Use this children’s sermon to teach about the Jesus walking on the water in Matthew 14:22-33. Download the teaching notes below and watch our object lesson demonstration as you prepare to teach.
“Jesus Walks on Water”
Children’s Sermon on Matthew 14:22-33
Main Objective: Walking on water is a physical impossibility, as well we know. Of course, Jesus is master of the impossible, and the story of His encounter with the disciples on the lake is an exciting story. There’s more to it than that, though. This story also demonstrates the importance of putting our faith in Christ. Peter tried to do the impossible, and on his own he failed. This story reminds us that we are only capable of anything through God’s power.
Law/Gospel Theme: Jesus provides, preserves, and protects. We try to control our lives and do things within our personal power, but we are nothing without Christ. When we recognize His strength and yield our lives to Him, He will rescue us from the “waves” of life!
Optional Materials: Swimming supplies (goggles, sunscreen, etc.); flotation device (water wings, float rings, kick boards, noodles).
Bible Passage: Matthew 14:22-33
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 your judgment and ideas to best serve students.
More Teaching Ideas for Sunday School
- See the video example for this Bible story on the YouTube playlist for this passage
- Print out our free Jesus walks on water coloring page
- See all the free resources on Ministry-To-Children related to Jesus walking on water
- Compare the full Sunday school lesson and preschool lesson for this passage
- See the craft directions and demonstration video
Jesus Calls Peter to Walk on Water Children’s Sermon on Matthew 14:22-23
Greet children, holding pool gear or water items:
Hello, children of God!
Today I am ready for a swim! Do you like to go swimming? I love going to pools and lakes and beaches. What kinds of things do you bring along to play in water? As you can see, I’ve got my sunscreen, my goggles, my hat…but you know, I need to be honest with you: I am not a super great swimmer. I’ve tried, but sometimes I struggle in the water. I sort of just sink. Have you ever tried to put a heavy metal object in water? Yeah, that’s sort of what happens when I go in the pool. One time I tried to walk on top of the water, thinking maybe if I walked fast enough I could sort of just skim the surface. You can probably guess what happened…
Now, when I was younger, I had these awesome water wings to keep me from sinking (hold up floating wings, if available). But I get funny looks if I take them to the pool these days. So now I have this (Hold up kickboard or pool noodles)! See, I can tuck this right under my back or stomach, and it keeps me floating!
You know, in today’s story, there were people who actually did walk on water. The disciples were out on a boat in a lake, and there were some pretty big winds and waves coming up. Suddenly, in the middle of the night, they saw someone walking over the water to them. They were pretty scared at first, but then the person called out, and it was Jesus!
He told them not to worry. Then Peter, who sometimes acts without thinking, asked Jesus if he could come join Him on the water. Jesus invited Peter out, so he stepped out of the boat and began to walk over the waves. It must have suddenly occurred to Peter that this should not be happening, because he suddenly looked down and started to panic. He began to sink, and called out to Jesus “save me!” Jesus took Peter’s hand and led him back to the boat, and as soon as they climbed in, the wind died down.
This might seem like a strange story. Who walks on water, after all? Can we believe enough to do that? No…we can’t believe enough to do anything, on our own. God’s power allows us to do anything and everything we do. Peter started to sink when he took His eyes off Jesus. In our lives, we start to “sink” spiritually if we put our trust in ourselves. If we think we can do things on our own, we will fail. But when we fix our eyes on Jesus, we can know that we will be safe. He has promised to protect and provide for us. When we pray, and read our Bibles, and go to church, and remember that God is near, we can take hope in His presence and power. I can swim much easier with a helper tool, and we can live much easier with Jesus to guide us… Jesus will keep us afloat!
Children’s Prayer Moment
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for rescuing us from the stormy seas of life
Help us to remember to trust in you for strength and power
Help us to keep our eyes and hearts fixed on you
We can do nothing without you
Thank you for giving us strength
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Matthew 14:22-23 Jesus Walks on the Water
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. 23 After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone, 24 and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. 25 Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. 27 But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 28 “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.”
29 “Come,” he said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”
31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
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