Monthly Archives: July 2012

Get Up! Get Down! (GAME)


Time

10-15 minutes
Description

Peter was given miraculous powers by the Holy Spirit after Jesus went to heaven.  When Ananias and Sapphira lied about how much money they were giving to the other believers, Peter announced that they would die, and they died immediately!  When Peter met Aeneas, a paralyzed man, he told him to get up, and Aeneas was healed!  And when the believers were sad because their friend Dorcas (Tabitha) had died, Peter told her to get up, too, and she was raised from the dead!

 

This game is a little like “Simon Says.”  The facilitator will call out one of the four names, and the children have to jump up in the air if it’s either “Aeneas” or “Dorcas” but they have to get down on the ground if it’s either “Ananias” or “Sapphira.”  If they move the wrong way, they are out!

 

Scriptures

  • Acts 5:1-11
  • Acts 9:32-43

 

Materials

  • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Select a space to play the game.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):

  • “We are going to play a game called, ‘Get Up! Get Down!’”
  • “It’s about Peter, who was so anointed by the Holy Spirit that he could raise the dead to life, heal the lame and even announce God’s judgment on believers before it happened.”  (Have a volunteer read Acts 5:1-11 and Acts 9:32-43.)
  • “Peter was so powerful!”
  • “When Ananias and Sapphira lied about how much money they were giving to the other believers, Peter announced that they would die, and they died immediately!”
  • “When he met Aeneas, a paralyzed man, he told him to get up, and Aeneas was healed!”
  • “And when the believers were sad because their friend Dorcas (Tabitha) had died, Peter told her to get up, too, and she was raised from the dead!”
  • “This game is played a little like ‘Simon Says.’”
  • “I will call out one of the four names from these stories, and you have to jump up in the air if it’s either ‘Aeneas’ or ‘Dorcas,’ but you have to get down on the ground if it’s either ‘Ananias’ or ‘Sapphira.’”
  • “If you move the wrong way, you are out!”
  • “The last person standing wins and gets to be the name caller.”
  • “Sometimes I might try to trick you by using Dorcas’ other name, ‘Tabitha, so be careful!”
  • “Does anyone have any questions?”  (Answer any questions.)
  • “Okay, let’s play!” (Have children all start standing, and begin by calling out one of the four names. Allow a few seconds each time for children to respond, but if they move the wrong way, have them step to the side while the others continue playing. If they are doing really well, try surprising them by calling out “Tabitha!” Play several rounds, allowing different people to come up and be the name caller.  Then ask the Debrief Questions below.)

 

Debrief Questions

  1. Why do you think God gave Peter so much power?
  2. Do you think people still have that kind of power today?  Why or why not?
  3. If you had that kind of power, how would you use it?
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Filed under Annointing, Game, Healing, Holy Spirit, Judgment, Peter

Fish Tax (GAME)


 

Time

15 minutes
Description

Peter was worried about not being able to pay the required tax to the Temple.  Jesus knew what was bothering him even before Peter could say anything and told Peter to go fishing, which is what Peter did best.  In the mouth of the first fish Peter caught, he found a coin that allowed him to pay the tax for both Jesus and himself.  Children will “go fishing” in a pool and try to catch all the fish with coins before they catch too many without coins.

 

Materials

  • “Fishing pole” (You can use a simple dowel rod with a string attached and a magnet at the end of the string.)
    • Dowel rod
    • String (about 3-foot long)
    • Strong magnet
    • Tape to stick the string to the magnet (unless there is a way to tie them together)
    • Children’s plastic pool (the kind toddlers can sit in)
    • Flat, toy or paper fish with strong magnets attached (24 total – 8 of which should have coins taped or glued to the bottom)
      • Fish (24)
      • Magnets (24)
      • Coins (8)
      • Tape
      • Bible

 

Preparation

  • Create the fishing pole.
  • Tape magnets to all the fish.
  • Tape coins to eight of the fish.
  • Place all the fish at the bottom of the pool with the coins on the bottom.  Make sure to mix them up so that it won’t be too easy to find the fish with coins.  It’s okay for some to overlap.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script and instructions (or modify to suit your needs):

·      “One day, the tax collectors (the guys like Matthew, one of the apostles) from the Temple came up to Peter and asked, ‘Does your teacher pay the temple tax?’”

·      “Peter answered, ‘Of course he does!’ but the truth was, he wasn’t sure.”

·      “So he quickly went to see Jesus and ask Him about it.”

·      “But before Peter even had a chance to speak, Jesus knew what he was about to ask.”

·      “Jesus said, ‘Peter, so that we won’t offend the tax collectors, go down to the lake and throw in a fishing line.  Open the mouth of the first fish that you catch, and you will find a coin.  Take the coin and pay the tax for both of us.’”

·      “So Peter did just as Jesus said.”

·      “He went down to the lake and threw in a fishing line.”  (Pretend to cast your fishing pole.)

·      “Almost immediately, he felt a fish on his line, so he tugged at it as hard as he could and pulled the fish in.”  (Pretend to struggle reeling the fish in.  Be careful not to accidentally reveal one of the fish with the coin attached to the bottom.)

·      “When he opened the fish’s mouth, he found a four-drachma coin! (That’s a coin they used back then.)”

  • “That was just enough to pay both Jesus’s and Peter’s tax!”
  • “That’s amazing, right!”
  • “Well, let’s play a game based on this story.”
  • “Here’s how it works.”
  • “Each one of you will get three chances with this fishing pole to try to catch a fish with a coin attached.”
  • “If you catch a fish without a coin attached, you should put it back into the pool.”
  • “If you catch a fish with a coin, you can pull it out.”
  • “After three turns, we will let someone else try.”
  • “There are eight (8) fish with coins attached.”
  • “We will keep fishing until we catch all of them.”
  • “The one who catches the most wins.”
  • “Does anyone have any questions?”  (Answer any questions.  Then let the children play.  The first person to try can be the person with the next birthday.  After you’ve played the game, you can use the debrief questions below to reinforce the teaching points.)

Debrief

  1. Have you ever caught a fish with a coin in its mouth?
  2. Why do you think Jesus had Peter go fishing in order to pay the Temple tax for Peter and himself?
  3. What was Jesus trying to help Peter understand about who Jesus was?
  4. What should this experience teach Peter about worrying about things?
  5. What should we do when we are worried about some problem in our lives?

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Filed under faith, Game, Integrity, Jesus, Peter, Witness

Lemme See (QUICK DRAMA)


DESCRIPTION

This short drama reenacts the story of Zacchaeus the Tax Collector from Luke 19:1-10.  It is intended to make the story a little easier for young minds to understand or to give new perspective for older minds.

 

PREPARATION

  • Have a ladder ready and off to the side for “Zach” to use.
  • Assemble a costume for the person playing Jesus (white robe, sash or shawl, beard, etc.)

 

 

SCENE:         A crowd of three or four people is standing around waiting for something special to happen and straining to see who is coming in the distance.  Zach enters from behind the crowd but can’t see what all the excitement is about. The actor should come in on his knees to simulate being much shorter than all the others.

 

Zach –              “Hey, what’s going on?”

 

Person 1 –        (Not even looking at Zach but still watching for something special to happen) “Quiet down, little man!  We’re waiting for the miracle worker.”

 

Zach –              (Trying to pry a space between people so that he can see) “Miracle worker?  I want to see!  Can you let me through?”

 

Person 2 –        (Intentionally blocking his way) “Oh, no you don’t!  The miracle worker isn’t interested in someone like you.  You’re a bad person!”

 

Zach –              (Trying to pry a space between people in another part of the crowd) “Come on, guys! I just want to see him!  I heard he has someone like me on his team.”

 

Person 3 –        (Blocking the way) “You mean a tax collector?  (Looking puzzled and asking a question of the person next to him/her) Yeah, why DID he pick that Matthew guy to be on his team?  All those tax collectors are criminals.  He must have chosen Matthew because he is rich from stealing our money!”

 

Zach –              (Still trying to break through) “I don’t think that’s why…I heard Matthew left all his money behind when he followed the miracle worker.  Please let me through!  I should be allowed to see him, too!”

 

Person 1 –        (Blocking the way) “Not if I can help it!  Any miracles he does today will be for me!”

 

                        (Zach realizes he can’t get through the crowd and comes up with a better idea.  He grabs a ladder and climbs up on top (on his knees if possible and safe).  Just then, Jesus arrives and calls out to him.)

 

Jesus –             “Hi, Zach!  What are you doing up there?  Come down so that I can spend some time with you!”

 

                        (The crowd gasps!  Zach climbs down and forces his way through the crowd to Jesus.)

 

Person 2 –        “Doesn’t he know what a bad person that guy is?”

 

Person 3 –        “That’s TWO tax collectors he has talked to!  What kind of miracle worker is this?”

 

Person 1 –        “Hey, what about me?  I want a miracle!”

 

Zach –              (Looking up at Jesus) “Jesus, they are right.  I’ve been a bad person…but I’m willing to fix it right here and right now!  I will give half of what I own to the poor, and I’ll pay back anyone I’ve cheated four times as much as I took!”

 

Jesus –             (Smiling) “Okay, Zach, it’s a start…and a good one.  I don’t care as much about what you’ve done in the past as I do about what you choose to do today, and you are choosing well.”

 

Zach –              (Taking Jesus by the hand and walking toward the door) “I want you to meet my friends.  (Pausing)  Uh….they are a lot like me…you don’t mind, do you?”

 

Jesus –             “Of COURSE I don’t mind, Zach…those are exactly the people I came to find.  I want to meet all your friends!”

 

Zach –              “Awesome!  They are going to love you! (Pausing before opening the door) Hey, can you do one of those miracles and make me taller?”

 

Jesus –             (Opening the door for Zach, and walking through) “Zach, you stood taller today than you have in your entire life!”

 

EXIT

 

END SCENE

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Filed under drama, forgiveness, God's Plan, Obedience, Quick Drama, Repentance, salvation, Transformation, unconditional love

Would You Die for a Lie? (LESSON)


 

Time

30 minutes

 

Description

This lesson makes the case to prove Jesus’ resurrection by stressing the commitment of the apostles to defending it as truth.  Aside from Judas, they were all eyewitnesses of Jesus’ resurrection, and ten of them died a martyr’s death because they wouldn’t renounce it. (All the gory details about the martyrdom of the Apostles is provided in this lesson, but care should be given to the age of the children when deciding how much information to share.)

 

Scriptures

  • Acts

 

Materials

  • The following supporting materials can be found at www.teachingthem.comon the Lesson and Material Downloads page.
    • “Would You Die for a Lie? – Apostles Faces” (Pictures of the Apostles that volunteers can hold up while you tell about them.)
    • “Would You Die for a Lie? – Where the Apostles Preached” (A PowerPoint slide that shows a map of Europe, Africa and the Middle East and all the places that the Apostles took the Good News.)
  • Computer, LCD projector and screen (to show the map)
  • Paint stir sticks or large Popsicle sticks (12)
  • Paper plates (12)
  • Glue

 

Preparation

  • Print apostle face pictures.
  • Glue pictures to paper plates and then to paint stir sticks to make handles.
  • Put these face pictures near the front of your teaching area, where you can easily reach them.
  • Set up projector and screen and get the map ready to project.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script, or modify to suit your needs:

  • “Do you ever wonder what happened to the twelve apostles who followed Jesus?”
  • “Well, the Bible only tells us about a few of them.”
  • “Most of what we know comes from historians who wrote about the time of Jesus and the beginning of the Christian Church.”
  • “So, here’s what we know.”  (Project the map in the file, “Would You Die for a Lie? – Where The Apostles Preached.”  Invite 12 volunteers to come up, and hand them the face signs you created. Have them hold the signs up to cover their faces.  Line them up in this order: James (the Greater), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew (Nathanael), Matthew, Thomas, James, Simon, Thaddeaus, Judas, John, Peter.  As you tell about each man’s martyrdom, have the volunteer take a seat.)
  • “It all started in this tiny piece of land, called Israel.”  (Indicate Israel on the map.)
  • “Can you believe how small that is?” (Point out Africa, Europe and the Middle East on the map so that the kids will get an idea for where Israel is in relation to them.)
  • “Jesus trained 12 Apostles to take the good news (the Gospel) to all the world.”
  • “The Apostles took their job (the Great Commission) seriously, as you will see!”
  • “Let’s start with James – he was one of the ‘Sons of Thunder’ and one of Jesus’ closest friends on earth, but he became the first Apostle to become a martyr – which is a person who dies for what they believe.”
    • “Herod Agrippa I had James arrested, and when he saw that the Jewish leaders hated James, he had him beheaded.”
    • “This made Herod so popular that he thought he might do the same thing to Peter, but Peter was freed from Herod’s jail by an angel.”
    • “So, James didn’t travel to any of the other places on the map.” (Have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “But then there was Andrew– he was the Apostle who was always bringing people to Jesus.”
    • “He brought Peter, he brought the young boy with the loaves and the fishes, and he brought some Greeks to Jesus.”
    • “After Jesus rose to heaven, Andrew took the Gospel (which is the “good news” about Jesus) north into Russia and then into Scotland.”  (Advance slide.)
    • “After angering a Roman governor by leading his wife to Christ, he was crucified in Greece on an X-shaped cross.”
    • “Instead of nailing him to the cross, they tied him to it so that it would take longer for him to die.” (Have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “Philip – he publically doubted that Jesus could feed the 5,000.”
    • Eight years after James was put to death, Philip was stoned to death at Hierapolis in Asia Minor.” (Advance slide, and have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “Bartholomew – he ministered in Persia, India and Armenia, and tradition says that he was tied up in a sack and thrown into the sea.” (Advance slide, and have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “Matthew – he was a tax collector and the most hated of all Jews, but after following Jesus, he wrote his Gospel for the Jewish people.”
    • Though we don’t have reliable records, it is believed that Matthew ministered in Ethiopia, Persia, the kingdom of the Parthians, Macedonia and Syria.”  (Advance slide.)
    • We think he was burned at the stake.” (Have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “Thomas – he was the Apostle who doubted that Jesus had returned from the grave and said he would have to put his finger into the nail scars before he believed, but when Jesus appeared to him, he made the strongest proclamation that Jesus is God.  (“My Lord and my God!”)”
    • Thomas carried the Gospel to India, and he died when he was run through with a spear.” (Advance slide, and have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “James, the Less – we think that James took the Gospel to Syria and Persia, but we are not entirely sure how he died.” (Advance slide.)
    • “It was either by stoning, beating or crucifixion.” (Have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “Simon, the Zealot – he started as a dangerous terrorist, who probably participated in attacks on the Romans and on tax collectors, but after following Jesus, his heart was changed.”
    • He took the Gospel to Egypt and as far as the British Isles and was killed for his beliefs, though we don’t know how.” (Advance slide.)
    • “Some say crucifixion; some say beheading.” (Have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “Thaddaeus – his name means something like “momma’s boy,” but he really grew up while following Jesus.”
    • We think he took the Gospel to Mesopotamia, near Turkey, and he once healed the king of the city of Edessa.”  (Advance slide.)
    • He was also said to have preached in Iran, and he was clubbed to death for his faith in Beirut, Lebanon.” (Have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “Judas, the Traitor – He never believed that Jesus was God, so Judas has the saddest story of all.”
    • He sold Jesus for thirty pieces of silver and then had an attack of his conscience.”
    • He hung himself from a weak tree limb that broke and dropped him on some jagged rocks, where his guts spilled out.”
    • Out of the Twelve, he was the only one who died for his lack of faith.” (Have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “John – he was James’ brother and another ‘Son of Thunder.’”
    • “He, too, was one of Jesus’ closest friends on earth.”
    • “He is actually the only apostle who wasn’t killed for his faith in Jesus.”
    • “He lived many years, but it had to be sad for him to hear that all his closest friends were killed.”
    • “John pastored a church in a city called Ephesus in Asia Minor, but then the Roman Emperor Domitian got angry with him and sent him to live on an island for prisoners (Patmos off the west coast of Turkey).” (Advance slide.)
    • “He had to live in a cave, but there he was able to do some writing.”
    • “During his lifetime, he wrote one of the Gospels, three letters that we find in the Bible and the last book of the Bible (Revelation), which tells about when Jesus will come again.”
    • “John eventually died of old age.” (Have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “And finally, there was Simon-Peter– he had the most dramatic transformation after following Jesus.”
    • “Simon eventually earned his name that means ‘listens and obeys.’”
    • “And he also earned his name of Peter, which means ‘rock,’ because Peter became a solid leader who led the early church.”
    • “Peter preached powerfully at Pentecost (a Jewish holiday celebrating the harvest of the crops) and led 3,000 people to the Lord.”
    • “He was so powerful spiritually that people were healed when just his shadow fell on them.”
    • “He raised Dorcas from the dead, introduced the Gentiles (non-Jewish people) to the Gospel and wrote two books of the New Testament.”
    • “He eventually went to Rome, Italy, and witnessed to the Roman emperor, Nero.” (Advance slide.)
    • “Peter and his wife were both crucified for their beliefs, but Peter begged to be crucified upside down, because he didn’t feel worthy to die in the same way Jesus did.” (Have volunteer take a seat.)
  • “So, that’s what became of all of them.”
  • “John was exiled; Judas killed himself and the other ten were put to death because they claimed that Jesus is God.”
  • “Don’t worry, though.  God isn’t asking all of us to die for our faith.”
  • “The Apostles were so powerful that God’s enemy, the Devil, fought very hard against them.”
  • “God protected each of them for a long time, but there came a time in each of their lives that they had completed the work God had for them to do.”
  • “When it came time, they each decided that they wanted to give God as much glory as they could when they died.”
  • “By dying for their belief in Jesus, they told the world that He is really God.”
  • “Let me ask you a question.  If you told a lie, and someone powerful said that you either had to admit you were lying or they would kill you, what would you do?” (Listen for response.)
  • “You wouldn’t die for a lie, would you?”
  • “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘I wouldn’t die for a lie!’”
  • “No, just like me, you would admit that you had lied so that you could go on living.”
  • “Well, the people who killed these men accused them of lying about Jesus.”
  • “They demanded that the Apostles admit they were lying about Jesus being God or else they would be put to death.”
  • “But these men chose to let people kill them rather than admit they were lying about Jesus.”
  • “Why do you think that was?” (Expected response: “They weren’t lying!”)
  • “Right!  They weren’t lying!”
  • “These men didn’t die for a lie.”
  • “Nobody is dumb enough to do that!”
  • “They died for the Truth!”
  • “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘They died for the Truth!’”
  • “They let themselves be put to death, because they knew that death was not the end of their story.”
  • “They knew that it was just the beginning!”
  • “They knew that death was just the end of their physical life on earth, and they were looking ahead to what Jesus promised them – eternal life with Him in heaven.”
  • “Probably none of us will have to die for the Truth that Jesus is alive and Lord of all creation.”
  • “But there are sooooooo many people out there that don’t know the Truth.”
  • “We’ve got to be like the Apostles and tell them about Jesus.”
  • “Don’t let them die believing a lie!”
  • “Tell them the Truth – Jesus is alive!  He loves them, and if they will follow Him, they can live with Him forever in heaven!”
  • “So don’t let them die believing a lie.”
  • “Touch three people and say, ‘I won’t let them die believing a lie.’”  (You can use the Rhyme Time below to reinforce the lesson’s teaching point.)

 

Rhyme Time

The Apostles died,

But we don’t grieve.

They gave their lives

So we’d believe!

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Filed under Apostles, Belief, Commitment, Disciples, Easter, Evangelism, faith, Great Commission, Jesus, Resurrection

The Rest of the Story (LESSON)


 

Time

30 minutes

 

Description

This lesson tells of Jesus’ resurrection and the restoration of Peter to leadership.  Peter denied Jesus three times, and Jesus forgave him three times just so that he would know and understand that he was completely forgiven and that God could still use him.

 

Scriptures

  • Luke 24:37-43
  • John 20:1-9; 21:15-19
  • Acts 2:14-41
  • Romans 6:23

 

Materials

  • The following supporting materials can be found at www.teachingthem.comon the Lesson and Material Downloads page.
    • “Rest of the Story – Love Signs” (This document has a single page with the three Greek words for love – Agape, Phileo and Eros.)
    • “Rest of the Story – Script Cards” (This is a document with all Peter’s and Jesus’ lines on it to help them during the drama.)
  • Tape
  • Costume for Peter character – fisherman’s hat, fishing pole, tackle box, fishing vest, etc.  Can go barefoot.
  • Costume for Jesus character – recommend a long piece of fabric with a hole cut in the middle for his head to fit through.  Add a belt around the waist and maybe a sash to drape over one shoulder and under one arm.
  • Something like a net that Peter and the other disciples can cast during the drama scene.
  • Something to act as a boat for the drama scene.
  • Strips of cloth and a piece of fabric to represent Jesus’ grave clothes.
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Print the “Script” document mentioned above and cut out the lines for both Jesus and peter to say.  (Optionally, you could write these lines for Jesus and Peter to say on notecards:
    • Peter: I’m going fishing.  Anyone want to come?
    • Jesus: Catch any fish?
    • Peter: Nope…nothing!
    • Jesus: Cast your net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.
    • Jesus: Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?
    • Peter: Yes, Lord.  You know that I love you.
    • Jesus: Simon son of John, do you truly ‘agape’ me more than these?
    • Peter: Yes, Lord.  You know that I ‘phileo’ you.
    • Jesus: Feed my lambs.
    • Jesus: Simon son of John, do you truly agape me?
    • Peter: Yes, Lord, you know that I phileo you.
    • Jesus: Take care of my sheep.
    • Jesus: Simon son of John, do you phileo me?
    • Peter: Lord, you know all things.  You know that I phileo you.
    • Jesus: Feed my sheep.
  • Print two copies of the “Love Signs” document mentioned above, and crease it along the lines between each of the Greek words.  Then, fold the paper so that it makes a triangle with one word on each side.  Tape the ends together.
  • Select your volunteer to play Jesus (you may want to choose an adult because of the lines he needs to say), and explain what you want him to do.  Dress him in his costume, and have him wait off-stage or out of sight.  Give him the script with his lines on them.
  • Select your volunteer to play Peter (you may want to choose an adult because of the lines he needs to say), and explain what you want him to do.  Dress him in his costume, and have him sit in the audience.  Give him the script with his lines on them.
  • Neatly fold the “grave clothes” and put them somewhere that can represent the garden tomb.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script, or modify to suit your needs:

  • “It’s Sunday.  The Jewish Sabbath day of rest is over.”
  • “In the early morning, several women, who were followers of Jesus, left the house where they were staying and went to anoint Jesus’ body with spices.”
  • “They probably wondered how they were ever going to be able to move the huge stone that covered the opening to the tomb.”
  • “But when they reached the tomb in the garden, the stone had already been rolled away!”
  • “They stepped into the tomb, but there was no body there.”
  • “Suddenly, two angels appeared and said, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead?  He is not here; He is risen!  Don’t you remember?  He told you this would happen.’”
  • “The women remembered and ran back to tell the others.”
  • “At first, no one believed them, but Peter and John ran to the tomb and saw for themselves.  Jesus was not there, but his grave clothes were neatly folded where He had been lain.”
  • “When John saw the grave clothes, he believed that Jesus had risen.”
  • “The grave clothes were neatly folded!” (Point to or hold up the “grave clothes.”)
  • “Some people would later say that Jesus’ body was stolen, but no grave robber would take the time to first undress the body and then neatly fold the clothes.”
  • “If they were going to steal the body, they would have had to a) defeat the Roman guards outside the tomb, and these men would fight to the death, because if they lost the body, Pilate would order them killed; b) roll away the stone, which probably weighed over a thousand pounds and would have to be rolled up an incline that was meant to lock it into place.”
  • “After all that exhausting, physical work just to get to the body, do you think they would worry about getting the grave clothes off of the body.”
  • “Besides, that would have meant that they had to carry Jesus’ naked body, and that would have attracted a lot of attention if anyone saw them.”
  • “Nope, when John saw the neatly folded grave clothes, he knew – Jesus had done exactly what He promised – He had raised His own body from the dead!”
  • “Peter, however, still wasn’t sure.”
  • “It wasn’t until Jesus personally appeared to Peter that Peter understood and believed what had happened.”
  • “Then Peter knew that Jesus had to die to take the punishment for our sins, because the Bible says that the payment for sin is death.” (Romans 6:23)
  • “But then once the payment was made, Jesus defeated death forever by raising His body back to life!”
  • “Jesus appeared several more times to different people: a few times to the apostles, once to a few men on the road to Emmaus, and once to over 500 people at one time!”
  • “But even with all this excitement, would you believe that Peter once again went back to fishing?”
  • “It’s the truth!  I think he got tired of waiting for Jesus to tell him what to do, so he got up one day and said…”  (Have Peter character stand up where he was sitting and say: “I’m going fishing.  Anyone want to come?”  He can select 4-5 volunteers from the audience to act out the story with him.)
  • “Several of the apostles decided that they would go with him.” (Have them get into the boat and act out whatever you say from this point forward.)
  • “They fished all night long, but they didn’t catch a single fish.” (The volunteers can cast the net over the side of the boat several times to act this out.)
  • “Early the next morning, as the apostles sat or slept in their boat, they heard a call from the shore…” (Have Jesus character call out from the edge of the room: “Catch any fish?”  Have Peter yell back, “Nope.  Nothing!” and then have Jesus call out, “Cast your net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.”)
  • “Isn’t that funny?  How could someone on the shore know more about where the fish are at than the fishermen on the water?”
  • “But they tried it anyway, and when they pulled their nets back in, there were so many fish, they couldn’t even haul the net into the boat.” (Have volunteers cast their net one more time onto the kids in the audience and pretend to pull them in.)
  • “John said to Peter, “It’s the Lord,” and Peter immediately jumped into the water to swim to shore, leaving his friends to gather up the fish.”  (Have Peter character act this out.)
  • “They had caught 153 really big fish, and when they reached the shore with the boat, Jesus asked them to bring some to put on the fire (where He already had a few fish cooking).”
  • “That morning, they ate together like they used to do before Jesus had been crucified, and they just enjoyed each other’s company for some time in the sun.” (Have volunteers act this out.)
  • “Then Jesus turned to Peter and asked him a serious question…” (Jesus: “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?”  Peter should reply, “Yes, Lord.  You know that I love you.”)
  • “Jesus may have been asking Peter if he loved Jesus more than all the other disciples.”
  • “After all, Peter had bragged that even if everyone else failed Jesus, he would never fail Him.”
  • “Or Jesus may have been asking Peter if he loved Jesus more than all the fish he had just caught, because every time Peter got the chance, he stopped following Jesus and went right back to fishing.”
  • “But whatever Jesus was talking about there, I don’t want you to miss something really important that is also happening.”
  • “It’s not obvious in the English translation of what Jesus said, because we usually just have one word for love.”
  • “Jesus didn’t speak English.  He spoke Aramaic, a really old language, Hebrew, the Jewish language, and Greek, a language that was common then because it was used for business.”
  • “When He asked Peter if he loved Him, Jesus used the Greek word ‘agape’ for love.”  (Jesus: “Simon son of John, do you truly ‘agape’ me more than these?” Hand Jesus the love sign triangle, and have him hold it so that everyone can see the “Agape” side.)
  • “Agape means the best kind of love, a kind that will never give up or go away.”
  • “It’s not puppy love, the warm feeling you get inside when you see someone cute.”
    “This kind of love is an action.”
  • “It’s love that loves you even when you don’t deserve it, even when it’s hard to love you, even when you don’t love the other person back.”
  • “Peter knew that he couldn’t claim to love Jesus like that anymore.”
  • “He had run away, and he had denied Jesus three times.”
  • “So Peter used a different Greek word for love when he answered Jesus. He said…” (Peter: “Yes, Lord.  You know that I ‘phileo’ you.” Hand Peter the love sign triangle, and have him hold it so everyone can see the “Phileo” side.)
  • “Phileo is a weaker kind of love.”
  • “It means ‘brotherly love,’ and it’s where the city of Philadelphia gets its name.”
  • “Philadelphia is known as the City of Brotherly Love.”
  • “Phileo is a love that says, ‘I’ll love you because I should.  You’re my brother, after all.”
  • “If you have a brother or sister, you know you are supposed to love them because they are family.”
  • “But if your brother or sister is really mean to you, you might decide to stop loving them.”
  • “There’s an even weaker kind of love that’s called ‘Eros.’”  (Have Jesus and Peter characters hold their triangles to show this side of their sign.) 
  • Eros is the kind of love that says, ‘You’re cute!’”
  • “This is the kind of love that gives boys crushes on girls and girls crushes on boys.”
  • “It only lasts as long as the other person is cute to us.”
  • “So, back to Peter.”
  • “He wanted to say that he would love Jesus with agape love – the kind that never gives up or goes away, but he couldn’t bring himself to boast any longer.”
  • “Peter used to brag a lot, but his failure made him a humble man, and people that knew him said that he was humble for the rest of his life.”
  • “Jesus noticed that Peter changed the word for love, but He just said…” (Jesus: “Feed my lambs.”)
  • “Jesus often referred to His followers as sheep or lambs.”
  • “So, He was telling Peter that he was to be the leader of the Church, that He was to be the shepherd of God’s flock.”
  • “Then Jesus asked again…” (Jesus: “Simon son of John, do you truly agape me?”  Have him show the Agape side of the sign.  Then Peter should say, “Yes, Lord, you know that I phileo you.”  Have Peter show the Phileo side of his sign.  Jesus should then say, “Take care of my sheep.”)
  • “One last time, Jesus asked… (Jesus: “Simon son of John, do you phileo me?”  Have the volunteer show the Phileo side of the sign.)
  • “Did you notice what Jesus did?
  • “Jesus was basically saying “Okay, Peter.  I know you aren’t ready to be bold yet.  It’s okay if all you are willing to do is love me with phileo.  I’m willing to accept that for now.”
  • “But even so, Peter was hurt, because Jesus asked him a third time if Peter loved Him.  So, he said…”  (Peter: “Lord, you know all things.  You know that I phileo you.”  Have Peter character show the Phileo side of his sign.  Then Jesus should say, “Feed my sheep.”  Thank your volunteers, and let them take a seat.)
  • “Did you notice that Jesus asked the question three times?  Does that remind you of anything?”  (Expected response: “Peter denied Jesus three times.”)
  • “Right!  Jesus asked Peter three times, because each time was like an eraser for the times that Peter denied Jesus.”
  • “Jesus was telling Peter, ‘You denied me three times.  I forgive you three times.’”
  • “Jesus was restoring Peter to his leadership of the flock, the Church.”
  • “I’m sure it was painful for Peter to be reminded of the three times he denied he knew Jesus, but it was important that he knew he was completely forgiven and that Jesus still had a leadership role for Peter to fill.”
  • “Peter did take that leadership role.”
  • “On the day of Pentecost (which is a Jewish holiday that celebrates the time for harvesting crops), Peter and the other disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit.”
  • “Peter got up and preached so powerfully that 3,000 people accepted Jesus as their Lord and Savior.”
  • “He was so powerful spiritually that people were healed when just his shadow fell on them.”
  • “He raised a woman named Dorcas from the dead, introduced the Gentiles (non-Jewish people) to the Gospel and wrote two books of the New Testament (and probably was the person who told Mark all the stories he wrote in his Gospel).”
  • “Peter and his wife were both crucified for their beliefs, but Peter begged to be crucified upside down, because he didn’t feel worthy to die in the same way Jesus did.”
  • “I guess you could say that Simon eventually earned his name that means ‘listens and obeys,’ because he listened carefully to everything that God told him.”
  • “And he also earned his name of Peter which means ‘rock,’ because Peter became a solid leader who led the early church.”
  • “After that meeting between Jesus and Peter on the beach, Jesus only stayed on earth for a little longer.”
  • “Then, in front of many witnesses, He rose into heaven, where He sits at the right hand of God, the Father.”
  • “There, He prays for us and speaks good things about us to the Father every day.”
  • “And one day, we will get to see Him in all His glory when we join Him in heaven.” (You may want to have the kids say the Rhyme Time below to reinforce the teaching point of the lesson.)

 

Rhyme Time

Jesus paid the price I couldn’t give,

And rose again so I could live!

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Filed under Easter, forgiveness, God's Plan, Jesus, Lesson, Peter, Resurrection

The Spirit Is Willing, But the Body Is Weak (LESSON)


 

Time

30 minutes

 

Description

This reenacts the last hours of Jesus life before His crucifixion all the way through to His death and burial.  Everyone (even Peter) abandoned Jesus in His time of need, but Jesus went to the cross for us anyway.  They way He died, as much as the way He lived, is a testimony to Who He is.

 

Scriptures

  • John 18-19
  • Luke 23:34
  • Hebrews 4:12
  • Ephesians 6:17

 

Materials

  • The following supporting materials can be found at www.teachingthem.comon the Lesson and Material Downloads page.
    • “Spirit Is Willing, But Body Is Weak – Script Cards” (This is a document with all Peter’s and Jesus’ line on it to help them during the drama.)
  • Long table that sits close to the floor (If you don’t have one like this, you can use a folding table.  Just don’t open the legs, and set the table top on a few bricks to raise it about a foot off the ground.  This will more closely resemble the type of table Jesus and his disciples ate at.)
  • Plates, cups, pitchers, fake food (anything to dress up the table for the Passover meal)
  • Costume for Jesus character – recommend a long piece of fabric with a hole cut in the middle for his head to fit through.  Add a belt around the waist and maybe a sash to drape over one shoulder and under one arm.
  • Costume for Peter character – recommend a long piece of fabric with a hole cut in the middle for his head to fit through and a belt around the waist.  He will need a sword to cut off Malchus’ ear.
  • Rope to tie up Jesus
  • Cross for Jesus to carry (It can be made of wood or cardboard or whatever else you can think of.)
  • Strips of cloth to wrap Jesus’ body for burial.
  • OPTIONAL – if you want to decorate or designate portions of the room as The Upper Room, The Garden of Gethsemane, Golgotha, Pilate’s judgment seat, the tomb in the garden, it might add some realism to the story.
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Print the document mentioned above and cut out the lines for both Jesus and peter to say.  (Optionally, you could write these lines for Jesus and Peter to say on notecards:
    • Jesus: One of you is going to betray me.
    • Jesus: It is the one I pass the piece of bread to after I dip it in the bowl.
    • Jesus: It important for you to show love for each other.
    • Peter: Master, where are you going?
    • Jesus: Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.
    • Peter: Lord, why can’t I follow you now?  I will lay down my life for you!
    • Jesus: Will you really lay down your life for me?  I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will deny you know me three times!
    • Jesus: Couldn’t you stay awake to pray?  The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.
    • Jesus: Put your sword away.
    • Peter: No! Not me!
    • Peter: I told you, I’m not one of them!
    • Peter: Blankety-blank-blank-blank!  I do NOT know the man!
    • Jesus: You are right in saying I am.
    • Jesus: Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.
    • Jesus: It is finished.
    • Jesus: Father, into Your hands I commit my Spirit.)
  • Select your volunteer to play Jesus (you may want to choose an adult because of the lines he needs to say), and explain what you want him to do.  Dress him in his costume, and have him wait off-stage or out of sight.  Give him the script with his lines on them.
  • Select your volunteer to play Peter (you may want to choose an adult because of the lines he needs to say), and explain what you want him to do.  Dress him in his costume, and have him wait off-stage or out of sight.  Give him the script with his lines on them.
  • Ask a volunteer to make the sound of a cock crowing when you give the signal.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script, or modify to suit your needs:

  • “Today, I’m going to share the saddest part of the story about Jesus.”
  • “It was Thursday night, and Jesus was having His very last meal with His disciples before going to the cross.”  (Have person playing Jesus and twelve volunteers come up and sit around table.  Tell them to act out whatever you say during the story.)
  • “Everyone could tell that something was wrong, but they didn’t understand what was happening, so they were very sad but didn’t know why.”
  • “At one point during dinner, Jesus said…” (Have Jesus character say: “One of you is going to betray me.”)
  • “They all asked, “Is it me?  Who is it?” (Have volunteers act this out.)
  • “Jesus said…” (Jesus: “It is the one I pass the piece of bread to after I dip it in the bowl.”)
  • “Then He dipped the bread and passed it to Judas.” (Have Jesus character pretend to dip some break into a bowl and then pass it to one of the volunteers at the table.)
  • “After Judas took the bread, Satan entered him, and he left to go get the priests’ soldiers.”  (The volunteer who Jesus passed the bread to goes back to his seat.)
  • “You see, Judas had already told the religious leaders (the Pharisees and the teachers of the law) that he would give Jesus to them for 30 pieces of silver.”
  • “Jesus stayed with the other disciples and said… (Jesus: “It important for you to show love for each other.”)
  • “Peter got worried and asked…” (Peter: Master, where are you going?”
  • “Jesus told him…” (Jesus: “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.”)
  • “Does anyone know where Jesus is talking about going?”  (Expected response: “Heaven”)
  • “Right, He’s going to heaven, and it’s not time for His friends to follow Him yet.”
  • “But Peter didn’t want to accept that Jesus was leaving, so he said…” (Peter: “Lord, why can’t I follow you now?  I will lay down my life for you.”)
  • “And Jesus said…” (Jesus: “Will you really lay down your life for me?  I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will deny you know me me three times!”)
  • “Peter didn’t believe it.  He thought that there was no way he could ever turn his back on his Lord and friend.”
  • “And he probably thought to himself, ‘Not a chance!  I’ll be the most faithful of all the disciples.  If anyone tries to hurt my master, I’ll use my sword and teach them a lesson.’”
  • “Dinner was pretty much over at that point.”
  • “Jesus took everyone and went to the Garden of Gethsemane, which was an olive grove.”
  • “He was terribly sad, because He knew what was going to happen.”
  • “So He took just Peter, James and John deeper into the garden pray.” (Have Jesus, James, John and Peter go to a place in the room that can represent the Garden of Gethsemane.  Jesus should go a little bit further than the others to pray.)
  • “Jesus asked Peter, James and John to stay awake with Him and pray, but they kept falling asleep.”  (Have Peter, James and John act this out.)
  • “Three times, He asked them to pray with Him, and three times, He had to wake them up.”  (Have Jesus go back and forth from His praying spot to ask the disciples to stay awake and pray.  Do this three times.  Jesus says: “Couldn’t you stay awake to pray?  The spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”)
  • “Peter thought he was willing to lay down his life for Jesus, but he couldn’t even stay awake to pray for the Lord.”
  • “After Jesus woke them the third time, Judas arrived with the soldiers and kissed Jesus on the cheek as a signal to the men.”  (Have volunteer who played Judas grab a few other people who can pretend to be soldiers.  Judas can just pretend to kiss Jesus if he wants.)
  • “Peter, probably embarrassed that he had been sleeping and allowed the soldiers to sneak up on them, grabbed his sword and swung wildly, cutting off the ear of a servant named Malchus.” (Have Peter act this out with one of the volunteers that came up with the Judas character.  The person who “gets his ear cut off” should cover it up and pretend to be in pain until Jesus heals him.)
  • “But Jesus said…” (Jesus: “Put your sword away.”)
  • “Then Jesus healed the man’s ear.” (Have Jesus character act this out.)
  • “You see, Peter brought the wrong sword to this battle.”
  • “He was trying to fight with a physical sword, but he should have been fighting with the Sword of the Spirit.”  (Hold up Bible.)
  • “The Bible says that Word of God is like a very sharp, two-edged sword (Hebrews 4:12) and that it’s part of the full armor of God. (Ephesians 6:17)”
  • “You can use God’s Word to defend against the work of Satan, and you can use it to attack Satan and save people from him.”
  • “So, it’s best to sharpen your sword every day by reading and memorizing Scriptures from the Bible.”
  • “After cutting off Malchus’ ear, Peter and all the others were terrified and ran away.” (Have all the disciple volunteers run away and take their seats.)
  • “One was so scared that when the guards grabbed his clothes, he ran off naked!” (The Drama Team should NOT act this out!)
  • “Jesus was left alone with the guards.  They tied him up and took Him with them to the Pharisees and the Sadducees, where they put Him on trial.” (Have the guard volunteers act this out.)
  • “They tried to convict Jesus of doing bad things, but they couldn’t find anything that He had done that was illegal.”
  • “So they had people lie about Him, but even those men couldn’t get their stories straight.”
  • “While Jesus was being tried, Peter was out in the courtyard warming himself by a fire.” (Have Peter character act this out.)
  • “Peter was afraid, but he couldn’t keep himself away.”
  • “A servant girl recognized him and said, ‘Aren’t you one of his followers?’”
  • “Peter denied it.”  (Peter: “No! Not me!”)
  • “Then another person saw him and said, ‘You sound like a Galilean.  Aren’t you one of them?’”
  • “Peter denied it a second time.” (Peter: “I told you, I’m not one of them!”)
  • “Finally, a third time, another girl said, ‘This man is definitely one of them!’”
  • “Peter began to curse and swear that he didn’t know Jesus.” (Peter: “Blankety-blank-blank-blank!  I do NOT know the man!”)
  • “At just that moment, they were leading Jesus from one place to another.”
  • “A cock crowed, and Jesus looked Peter in the eyes.”  (Have your volunteer make the sound of a cock crowing while your Jesus and Peter characters make eye contact.)
  • “Peter immediately recognized what he had done.”
  • “He had denied knowing Jesus three times!”
  • “He had abandoned his friend and Lord even though he had said that he would lay down his life for Jesus.”
  • “Peter couldn’t avoid the truth.  He was a big phony.”
  • “He wasn’t as brave as he wanted everyone to believe.”
  • “He wasn’t Jesus’ most loyal follower.”
  • “He wasn’t going to be the greatest in the Kingdom of Heaven like he always argued he would be with the other disciples.”
  • “For all his boasting, when the time came for Peter to stand up for his Lord and Master, he was too afraid.”
  • “Peter broke down into tears and ran away.” (Have Peter character act this out.)
  • “He found a corner somewhere and wept bitterly, realizing he deserved neither the name Simon (“listens and obeys”) nor the name Peter (“rock”).”  (Have Peter character act this out.)
  • “Jesus was tried three times by the Jewish leaders, but they couldn’t find anything that He had done wrong.”
  • “Finally, they asked Jesus, ‘Are you then the Son of God?’”
  • “Jesus replied…”  (Jesus: “You are right in saying I am.”)
  • “This was what they were looking for!”
  • “Jesus was claiming to be equal to God!”
  • “They said, ‘Who needs witnesses?  You’ve heard yourself, he’s guilty of blasphemy!’ (which means saying something terrible about God)”
  • “They beat Him, spit on Him and made fun of Him.”
  • “Then, they took Him to Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor.” (Have the guard volunteers lead Jesus to another part of the room, and get a new volunteer to stand and act like Pilate.)
  • “There, he was tried three more times and found “not guilty” each time.”
  • “But because Pontius Pilate was afraid of a riot from the crowd, he turned Jesus over to the soldiers to be beaten and crucified.”
  • “Even though Jesus had been beaten and whipped, they made Him carry his own cross up the hill.” (Give Jesus character the cross, and have him carry it around the room toward a place that can represent Golgotha.)
  • “At one point, He was too weak to carry it any further, and they made a man in the crowd named Simon pick it up and carry it.”  (Grab a volunteer from the audience, and give him the cross to carry the rest of the way.)
  • “Did you catch that?”
  • “This guy’s name was Simon, too, but it was the wrong Simon.”
  • “It wasn’t Simon-Peter who helped Jesus up the hill.”
  • “It was another Simon, who just happened to be passing by at the time.”
  • “Once again, Peter isn’t where he was supposed to be.”
  • “During the times of Jesus’ greatest need, Peter is no where to be found, even though he said he would never abandon his Lord.”
  • “Around 9a that morning, Jesus was nailed to the cross.” (Have volunteers act this out.)
  • “What I find amazing about Jesus is that while they were nailing his hands and his feet to the cross, he said…” (Jesus: “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.”)
  • “Jesus even loved those who were killing Him.”
  • “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘Only God can do that!’”
  • “At noon, there was an earthquake, and amazingly, dead people came to life and started walking around and talking to others.”
  • “The sun went dark and stayed dark for the next three hours.”
  • “At the end of that time, Jesus said…” (Jesus: “It is finished.” And then “Father, into Your hands I commit my Spirit.”)
  • “Then He died.”
  • “It was so amazing the way Jesus died that the Roman centurion, a man who had seen many men die, said, ‘Surely, this was the son of God.””
  • “He had never seen someone choose when to die, but Jesus did.”
  • “The Jewish leaders had asked Pilate to take the bodies off the crosses, so Pilate told the soldiers to make the crucified men die faster.”
  • “They did this by breaking the men’s legs so that they couldn’t push themselves up on the cross to get a breath.”  (Optional additional information you could share: Dying on a cross is really dying by drowning, because the men’s lungs were filling with fluid.)
  • “The soldiers broke the legs of the two thieves, but when they came to Jesus, they could tell that He was already dead.”
  • “Just to be sure, though, they stuck a spear into His side.  Then they were sure that He was dead.”
  • “Some of Jesus’ followers asked if they could take Him off the cross, and Pilate let them.”
  • “They took Jesus’ body to a cave in a garden and wrapped His body with strips of cloth.” (Have a few volunteers act this out with the Jesus character.)
  • “Then, they rolled a giant stone in front of the cave and left.”
  • “It was Friday night, and Jewish law required them not to do any activities until Saturday night, so they had to get home quickly.”
  • “Because the Jewish leaders were afraid that Jesus’ followers might try to steal his body, they had Pilate seal the tomb and put a guard of Roman soldiers outside.”
  • “Everyone abandoned Jesus – even His best friends and most loyal followers.”
  • “Judas betrayed Him for 30 pieces of silver, all the disciples ran away when the soldiers came, and Peter denied that he even knew Jesus.”
  • “But you know what? Jesus still loved every one of them.”
  • “He knew that they would leave Him before He even chose them to be His friends.”
  • “He knew that their spirits were willing to follow Him even if it meant they would die, but their bodies were weak, and they couldn’t find the courage to stand with Him in His time of need.”
  • “He knew that He would have to go to the cross alone, but He did it anyway – because He loved them and because He loves you.”
  • “The best part of the story is yet to come!  We will cover that next time!”  (If you are not meeting with this group regularly, you probably should finish the story and continue through Jesus’ resurrection and what it means for all of us.  You can find it in the lesson, “Rest of the Story, The (LESSON)” on the Lesson and Material Downloads page at www.teachingthem.com.  You can use the Rhyme Time below to reinforce the teaching point.)

 

Rhyme Time

Sometimes our spirit is willing

But our bodies are weak.

Jesus forgives us

And gives the courage we seek.

 

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Filed under Jesus, Judas, Peter

Walk On Water – WOW! (LESSON)


Time

30 minutes

 

Description

This lesson teaches that we can do great things if we will trust God.  Peter was able to walk on water as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus, but when he looked around at his circumstances, he lost his faith and began to sink.

 

Scriptures

  • Matthew 14:22-33

 

Materials

  • The following supporting materials can be found at www.teachingthem.comon the Lesson and Material Downloads page.
    • “Walk On Water – WOW Water Walker Stickers” (These are stickers you will give to the kids to wear after the lesson if they commit to being “Water Walkers.”  10 stickers print on each page.)
  • Avery Shipping Labels (5163) or full-page sticker paper (1 page per every 10 kids)
  • Something to represent a boat (that will hold 12 kids)
  • Spray bottles filled with water (4-6)
  • Blue fabric (6-8 ft – kids will wave it to represent a stormy sea)
  • Something to simulate strong wind (4-6 items – you could use fans, heavy pieces of plastic or anything else to “fan” the apostles in the boat)
  • Oars (4-6 – or something that looks like oars)
  • Small buckets (4-6 – for the apostles to bail water out of their boat)
  • Sheet of tin (1 – to shake and make a thunder sound)
  • Costume for Jesus character – recommend a long piece of fabric with a hole cut in the middle for his head to fit through.  Add a belt around the waist and maybe a sash to drape over one shoulder and under one arm.
  • Notecards for script (2)
  • Scissors
  • OPTIONAL – Spotlight or strong flashlight (to shine on Jesus as He walks on water)
  • Bible

Preparation

  • Write these lines for Peter and Jesus to say on separate notecards:
    • Jesus: It’s all right.  I am here!  Don’t be afraid.
    • Peter: Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you by walking on the water.
    • Jesus: All right…come.
    • Peter: Save me, Lord!
    • Jesus: You don’t have much faith.  Why did you doubt me?
    • Peter: You really are the Son of God!
  • Select your volunteer to play Jesus, and explain what you want him to do.  Dress him in his costume, and have him wait off-stage or out of sight.  Give him the notecard with his lines on them.
  • Select your volunteer to play Peter, and explain what you want him to do.  Give him the notecard with his lines on them.
  • Print out the Water Walker stickers and cut them into individual stickers.
  • Practice the script.

 

Procedure

Use the following script, or modify to suit your needs:

  • “One day, Jesus fed 5,000 people with just a few loaves of bread and some fish.”
  • “Afterward, He wanted to spend some time praying, so He told the apostles to get into a boat and cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.”
  • “So, the disciples got into the boat.” (Ask for volunteers to come help with the following tasks:
    • 12 volunteers to represent the apostles (make sure one of them is the person you selected for Peter) and get into whatever you are using to represent a boat – Hand a few of them the oars.
    • 4-6 volunteers to stand outside the boat with the spray bottles
    • 4-6 more volunteers to man the fans or other wind-making instruments outside the boat 
    • 2 or more volunteers to hold the blue fabric at either end  and stand in front of the boat
    • 1 volunteer to man the lights and flick them on and off when you give the words
    • 1 volunteer to shake the sheet of tin to make a thunder sound
    • 1 volunteer to hold the spotlight or flashlight and be ready to shine it on Jesus

Ask all volunteers to act out what you say as you tell the story.)

  • “The disciples sailed away from the shore and were 3-4 miles out in the middle of the Sea of Galilee when a huge storm rolled in!” (Have your apostles row with their oars.)
  • “It was dark – the moon and stars were behind the clouds – but lightning lit up the sky!” (Signal your lightning and thunder sound effects people to get to work.)
  • “The wind was howling!” (Signal your fan people to switch them on or to start waving their wind-making objects.)
  • “Water sprayed over the sides of the boat and drenched the apostles!” (Signal spray bottle volunteers to let the disciples have it!)
  • “The apostles were afraid that they might sink, so they used buckets to try and bail water out of the boat!” (Signal apostles in the boat to use the buckets you left inside it to pretend to bail water over the side.)
  • “Hours went by, and the apostles grew very tired.”
  • “About 3 o’clock in the morning, things got worse!”
  • “A ghost came walking across the water straight at them!” (Have volunteer playing Jesus begin to walk across the “water” toward the boat.  Signal your spotlight person to shine the light on him.)
  • “They screamed in terror!”  (If the apostles don’t scream, say,A-hem, I said that the apostles SCREAMED in terror!”)
  • “Then, something totally incredible happened!” (Have your helpers say the following lines from their note cards.
    • Jesus: “It’s all right.  I am here!  Don’t be afraid.”
    • Peter: “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you by walking on the water.”
    • Jesus: “All right…come.”
  • “Peter went over the side of the boat and started walking on the water toward Jesus!”  (Have Peter character act this out.)
  • “But then, he took his eyes off Jesus and looked around.” (Have Peter character act this out.)
  • “He saw the high waves!  He noticed the howling wind!”
  • “He became terrified and began to sink under the water!” (Have Peter character act this out by falling to his/her knees and crying out, “Save me, Lord!”)
  • “Jesus reached out His hand and grabbed Peter.” (Have characters act this out.  Then have Jesus say, “You don’t have much faith.  Why did you doubt me?”
  • “Jesus and Peter climbed back into the boat, and immediately, the wind stopped.” (Have characters act this out.)
  • “Then the disciples worshipped Jesus.”  (Have disciples bow down to Jesus in the boat.  Have Peter character say, “You really are the Son of God!”  Then, ask your volunteers to turn off/lay down their props and return to their seats.)
  • “Peter walked on water!  Can you believe that?”
  • “But then he began to sink.”
  • “Tell me…why did Peter start to sink into the water?”  (Expected response: He took his eyes off Jesus.)
  • “That’s right.  He took his eyes of Jesus.  He looked around at all the scary stuff around him, and he began to think, ‘I’m in big trouble.  A person can’t walk on water!  That’s impossible!  I must have been crazy thinking I could have walked on water!’”
  • “Of course, Peter was right, but he forgot one very important thing…all things are possible with God!”
  • “God can walk on water, and He can give Peter the power to walk on water.”
  • “God can do anything, and He can help us with any problem.”
  • “I’m learning that whenever I have a problem, I should give it to Jesus.”
  • “Anytime that I feel like I’m sinking under all my problems, I need to give them to Jesus.”
  • “As long as I keep my eyes on Him, He helps me with my problems.”
  • “But if I start to focus on the scary things that are happening around me, I’ll start to sink again.”
  • “Now you may think Peter looked pretty silly when he took his eyes off Jesus and began to sink under water, but I don’t.”
  • “I admire Peter for having the courage to get out of the boat.”
  • “Peter was a Water Walker!”
  • “You know what all the other guys were?  They were Boat Huggers!”
  • “While Peter walked on the water, they hugged the boat in fear.”
  • “Jesus told Peter that he only had a little faith, but he had a lot more than the Boat Huggers.”
  • “A Water Walker trusts in God.”
  • “A Water Walker does the scary things that God wants him to do.”
  • “A Water Walker gets out of the boat to get closer to Jesus.”
  • “I’ve known a lot of Boat Huggers.  They are too afraid to get out of the boat and do what God wants them to do.”
  • “Touch your neighbor and say, ‘You’ve got to get out of the boat!’”
  • “I think Boat Huggers make Jesus sad.”
  • “He wants to help them do things that no one else has done, but they don’t trust Him enough to get out of the boat.”
  • “If you want to get closer to Jesus, you’re going to have to get out of the boat and walk on some water.”
  • “How many of you want to be closer to Jesus?” (Listen for response.)
  •  “Well, then you’ve got to get out of the boat!”
  • “Do any of you want to be Water Walkers for Jesus?” (Listen for response.)
  • “Turn around and touch your neighbor and tell them, ‘I’m a Water Walker!’”
  • “If you think you want to trust Jesus and be a Water Walker for Him, raise your hand!” (Try to encourage everyone to raise their hand. Ask your volunteers from earlier to come up and get a few stickers each to share with everyone else in the room.)
  • “The sticker lets everyone know that you are a Water Walker – a person who is willing to trust Jesus and do the scary things that will get you closer to Him.”  (As the kids are putting on their stickers, teach them the Rhyme Time for this lesson to reinforce the teaching point. Repeat it several times to improve retention.)

 

Rhyme Time

When the storms of life are really scary,

And my problems seem to double,

I pray to God and trust in Him,

And Jesus helps me with my trouble!

 

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