BIG IDEA: JESUS CHOSE TO START HIS MINISTRY
AIM: The ‘Crossroads’ Childrens lesson on Water into Wine helps children to think about how Jesus chose his mission and chose to start his mission with the first miracle of turning water into wine. Each week we will be looking at a different sign of Jesus from John’s gospel and what it tells us about Him and us.
INTRO QUESTION: What was the last choice you had to make?
FOR SONG AND BIBLE STORY VIDEO IDEAS check out our dedicated Pinterest Board.
- Trash the Bride. (regular/widescreen) Teams compete to make wedding dresses out of white garbage bags. The most creative is the winning team.
- What’s that Sign? (regular/widescreen) Have a list of different types of signs and get the children to act them out for their teams – without speaking. See if the children can recognize the signs by actions. If this is too difficult, do it in pictionary style and let the children draw the signs themselves. The team to get the most correct are the winners.
- Would You Rather. (regular/widescreen) Using the Would You Rather questions, encourage children to run to one side or the other to decide what they would rather do in a situation. There are no winners for this game, just the joy of joining in!
SET the Scene:
Explain to the children that a crossroad is a place that you come to where you must decide which way you are going to go. Sometimes you have to wait patiently in your car to let someone else pass you by before you can go. Today we are going to hear about a choice that Mary and Jesus chose to make.
- In this story what is God the Father/Son/Holy Spirit like?
- In this story what are the people like?
- Who are you most like in this story?
- Where were Mary and Jesus? [wedding]
- What happened to all the wine? [the wine ran out]
- What did Mary tell the servants? [to do what Jesus told them to do]
- What did Jesus decide to do? [help]
- How many jars were there? 
- What did the jars get filled with? [water]
- What did the water turn into? [wine]
- What kind of wine was it? [the best]
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) MARY CHOSE TO BELIEVE
Have a lockable box with more than one key to choose from. Invite a child to choose a key to unlock the box. Inside the box place something small that they can win as a prize, if they are able to unlock the box. It could be a cash note, a piece of candy or something larger (depending on your box size) such as a toy or soft toy.
Say: This story shows me something really special. It shows me that Mary had to make a decision. She was at a crossroads. A place where she must decide what she was going to do and what she believed. She had to choose. Did she believe Jesus was special or not? When the wine ran out at the wedding feast, everyone panicked, but Mary knew what to do. She asked Jesus to get involved. Have you ever been worried about something? [Get feedback] Did you know that you can ask Jesus for help in those times. That’s what Mary did.
Jesus answered Mary and told her it wasn’t yet his time. He wasn’t supposed to start doing miracles in front of people yet. Mary believed that Jesus could do something. He could help. So she told the servants to do whatever Jesus told them to do. Mary chose to believe. She chose to believe that Jesus could help and he would do something to help the people.
Is there anyone here that would like to make a choice? Come and choose one of the keys and see if you can open this box. [Give the child an attempt or two – depending on the number of keys you have.]
Mary made the right choice. She chose to believe that Jesus was special and that he could and would help. She was right! Jesus chose to help and to help in the best way possible!
2) I CAN CHOOSE TO BELIEVE
Get a jar and put a couple of drops of red food coloring inside the bottom of it. Try not to show this to the children. Pour in a cup of water as you are talking to the children.
Say: Just like Mary chose to believe in Jesus, we all have that choice to make too. Will we choose to believe that Jesus is the Son of God or will we choose not to believe? The disciples were amazed and believed when they saw what Jesus did. He turned water into wine! The best kind! He told the servants what to do and as they poured it and took it to the Master of Ceremonies, the water was changed! [as you are talking pour the water into the jar and watch it change!]
Now, this is a cool little trick that can be explained. It has red colouring in the bottom and when I poured it in the colour changed. Yet Jesus didn’t just do a trick. He did a miracle! I’m going to taste this mixture now…. yes, it tastes just like…. water! I might be able to change the way it looks but I haven’t changed what it is!
Jesus changes everything. The Bible says that when we believe in Jesus and we ask Him to take control of our lives, He doesn’t just make us better people or make us good. He completely changes us from the inside out. The Bible says that without Jesus we are dead, but with Him we are alive! He makes us brand new! Our whole life is changed! And everyone will know about it! Just as the Master of Ceremonies knew the wine tasted different and was no longer the same.
You can choose to believe in Jesus. You can believe that He was the Son of God and that He can change your life too! All you have to do is believe in Him and ask Him to come into your life and change you from the inside out!
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Bride and Groom Relay. (regular/widescreen) Print off lots of copies of the different bible verses from the list of believe in Jesus bible verses. Place them all in a large box. Masking tape a line on the floor for each player to walk along when it is their turn. They must pretend to be walking down then the isle. If they step off the line at any point before they reach the end then they must run back to the beginning and start again. Every child reaches into the box and collects their own bible verse before running and tagging the next player. The first team to finish the relay is the winning team.
- What does it mean to believe in Jesus?
- How can believing in Jesus help you?
- What would stop you from believing in Jesus?
- What is difficult about believing in Jesus?
- What is the best thing about believing in Jesus?
- How did Mary believe in Jesus in this story?
- How did the servants believe in Jesus in this story?
- Why did the disciples believe in Jesus in this story?
SENSE How You Feel:
Imagine you were one of the wedding guests.
How does it feel to watch Jesus turn water into wine?
Discuss with the children what it would be like to see the water turn into wine. What face would you make if you got to see it in real life? How would it make you feel? What would you think of Jesus? Who would you want to tell?
Encourage the children to think about their answer to this question as they do one or more of the activities below.
- Create the Water into Wine Craft You will need a printer, card stock, split pins and markers. Color and cut out the pieces and then cut out the inside of the jug upto the waterline. Pin the two pieces together in the centre and watch as the water turns to wine.
- Have a juice tasting test and ask the children to decide which they think is the best flavor and why.
- Color/Fill in the ‘Crossroads’ activity sheets. There are sheets for the 5-7s and the 8-11 year olds.
- Check out our ‘water into wine’ Pinterest board.
Say: If you want to choose to believe in Jesus today, all you need to do is speak to Him and tell Him. We do this through prayer. If you would like to say a prayer asking Jesus into your life, say this prayer with me.
Thank you Jesus that you came to make me new. Thank you that you died and rose again. I believe that you are the Son of God. Please come into my life. Please forgive me and change me. I want to be more like You. Amen.