By Betty Benson Robertson (Based on Luke 5:1-11 )
On a sheet of red construction paper, print "No." On a sheet of green paper print "Yes." Show the words to the boys and girls, reminding them "No" is on red and "Yes" is on green. Tell them during the story you will be asking questions, holding up one of the signs, and they are to say in unison either "yes" or "no."
"I am SO tired!" Peter, one of Jesus' disciples, said wiping his hand across his forehead.
"Me too," James replied.
"What a night. A long night," John said with a sigh.
Peter and his friends had fished and fished and fished. They had worked all night long. Do you think they caught 50 fish? NO!
Do you think they caught 25 fish? NO!
Do you think they caught 12 fish? NO!
Do you think they caught 6 fish? NO!
Do you think they caught 0 fish? YES!
"Let's wash our fishing nets," James said to the other disciples.
"Here, I'll help you spread it out to dry," John replied.
"I am NOT happy that we didn't catch any fish," Peter said.
"Here comes someone," James announced. "I wonder who it is?"
John replied, "It's Jesus!"
Jesus told the disciples to put their boat back into the water, go out to where it was deep, and throw out their nets.
Do you think Peter was happy to hear that? No!
Do you think James was happy to hear that? No!
Do you think John was happy to hear that? No!
Peter said to Jesus, "We already fished all night and didn't catch anything."
"Yeah! Not a thing," James added.
"But If you say so, we'll try it again," Peter responded. Peter knew it was important to obey Jesus.
The disciples got back into their boat, went out to where Jesus told them to, and dropped their net into the water. When they started to bring the net up, there were so many fish the net started to break and the boat filled up. Peter yelled to more of his friends on the shore to bring another boat. They went and both boats had so many fish they began to sink. They had to row back to shore slowly.
Do you think Peter was happy about all the fish they caught? Yes!
Do you think James was happy about all the fish they caught? Yes!
Do you think John was happy about all the fish they caught? Yes!
When Peter got back to land, he fell at Jesus' feet. He and his friends were amazed at what had just happened. He knew only Jesus could have done a miracle like that.
SONG: "Come Meet Jesus" (from Come Meet Jesus CD by Mary Rice Hopkins)
"God helps me." (Psalm 118:7)
To learn the scripture, have the children play "Everyone Who..." The leader says such statements as: "Everyone who is wearing red repeat the verse"; "Everyone who likes pizza..."; "Everyone who has a pet dog or cat at home"; "Everyone who has two eyes", etc.
Supplies Needed: Blue, brown, gray, yellow construction paper; magic markers or crayons; scissors; glue; fish-shaped crackers.
Older children can cut out their own boat, net and sun shapes to glue on the picture. Younger boys and girls can glue on the shapes which an adult has cut. The children draw Peter, James and John in the boat and then glue on the fish crackers.
Children cut out a sail for their boat from construction paper. The Bible verse is taped to the sail. The sail is then taped to the straw. The straw is adhered to the bottom of the plastic container with play dough. Encourage the boys and girls to take the boat home and use as a centerpiece on their kitchen table so they can re-tell the story and verse to their family.
SNACK AND LESSON REVIEW
Give each child a small empty bowl. Say: "This is what the disciples' boat looked like after they had fished all night. It was empty! I am now going to fill your bowl with fish crackers. This is how the boat looked after Jesus told them to go back out onto the lake and fish again."
PRAYER BEFORE EATING
Thank you, Jesus, for providing what we need. Help us to always obey You.