The Bible Story Podcast. A podcast which has a mixture of Bible storytelling including teaching Bible stories and telling of well-known stories from the Bible. These stories are researched and major themes are pulled out so that the thrust of the story is more evident to listeners.
While the stories of Season 2 and upwards are good for children, they are also suitable for adults and for teaching both in church services and for Bible studies.
The stories of Season 1 and more teaching stories which may not be quite so suitable for children but could again be used for both personal and group Bible studies.
Episode NT20 - The Man Born Blind
Based on John chapter 9
The Man Born Blind
‘What people tend to forget when you’re blind is that you’re not deaf as well! In fact, my hearing’s a lot better than most peoples and I could hear them quite clearly as they came towards me.’
‘Jesus,’ somebody asked, ‘Whose fault is it that this man’s been born blind?’ And then, to rub it in a little more he said, ‘Was it his own sin or his parent's sin?’ Come on, I thought, it could hardly be my sin! That would’ve meant I’d done something evil before I’d even been born. And as for my parents … well. Then I heard another voice answering their question, I guess it must have been Jesus.’
‘Neither,’ He said, ‘It wasn’t this man’s fault or his parent's fault. This man was born blind so that the power of God could be seen in him.’ Whatever that meant! And then He added, ‘All of us have to get on with the tasks God’s given us to do because there’s little time left before the night falls and all work comes to an end. But you see, while I’m still here in this world, I am the light of the world.’
‘I’d been born blind, I’d never seen any light, so I really couldn’t understand what He was talking about when He said He was the light of the world!’
‘What happened next was a little – awkward. Jesus spat on the ground and made some mud with His spit and some soil. Then I felt a gooey substance being rubbed over my eyes and Jesus spoke to me. ‘Go and wash in the pool of Siloam,’ He said. And that was that! (P) I had no option but to wash to get the mud off my eyes. But something inside me seemed to tell me that I should do exactly what Jesus had just told me to do, not just find some water to wash off the mud, but to go where He’d said.’
‘It didn’t take long to go to Siloam, and when I got there I started to wash off the mud. It was good to get it off because it’d started to dry a little and was becoming uncomfortable! I put my head down to the pool, dipped my hands in and splashed great handfuls of water over my eyes. Then I washed off the mud and started to wipe the water out of my eyes.’ (PAUSE)
‘There aren’t words to describe how I felt next. It’s just not possible for you to understand but when I opened my eyes my head was filled with … with … light, colours, images, things, movement! I could see! Jesus had healed me! I could see! Not even in my wildest imagination had I dreamt that seeing would be like this! When I was young I’d often asked what it was like, and nothing anyone said had made any sense, until now. Now I understood what people meant when they tried to use words to describe a colour or the clouds in the sky.’
‘When I was young I’d pestered my parents to ask them if maybe one day I could see if the doctors could heal me. They’d tried to find out if there was any hope for me, but the doctors had soon put them straight. No one had ever been able to see who’d been born blind. It just didn’t happen. But now, this man Jesus had come along, covered my eyes with mud, told me to wash in the pool of Siloam and the impossible had happened! I could see.’ (PAUSE)
‘You couldn’t wipe the smile off my face! I made my way back home using the skills I’d learnt when I was blind but also taking in my surroundings. When my neighbours saw me, they hardly recognised me because of the stupid great grin on my face! They started looking at each other and asking, ‘Is this the same blind beggar we knew before?’ I kept telling them, ‘Yeah! It’s me, it’s me!’ But they could hardly believe their own eyes! ‘What happened?’ they asked. ‘Who healed you?’’
‘Well I told them, ‘This man called Jesus came along, spat on the ground, made some mud out of His spit and the soil and then rubbed it on my eyes. Then, He sent me to the pool of Siloam and told me to wash the mud off
Episode NT19 - A Little Faith - The Demon Possessed Boy
Based on Mark chapter 9
A Little Faith! –The Demon-Possessed Boy
As Jesus and the three disciples Peter, James and John came down from the mountain where they’d seen Jesus transformed and heard the Words of God, they talked about a common belief Jews held that Elijah must ‘return’ before the Messiah could come.
‘Why do the teachers of the law say this?’ they asked Jesus.
‘Well, Elijah has already come to set everything in order,’ Jesus answered them. ‘But he was badly mistreated, just as the Scriptures predicted.’
It was then that the disciples realised Jesus was talking about John the Baptist who’d been murdered by Herod.
As they came to the foot of the mountain they saw a huge crowd gathered around the other nine disciples who were having a blazing row with the teachers of the law. The teachers of the law were always looking for something they could use against Jesus, for any weakness they could exploit to run Him down and discredit Him. And now, they thought they’d found something! Jesus’ disciples had failed to heal someone and so the teachers of the law were pressing home their advantage over the disciples – and a row had broken out.
As Jesus approached the crowd, the people ran to meet Him. ‘What’s going on?’ He asked. ‘What’s all this arguing about?’
A man in the crowd, with a desperate look on his face, stepped forward and spoke to Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘My son can’t speak because he’s possessed by an evil spirit that won’t let him talk. Whenever the spirit takes hold of him, it throws him violently onto the ground and he starts to foam at the mouth, grind his teeth and his body becomes rigid! I brought him to You so that You could heal him. But as you weren’t around, I asked your disciples to make the evil spirit go, (P) but they couldn’t do it!’
When He heard this, Jesus felt so disappointed. After all, He’d taught them, after all, they’d seen! Not just His disciples but also the people, still they refused to really trust Him, to believe that He had the power to deal with whatever situation they could possibly come across. And so, with a slow shake of His head He said, ‘You faithless people! How long is it going to be until you believe? How long must I put up with your unbelief?’ Then looking at the father’s worried face He said, ‘Bring the boy to me.’
At once the boy was brought before Jesus, but as soon as the evil spirit saw Jesus it threw the boy into a violent convulsion and he fell to the ground thrashing around and foaming at the mouth.
Rather than just heal the boy there and then, Jesus wanted to find out if his father still had the same belief he started with when he’d first brought the boy to see Jesus. Had seeing the disciples fail to heal the boy stopped him believing? So He asked, ‘ How long has this been going on?’
The boy’s father, desperate at seeing his child once again thrown into convulsions looked at his son while he answered Jesus. ‘It’s been happening since he was a small boy. And what makes it worse is that the evil spirit often makes him fall into the fire or into water – it’s trying to kill him! Please, if you can, do something.’
Jesus turned to look at the man. ‘What do you mean, ‘IF I can’?’ He asked. ‘Anything’s possible if a person believes.’
The man quickly shifted his gaze from his son and found Jesus’ eyes. ‘Oh but I do believe,’ he answered. ‘But please, help me not to doubt!’
Jesus had got his answer, the boy’s father did believe, even if it was a wavering and weak faith. Because what mattered wasn’t the strength of his belief, but the power of the One he believed in! And as Jesus saw other people beginning to run over and the group of onlookers start to grow, He rebuked the evil spirit. ‘Spirit of deafness and muteness,’ He said, ‘I command you to leave t
Episode NT18 - The Transfiguration
Based on Mark chapter 8 verse 27 to chapter 9 verse 13
As they travelled northeast, out of Israel to the area of Caesarea Philippi, they couldn’t help noticing all the temples and places of worship there were to different ‘gods’. It was said that at the bottom of one of the nearby mountains the so-called ‘god’ Pan was born – a god of fertility, perhaps the most important fertility symbol in the whole region. It was as they walked through this landscape, a landscape of so much worship but so little knowledge of the true and living God that Jesus turned to His disciples and asked, ‘Tell me, who do people say I am?’
The disciples mulled it over for a moment or two. ‘Some say you’re John the Baptist come back to life,’ one said. Another added, ‘Or maybe Elijah or one of the other prophets, you know, Jeremiah or someone like that.’
‘But what about you?’ Jesus asked them, ‘Who do you say I am?’
Simon Peter didn’t hesitate when he heard the question, because somehow he already knew the answer. And so in a land of so many gods and idols, Simon Peter spoke his true confession, ‘You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.’
‘God has really blessed you Simon son of John,’ Jesus said. ‘Because you didn’t learn this from anyone else, it was my Father in heaven who revealed it to you. And now I tell you that with your true acknowledgement of who I am - you are Peter, which means ‘rock’, and on this rock – I will build my church, and even though the powers of hell will rage against it, they will never conquer it. And, I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven so that whatever you bind up here on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you set free here on earth will be set free in heaven.’
Jesus knew that even though His disciples had begun to understand who He was, as yet they had little real idea of what the Messiah would be like. They thought the Messiah would set them free from the power of the Romans, that their nation would become the most powerful on earth – they only thought of the Messiah as someone who would set them free from the problems of this world. But Jesus knew how little they understood, and how easily others would misunderstand if they found out that He was the Messiah, and so He sternly warned them not to tell anyone else that He was the Messiah.
From that moment on Jesus was determined that the disciples should understand what the Messiah’s life was all about. So He began to tell them plainly that He would have to go to Jerusalem and about all that would happen there. That He would have to suffer at the hands of the leaders, the high priests and teachers of the law. That He would be killed and on the third day, He would be raised back to life.
But this wasn’t anything like the Messiah the disciples had in mind! Peter couldn’t believe his ears! The Messiah suffer? Die? What was Jesus talking about, surely this couldn’t be right? Jesus must have got it all mixed up. So taking Jesus to one side he started to correct Him, ‘Jesus, Jesus, heaven forbid that these things you’re talking about should come true…’
As Peter spoke, Jesus realised where all the false ideas Peter had about the Messiah had come from, and who had whispered them into Peter’s head. So looking at Peter and making sure they could all hear He said, ‘Get away from me Satan! You are a dangerous trap to me because you don’t see things from God’s perspective but from a human point of view!’
And with Peter still reeling from His rebuke, Jesus started to teach the disciples what it really meant to be one of His followers, to show them how wrong their ideas were and just how much it was going to cost them. ‘If anyone wants to be my follower,’ He began, ‘then they must put aside what they want and pick up their cross and follow me.’
Episode NT17 - The Woman Caught Committing Adultery
Based on John chapter 8
The Woman Caught Committing Adultery
It was the people who thought they were more religious than anyone else, the Pharisees and teachers of the law who started to oppose Jesus. They hated the fact that the people loved Jesus. But what they hated, even more, was that every time they tried to show Jesus up, to catch Him out, He ended up proving they were wrong and embarrassing them in front of the people! But if somehow, they could get Jesus out of the way, the people would come back to them – just like it was before!
So here was the problem. How to get rid of Jesus?
As far as His enemies could see there were only two ways. Either you got Him into serious trouble with the Romans so they’d arrest Him. Or, you proved that He didn’t take the Scriptures seriously, the bit we call the Old Testament in the Bible. If they could show He didn’t respect what the Scriptures taught, then the people wouldn’t trust Him any more!
It took some working out, but after a lot of thinking they came up with a plan! One of the laws in the Bible says that if a person was found committing adultery, sleeping with someone who wasn’t their own husband or wife, then all the people should throw rocks and stones at them until they died.
However, the Romans wouldn’t let that happen any more. They were in control now and they had their own law which said that only they were allowed to pass the death penalty – it was forbidden for the Jewish people to take matters into their own hands and stone people to death without Roman approval. If the Jews stoned someone to death, the Romans would arrest the person who started it and put them in prison!
This was the perfect opportunity to discredit Jesus; all they needed to do was find someone guilty of adultery. Then they would drag that person before Jesus and ask Jesus what should be done! If Jesus said that the person should be stoned to death, then the Romans would arrest Him and put Him in prison. And, if He said that the person shouldn’t be stoned to death, they’d accuse Jesus of not taking the Scriptures seriously showing He couldn’t be trusted. All they needed to do was find someone guilty of adultery. (PAUSE)
As they dragged the woman towards Jesus all they could think about was how much they hated Him! So what if the woman died? She was guilty of adultery; she’d slept with someone who wasn’t her husband so she deserved to be punished! Anyway, what did she matter, all that mattered was getting rid of Jesus, to silence Him and discredit Him once and for all!
Turning themselves into an angry mob they pretended to be outraged at what the woman had done! Dragging her along, they pushed her in front of Jesus who was teaching in the temple. ‘Teacher,’ they shouted, ‘this woman was caught in adultery! The Law of Moses says that she must be stoned to death for her sin. But what do you say?’
They could barely hide the smiles on their faces. They had Him, it didn’t matter what He said now! If He told them to stone her to death – they’d have Him arrested by the Romans, and if He said to let her go, they’d mock Him and discredit Him as being a person who didn’t obey or respect the Holy Scriptures. (PAUSE)
In those days, when a teacher taught a crowd of people they would sit down, and Jesus had been sitting on the ground. But instead of answering the cries of His enemies, He leant forwards and started to write in the dust with His finger.
His enemies could hardly hold back their joy, they’d got Him! At long last, they’d caught Him out. And so they pressed Him harder and harder for an answer. ‘Come on Jesus; tell us what we should do. The Law of Moses says she should be stoned to death. What do you say? Come on tell us, teacher, You know all the answers. What should we do?’
On and on they pestered Jesus until finally He sat up straight and looked up a
Episode NT16 - Walking on Water
Based on John chapter 6 verses 14 to 20 and Matthew chapter 14 verses 28 to 36
Walking on Water
‘It was hard work passing out all that bread and fish to all those people! And by the time we’d each collected a basket full of leftovers, the twelve of us were exhausted!’
‘It was then that the crowds realised Jesus had just fed well over five thousand people from the contents of a child’s packed lunch, they were amazed! It was an incredible miracle and reminded them of how in the time of Moses, God had fed the people of Israel with manna from heaven when they were wandering in the desert.’
‘It was enough to convince some of the crowd that Jesus was the ‘Great Prophet’ Moses had promised would one day come, and so they decided that they were going to make Him king, even if it meant they had to use force to make it happen!’
‘Jesus was indeed the ‘Great Prophet’, but at that time we didn’t understand how the ‘Great Prophet’ Moses had promised would come us, and that His kingdom wasn’t one restricted to the earth. And so Jesus slipped away from us all and made His way higher up into the hills to be alone and pray.’ (PAUSE)
‘As the crowd melted away, going back to their home, the twelve of us, His disciples, were left waiting for Jesus. Jesus hadn’t left any instructions with us about what we were supposed to do. So after a while we wandered back to the boat and waited for Him there.’
‘The hours ticked by slowly, and when it started to get dark and we realised Jesus wasn’t going to be coming back with us, we set sail for Capernaum.’
‘The wind was against us from the start and we made slow progress through heavy waves. When we were about three or four miles out into the lake, our minds were completely absorbed in the battle against the waves and in trying to make headway through the dark seas. So when, at about three o’clock in the morning, we saw a figure walking on the water towards us out of the night we screamed in terror!’
‘But no sooner had we seen the figure and started to scream than the voice of Jesus came to us strong and loud from the figure in the darkness. ‘It’s all right,’ He said. ‘It’s me! I’m here! Don’t be afraid.’’
‘As we looked at each other, not sure what to think or do, Peter started shouting back. ‘Lord, if it really is you, then tell me to come to you by walking on the water.’’
‘The rest of us couldn’t believe what we were hearing! Peter wanted to walk to Jesus on the water - in this storm?’
‘‘Come to me Peter,’ Jesus said.’ (P)
‘It was so typical of my brother Peter! Without a second thought he leapt out over the side of the boat and, gazing at Jesus, he started to walk on the water towards Him!’ (PAUSE)
‘Maybe it was the howling winds that first caught Peter’s attention and took his eyes off Jesus. Whatever it was that broke his concentration, Peter started to notice the massive waves rolling by, and as he saw them and stopped looking at Jesus, terror grasped at his heart, and as the fear took hold so he started to slip down into the water. ‘Save me Lord,’ he screamed as he sank lower and lower.’
‘Instantly, without a moment’s hesitation, Jesus reached out His hand and grabbed hold of Peter. ‘You don’t trust me very much do you Peter?’ He said. ‘Why did you doubt me?’’
‘The two of them climbed into the boat and as they did, the wind stopped.’ (PAUSE)
‘It was then that all of us fell to our knees and worshipped Jesus. We had seen the impossible, Jesus coming to us walking on water in the midst of a storm, and then calling Peter to come to Him on the water. We had seen Jesus save Peter’s life when he called out to Him for help. And so on bended knee we all said to Jesus, ‘You really are the Son of God.’’ (PAUSE)
‘We landed at Gennesaret and it seemed that within moments th
Episode NT15 - Feeding the Hungry
Based on John chapter 6 verses 1 to 15
Feeding the Hungry
‘My name’s Andrew, I’m Simon Peter’s brother and I’ve been following Jesus since He started His work here. It’s been an amazing time. I’ve seen things you couldn’t even imagine. The sick being healed, the demon-possessed being freed and even the dead brought back to life.’
‘But even though Jesus did such amazing things, He was always concerned that the people heard His message. There was an urgency within Him that everyone should know that the Kingdom of God was coming and that they should be ready by turning away from all their sinful and selfish ways and turning back to God.’
‘One day, Jesus called the twelve of us together and spoke to us. As He spoke, He gave us authority to make evil spirits come out of people and to heal every disease! Then He told us, ‘Go into the surrounding towns and villages, heal their sick and tell all the people that the Kingdom of God is about to come. Don’t take anything with you, no bag, no food and no money. And when you enter a village don’t stay in different houses, stay in just one house. And if the people in that village refuse to accept the message you bring them, then as you leave shake the dust off your feet as a witness against them.’’
‘So we did what Jesus asked us to do. With the power He’d given us we healed the sick and we cast out demons, and most important of all, we told the people the message Jesus had given us to pass on. ‘The Kingdom of God is coming.’’ (PAUSE)
‘When we came back we told Him of all the incredible things that’d happened, and Jesus decided it’d be wise for us to get away from the huge crowds that seemed to dog His tracks, and spend some time together alone. There were so many people constantly coming and going that we couldn’t even find time to eat! So we got into a boat and started to travel across the great lake once again.’
‘What we didn’t know, as we set sail and headed for a more peaceful area, was that some of the crowd had seen us go. And can you believe it, they ran round the lake to catch up with us, and as they went through each village, they’d point us out on the lake to the people of the village saying, ‘Look, you see that boat out there? That’s Jesus in there!’ But we didn’t know anything about this as we headed for a nice quiet spot a safe distance from the crowds, or so we thought!’
‘We saw them even before we landed. A huge crowd all wanting to see Jesus. The rest of us couldn’t believe it and to be honest we were – how should I put this – less than impressed. But not Jesus, He saw them for what they were, like sheep without a shepherd - needing to be taught and to hear from Him. So in His compassion He taught the great crowd many things and we all stayed there a long time.’
‘My tummy started to rumble about mid-afternoon. And by late afternoon we began to realise that if we didn’t get this massive crowd shifted soon there could be some real trouble. We’d come to such an isolated place, how were the people going to find food? We needed to send them on their way so that they could reach the villages and towns and farms in time to buy some food for themselves. So we went to Jesus, ‘Jesus,’ we said, ‘this is a pretty remote place and time’s going by. We think you should send the people away now so that they can get to the nearby farms and villages to buy themselves some food.’’
‘It seemed a reasonable enough suggestion to us, but can you imagine our astonishment when Jesus turned to us and said, ‘No, don’t send them away, you feed them!’’
‘‘What?’ we replied, ‘that’s impossible. It would cost a small fortune to feed this massive crowd! Not only that, but where are we going to find that much food in a place like this?’’
‘‘Well, how much food do you have?’ Jesus aske