Scripture: John 21: 1 – 17
Target Age Group: 1st through 6th grade
Welcome the children to the classroom and chat with them about their week as they gather around the table.
Pray and ask God to teach the children not just head knowledge, but also heart knowledge. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Bible Lesson: Have the children open their Bibles to John 21: 1 – 17.
Remind the children that in the last story Jesus had appeared to the disciples, including doubting Thomas.
(Read the story to the children because at this age some of the children do not read smoothly, which hinders comprehension for the whole class.)
- What were Peter, Thomas, James, John, and two other disciples doing in this story? Fishing
- Does it seem strange to you that they were fishing after having just seen Jesus risen from the dead?
- What would you have expected them to be doing? Telling other people about Jesus.
- Do you remember what Jesus told Peter that last time that they went fishing? I will make you fishers of men.
- But, here they were again, fishing for fish.
- What time of the day were they fishing? At night
- Did they catch any fish? No.
- In the morning, who did they see on the shore? Jesus
- Did they recognize him? Not at first.
- What did he ask them? “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
- What did he tell them to do? To put their net on the other side of the boat.
- What happened when they did? They caught so many fish that they couldn’t pull the net in.
- When they went fishing the first time, he told them to do the same thing. And when they did, they caught so many fish that the nets were tearing. Do you think that they suddenly realized that the man on the shore was Jesus because they remembered that day?
- When John said, “It is the Lord!”, what did Peter do? He jumped into the water and swam into shore.
- He must have been very excited to see Jesus.
- When the other disciples got to shore, what did they see? A camp fire with fish on it and some bread.
- Jesus had made breakfast for them. Have you ever had fish and bread for breakfast?
- After breakfast, what did Jesus ask Peter? “Simon, son of John, Do you love me more than these?”
- What did Peter say? “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”
- What did Jesus say to that? “Feed my lambs.”
- What do you think that Jesus meant by that? He wanted Peter to teach and care for his followers.
- How many times did Jesus ask Peter if he loved him? Three times.
- And every time Peter said, yes, what did Jesus ask Peter to do? To take care of his sheep.
- Remember the night that they arrested Jesus? How many times did Peter deny Jesus? Three times.
- I think that Peter must have felt very badly about that. But, Jesus gave Peter the chance to make it right three times, didn’t he.
- Do you think that Peter felt better after that? Yes.
- Do you know what Peter did then? He went out preaching and teaching others about Jesus.
- Do you love Jesus?
- How do you show someone that you love them? You do nice things for them. You help them. You do what they ask you to do. etc.
- What do you think that Jesus wants you to do for him? To tell others about him and to care for other christians.
- Let’s pray and thank Jesus for his patience with us when we sin. And let’s ask him to help us to take care of his sheep…
During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…
Memorize the verse.
Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” John 21:15
Have the children use colors or pastels to draw their own vision of the story on a sketch pad page. Or have them color a color page related to the story.
Color page #1 from Bible Wise
An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles. The pages are reproducible.
Share a video of this story:
Video #1 from Gracelink
Video #2 (start at 2:47:42)
Video #3 (A great idea for acting out the story)
This is a cute craft from Auntie’s Bible Lessons
This is a Christmas sheep craft, but it would also work great for this lesson. It’s from Adventures of a Mom.
Bible Fun for Kids has a craft, worksheet and other ideas to teach this lesson. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Make the booklet “The Amazing Breakfast” from Lambsongs. (Scroll down.)
Share this children’s sermon from Sermons4Kids. Don’t forget the activities at the bottom of the page!
Make a fishing pond and have the children fish and act out the story. This article is from Children’s Ministry.
Play this game from Teach Them.
Play the Breakfast by the Lake Game from the Catholic Toolbox.
Evaluate what the children have learned. While they are coloring or crafting ask each one what they learned today.
Send each child’s parent an e-mail (or a hard copy) of the Parents’ Page.