Jesus Forgives and Restores  

John 21:1-19 - Jesus forgave Peter

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Lesson Outline

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Intro Activity: “When do you…”

Assign different two areas of a room: one area things that we do during the day, the other area things that we do at night.  Ask a various of question, have child(ren) and family members go to the area they things best answers the question. If it something they do both day and night they may stand in the middle of the room.  So suggested questions are: when do you put your pjs on? When do you eat lunch? When do you play on the playground? When do you watch a movie? When do you brush your teeth? When do you go to church? When do you go fishing?

Lesson Connection: Jesus’ friends went fishing at night. The next morning, the men saw a man on the seashore. It was Jesus! Pete jumped out fo the boat and swam to shore.  Let’s see in our Bible story to hear what Jesus asked Peter. 

Follow up Activity: Haul a load

Assign a start and finish line onto the floor sever feet apart. Load towels (aka nets) with toys (aka fish). Have child(ren) and family members work tighter to haul the have load to the shore.  Lesson Connection: Jesus helped His friends catch fish. They could barely haul the net because they caught so many. Peter learned that Jesus still loved him even though Peter made mistakes. Jesus forgave Peter and loved him. Sometimes, we make mistakes as we follow Jesus too. Jesus rescued us from sin. We know He forgive us and wasn’t to keep following Him. 

Lesson Reflection for Parents and Guardians (The Gospel Project for Kids, LifeWay)

After Jesus’ resurrection and His appearance  to the disciples, seven of the disciples returned to Galilee, near the Sea of Galilee where Jesus had called four of HIs disciples to be fisher of people (Luke 5:1-11). Simon Peter, Thomas, Nathanael the son of Zebedde, and two other disciples went fishing. Perhaps they felt it was reasonable to return to the fishing business since their stint as disciples was apparently over — or so they thought!

In Bible times, nighttime was the preferred time for fishing. Fish caught at night could be sold fresh in the morning at market. But by daybreak, the disciples had caught nothing. Jesus stood at the shore, but the disciples did not know it was Him.  He called to them, “Men, you don’t have any fish, do you?” (John 21:5). Then He urged them to case their net on the right side of the boat. They obeyed, and they were unable to haul in the big catch!

John, the disciple Jesus loved, knew right away who He was. “It is the Lord!” John exclaimed. Peter immediately tied his outer garment around him and jumped into the sea, swimming 300 feet to shore. When the other six disciples arrived in the boat, they found Jesus sitting beside a charcoal fire with fish and bread. “Come and have breakfast,” Jesus said. Jesus ate with HIs disciples; then He turned to Peter.

John 21:15-19 describes Peter’s restoration. The disciples who had told Jesus he would die for Him (Luke 22:31-34) and denied Jesus three times. (Luke 22:54-62) Jesus asked Peter three times if loved Jesus. Each time Peter responded yes, Jesus told Peter to feed His lambs. Jesus restore Peter to ministry. 

Jesus’ plan for the disciples did not end with His death and resurrection. When Jesus first called the disciples to follow Him, Jesus had promised to make them fisher of people. Instead of catching fish, they would tell people about Jesus (Luke 5:1-11) The disciples had left Jesus when He was arrested, but Jesus still wanted to use them in God’s plan to rescue people from their sin. Jesus is Lord who forgives us and makes things right again. 

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Matarial and Activites used in this lesson plan are from: The Gosple Life Project, LifeWay; Saddleback Kids; Roar VBS, Group Publishing, Weird Animals VBS, Group Publishing; Hillsong Kids