FISHING FOR PEOPLE PREPARING FOR THE LESSON

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1 BOOK 2, PART 1, LESSON 4 FISHING FOR PEOPLE THE BIBLE: Luke 5:1-11 THEME: Jesus lived as God s obedient son. His life of love, compassion and healing show what children of God are called to be and do. PREPARING FOR THE LESSON MAIN IDEA: Jesus called disciples to help in his work. Jesus still calls us to be his disciples. He calls us to follow his teaching and to help with God s work. MEMORY VERSE: Jesus told Simon, Don t be afraid! From now on you will bring in people instead of fish. Luke 5:10b CEV KEY WORDS AND CONCEPTS TO BE LEARNED: a. Disciple - a learner or pupil of some teacher. It implies that the pupil accepts in mind and life the views of the teacher. In this lesson, the disciple adheres specifically to the teachings of Jesus. b. Fishers of men and women - to show and teach people about God s love in such a way that they want to follow Jesus. BIBLE BACKGROUND: The story of Jesus calling the fishermen is in both the Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Luke. Although all Jewish boys went to the synagogue to learn, some who were more gifted went on to become scholars. After years of study, it was common for a boy to associate himself with a teacher whose entire life was dedicated to meditation and teaching. He would become a disciple of this teacher. It was common for a Jewish teacher to call talented students to him. The disciples Jesus picked, on the other hand, were quite unique. They were of the same social class as Jesus. They were poor compared to the upper classes of society. In the small group consisting of teacher and students, there was an emphasis on doing deeds of service where the teacher set the example. Before and after these works, the teacher would discuss which commandments from the Scriptures they were following. Jesus certainly did this with his followers. He called upon his disciples to retain all he told them and to pass along those teaching to others. UNDERSTANDING YOUR STUDENTS: Children may have difficulty understanding becoming fishers of men because they think literally. Help them to see that Jesus choose them to help him in preaching and teaching and to show God s love. Children do not always connect the way they treat people with following Jesus.

2 They tend to categorize their relationships into home, church, playing yard, and market. Help them to realize we are to follow Jesus teaching in all places and not just in church. As we read Bible stories, we can see the example that Jesus set. DEVELOPING YOUR FAITH: Read Luke 5:1-11. Do you ever feel that God is asking you to do impossible things? Are there some children in your class who are very difficult to teach? Do you feel that you do not know how to reach them? How does this story of the calling of the disciples speak to those feelings? 1. INTRODUCTION TEACHING THE LESSON Greet the children warmly. Decorate the room with fish cutouts or pictures. (Draw your own or use the pattern at the end of this lesson.) Hang them from the ceiling. Tape them on the wall. Write the memory verse on a large fish and tape it to the door. This will let the children know that something exciting is going to happen today and that it has something to do with fish. ASK: How many of you have gone fishing? Have you ever caught anything? What do you do with the fish? TELL THE CHILDREN: In Jesus time, the only food people had was what they grew and what they could hunt, catch or find. SAY: The people you will learn about in today s Bible story helped provide food for the village or town. They were fishermen. They made their living catching and selling fish to everyone. They had small boats and fishing nets. Everyday when they could, they went out to the lake to catch fish. SAY: Jesus knew that he needed help. He needed some people to do more than just listen to what he had to say. He needed some helpers whom he could teach and who would in turn teach others. Listen to the story of how Jesus got helpers. 2. EXPLORE THE BIBLE MESSAGE Tell the story. Early one morning, Elijah and Samuel rushed to the lakeshore to watch the fishing boats come in from a long night of fishing. Sometimes the boys would help their father and brother fold the nets and spread the fish on the beach to dry, but today was special. They had heard that Jesus, the teacher, was at the lake. Wherever Jesus went, people followed. Some people followed to listen and learn. Others went to make fun and cause trouble. Today, there were many, many people. Samuel and Elijah found their father. He had pulled his boat onto the shore next to Simon Peter s boat.

3 How was the fishing? asked Samuel, as he jumped into the boat to help his father. Not so good, son, said his father, tossing the oars into the boat. Neither Simon nor I caught a single fish. Maybe tomorrow will be better. The boys busied themselves helping their father. Suddenly, down the beach they heard noise. Jesus the teacher was walking along the shore. He walked straight up to Simon Peter, who was fixing his nets. Simon Peter, Jesus called out to him, could I use your boat? There are so many people that they cannot hear me when I talk. Perhaps if I could teach from your boat more people could hear. Simon Peter agreed. Jesus got into the boat and Simon and the crew pushed the boat a little way off the shore. From there Jesus could talk to the people and everyone could hear. When Jesus had finished teaching the crowd, he told Simon Peter, Go out a little farther and drop your nets. Teacher, said Simon Peter, we ve already been out for today and have caught nothing. But Simon Peter and his small crew did as Jesus told them. Soon there were so many fish in the net that the small boat almost sank. Simon Peter called to his friends on the shore, Quick, come help before the boat sinks! Several men rushed into the water to help pull the nets to shore so the small boat would not turn over. Simon Peter and his friends were frightened by what had just happened. Do not be afraid! Jesus said to them. Follow me and from now on you will be catching people instead of fish. So Simon Peter and his brother Andrew left their boats and their net and followed Jesus. As the three walked down the beach a little farther, they came to another boat. Sitting in the boat were James and John, and their father. They were mending their nets. Come, Jesus called out to them, James, John! Come with me and I will teach you to catch people. They dropped their nets and said good-bye to their father and followed Jesus. 3. RESPOND TO THE BIBLE MESSAGE ACTIVITY 1: Questions 1. Who were the first people Jesus called to help him with his work? (Simon Peter and his brother, Andrew.) 2. What did they do for a living? (They were fishermen.) 3. How did they respond to Jesus call? (They left their nets and went with Jesus.) 4. What were they going to help Jesus do? (Teach others about God and His love.) 5. Does Jesus want us to be His helpers today? (Yes.) 6. How can we be Jesus helpers? (Accept various answers such as: being kind to one another, inviting others to come to church, sharing with others.)

4 ACTIVITY 2: How we follow Jesus Explain to the children that we can be followers of Jesus today, too. Simon Peter and his friend left their fishing nets to follow Jesus. We can follow Jesus in a different way. SAY: I am going to tell you three short stories. Listen and tell me which children followed Jesus and which did not. Here tell or write stories that show children doing what pleased Jesus and some things that do not. Here are some samples: Story 1: The Sunday school children had a picnic in the park. When it was time to leave, the teacher told everyone to pick up the trash. They wanted to leave the park as clean as they found it. John saw some trash. He said, I did not throw this trash on the ground. I am not going to pick it up. Why should I clean up a mess someone else made? Story 2: Jim had saved a little money. At church he heard about a family whose House burned down. The family had two children who did not have clothes to wear. The church was collecting money to give to the family and Jim gave some of his money. Story 3: Betty and Mary were playing in the yard. Mary s brother, Mike came and asked, May I play with you? The girls answered, No, this game is only for girls. Which children are following Jesus? ACTIVITY 3: More about following Jesus 1. Ask for volunteers to come up and tell a short story like in ACTIVITY 1. The story can be about someone who followed Jesus or about someone who did not. (Children like to listen to other children tell stories.) 2. Have two or three children act out an experience of following Jesus or one of not following Jesus. ACTIVITY 4: Making a fishing net Fold a newspaper lengthwise like a fan in four-inch sections. Then make alternate cuts about one inch apart. (See picture at the end of this lesson.) Cut up to one inch from the edge. Do not cut all the way through the folds. Open carefully and pull gently while holding both ends. Tape the net to the wall at the four corners. Have the children make small fish and write their names on them. Place the fish in the net. Leave on the wall for several Sundays.

5 4. CLOSE IN PRAYER Remind the children that Jesus called ordinary people to follow him and to learn from him, just as we learn from Jesus today. We were caught and we can catch others. Have the children take a fish from the net that you made in ACTIVITY 3. Have each child take a fish home with someone s name on it. Ask them to pray everyday for that person. Pray that God would help them to be a good follower of Jesus. Pray: Dear God, thank you for your gift of Jesus. Help us to follow the example Jesus set for us. Help us to catch others by our example. Amen.

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