Tag Archives: Peter restored to leadership

The Rest of the Story (LESSON)



30 minutes



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.



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



  • 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


  • 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.



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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