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Peter is today’s Bible hero because he showed us courage.
Essential Teachers notes:
Courage can be substituted with bravery if you have very little children, the drama aspect of this story can be very basic or very complex dependant on how much time you spend gathering props. don’t worry if it’s a bit shabby the imagination is a marvellous thing!
Main Passage: Matthew 14
Additional passages : Mark 6, John 6
today’s story is a bit different
it all starts when Jesus told his friends to cross over the Sea of Galilee, he said that they should get the boat ready and he’d see them later, he was going up the mountain to pray. The friends of Jesus got into the boat…
The boat, we need a boat for this story. I have some wood and a sail, will you help me build a boat? (use whatever furniture you have, don’t forget the sail, and check out this page about building story settings, add the cushions inside to sit on) lets all sit in the boat just like Jesus’ friends.
Now as they sat there a wind started to blow (use a fan if possible) it made the sail move and the boat rock, (start rocking gently, encourage the children to copy you), and gently the boat started moving away from the shore. The waves got bigger, the wind got stronger, and the sky got darker as night fell. As time passed, slowly the friends fell asleep (yawn loudly), but Peter stayed awake, making sure the boat was safe, looking at the waves and wondering how Jesus would find them.
Eventually, the sky started to get lighter, soon it would be dawn, the boat was a long way across the sea and the wind and waves were still strong. There was still no sign of Jesus and they couldn’t even see the shore anymore. Peter was just about to give up and go to sleep when he saw something moving on the water. He stood up to get a better view and accidentally kicked the nearest sleeping body (ouch, rub your arm of leg). That woke him up too. “what are you doing Peter?” he asked. “do you see that” said peter. (point to a far away object, squint, move your head to the side, nudge the person besides you, point again etc) soon everyone was looking.
“It looks a bit like a person?” said someone, “It looks a bit like a ghost” said someone else. (make a loud ‘arhhhh’ sound) the friends of Jesus started to get scared. and then they heard a voice, come from the thing on the water
“Courage, it’s me. Don’t be afraid.”
“that’s Jesus!” shouted Peter, “Jesus, Jesus, is that really you?… Jesus, if that’s you then let me come walk on water too!”
“come on then” shouted Jesus… Peter didn’t even think about it, he just jumped over the side of the boat and started running towards Jesus. (if you wish you can act this or get a volunteer to do so for you).
The rest of the people in the boat saw Peter’s feet touch the water, but he didn’t sink! they could see him get nearer and nearer Jesus, and then he stopped. He looked down at the waves and the water and it was like he suddenly realised what he was doing. people can’t walk on water, Peter started to get scared, he was in the middle of the sea, with nothing to hold onto. his feet were getting wet, his legs were getting wet, he was sinking.
“Jesus, save me” he cried.
“have courage, why did you doubt?” said Jesus, grabbing Peter and walking him back to the boat. As they reached the boat the wind stopped, the sea became calm and Peter and Jesus stepped into a boat the wasn’t even rocking. Everyone in the boat was so amazed they, bowed down at Jesus feet saying “you are him, you are God’s son, we are travelling with Jesus, the son of God”
Peter looked at Jesus and thought about what he said, sometimes following Jesus meant you had to have courage, but even when you failed Jesus was still going to be there to pull you out, and being with Jesus well that was amazing. One day Peter would use that courage to lead God’s people, to lead the church.