BIG IDEA: GOD IS NOT DISGUSTED BY YOU
AIM: The ‘Disgust’ Childrens Lesson on the Woman Caught in Adultery is aimed at helping children to see that we all feel disgusted from time to time, yet God is not disgusted by us. He loves and accepts us. Yet He calls us to a higher way of living.
INTRO ACTIVITY: Have a huge massive piece of paper and ask the kids to tell you things that they think of when they think of the word disgust. What does it mean to them? Is it a good or a bad thing?
- Broccoli Anyone? Choose a few children to compete to get the broccoli out of the jelly (jello) using your mouth.
- Whose Smelly Sock? Split all the children into teams. Everyone throws a sock to the front, one person from each team has to return everyone’s smelly sock.
- ‘The Joy of the Lord’ by Rend Collective
BIG VERSE: Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil, cling to what is good. Romans 12:9.
SET the Scene:
Read John 8: 1-11.
To act out this version of the story you will need the woman to stand in the middle with a black spot on or a black t-shirt. Others can be the Pharisees crowded around her. They should have angry faces and fists ready to stone her.
Pharisee 1: What will you do Jesus? [Jesus bends down and write in the sand]
[Pharisees turn faces around. They look puzzled/convicted and one by one leave with only Jesus and women left.]
Jesus: who accuses you now? No-one. Neither do I but go and sin no more.
[The woman takes off her black spot/tshirt to reveal a white t-shirt.]
Say: Only Jesus had right to throw a stone but he chose not to. He didn’t like her bahviour which is why he told her to change but he wasn’t disgusted by her as others had been. Instead he showed love to her which encouraged her to change her ‘disgusting’ behaviour.
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) DISGUSTS SAYS ‘YUCK!’
You will need a few pieces of sticky candy. Put or drop them on the floor before you begin to speak. This object lesson is not for the faint hearted!
[Pick up one of the candy and put it in your mouth and wait for the response!] Ewww! That’s disgusting!
Say: I wonder, if I waited a few more seconds to eat the candy, would that be disgusting? What if I waited until tomorrow? or next week? What if I waited until next year?
It would be disgusting! Disgust protects us from things we think are threats to our body or to those around us or how we are seen by those around us. We can have a healthy disgust – when food is bad disgust reminds us ‘YUCK! do not eat it!’ or when things are dirty it reminds us not to touch them.
Disgust judges things, people, places and situations around us and prepares us to avoid contact with the things that repulse us. I’m sure you’ve come into contact with lots of things that you think are yucky! What are some of those things? [Get feedback]
Those things are disgusting! You know, Jesus was not disgusted with the woman in our story. He loved her. We should never look at any one else or ourselves with disgust or repulsion. Disgust says ‘Yuck!’ But Jesus never says that about us or others. So neither should we.
2) Object Lesson – Do you like pickled onions?
You will need a jar of pickled onions.
Who here likes pickled onions? I have some with me who would like one? Who doesn’t like them? Would you like to try one anyway? (well done…and what a great disgust face!) When we don’t like certain foods, foods that we find disgusting, we avoid them, we keep away from them, if we could we might even run away from them! The memory says Hate what is evil and cling to what is good…we need to be disgusted by our bad behaviour, our sin and run away from it, but only the sin, not ourselves. When it comes to other people we might be tempted to run away from people who seem disgusting to us or others, like the woman in the story or homeless people or people who no-one is friends with at school, but Jesus actually want us to run TO these people not away from them. The first part of the verse is ‘Love must be sincere’ so Jesus wants us to help these people, show love to them. Maybe that means buying a homeless person a lunch or helping your friends to make friends instead of taking sides or playing the child no one else plays with. We should be disgusted by things but things that are bad for us…but don’t be disgusted by other people – show love to them instead.
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Have different tubs of yucky substances. Think jello, beans, custard, gelli baff and any other gooey slimey sticky substances you can think of. Children compete to put their hands in the substances and ‘fish out’ the bible verses below. You will need to prepare the substances and the laminated bible verses in advance. Laminating the bible verses will make sure that they are still in tact and readable when found!
Bible Verses on Disgust:
I look at the faithless with disgust, because they do not keep your commands. Psalm 119:158 (ESV)
As the Box was being brought into the city, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked out of the window and saw King David dancing and jumping around in the sacred dance, and she was disgusted with him. 2 Samuel 6:14-16. (GNT)
All my closest friends are disgusted with me. Those I love have turned against me. Job 19:19. (GWT)
- Is disgust a good or not good emotion?
- When can we show disgust?
- What makes you experience disgust?
- Should we treat people with disgust?
- Does the Bible say anything about disgust?
- Do you think God could be disgusted? What do you think he might show disgust for?
- How do we overcome disgust?
- How should we treat one another?
- If we find it difficult to not show disgust, what could we do?
- When was the last time you felt disgust?
- What things might make you feel disgusted?
- What does Jesus say about disgust?
- Did Jesus ever show disgust?
SENSE How You Feel:
- Create a really messy disgusting concoction of food. Think about what disgusts you.
- Create a messy sensory play area using cornflour, water and food dye.
- Make slime together and discuss some of the questions above. [This slime recipe uses contact lens solution, there are countless other ways to make it, so check out YouTube if you need some new ideas!]
So God is never disgusted by us or other people. He loves us no matter what. God doesn’t always like how we act or behaviour. He doesn’t always like what we say or think but he wants us to change because he loves us. So we should never be disgusted with ourselves and we should never be disgusted by others. Hate what is evil and run from it, but cling to what is good and show love to others. Do the right thing so you can show a good example to others.
Everyone close their eyes and think of something that you might need to change. Something in our lives that is a bit disgusting, something that Jesus would never do, say or think, something we need to change. And remember, that when we say sorry to God and ask for his help he always forgives us and he always helps us.
Now think of someone who maybe others find disgusting. Maybe someone who is left out at school because they are a bit smelly or someone who is really really naughty down your street or maybe it is homeless people who you try to avoid. Let’s pray for those people, knowing that everyone messes up sometimes and no one is perfect except Jesus. Let’s pray we will set these people a good example by clinging to what is good but also show love to them like Jesus did and help them when we can.