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3. Jesus Calls His Disciples (Matthew 4:18-22; Mark 1:16-34; Luke 5:1-11)

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Main Point: Jesus invites us to follow Him and we must each chose whether we will.

Key Verse:

“Come. Follow Me,” Jesus said. “I will make you fishers of people.” - Mark 1:17

Materials: Two sheets of paper.


Say: Forgiveness from sin is a wonderful gift. Everyone longs to know true forgiveness for their sins. When John the Baptist announced that Jesus was the Lamb of God who came to take away the sins of the world, people began to follow Jesus (John 1:29).

Leader, call up a volunteer. Say: I want you to copy everything I do. Begin to make a paper airplane, step by step, allowing the student to imitate your actions. Then toss your plane, he should toss his as well. Thank your volunteer. Say: My volunteer imitated everything I did. He followed what I did step by step. You could say he was a student of my amazing paper airplane making skills. Today we will talk about the “students” of Jesus. Ask: Does anyone know another word for student?

The people who began to follow Jesus were called His disciples. A disciple is a person who follows another person and his teaching. Becoming a disciple of Jesus is usually a step-by step process. It’s learning through faith to trust and follow Him one step and one event at a time.

Jesus’ Call (Luke 5:1-11)

Say: Peter, Andrew, James, and John were all fishermen. Fishing was their job. You may enjoy an afternoon of fishing. These men were professional fishermen. Every day they let down their nets, caught the fish, cleaned the fish, and sold them. Day after day, they did these same things over and over again. Jesus walked right up to them, and offered to turn their routine into a great adventure.

One day Jesus was standing by the Sea of Galilee. The people crowded around Him and listened to the word of God. Jesus saw two boats at the edge of the water. They had been left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into the boat that belonged to Simon (Peter). Jesus asked him to go out a little way from shore. Then He sat down in the boat and taught the people.

When He finished speaking, He turned to Simon (Peter). He said, “Go out into deep water. Let the nets down so you can catch some fish.” - Luke 5:1-4

Ask: Do you think Simon Peter will LISTEN to Jesus? How long had Peter been awake trying to fish? All night.

Say: Remember, Peter had JUST washed his nets. If he let them down into the sea again, the nets would be full of salt water, and Peter would have to wash them all over again. Peter told Jesus that he had been up all night trying to fish and that he didn’t catch anything. BUT, because Jesus told him to put his net down into the deep water, Peter trusted Jesus and then obeyed!

Application: Often times, God will tell us to do something that may be out of our way or seem too hard at the time. However, we must always be like Peter, obeying and trusting Him. There is blessing in obedience, and even if you don’t see it immediately, it is always better to obey God, no matter what He tells you to do. God always rewards those who trust Him.

Say: Listen what happened next: Simon (Peter) answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”

When they had done so, they caught a large number of fish. There were so many that their nets began to break. So they motioned to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. - Luke 5:5-7

When Peter saw the MIRACLE that Jesus did, Peter fell at Jesus’ feet. He said, “Get away from me, Lord. I am a sinful man.” (Luke 5:8) Peter realized that JESUS WAS GOD, and Peter worshipped Him - right there in that smelly boat filled with fish.

Application: You can worship God anywhere at anytime!

Say: This was a huge step for Peter in becoming a disciple of Jesus. When Peter realized that Jesus was God, everything changed!

Jesus told Peter not to be afraid, and from that time forward instead of catching fish, Peter would now catch men. This meant that Peter would join Jesus in telling people about the kingdom of God! This would be a huge change for Peter; he had been a fisherman all of his life. It’s what he knew how to do, and how he made money for his family. Can you imagine Jesus telling you to drop everything you normally do, to go and do something totally different?

From other Scriptures, we know that Peter had a wife. It could be that God knew that Peter would be reluctant to follow Jesus because of his responsibilities to care for his family. But Jesus took away that fear by showing Peter that He was the great Provider. Jesus was a carpenter (Mark 6:3), yet He knew more about fishing than Peter did. Jesus proved He could provide everything for those who follow Him.

Application: There is no life more adventuresome than a life completely given to God. When Jesus Christ takes over, things get exciting! Being a true follower of Jesus Christ is the height of an extreme life!

Following Jesus

Say: Let’s see what we can learn from Peter’s reaction to this miracle:

Following Jesus begins with seeing yourself as a helpless sinner.

This is very important, and there are many people who have difficulty with this point. In our human nature, we want to believe that there is something good about us. We are told to “believe in ourselves.” But the Bible says each one of us has sinned (Romans 3:23). Ask: How many times would a person have to steal a car to be considered a car thief? One time! Say: Likewise, it only takes ONE sin to be a sinner. A sin is any wrong action or any wrong thought (Isaiah 59:7, Matthew 15:19). The GREAT news is, Jesus came to save SINNERS. He came to find the LOST. He came to heal the SICK (Luke 5:31-32).

When Peter realized that Jesus was God, he fell to his knees, and begged Jesus to step away from him. He knew that compared to Jesus, he was a very sinful man.

Following Jesus means knowing that He is God!

Jesus showed Peter and the others that He was unlike anyone else - He was God. Look back to the story: Jesus had the disciples catch so many fish that TWO boats began to sink. When Peter saw this miracle, he was certain Jesus was God (Matthew 16:16).

Following Jesus means that you have FAITH - you trust Him to provide everything you need.

Phillipians 4:19 says, “My God will meet all your needs. He will meet them in keeping with his wonderful riches that come to you because you belong to Christ Jesus.” Everyone needs his or her physical needs taken care of; Jesus proved to Peter that He provides everything we need. Everyone needs forgiveness from sin. Jesus provided that. Jesus even provided the way of ETERNAL LIFE to those who put their faith and trust in Him. When we lack faith, it is often because we don’t trust that God will provide exactly what we need! Jesus PROVES to us that He is our faithful Provider. Faith is based on knowledge and experience. We know that we can trust God because of what the Bible teaches and because of how we’ve seen Him work in our own lives.

Following Jesus means saying YES to Him and NO to other things.

When you say YES to something, you are essentially saying NO to something else. When your parents said YES to marrying each other, they said NO to everyone else. If you only have one dollar at the dollar store, and you say YES to buy something, you are saying NO to buying any other item. Jesus wanted Peter, James, and John to say YES to following Him and NO to life as usual. Their boats, nets, lines, and hooks were familiar to them and made them feel successful, safe, and secure. Jesus would show them that HE alone would be their All-Sufficient One. The Bible says that they left everything (even that fortune in fish) and followed Jesus.

Note to Teacher: Sometimes, our greatest problem will come in that area in which we are most skilled, most knowledgeable. For Peter, this was his skill as a fisherman. Jesus had to show Peter that He knew more than this veteran of the Sea of Galilee, so that Peter could find Jesus the Master and Teacher. Whatever it is that you find yourself good at, whatever it is that you trust in, is that which you may be required to forsake in order to follow Christ.

Following Jesus means that we must LISTEN, OBEY, and do things HIS way!

Jesus came to invite lost people into God’s kingdom. If we are going to follow Jesus, then we must listen, obey, and be careful to do things His way. Peter and his friends had to leave behind fishing as their career. Though they were good at fishing, Jesus had a much bigger and better plan for them. When you are a true disciple of Jesus, He may tell you to do things differently than you did before. LISTEN to what He’s saying to you!

Application: Are you willing to be His disciple? Ask: What is a disciple? A disciple is a person who follows another person and his teaching.

Say: We are going to see large crowds of people who follow Jesus, but only a few become His true disciples. True discipleship has a cost. A true disciple follows Jesus no matter what the cost.

Jesus had just chosen these men to follow Him and be His disciples. Jesus’ disciples are going to be with Jesus. The more they are with Jesus, the more they will believe and trust in Him. The more they believe and trust in Him, the more they will become like Him!


Key Verse:

“Come. Follow Me,” Jesus said. “I will make you fishers of people.” - Mark 1:17


Main Point: Jesus invites us to follow Him and we must each chose whether we will.

© 2007 All rights reserved worldwide. May be reproduced for personal, nonprofit, and non-commercial uses only. Brought to you by KidzLife

Unless otherwise noted the Scriptures taken from: Holy Bible, New International Reader’s Version, (NIrV®)

Copyright © 1995, 1996, 1998 by International Bible Society / Used by permission of IBS-STL. All rights reserved worldwide.

Special thanks to John R. Cross, The Stranger on the Road to Emmaus, GoodSeed International.

Related Topics: Children, Children's Curriculum

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