Jesus Without Language

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James and John (Mark 10) | Story

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

Today’s hero’s are James and John because they shows us the gift of a Greatness

Essential Teachers notes:
As we continue to explore the disciples the brothers James and John are such key characters, members of Christ’s inner circle alongside Peter. Unlike Peter who throws himself into things, both head first and solo, these two brothers seem to be more of a double act. Brash, sometimes foolish, and yet utterly sincere to the cause, Jesus renames them the “Son’s of thunder” (Mk 3). While they may seem wild at times both are transformed by their friendship with Jesus into something much more than ordinary fishermen. Here we concentrate on such a human weakness, the need to be greater than others.

Main Passage : Mark 10:35-45
Additional Passages : Luke 9:51-55, Mark 1 + 3

Today’s story is about two of Jesus’ 12 special friends called disciples. These disciples were called James and John, but Jesus liked to call them the “Son’s of Thunder”

I wonder why they were called the son’s of thunder. What is thunder like? (loud, scary, attention grabbing, big)

What do you think James and John may have looked like? (Do you think they were small or big, stringy or muscular, gentle or clumsy, quiet or loud, bold or shy?) We don’t know what they looked like, but we do know that Jesus chose them to be his special friends.

James and John were fishermen, they worked with Simon-Peter. Jesus had walked along near their fishing boat one day and called them to follow him. They went from fishing all night and pulling in heavy nets with fish, to fishing for people to be part of God’s kingdom, fishing for followers of Jesus.

James and John did everything together and could always be found near Jesus. We do know that they weren’t always very intelligent, and sometimes they got a bit overexcited. One day they were so irritated with a village who didn’t welcome them they suggested calling down fire from heaven to burn it up. Do you think Jesus agreed with their request? No. Jesus told them that he was there to save people not destroy them. James and John may have had bad tempers but Jesus still chose them to be part of his kingdom.

One day James and John came to Jesus with another request. The brothers had worked out that one day Jesus would be king, and they wanted to sit at his right and left hand sides when he was on the throne. Jesus listened patiently, the only throne Jesus would have on earth was a wooden cross, Jesus knew this but obviously James and John hasn’t worked that out yet. “You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. “can you go through the things I must go through?” James and John didn’t hesitate… “yes, we can, we really can.” Jesus looked at his friends, he did not want them to suffer but he knew they would. “To sit at my right or left is not for me to decide.” Jesus said and then he walked away.

When the apostles heard about this conversation, they became angry with James and John. Jesus called everyone together and gave them some new instructions. “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. I did not come to be served, but to serve” he said.

That must have sounded crazy to the disciples, but slowly they came to understand. Through Jesus they learnt a better sort of greatness, not one you take but one you give.

After Jesus had gone to heaven to be with this father James and John helped start the church, a church of people who would serve. The disciples tried to serve everyone and the church grew. James became the first apostle to join Jesus in heaven, his boldness meant he didn’t deny what Jesus had taught him, even if it meant losing his life. His brother John lived for a long time, he wrote to churches and some of his letters are in the bible. Knowing Jesus changed John, no longer did he imagine burning villages, his letters are full of love and understanding, he became known as ‘the apostle of love.’

Today’s hero’s are James and John because they shows us the gift of a Greatness


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