Children's Sermon (Matthew 4:12-23) Object Lesson on "Fishers of Men"

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This Children’s Message is based on Matthew 4. The Bible object lesson will teach kids what it means to become “Fishers of Men” for Jesus. Print the sermon script and then watch our teaching demonstration video below. Share this message with your church, Sunday School, or children’s ministry.

“Fishers of Men” Children’s Sermon Demonstration

Children’s Sermon “Fishers of Men” from Matthew 4:12-23

“Fishers of Men” Object Lesson

Children’s Sermon from Matthew 4:12-23

Main Objective: For young children, it might seem strange to hear Jesus promise His disciples that they will “fish for people.” This message explores that concept by explaining to students how God wants us to bring others to the knowledge of His salvation and family. We want to express to kids the importance of a life lived for and with Christ, and what a blessing it is to share with others!

Law/Gospel Theme: Jesus came to live among us and die for us to take away the guilty stain of our sins. He called His first disciples, who were willing to leave everything and follow Him. We should also be willing to do whatever it takes to follow Christ, and we should be eager to share the good news with others and “fish for people”!

Object Lesson Props: Fishing equipment, such as nets, rods, bait, tackle, etc; pictures of fishing boats or old fishing methods.

Bible Passage: Matthew 4:12-23

Message: Note: As with most messages, the details of how you choose to communicate this are adaptable and should cater to timing as well as to your audience and student needs. Use what best suits you and those you teach.

Children’s Sermon “Fishers of Men” from Matthew 4:12-23

Greet the children, bringing up some fishing equipment.

Hello, children of God! You know what? I think I would like to do some fishing. Have any of you ever been fishing before? What do you need to do when you fish? I have with me some equipment that people sometimes use when they go fishing. (Hold up items as you discuss)

So here is a fishing “rod”: you put some kind of “bait” on the end, and then you hold it until a fish comes along and bites at it. Then you turn this crank and try to reel it in! Here’s another kind of item you might use…it’s a net. This kind of tool might make it easy to scoop up fish if you had a lot of them in one spot. Sometimes people use really big nets to pull in fish. This was probably how people used to fish in the times of Jesus, in fact. They had huge nets that they would toss into the water to see what they could pull up. Here are some pictures of boats that might help people catch fish.

So why are we talking about fishing? Well, here’s another question: have you ever been fishing for people? Wait, how does that work?? Can you catch people in a net?? (pretend to “catch” one of the students) That seems strange…

But you know what, in today’s Gospel lesson, Jesus invited His disciples to be fishers of men. He met a man named Peter, who had a fishing boat. Jesus began to preach from the middle of the lake, right on this boat!

Then He told Peter to put his nets down to catch fish…Peter tried to explain that he hadn’t caught any fish all night, but he followed the directions of Jesus and put his net down again. When he did, he caught more fish than he could even carry! This made him realize that Jesus was something very special, was SomeONE very special. Peter bowed before Jesus. He was willing to do whatever it might take to follow this teacher. Peter left his fishing boat and his old job in order to become a disciple. Jesus told Peter and his brother Andrew that they would become “fishers of men.” This meant that He was going to use the former fishers in a special way. They would be gathering more followers for Jesus, and would serve people and help people just like Jesus did.

Would you like to be a fisher for disciples? You can! Instead of sitting by a lake or scooping up fish in a pond, you can be a fisher by telling others about Jesus. You can share His love by loving others. Jesus wants us to tell everyone about Him and “make disciples” for Him. We can be fishers of friends! This is an amazing blessing and privilege that we have from God. We can still work at regular jobs, of course. But we can also spread the love of Jesus and “catch” other people to be part of God’s family! We need to be willing to follow Him, and encourage others to do the same. Why don’t we say a prayer about that now?

Children’s Prayer Moment

(Have kids repeat each line)
Dear God,
Thank you for the love of Jesus
Help us to follow Him and know what that means.
Help us share His love with one another.
Thank you that we can be disciples, too.
Thank you for your love.
We love you, God!
In Jesus’s name, Amen!

Matthew 4:12-23 (NIV)

Jesus Begins to Preach

12 When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. 13 Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali— 14 to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah:

15 “Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,
    the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan,
    Galilee of the Gentiles—
16 the people living in darkness
    have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death
    a light has dawned.”[a]

17 From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

Jesus Calls His First Disciples

18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.

21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.

Jesus Heals the Sick

23 Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness among the people.

Matthew 4:12-23 NIV

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