come and see

John 1:46 “Can anything good come from Nazareth?” Nathanael asked.“Come and see,” answered Philip.

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Healing at the Pool – John 5: 1-8

Recently we looked at Jesus’ healing of the lame man at the pool of Bethsaida. Instead of reading the story from the Bible ourselves, we used this clip from the the Visual Bible:




For our craft we made “rock pools” using blue plastic plates (I found some with a wavy pattern on them) and small stones and rocks glued on the edges. Only problem we found was that the glue took a while to set, so the stones were not securely attached when the children were taking the plates home – caution was advised.



The Message:

Let me ask you a question? Do you want a chocolate? Wow that was a quick answer. Let’s look again at what the man answered when Jesus asked him if he wanted to be well? 
(Here we showed the clip again from 0.54 to 1.13)

He had been sick for 38 years, not minutes, not days, not weeks…. 38 years. And he was there waiting to get into the bubbling pool to be healed, and had been beaten to it every single time. You would think if someone asked if he wanted to be well, it would a very quick yes, but it wasn’t. Instead he answered why he CAN’T get well. When Jesus asked this man the question he had wanted for 38 years to come true, he hadn’t listened to Jesus speaking to him. Instead he was focused on himself and not present in that moment. He said what he would have told himself time and time again so it became an automatic response.

What if Jesus was right here, right now standing in front of you and asks “do you want to be well?” “Do you want to be all God intended you to be when He made you?”

Do you hear Jesus or what you have been saying to yourself time and time again?

“But you don’t understand I have a lot on at the moment”

“But I don’t deserve it, someone else always gets your blessing, not me”

“But I like being taken care of”

“But I know this life, I don’t know what that kind of life that would be like- too scary for me to give you control”


Jesus heard not his words but his heart, and gave him the answer to being well. And this man didn’t even know it was Jesus, the well-known healer, the Son of God.

Jesus told him “Rise, take up your bed and walk” He did and was healed. How many times had he struggled to do just this – and instead of listening to his excuses – this time he listened, believed, trusted and obeyed Jesus and he got the miracle of healing he had wanted.
(show clip from 1.13- to 2.08)

Once again we see that the miracle is the unexpected. How did God bring down the city walls of Jericho? Have Joshua’s army march around them. How did Jesus heal a lame man? Tell him to get up. Joshua wanted to take the city of Jericho and trusted and obeyed what God told him to do.  The lame man wanted to be well and trusted and obeyed what Jesus told him to do. And I believe it is in our trust and obedience that miracles happen.



The Prayers:

Lord, the noise of our own self-importance fills this world, deafening us to your words, blinding us to the possibilities you lay before us, and closing our minds to the miracles you want to work in our lives.

We take at face value the accepted knowledge of the world, failing to open ourselves to your infinite grace and healing gifts.

At a time when conflicts are increasing, when world neighbours turn against each other, when a decision taken in one country causes terror and grief in another, open our ears to hear your voice.

Where the world speaks words of hate and war
Let your words of peace and reconciliation be heard

Where the world speaks words of sorrow and despair
Let your words of comfort and hope be heard

Where the world speaks words of sickness and mourning
Let your words of healing and strength be heard

Where the world speaks words of selfishness and self-reliance
Let your words of love for one another be heard

Where the world speaks … let us instead listen to you, Lord,
and hear your words of grace and forgiveness in our lives every day.



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Extreme Makeover – the God Edition

Extreme MakeoverVanessa recently read in the Enjoying Everyday Life magazine from Joyce Meyer Ministries (March/April 2014 edition), an article entitled Getting Unstuck – learn to shake off the past and claim your new beginning. It starts with the sentence “Have you ever noticed all the people throughout the Bible that God gave a fresh start?” and that got us thinking about some of the fresh starts and “makeovers” we hear about in the Bible, giving us the springboard for this skit which we did last week. There are two speaking parts, with three more people needed to sit there and be talked about. The first is Moses, so try to get someone quite a bit older, second is Ruth, so a female, and the third is Paul. It is quite fun to not let anyone (even the participants) know who the “candidates” are -see if they can work it out from the hosts’ chat


First Host:
Thank you for joining us today for Extreme Makeover – the God Edition. Can we have our first candidate come up please. So you think God can still do something with you. Well I see here you have already had quite a life. When you were born your mother left you in the bushes where you were found by the Royal princess, and you were raised in the Egyptian palace alongside the Royal prince. Awesome. What an incredible start to life. Then you stuffed things up – big time. You saw an Egyptian beating a slave so you killed the Egyptian and buried him in the sand. When you knew you had been seem you ran away into the desert and settled with the Midianites. You have already had quite a life. Not sure how much time you have left, to be honest. I don’t know if there is really anything I can do with you. Sorry….

Second Host:
Well, you know what they say – where there’s life there’s hope. And at least he is still alive – just about. However, you know that other saying “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks”? Well, I don’t think that’s true in this case. In fact, I foresee quite a few new tricks up his sleeves in the near future. I think he could also be responsible for a significant increase in the numbers of certain species in the area – although that may not make him particularly popular with the local council! And if you want someone who will bring people together with a common purpose and goal, he’s definitely your man. I know he doesn’t look like he’s got much influence, but he’s going to be responsible for a significant change in the emigration policy of the country he lives in. And I definitely foresee travel in his future – in fact, quite a long journey. Sandcastles may be involved, although I don’t think he’s likely to be dipping his toes in the sea. He better have a good meal before he sets off though, as it might be only bread and water on the journey. Thank you for participating, Moses. You can return to your seat, and can we have our second candidate, please.

First Host:
You are from Moab – I can tell just by looking at you. You lot are not liked at all really. That is bad news; I don’t know what I can do with that. And you are a widow. And have no children. I don’t know who would want to marry you. Well this is really a challenge so, over to you …

Second Host:
Well, I can see there are a lot of negatives about her, but, you know, she is very loyal – just look how much she’s done for that moaning Minnie she lives with! There’s not many young widows who’d be willing to move to another country to look after their Mother-in-law, let alone end up doing manual labour to get the food they need to survive! I think you’ll find that she’s actually much admired for al that by the people off the town she now lives in. And look at how much she’s stepped out of her comfort zone – I mean, some of those suggestions of Mum-in-law were a bit close to the edge of acceptable behaviour, but this brave young lady was willing to follow through on those ideas, and I’m certain it will pay off for her. Yes, all in all, I think there’s a great future ahead for her: a happy marriage; elevation in social status; lots of friends – lots of children! I think you’ll find that she’ll be the matriarch of a great family – a Royal family even. You know, Kings, and people even more influential than that further down the line. Thank you for participating, Ruth. You can return to your seat, and can we have our third candidate, please.

First Host:
Here is a really big challenge. I can’t see what God could do with you because you are already very successful and respected. Actually, I would even say you are a man of great influence.

Second Host:
Yes, but he’s a bit prejudiced isn’t he? Got very fixed ideas about what you should and shouldn’t believe – and certainly seems to be in favour of extreme punishments for those that don’t think like he does. Mind you, I think he’s misguided more than anything else. Maybe a little holiday would help him see things more clearly – you know, get the scales to drop from his eyes. I hear Damascus Donkey Tours do a good deal. I know you think he’s the bees knees now, but with a change in focus he has the potential to influence half the know world. Get his passions engaged in the right way and the words will just pour out of him. He’s a great one for writing, you know, and I think that there’s a very real possibility that the things he writes will still be being read, and influencing people’s lives, hundreds of years from now. I’m not saying things will be easy for him from now on in. He’ll definitely be going on some long journeys – on some more willingly than on others – and some of the transport safety ratings might be a bit suspect. He might well have to rely on the charity of others for food and accommodation, and even resort to his old occupation of making camping equipment at times. But yes, you are right, he is a man of great influence – and will continue to be so for a very long time. Thank you for participating – sorry, is it Saul or Paul? You can return to your seat.

Would you like a change in your life. Maybe even an extreme makeover? All things are possible with God. He has done it before – He can do it again. We have picked only three out of the bible, but there are so many more people that God has transformed, both in the Bible and right up to the present day. Moses – the man who was abandoned by his mother, killed an Egyptian and ran away to the desert. Moses – the man who God used to bring the Israelites out of Egyptian slavery and who God gave the 10 commandments to. Ruth – a foreign woman from a place not like by many, and the fact that she was a widow and childless didn’t make her a catch either. But Ruth loved God and that made a difference. Ruth married Boaz, and they had a son, Obed, who had a son, Jesse, who had a son, David – the same one who killed Goliath and became King. And further down the family line there was Jesus. And Paul, a man who was very successful and respected for persecuting Christians, became persecuted himself for being a Christian. He wrote much of the New Testament and guided the early Christian church. You are not too young or too old, too shy or too loud, you don’t have too much history or not enough scars from life. You are a child of God. The same God who paints the sunrise and sunset has plans for us bigger and better than we could even imagine. It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it —– if you are willing.

Written jointly by Vanessa & Gail