print some photo images. Remove one or more small sections from each image and stick it onto a piece of card. Write a letter on the cards with sections and number each large image. The object of the game is to match the letters and numbers. if you want to give your children a reason to move stick these around the room and make it a timed activity, this will encourage movement. Featured originally in the attributes of God lesson. (pictured)
 

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Thomas (John 20) | Direct

 
Thomas
This Thomas worksheet looks at the 2 main passages where Thomas declares his faith in Jesus – John 11 and John 20. It looks at how his statements reveal his understanding and examines both how he came to doubt and his powerful reaction when faith was restored. The worksheet is best completed in small groups so the questions can be discussed. This worksheet is designed for independent readers, though it would be suitable for younger children with teacher support.

To complete the worksheet you will need something to write with, some coloured pencils and the Gospel of John.

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

 

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Thomas (John 20) | Heroes

 

Here are the images you need for the hero’s attributes linked to Thomas (John 20).

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.)

 

English

 

49-Card49-Card
49-Thomas49-Thomas
49-Colouring-page49-Colouring-page

 

German

 

49-Card-G49-Card-G
49-Thomas49-Thomas
49-Colouring-page-G49-Colouring-page-G

 

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Thomas (John 20) | Make 2

Thomas’ lesson already has a little paper craft focusing in on the two hands, this is an extension of that for those groups familiar with the hero series.There are 2 ways of making up this craft and both the template pages are provided with and without colour.

In the background of this little diorama we can spot the hero images for Peter, Nathaniel, and Andrew, plus the reoccurring but not yet featured Philip and brothers of Thunder, James and John.
Thomas

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Thomas (John 20) | Talk

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

Today’s hero is Thomas because he shows us the gift of a Declaration

Essential Teachers notes:
To call Thomas the doubter is only half of the story, rather Thomas is a man of declaration. This story is not one encounter but a look at Thomas from the perspective given by the statements he makes throughout the Gospel of John. Doubt is both a normal and, at times, a healthy reaction. Doubt is a form of questioning and leads both adult and child alike, into a journey of discovering the truth. As leaders we can easily mishandle doubt and make it a huge negative in young minds, often painting doubt as the opposite of faith. While there is some truth in that approach it is important to note that Jesus does not dismiss Thomas because of his doubts but helps him to find a way through them.

Main Passage : John 20
Additional Passages : John 11 + 14

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Thomas (John 20) | Make

Thomas’ lesson hasn’t been started yet, but I needed a Thomas craft for church and so I thought I’d share what I’d come up with. It’s a really simple layer picture, ideal for a fast craft or a younger group. Thomas (John 20)

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