In this lesson, we will study John 21, where Jesus forgave and restored one of his disciples, Peter, even after he made mistakes. As we explore this story, we will learn about the power of forgiveness and the amazing love that Jesus has for each of us, no matter how far we may have strayed.
- God is at work even when we don’t recognize Him.
- Jesus offers forgiven and a second chance.
- Jesus has a ministry for each of us.
Lesson Guide – Jesus restores Peter
Invite the children to sit down on a picnic mat. Prepare a simple breakfast with fish and bread (or something else if you want). Have a picnic together and introduce the Bible passage.
Ask the child if they have ever made a mistake or done something they regret. Talk about how we all make mistakes, but Jesus can forgive us and help us start again. Talk about how Peter had denied knowing Jesus and was feeling guilty and ashamed afterwards. Explain that Jesus knew what Peter was going through and He wanted to forgive him.
It’s important for children to understand that Jesus had died and risen from the dead before He appeared to the disciples at the lake. The disciples were probably feeling sad and confused after Jesus died, and they may not have expected Him to call out to them at the lake. But this was a special moment where Jesus wanted to show His disciples that He was truly alive and with them again.
Talk about how when Jesus called out to the disciples from the shore, but they did not know it was him. After catching a lot of fish, they realized it was Jesus. An activity that can help illustrate is to play recognize the voice. Have the child close their eyes and then call a few people, for example family members or friends. Invite the child to try and recognize them by hearing their voices.
Talk about how sometimes we may not recognize God at work in our lives. Give a testimony of a time you’ve see God working in your life although at first you didn’t recognize it.
Share how Peter was filled with joy when he saw Jesus on the shore. Peter jumped out of the boat and swam to Jesus. Play a game where on go children must jump out of the boat and race each other to the shore. Explain how we should be excited to draw near to Jesus.
Explain how Jesus prepared breakfast for them, even after Peter had denied Him three times. Talk about how Jesus still loved Peter even though he made a mistake and was willing to forgive him. Talk about how Jesus loves us so much He doesn’t give up on us but gives us a chance to say sorry and have a second chance.
Explain that like Jesus showed Peter, God never gives up on us. He is always there waiting for us to turn back to Him, ready to forgive us and give us a fresh start. Let the children know that God has a special destiny planned for each of them, and no mistake is too large to be forgiven by Him.
Share how Jesus told Peter, ‘Feed my sheep.’ This means that Jesus wants us to take care of each other, like we would care for a baby animal. He wants us to be kind and help other people in need. Ask the children to think of some ways they can help others.
End the lesson by praying together and asking for Jesus to help us to love Him and others.
Jesus restores Peter – Bible story for kids
Games and Activities
Cut out several fish shapes from coloured paper or card and add a paperclip to each one. Next, tie a magnet to a piece of string, and attach the other end of the string to a stick or pencil. Finally, create a “fishing pond” by laying out a large sheet or blanket on the floor and scattering the fish shapes across it. You could also add additional challenges or questions to the fish, such as asking children to name a time when they had to ask for forgiveness or how they can show love and forgiveness to others.
“Feed My Lambs” game
Set up two bowls and some breakfast cereal (or other small, lightweight items that can be easily scooped with a spoon). Print or draw a picture of a lamb and tape it to one of the bowls to create the ” lamb bowl.”
To play the game, give each child a spoon, and explain that their goal is to move all the cereal from the “feeding bowl” to the “lamb bowl” using only their spoon. When you say “go,” the children can begin scooping up cereal with their spoons and carrying it over to the “lamb.” without dropping it.
Breakfast Bible Time
Introducing a breakfast Bible time with your children can be a wonderful way to start the day Even if it’s just once a week, making it a special occasion will strengthen your family’s faith. You could also consider organizing a special breakfast at church for this lesson, where families can gather together, just as Jesus and Peter did on the beach.
Free Bible Coloring Pages – Jesus restores Peter
Jesus restores Peter – Story Wheel Craft
What you need:
- Story wheel template pages
- Colouring equipment
- Split pin
What to do:
- Colour the template pages.
- Cut out the circles.
- Fix together where shown with a split pin.