'Everyone will know that you are my disciples because of your love for each other' John 13:35


Week 1 objective: to understand that the verse comes from the Gospel of John, which is very different from the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke.

Game - 8 mins:
Aim:  to play ‘Spot the difference’ and begin to talk about recognising differences. 
You will need:  a chair, a low table and a selection of household items. Try and choose items that relate to two or three themes such as sports equipment, outdoor clothes, cooking items and/or things to do with reading and writing.   

Ask for two volunteers. Appoint one volunteer as the ‘guesser’. Explain that he/she will need to leave the room. Make sure arrangements for children leaving your teaching area comply with your safeguarding policy. Ask the other volunteer to sit in the chair next to the small table. Now encourage the rest of the group to arrange four or five household items on the table then give a few extra items to the volunteer to hold or wear. If you have chosen themed items you could arrange a scene to do with one of your themes; for example the volunteer could be cooking a meal. Alternatively the children could create a ‘silly scene’ such as the volunteer wearing a hat while reading a book, playing chess and eating a bowl of soup. 

Once the group have set the scene the volunteer must sit completely still and the ‘guesser’ be allowed back into the room. The ‘guesser’ should then examine the scene and try to remember all the different items and their positions, including what the volunteer is doing and wearing. The ‘guesser’ should then leave the room again. 

While the ‘guesser’ is out of the room the group should rearrange the scene making approximately five changes. The ‘guesser’ should then re-enter the room and try to guess what has changed. Finally the group should let the ‘guesser’ know if they are right or wrong and reveal any changes that were not spotted.  

If you have time, talk with the group about which differences were easy to spot and which were harder. Ask the children why they think some differences were more obvious.

Talk about - 5 mins
You will need: a large sheet of paper or a whiteboard, marker pens, ‘Looking at the Gospels’ sheets (see Printables) and a Bible.

Before the session write the verse on the whiteboard or paper. Underline the Bible reference and explain that this verse comes from the Gospel of John. Ask one of the children to find the Gospel of John in the Bible. Explain that ‘John’ is one of four Gospels, the books that tell the story of Jesus’ life. Ask the children to quickly find out the names of the other three Gospels by looking in the Bible. Explain that people who have studied the Gospels noticed that the Gospel of John is very different from the other three. Some people have carefully read through the Gospels trying to spot the differences between ‘John’ and the other three.

Show the ‘Looking at the Gospels’ sheets and point out the differences between ‘John’ and the other three Gospels. Ask the children why they think John’s Gospel is so different. Some of the answers given by people who study the Bible include: 1. John did not speak to the same people as Matthew, Mark and Luke, therefore his information is different. 2. John wanted to tell people who Jesus was, not just what he did.

Song - 2 mins
To the tune: ‘London Bridge is falling down’

    Everyone will know that you,
    Know that you,    x2
    Everyone will know that you,
    Are my disciples.

    Because of your love for each other,
    For each other,    x2
    Because of your love for each other. 
    You’re my disciples.

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