BIG IDEA: I AM KNOWN BY JESUS
AIM: ‘The Woman At the Well Encounters Jesus’ Childrens Lesson is intended to help children understand and think over the fact that Jesus knows all about them – the good things and the bad – and he loves them!
- Water Dunk. Use a washing up bowl or big tub to fill half full, put items inside it that the children will need to pull out with their teeth! Make sure you have plenty of towels on hand to dry the children’s faces!
- Wet Heads.
- Holey Cup Relay. Put some holes in each team’s cup. Then get children to fill up their cup from one full bucket and run with it to another empty bucket where they pour the water in. The team with the most water in their empty bucket at the end of the game is the winning team.
- Movin’ It Up Minute to Win It Game.
- Stack Attack Minute to Win It Game. You will need lots of cups to stack in this game.
BIG VERSE: God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him will not die but have everlasting life. John 3:16.
SET the Scene:
Read John 4:1-42. You may also want to explain to the children about the relationship between the Samaritans and the Jews; how the Jews avoided the Samaritans and did not associate with them. To understand some of the reasons why there was hatred between the Jews and the Samaritans you may want to read this article. You may also want to communicate the story through one of the videos below:
- Why was the woman so surprised that Jesus was speaking to her?
- Are there people in your school that get left out? How might you help them?
- Jesus spoke to the woman at the well when others would not have done. How would you have felt if you were the Samaritan woman?
- How do you think Jesus knew everything about the woman at the well?
- The fact that Jesus knew the woman when she had not told him anything about herself changed the Samaritan woman’s life. She told everyone what he had done. She said “Come and meet a man that knows everything I ever did.” What one thing do you want to tell everyone about Jesus?
SPOT the Simple Meaning:
1) JESUS KNOWS ME
Create a ‘Who Do You Know?’ Powerpoint quiz. Have pictures of people that you and the children know well such as members of the church or local community people. Also mix in some pictures of famous celebrities or cartoon characters that they might recognize. You could play it as an upfront game with a few players or as an audience game where you ask any of the children for the answer.
Say: Jesus knew the Samaritan woman. He knew everything she ever did. You might have recognized some or all of the people in that game… but I’m sure you don’t know everything about them. You might not know what they did yesterday, a week, month or year ago. Yet Jesus seemed to know all about this woman that he had never met. And Jesus knows you too! How?
Jesus is the Son of God – he is God – so he knows everything! He knows everything about you! He knows you because he created you. The bible says that at the beginning of time Jesus was there – because he is God! John 1:1 says “In the beginning was the Word…” ‘The Word’ is another name for Jesus! You see Jesus is God; he is one person in the Trinity; Father, Son and Holy Spirit. So the God of the Universe knows you. Just as Jesus knew the woman at the well, he knows you. In fact, John 10:3 says that he not only knows you, but he knows you by name! He knows how many hairs are on your head (Luke 12:7), he knows everything about you!
2) HE KNOWS BECAUSE HE CARES
You will need access to the Beauty and the Beast library scene.
Say: The Beast, Lumiere, Cogsworth and Mrs Potts all knew that Belle loved books. Lumiere remembered that she wanted to see the library when she had first entered the Beast’s palace. So the Beast gave Belle the library because he knew that she would love it. If you care about someone then you might learn some things about them. Perhaps you will remember when their birthday is or what type of food they like. I’m sure whoever looks after you will have thought about the types of things you and others like to eat or do. Jesus loves and cares about us, so of course, he knows so much about us!
Jesus knew the Samaritan woman. He knew what she had been doing and how she had been living. Of course, the woman must have been shocked! She had never met Jesus before. How could he have known all this about her?! Not only that, but she was a Samaritan… he knew that Samaritans and Jews never spoke! Yet Jesus knew all about her… he was a Jew and she was a Samaritan. Yet he knew everything about her! On top of all that, she was a woman! Yet Jesus cared enough to speak to her and ask her for a drink! Jesus cares about everyone – no matter who you are or what you have done.
We are known by the Creator God! We are known inside and out, in fact he knows much more about us than even we know! He knew the Samaritan woman better than she knew herself. That’s why she just had to tell everyone! She ran out saying to everyone “Come meet a man who told me everything I ever did!” (John 4:39) She wanted others to know him because she knew that he was the person he said he was – the Messiah; the Christ – the one who had come to save! Did you know that you are also known and loved by Jesus?! Did you know that he came to save you?! Why? Because he loves you and cares about you and wants to be with you forever!
3) I WORSHIP THE ONE WHO KNOWS ME
‘What’s It Worth?’ game. Have photos or images of items [or bring real items] and ask the children “How much is it worth? How much would you pay for this item?” Get the children to compete and see who can guess the correct price.
Say: Jesus begins to talk to the woman about what it means to really worship. It isn’t about a place or where you worship. It is about your heart. What does worship mean? [Get feedback]. To worship something is to give it worth. It is saying that it is important – even the most important thing to you. We just played the game where we thought about how much things were worth. Did you know that Jesus thinks you are worth so much! In fact, he died for you because he knew that you were worth saving!
What is Jesus worth to you? What would you want to do for him to show him how much he means to you? The people that came out to see Jesus and they said “First we believed in Jesus because of what you told us. But now we believe because we heard him ourselves. We know that this man really is the Savior of the world.” They realized that Jesus is who he said he is – he is the Messiah! Jesus had explained that to worship we need to worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23). We can show our worship by lifting our hands to reach towards him, by bowing down before him, by singing about how good he is, by shouting his name and about how great he is! There are so many ways that we can worship Jesus today – we can do anything for him – by giving it all that we have got with our whole heart. Jesus said that the true worshippers are the ones who worship in spirit and in truth. It is all about our heart and our spirit connecting with Jesus. We worship him for who he is and for all he has done for us. We worship the One who knows all about us! We worship the One who knows everything about everyone in the world – the One who created it all!
SEARCH the Scriptures:
Create some messy goo by adding flour, food coloring and water together in a big tub or bucket. Make strips of paper with the verses on and hide them in the goo. Choose two players to battle it out until they can find the verses in the goo. The child that finds the most bible verses is the winner. Discuss what the verses mean after they have finished the game.
Known By God Bible Verses:
And the Lord said to Moses, “This very thing that you have spoken I will do, for you have found favor in my sight, and I know you by name.” Exodus 33:17.
But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. Isaiah 43:1.
To him the gatekeeper opens. The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. John 10:3.
I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. John 10:14.
SENSE How You Feel:
How does it feel to know that Jesus sees and knows all that you do and that he cares?
As the children think about this they can do one or more of the activities below:
- Make a revolving Woman at the Well craft.
- Color in the Woman at the Well printables.
- Create the Well paper craft.
- ‘Jesus knows Me’ Door Hanger. Create a door hanger with the phrase ‘Jesus knows Me’ and encourage the children to decorate it with stickers and markers.
- Name necklace. Using letter beads and elastic encourage the children to make a name bracelet or necklace.
- Children can paint or draw a picture of themselves with the words ‘Jesus Knows Me’ above it
- Handprint/Fingerprint/Footprint pictures. [This could also be used as an alternative response time where children contemplate that God knows them intimately as they make a print on large paper with the rest of the children.]
- Create an Identity Card or ‘About Me’ booklet that children can fill in about themselves.
You will need a big clean bucket of water [you could dress this up to look like a well] and lots of little cups. For larger groups you will need more than one bucket. You may also want to play the song ‘Open Heaven’ by Hillsong in the background to link it all in.
Say: We know that Jesus knows us and that he loves us no matter who we are or what we have done. The living water that he promised is his Holy Spirit. Do we want to know Jesus more and sense his Holy Spirit in our lives? The Holy Spirit wants to lead us and guide us and help us to live a life that is powerful and full of Jesus! If you do, then as we play this music I want you to take a cup and scoop out some water from the bucket. Then as you drink the water, pray and tell Jesus that you want to know him more. The Holy Spirit may prompt you to do something, or you may just want to sit and listen to what he has to say.