Lesson 1 – Story Sessions: Jesus My Friend

Slide 1-2 - Day 1

To begin, tell or remind pupils that Jesus taught through stories called parables. Parables are stories with a message in them for us to work out. For the rest of the week, children will hear the story of a Father and two sons, that they might have heard before, but this time there are new things to think about. The Father in the story shows us what God is like. The brothers in the story show us what we are like. The point is that God loves everyone and we all need his forgiveness.

Slide 3: Day 1

Read Part 1 of the story.

Slide 4 - Day 1

Ask the children clarification questions to enhance learning, suggestions below:
• How many sons is this story about? What are they like? (2 sons, one ‘naughty’, one ‘good’)
• What did the younger son ask his Father for? (His inheritance- the money he would get when his Father died)
• Why did the younger son leave home, when he had everything he needed on his Father’s farm? (Because he had lots of money so didn’t feel the need to work, and he wanted to spend it on having fun)
• How do you think his Father felt when his son left home? (Sad, worried for his safety and hopeful that he would come home)
• Remember that the Father shows us what God is like. What does this part of the story tell us? (That God wants us to be close to him, to spend time with him and not to go off on our own way. He loves us)

Slide 5 - Day 2

Read Part 2 of the story

Slide 6 - Day 2

• Ask the children clarification questions to enhance learning, suggestions below:
• Why did the older son feel annoyed with his brother? (Because he had to work twice as hard now he had gone away)
• Why do you think all of the younger son’s new friends disappeared when his money ran out? (They were only friends with him for his money and what he could give them)
• Why did the younger son have to get a job? What kind of job did he get? (He had spent all his money, and the country had a famine; a job feeding the pigs).
• How do you think the younger son felt, with no money, nowhere to live and nothing to eat? (Desperate, sad, regretful that he didn’t save his money, wishing he hadn’t left home)
• What did the younger son decide to say to his Father when he went back home? What do you think this means? (Father I have sinned against God and against you. I don’t deserve to be called your son, but hire me to work on your farm.”; He’s saying sorry to God and his dad for all the things he had done wrong. He’d done a lot of naughty things while he was away that hurt God and had hurt his Father by leaving in the first place. He asked to be hired to work on the farm, as he didn’t think he deserved to be part of the family.)
• Remember that the Father shows us what God is like. What does this part of the story tell us? (The Father was sad when his son went away. God wants good things for us and he can provide them. He doesn’t want us to go off and do things that are bad for us)

Slide 7 - Day 3

Read Part 3 of the story

Slide 8 - Day 3

Ask the children clarification questions to enhance learning, suggestions below:
• What happened when the younger son returned home? (His Father ran out to meet him and hugged and kissed him, and then organised a party to celebrate him coming home. He gave him his best robe to wear and a ring and new sandals.)
• How do you think the younger son felt when his Father reacted like this? (Surprised, as he had only wanted to ask to be hired to work on the farm. He didn’t expect to be treated like part of the family! And to have a party thrown for him! He must have felt very loved, happy, accepted, forgiven).
• What happened with the older son, who’d been working hard on the farm all the time his brother was away? (He was jealous of his brother. He’d been working hard on the farm and had never been thrown a party. And now he saw his younger brother come home after wasting their Father’s money and have a huge party thrown for him!)
• What did his Father say to the older son? What do you think he meant? (“You are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we have to celebrate and have a party, because your brother was lost and now is found.”; the older brother had a bad attitude, and his Father corrected him. He would celebrate just as much if the older brother had been away – he loves them equally)
• Remember that the Father shows us what God is like. What does this part of the story tell us? (God forgives us when we do or think wrong things. Nothing we can do can make him stop loving us)

Slide 9 - Day 4

Use the following True or false quiz to remind children of the story. For statements that are false, discuss with the class why they are false. Each click reveals whether the statement is T/F:

• The children in the story are sisters. [False]
• The Father in this story helps us to learn about God. [True]
• Sin can be actions or attitudes. [True]
• The brothers in this story treated their Father well. [False]
• Saying sorry is not important. [False]
• People that are considered ‘naughty’ need Jesus to forgive them. [True]
• People that are considered ‘good’ still need Jesus to forgive them. [True]
• Some people are too bad for God to love. [False]

Slide 10 - Day 4

Read Part 4 of the story

Slide 11 - Day 4

Ask children to summarise what they’ve learned.

After discussion, click to reveal the bullet points below to see how they did:
• Jesus loves us, embraces us, guides us and forgives us.
• Jesus taught us to forgive others.
• Forgiveness and reconciliation is very important in our relationships.
• Friendships and relationships take time and effort to sustain.
• We reflect God’s love for us when we love others. in our relationships with others.

Slide 11 - Day 4 (Continued)

Ask children to reflect on the statements on the screen. You might like children to discuss this in pairs, or to reflect silently on their own. Ask:

• How does it feel to know that you are part of God’s family?
• Can you think of a time when you did something wrong like the younger brother? Or a time when you had a bad attitude like the older brother?
• Can you think of a time when you had to say sorry to someone? How did it feel before and after? What happened after you had said sorry?
• Is there anything you need to say sorry to God for? Why don’t you do it now, quietly in your heart.
• How do you think Jesus expects us to act?
• Jesus taught that we should love others in the same way that God loves us. What do you think that means? Can you think of any ways that you can show that love to people around you?

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