We have been slowly working our way through John chapter 1, using a modified inductive study method. We focus on asking lots of questions and reviewing the information a LOT! In the short time we have been working through John, we have learned much of the content. For more information and to discover how we walked through the first part of John, check out the previous post in this series.
Here are the simple ideas we used to learn John 1:6-8. Our girls are 4 and 5 years old.
There came a man, sent from God, whose name was John.
For this verse I asked the girls to stand on the other side of the room. I told them we were going to pretend. I said, “When I ask you what your name is you tell me, you are, ‘John.'” We took turns pretending.
Then I beckoned one of the girls over. As they walked I repeated the verse. When they got to me, we practiced meeting people by putting out our right hands to shake hands, looking one another in the eye. This was the interaction:
M: What is your name?
M: And where did you come from?
M: It is nice to meet you, John!
This activity delighted the girls and they wanted to take several turns!
He came for a witness, to testify about the light, so that all might believe through Him.
We split this verse into two days because there is so much here.
The first day involved some instruction about the workings of a courtroom. I drew the courtroom as I talked. It went something like this:
In today’s times, when someone gets in trouble, he has to go to court to find out how/if he will be punished. And at the front of the court room sits a Judge. He wears a black robe. (I drew a judge in a box, with a black robe).
And the person who is in trouble sits on the other side facing the Judge. He usually has a person who is helping him. And on the other side of the table is a person who says the bad things he has done. (I drew the person in trouble, his lawyer and the prosecutor, all in a row)
There is someone who gets up and sits in a chair next to the Judge. This is called the Witness. (I drew a box and for the witness and wrote the word, “WITNESS” above it.)
Now, when the witness sits up next to the judge. The helper for the man asks him questions about the man who is in trouble. And the person who says the bad things he has done asks the witness questions, too. He answers all these questions and it is called a “testimony.” He is “testifying” about the man who is in trouble. (I wrote the word “TESTIFY” in the space between the Judge/witness and the other side of the courtroom.)
Then we returned to our verse and I asked these questions:
- Who is “He?” (John)
- Who is the witness? (John)
- What is he testifying about? (the Light. I wrote the Light above where the person on trial sits)
- Why is John testifying about the Light? (so that all might believe through him).
We read verse 7 again and reviewed what we talked about the day before. Then we focused on the last part of the verse, specifically the word, “All.”
What does ALL mean?
I wrote the word ALL really big in our courtroom (in the place where the spectators sit). And asked:
- Do you know what ALL means? (I shared the old saying, “All means all and that’s all all means.”)
Then I took the chalk we had in a bucket and I laid it all out on the table. And I asked G to put all of it back in the bucket. She did so. Then I took it all out and laid it on the table again. I asked her to put some of the chalk back in the bucket. She did so. Then I asked:
- What does the verse say about, “All?” (that all might believe)
- And what is John doing so that “all might believe?” (he is a witness testifying)
- Who is he testifying about? (the light) And who is the Light (the Word, God, the life)
- That means he is saying things about the light so that ALL will believe. What kinds of things do you think he said so that ALL would believe?
- What kinds of things do you know about God that you could tell others so they could believe?
Testifying to Chalk
I laid out the chalk again. I picked up one piece of chalk. And I said, John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (this is a verse and song the girls know and LOVE!).
Then I pretended to be the chalk piece in my hand and said, “God loves me! Then I believe!” And I put the chalk back in the bucket.
I took another piece of chalk and said, “I don’t believe in God.” Then I said to the chalk, “But God created the heavens and the earth.” Then the chalk said, “God created me and the whole world? Then I believe!” And I put the chalk into the bucket.
I took another piece of chalk and said, “This person doesn’t believe in God. What would you say so that he believes in God.” G responded, “God loves YOU!” I pretended to be the chalk and said, “God loves me?! Then I believe in Him.” Into the bucket went the chalk.
By this time, G caught onto the example and picked up the chalk and said, “God LOVES YOU!” Then pretended to be the chalk and said, “Then I believe in God.”
We did this to almost all the pieces of chalk. But before the last one, I reminded her, “John came as a witness to testify about the light so that ALL might believe through him.” Do ALL the people believe, yet? (No.) Then what are we going to say to him so that he believes in God? (GOD LOVES YOU!)
Now do ALL believe in God? YES!
He was not the light, but came that he might testify about the light.
This was a sort of review day. We took the time to draw out the courtroom again, talking through verses 6-7 as we went. I let G and W trace the word ALL. Once the drawing was on the table again:
- I pointed to witness and asked, who was the witness? (John)
- Was John the light? (no!)
- What was he? (a witness)
- What did he testify about? (the light)
- What kinds of things do you think he said about the light?
Since this was a shorter Bible time, we took the opportunity to read a story out of Read-Aloud Bible Stories about a blind man named Bartemaeus.