Note that we have separated the worship and Sunday school materials into separate posts to keep things organized. You can find the Sunday morning sermon here.
Family Sunday School Devotion for May 31
“Jesus and the Samaritan Woman” from John 4
Listen to- “Love One Another (1 John 4:11)” from Seeds Family Worship here:
(For younger kids)- “Love One Another” from Dakota Pyle here:
And “Eternal Life (John 3:16)” from Seeds Family Worship here:
Later, during Key Passage, watch “For God So Loved (John 3:16)- Tutorial” from Faith Inkubators here:
Supplies Needed- For younger kids: plastic/paper cup, scissors/knife, string, blocks; for older kids: glass cup, cardstock, black marker, water; for all kids: plastic/paper cup, paper, pencils
Summary- Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to those who believe.
Introduction Younger Kid Activity- Build a Well Punch holes near the rim of a plastic/paper cup and thread a long string through; tie it to the rim. Explain that a well is a hole in the ground often surrounded by rocks or bricks. Have kids build a well out of blocks. In Bible times, people got water from a well by using a bucket. Demonstrate lowering and pulling up the cup inside the block “well”. Say, “Before we had pipes and faucets, this was how people would get their water. Usually, women did this hard job. One time, Jesus stopped at a well, but He didn’t have a bucket to get water. He was waiting to talk to a certain woman there. We will find out more in our Bible story today.”
Introduction Older Kid Activity- Reversing Arrow Demonstration Draw 2 parallel left-facing arrows on white cardstock. Position the paper behind a glass cup so kids can see the arrows through the glass. Slowly pour water into the glass until the water level is just above the bottom arrow. The arrow should flip horizontally, appearing as a right-facing arrow. Move the cup to show kids that the drawn arrows still face to the left. Return the cup to its place in front of the arrows. Add more water so the top arrow appears to change directions as well. Say, “How did that happen? Nothing is special about this water; this demonstration is an example of refraction– light bending when it passes through different materials (like air, glass, and water). In the story we will hear today, Jesus told a woman He could give her living water. It wasn’t a trick, though. Let’s find out what Jesus was talking about.”
Big Picture Question- Say, “Our big picture question fits right into our Bible story: What makes people special? The answer is: People are special because we are made in His image, as male and female, to know Him. Isn’t that great? God wants all people- no matter where they are from, what they look like, or what activities they like- to know Him. He created each of us in His image and He gave us His Word, the Bible, so we can know what is true about God and about ourselves.”
Bible Story- Timeline Say, “Jesus spent a lot of time with people while He was on earth. He is Immanuel– ‘God with us’! Who are some of the people we’ve heard about the last few weeks? We saw that people came to Jesus, and He healed them. He met with people in the synagogue, and Jesus taught that He is the Messiah. Did everyone believe Him? Not exactly. Many people didn’t understand. Nicodemus went to talk to Jesus at night. Jesus taught that we must be born again. In today’s story, we will see how Jesus interacted with all people- not just Jews.” Open a Bible to John 4:1-30, 39-42. Either tell the story in your own words from this passage or read aloud from the Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook (the Bible storybook your younger child received from Sunday School) page 200.
Christ Connection- Say, “Jesus offers something better than physical water; He gives us Himself. Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to everyone who comes to Him by faith. He completely satisfies us. He is the Prophet who gives us power to worship Him as Lord and Savior wherever we are. Jesus is the Messiah who brings salvation for all who trust in Him.”
Key Passage- Open a Bible to John 3:16. Read the verse aloud. You may watch the video of John 3:16 from Seeds Family Worship (see above). Come up with your own signs for the words of the verse or use the following sign language: “God” (open hand held upright coming down in front of face with thumb closest to face), “loved” (hug self), “world” (hold up 3 fingers on each hand to form sign language letter W and twirl hands around each other in a circle), “gave” (hook pointer fingers and pull hands toward self), “Son” (pinch hand together in front of forehead and pull down to two-handed rocking of a baby), “everyone” (make sign language for letters A by making fist with thumb up and L by holding out thumb and pointer finger, sweep hand with letter L across in front), “believes” (touch hand to forehead and then pull down to clasp hands together), “not” (shake pointer finger like saying “no”), “perish” (hold one palm face up and other palm face down, then flip flop them), “eternal” (point to head and make sign language for letter Y by making fist with thumb and pinkie finger sticking out, then push with letter Y outward), “life” (make sign for letter L with both hands, push upward). Say, “God didn’t just say He loves us; He showed it. God proved His love by His plan to send Jesus to die for us and make the way to have forgiveness and eternal life. Our key passage reminds us that we don’t have to do anything to earn this amazing gift. As soon as we believe the Gospel, we get eternal life!”
Review Questions- Ask the following questions:
- *PreK- Where did Jesus stop to rest? (a well in Samaria)
- What did Jesus ask for when He first saw the Samaritan woman? (John 4:7)
- *PreK- Why was the woman surprised Jesus talked to her? (Jews did not like Samaritans)
- What did Jesus say would happen to a person who drinks the living water? (John 4:14)
- *PreK- What is the living water Jesus told the woman about? (God’s Spirit, the Holy Spirit)
- Where did Jesus say people will worship God? (anywhere, in spirit and truth; John 4:23-24)
- What does it mean to worship God in spirit and in truth? (Discuss how everyone worships something, but only believers worship the one true God. Point out that worshiping in spirit means that our very core, including our emotions, is involved in worshiping God. Explain that worshiping in truth means we worship the true God when we understand the wonderful truth of what He has done for us.)
- *PreK- Who did Jesus say He is? (the Messiah)
- *PreK- What makes people special? (People are special because God made us in His own image. *shortened)
- How can we receive living water? (Guide kids to see that the living water is a picture of what the Holy Spirit is like. When we believe the Gospel, Jesus sends the Holy Spirit to live within us. He helps us to love and obey God and fills our lives with joy and love so that we can “overflow” joy and love onto other people. Remind the kids that the Bible teaches everyone who believes the Gospel will be saved. Help them understand that when we believe the Gospel, we repent of sin and love God. God forgives our sin, gives us new hearts, and sends the Holy Spirit to live in us and help us obey God out of love.)
Say, “Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to those who believe. Anyone can be a believer because Jesus loves all people. The gift of salvation is freely offered to us.”
For Older Kids- Also, ask the following questions:
- What is living water? Where does it come from? (read John 7:37-39)
- Why is sharing your testimony important? (read 1 John 4:13-15)
- What are some ways you can show love to others? How can you remember to put others first? (read 1 John 4:11-12)
Reflection- Ask older children to answer one of the following questions:
- What does this story teach me about God or the Gospel?
- What does the story teach me about myself?
- Whom can I tell about this story?
Closing Activity #1- Blessings Overflow Provide a sheet of paper and pencil to each family member. Ask everyone to write about or draw pictures of a few things they consider to be blessings. Help them think through things like their families, school/work, friends, church family, food, clothes, etc. Then, challenge everyone to wad their papers into balls and toss them into a cup. By the end, the cup should be overflowing with paper wads. Say, “God blesses us in so many ways. It is good to remember the blessings we have from God. The Bible teaches that every good gift is from God. The best gift we could receive is salvation from sin. Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to those who believe. When we have the Holy Spirit living with us, our hearts overflow with joy, and the blessings in our lives can be used to bless other people, too.”
Closing Activity #2- Picture Prayer Distribute paper and pencils to each child. Challenge to draw a picture representing a prayer request for someone they know- family, friend, church family, missionary, neighbor, etc. Say, “Praying is a very important and powerful way that we show love to others- near and far. God loves people and He wants us to love them, too. What makes people special? People are special because God made us in His own image, as male and female, to know Him.” Then, pray together for the pictured prayer requests.
Adult Sunday School Devotion for May 31
“Jesus Teaches About Living Water” from John 4
Listen to- “Undivided Heart (Psalm 136)” from Seeds Family Worship here:
and- “Living Waters” from Keith and Kristyn Getty here:
Summary- Jesus offered the Samaritan woman living water- the Holy Spirit- that would satisfy her forever and produce true worship in her life.
Christ Connection- Jesus told the Samaritan woman that a day was coming when worshipers would not focus on the physical location of their worship but would worship God in Spirit and truth. Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection, our worship is no longer confined by geography. We worship Jesus as the Savior of the whole world wherever we are.
Point 1. Jesus gives the Living Water that satisfies completely (read aloud John 4:7-14).
Note- Without new birth in Christ, we all have dirty hearts; we are all riddled with sin. Our sinful nature has estranged humanity from God since the Fall. In fact, not only are we estranged from God, but our sin causes there to be enmity, or hostility, between God and us (see Romans 1:28-32; Ephesians 2:1-3). All of us are thirsty, longing for something that will satisfy us completely. How we each try to satisfy our thirst looks different from person to person: for some people, it looks like viewing pornography; for others, it looks like working endless hours. But the need is the same in every circumstance; we are in need of Jesus and connection with Him to fulfill our deepest longings.
Respond- What are some ways we are tempted to fill the longings in our hearts with things other than God?
Christ as Reconciliation: Ever since the Fall of the first man and woman in the garden of Eden, God and human beings have been estranged. Sin resulted not only in an estranged relationship with God but also enmity between God and humanity. Sin is an infinite offense against an infinite God. Thankfully, God loves His enemies and has sent Christ to be the reconciler between us and God. Through Christ’s death, God provides the means whereby that broken relationship is restored and renewed (see Romans 6:23; 2 Corinthians 5:18-19).
Point 2. Jesus is the Prophet who enables true worship (read aloud John 4:19-24).
Note- Apart from the revealed knowledge of God, it is impossible for us to worship Him. God has chosen to reveal Himself- His character and nature- to the world most fully through Christ, the Word made flesh (see John 1:1, 14; Hebrews 1:1-3). Through the Spirit-inspired Scriptures we have the person of Jesus revealed to us, and through the Spirit we are able to have a personal relationship with Jesus. When a person is filled with the Holy Spirit by faith in Jesus Christ, he or she is then capable of seeing the kingdom of God and knowing God in truth. It is only through new birth in the Spirit that we are taken from our broken state in sin and made new, able to see and know God through revelation given by His Spirit. Thus, it is only through Jesus that we are enabled to truly worship because we cannot worship what we don’t know.
Respond- What does Jesus in the flesh reveal to you about the God we worship?
Note- Debates about the “proper” way to worship are familiar to most of us. People have opinions about what time church services should start, how long they should be, what ministries should be available, which Bible translation churches should use, what styles of music are appropriate, what types of dress are acceptable, whether there should be chairs or pews, even what color the carpet should be. The Bible makes it clear that our physical spaces of worship are not in need of perfection, nor are they even essential. Jesus pointed out to the Samaritan woman that the time had come when the physical space where she worshiped would not matter. In her case, the debate was whether God should be worshiped on Mount Gerizim, as the Samaritans believed, or on Mount Moriah, as the Jews believed. Jesus issued the surprising statement that worship no longer needed to be defined by geographical boundaries.
Note- Worship cannot only be in Spirit, nor can it only be in truth. We cannot insist on material locations, ceremonies, or practices we prefer as the sum total of appropriate worship. Nor can we get so swept up in the emotional experiences that we abandon the pursuit of truth. It is essential that our worship be a Spirit-empowered proclamation of the truth, because otherwise we are not truly worshiping God. Part of entering into covenant relationship with Jesus is releasing our own preferences in favor of true worship. Christ’s death and resurrection has enabled us to worship freely in Spirit and truth from anywhere. Let’s live and worship in that freedom and wholeheartedly seek the One who enables such freedom.
Point 3. Jesus is the Messiah who brings salvation for all (read aloud John 4:25-26, 28-29, 39).
Note- As the Messiah, Jesus accomplished the work of reconciling us to God. He is the sacrificial Lamb who takes away the sin of the world, the means by which our broken relationship with God is restored and renewed (see John 1:29). It is His perfect righteousness that is presented to the Father on our behalf for our justification. He is the triumphant King who delivers His people and restores all of creation. If we trust that Jesus is who He says He is, then He is our salvation.
Respond- What do we need to be aware of as we proclaim to the world the identity of Jesus as the Messiah?
Note- Since the woman came to the well in the heat of the day (see John 4:6-7) when other women were unlikely to be there, it is probable that she was a social outcast, perhaps because of her history with men (see John 4:16-18). But still she went to share about Jesus after her encounter with Him. As followers of Jesus, we have the greatest news of all time. The Messiah has come and defeated sin and death on our behalf, and He’s coming back one day soon to judge the world and restore all things. All who believe in Him will not perish but will be born again and receive the gift of eternal life through the Holy Spirit. This is the good news we all so desperately crave, whether we know it or not.
Conclusion- Today, our testimonies can work in the same way as the Samaritan woman’s. Sharing with our neighbors about the ways Christ has worked in our lives and spreading the news that He is the Messiah invites people to come to Him themselves. Encountering Jesus as the Messiah ought to inspire us to tell others about Him. We shouldn’t be able to resist telling our neighbors about Him anymore than we can resist sharing when we’ve just had a baby or when we’ve won a free car or when a loved one is finally free from cancer. And we shouldn’t want to resist telling people. Jesus is the Messiah- this is amazing news!
Apply- Because we are completely satisfied in Christ, we demonstrate genuine worship in our lives that draws others to want to know Him as well.
-What do you need to repent of because Jesus and His Spirit satisfy completely?
-What are some ways your family can encourage one another to worship God in Spirit and truth?
-How will you use your testimony of the Gospel of Jesus to lead others to Him in faith?
(Take some time to pray for opportunities to share the Gospel with family, friends, and neighbors.)