BEFORE THE ROOSTER CROWS

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1 BOOK 3, PART I, LESSON 5 BEFORE THE ROOSTER CROWS THE BIBLE: Luke 22:54-62 THEME: We remember that Jesus taught about love and showed love in everything he did. During Lent and Easter we remember and celebrate God s love made known in Jesus. PREPARING FOR THE LESSON MAIN IDEA: Because he was afraid, Peter denied that he even knew Jesus. Sometimes we don t do what is right because we fear what others will think of us. MEMORY VERSE: Then they asked, Are you the Son of God? Jesus answered, You say I am! Luke 22:70 CEV KEY WORDS AND CONCEPTS TO BE LEARNED: a. Promise to do what you said you would do. b. Deny refuse to admit the truth. BIBLE BACKGROUND: The Gospel of Luke tells us that Jesus was held prisoner throughout the night at the high priest s house. In New Testament times, the high priest, important scribes and laymen made up an official group called the Sanhedrin. This group held the highest authority over all religious matters and would try offenders for religious crimes such as blasphemy. Jesus was tried by this group because he called himself the Son of God. Even in spite of Peter s denial of Jesus, he was fundamentally loyal to Jesus. Peter was one of the two disciples (John 18:15) who had the courage to follow Jesus into the courtyard of the High Priest s house. UNDERSTANDING YOUR STUDENTS: Just like Peter, children at this age make totally sincere promises. They want to be good, to do what is right, but often they fail to do so. And like Peter, they do not like themselves when they fail to do as promised. Even when caught doing something bad, children will deny it. Provide ways for children to be good and to do the right thing. Correct children privately. Allow children to save face, but do not allow bad behavior go uncorrected. God loved some very unlovable people in the Bible. Even when we do things that God does not like, God still loves us. God never rejects us. DEVELOPING YOUR FAITH: Read Luke 22: Peter s first instinct was self-preservation. Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you deny or fail to speak out about your faith? How does

2 Peter s experience reassure you? Read Luke 22:59. No matter how much we want to be faithful, no matter how hard we try, we fall short. We mess up even when we are trying to do right. Ask God s strength to live faithfully. Read Luke 22: Are the children in your class in need of reassurance that God loves and forgives them? Offer comfort to these children this week. 1. INTRODUCTION TEACHING THE LESSON Greet the children. Make them feel welcome. Review of the events of Holy Week. (Artist: Prepare pictures of the symbols of Holy Week. They are branches, coins, bread & wine, praying hands, a rooster, cross, empty tomb and butterfly.) Hold the picture of the symbols. ASK: What does each of these pictures/symbols remind us of? Encourage the children to review the events of each. Branches (People waved branches when Jesus rode into Jerusalem.) Coins (Jesus chased the money changers out of the temple because they were cheating people in the temple or Judas earned coins to point out Jesus to the guards.) Bread & Wine (Jesus served these to his disciples at the last meal with him. Jesus told them to remember Him.) Praying Hands (Jesus prayed in the garden. He told God that he was willing to obey no matter how difficult it was. He asked God for help.) Rooster Today we will learn what this rooster reminds us of. (Please note that the cross, empty tomb & butterfly will be used in later lessons.) 2. EXPLORE THE BIBLE MESSAGE SAY: Sometimes we do something bad and when our parents or teachers ask us about it, we say that we did not do it. We deny it. Why? We may be afraid of what will happen if we admitted being bad. SAY: In today s story, we will hear how this happened to one of Jesus very best friends, Peter.

3 SAY: I would like you to help me tell this story. A rooster is an important part in this story. Whenever Peter says something that is not true, you crow like a rooster. Let us practice. Remember when Jesus had the last meal with his disciples and Peter said that he will always follow Jesus, even if things become difficult. Jesus said, Before the rooster crows three times you will deny me. TELL the story: BEFORE THE ROOSTER CROWS In our last story, we heard that Jesus went to the garden to pray. We heard of how the guards came to the garden to get Jesus. The Temple guards led Jesus from the garden and took him to the high priest s house. All of the disciples were frightened, and they ran away, all that is, except Peter. Peter followed close behind the crowd. He couldn t believe that this was happening. What was going on? Why had they arrested Jesus? The guards led Jesus inside the house but Peter stayed outside in the courtyard. It was cold outside and Peter pulled his robe lose around him. Someone had built a fire in the center of the courtyard. Peter sat down near to it to warm himself. Peter was thinking to himself. What was going to happen to Jesus? What was going to happen to the disciples? Were the soldiers going to arrest them, too? What was going to happen to him? He was worried about himself. A servant girl came up to the fire. She looked at Peter, who was sitting there so quietly. She bent down where she could get a better look at his face. You! she said accusingly, I have seen you with that man they just brought in. You are one of his friends! Peter jumped up from the fire. Now, he was truly afraid. What if she called the guards? What if they arrested him, too? Woman, he insisted, I do not know him! (Children crow.) Peter moved away from the fire into the shadows of the porch. Soon another servant girl spotted him. She called to the other people, This man is a follower of Jesus of Nazareth! I have seen them together! Peter s heart beat wildly. You are mistaken, woman! Peter fairly shouted his response. I do not know this man you talk about! (Children crow.) Peter looked around for a way to leave the courtyard, but a crowd had begun to gather. Surely you were with him, said a man standing nearby. You speak with the same accent. You must come from the same place he does. Surely you must know him. I do not know what you are talking about. I do not know this man. (Children crow.) Before the words we even out of Peter s mouth, there came a crowing sound. It was the rooster crowing. Morning was almost there. The sound shocked Peter. Through the window of the house, Peter could see his friend Jesus. When the rooster crowed, Jesus looked out of the window at his friend, Peter. All of a sudden Peter remembered what Jesus had said that night at dinner, Before the rooster crows tonight, you will say three times that you do not even know me. Peter pushed through the crowd blindly and ran from the courtyard. When

4 he was outside the walls, he began to cry. He had not been brave. He had been so afraid for himself that he had not stood up for his friend and teacher. ASK: 1. Why did Peter follow the guards and Jesus? (He wanted to see what would happen to Jesus.) 2. Who recognized Him? (Two servant girls and a man in the crowd recognized Him.) 3. Why did Peter say that he did not know Jesus? (He was afraid that they would hurt him like they were hurting Jesus.) 4. What reminded Peter of Jesus words, you will deny me? (The rooster crowed. Refer to the symbol of the rooster.) 5. How did Peter feel then? (He went out and cried.) 3. RESPOND TO THE BIBLE MESSAGE ACTIVITY 1: Standing up for Jesus (Teacher: Peer pressure is very powerful. Many children are pressured into doing things they know are wrong because they want to be accepted by the group. Being Christian is not always easy. Below are two stories about peer pressure. Please write/tell you own stories, stories about pressures that your children face in their lives.) STORY 1: Jane sat down with a group of friends to play. One of the girls started to make fun of the new girl in the group. Jane didn t know the new girl very well and didn t feel right about saying or hearing bad things about the new girl. In Sunday School, Jane had learned that Jesus taught people to be kind and caring to everyone. But was being quiet enough? Should she try to stop the other girls from saying bad things? Would they make fun of her too? STORY 2: Bill was shorter than anyone in the class. People were always picking on him. It was not his fault that he did not grow as tall as the other boys and girls. So, to make up for it, Bill learned to fight. Whenever someone said something about his height, he would hit them. Bill knew that he should not fight but he did not like it when people made fun of him either. Now people were afraid of making fun of him. What should Bill do? In each story, discuss with the children the reason the children in the stories acted the way they did. Ask the children what each of the children in the story might feel about themselves. Remind the children what Peter had thought about himself at first

5 and how he felt afterwards. Remind them that even when they make a mistake, God loves them and forgives them. ACTIVITY 2: Write a letter to Jesus Ask the children to pretend they are Peter, who was probably Jesus closest friend. Have them consider how Peter must have felt when he realized what he had done. Let them express the feelings they believe Peter had. They can do this on paper or by sharing their thoughts with the class. ACTIVITY 3: Working with symbols Have the children draw some of the symbols of Holy Week and Easter. If possible, make copies of the symbols that are on the chart and have the children color them and take them home. 4. CLOSE IN PRAYER SAY: Peter did not keep his promise to Jesus, but God always keeps the promises He made to us. God loves us and cares for us and has a special plan in mind for us. SAY: Isn t it wonderful that we can hear stories about people who weren t always perfect? We try to do what is right. We try to follow Jesus, but it is not always easy. PRAY: God, we know we make promises to do what you want us to do. We know that we don t always keep them. We know you always keep your promises to us. Help us to try harder to stand up for you and to do what is right. AMEN. Suggested pictures: 1. Symbols of the Holy Week: branches, coins bread & wine/juice, praying hands, rooster, cross, empty tomb, butterfly. 2. A picture of Jesus being taken away with Peter following at a distance. 3. A picture of Peter at a campfire with a servant girl is talking to him. 4. A rooster crowing and Peter being very sad. Resources: This lesson has been quoted or adapted from New Invitation, Grades 1 & 2, spring, Pages

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