One of the times that Jesus called Peter to follow Him was after He did a miracle that allowed Peter to catch so many fish that the weight of them made his boat and his friends’ boat began to sink. Jesus told Peter that from that moment on he would catch men instead of fish. This activity lets children try to catch a “miraculous catch of fish.”
- Luke 5:1-11
- Sheet or large piece of fabric to act as the “net.”
- Bucket filled with balls (the type you find in a “ball pit” in a children’s play area)
- Select a space to play the game, and set up your materials.
- Practice the script.
Use the following script (or modify to suit your needs):
- “One of the times that Jesus called Peter to follow Him was after He did a miracle that allowed Peter to catch so many fish that the weight of them made his boat and his friends’ boat began to sink.” (Ask volunteer to read Luke 5:1-11.)
- “Did you hear that?”
- “Jesus told Peter that from that moment on he would catch MEN instead of FISH.”
- “That had to sound strange to Peter.”
- “But it was also a good way to explain to him how his life would change after this moment.”
- “Jesus used fishing language to help Peter understand what was going to happen.”
- “So, who do you think is the better fisherman? Peter or Jesus?” (Acknowledge responses.)
- “Right! Jesus is much better, because He created the fish and can command the fish to get into the net.”
- “Peter can’t do that.”
- “Jesus was helping Peter to understand that He was God by using fishing – something Peter understood very well.”
- “Peter was an expert fisherman and had spent all night fishing but caught no fish.”
- “So, when Jesus knew right where and when to put the net into the water, Peter realized this wasn’t just good luck.”
- “This was God.”
- “Let’s play a game to help us remember the story.”
- “I would like for everyone to grab an edge of this sheet.” (Hold up sheet, and help children to find a place to grab along the edges. Makes sure there are children all around the sheet and that they use both hands.”
- “You are all the fishermen, and the sheet is your ‘net.’”
- “I’ll play Jesus.”
- “I have a bucket full of ‘fish.’ They are really balls, but we are going to pretend they are fish.”
- “When I dump out the ‘fish,’ you should try to catch all of them in your ‘net.’”
- “If you drop some fish, you can collect them, put them back in the bucket and try again.”
- “Does anyone have any questions?” (Answer questions, and then start the game. Pretend to dump the fish several times before actually dumping them, and try to make it a little challenging so that the children have to work together to capture all the fish in the net. Play several rounds, and allow some of the children to play Jesus if you like. Then ask the Debrief Questions below.)
- Why do you think Peter said to Jesus, “Get away from me, Lord! I am a sinful man!” after they caught all the fish?
- What do you think Jesus was trying to teach Peter and the others?
- What did Jesus mean when he said that they would now fish for people?
- Why did the fishermen leave everything (even all the fish that they had just caught) to follow Jesus?
- What would you have done?