This is a Bible lesson for younger children from Matthew 14. In this story, Jesus calls Peter to come out of the boat and walk on the water. Children will learn about trusting Jesus even when we can’t see clearly.
This preschool lesson also includes a simple craft idea. You could modify this lesson for older children or other ministry settings.
Bible Story: Peter Walks on Water
Scripture: Matthew 14:22-33
Target Age Group: Age 4 – 6 (U.S. PreK – 1st Grade)
Learning Context: Any small or large group setting like Sunday School or Kids Church.
Target Time Frame: 30 minutes
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Learning Goal: This lesson seeks to show kids that although we may not always see things clearly at first, we can trust Jesus because He is the Son of God.
Supplies: Colored masking tape, images of Peter/Jesus walking on the water, binoculars, picture of boat (or small toy boat), sheer fabric (or wax paper). Search for these images on Google Images.
Before class, use colored painter’s tape to make a boat shape on the floor for the kids to sit in. You will also need a picture of Jesus/Peter walking on the water. Hang picture on the wall in front of where you will be teaching and cover it with sheer fabric (or wax paper will work). You will also need binoculars. A picture of a boat or a small toy boat is optional.
If your kids have been playing in stations or doing opening activities, call them over to the boat that you outlined on the floor and have them sit down.
Hold up the binoculars and asked the children if any of them know what they are. Ask if anyone has ever looked through them. You can pass them around for the children to look through. Explain that binoculars help you see things more clearly. They can help us see things that are far away more closely. Ask if there has there ever been a time when they saw something far away but couldn’t tell what it was? (Ex. Something high in a tree, someone across a field). Allow children to give answers.
Point to the covered picture hanging on the wall. Ask kids what they see in the picture. Tell them sometimes it’s hard to see things clearly at first until someone helps you understand what you are looking at. Our story today is about a time when Peter and the disciples saw something that seemed strange to them.
Tell the kids you need their help telling the story. I want you to act out what I am reading. If I say that the winds are blowing, make sounds like the wind. I will help you. Read (or paraphrase) Matthew 14:22-33 (As you read the story, make sure you are prompting the kids with the motions/sound effects).
After finishing the story, remove the fabric from the picture. Remind kids that the disciples could not clearly see who was walking toward them on the water at first. They finally recognized it was Jesus. Tell them that walking on the water and calming the winds was something only Jesus could do because He is the Son of God. Although we may not be able to see things clearly at first, or may not understand some things, we can trust Jesus because He is the Son of God.
If you choose to use the picture of the boat or small toy, pass it to kids in the boat and ask them to tell you one thing they learned from the story.
If time allows you could also role play / act out the story to reinforce the key events.
Materials Needed: paper plates cut in half, straws, triangles cut out of construction paper, pre-made labels that say, “I can trust Jesus because He is the Son of God.”
Kids can color the half of the paper plate. Tape the triangle to the straw and tape the straw to the paper plate. Place the label on the triangle.