Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids that we never need to be afraid if we have faith in Jesus.
Needed: Bibles, kiddie pool or basin, various sinkable and unsinkable objects, Faith vs. Fear cards, playing cards or UNO cards of Go Fish! cards
Intro Activity: Will It Float?
Fill up a kiddie pool or large basin with water. Gather various objects, including some that will float and some that will not. Have kids guess if an object will float or sink and then, drop it in the water to see what happens. End by asking if a human would float or sink.
Take off your shoes and then step in to demonstrate.
Students may step in with your permission.
Well, we couldn’t float on the water, but we’re going to read a story today about Someone who could.
(Read Matthew 14:22-27.)
“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. Later that night, He was there alone, and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
“Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw Him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear.
“But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’”
How could Jesus walk on the water? (It was a miracle that God gave Him the power to do.)
When the disciples were afraid and thought that He was a ghost, what did Jesus say to them? (He told them not to be afraid.)
Do you think God ever wants you to be afraid? (No.)
God never wants us to be afraid. We don’t have to be afraid because we know God is always with us and will help us.
(Read Matthew 14:28-31.)
“’Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to You on the water.’
“‘Come,’ He said.
“Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’
“Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ He said, ‘why did you doubt?’
Why did Peter start to sink? (Because he got scared.)
Should be Peter have been scared? (No. Jesus was with him.)
What did Jesus say that Peter had little of? (Faith.)
Jesus said Peter had only a little faith. If Peter had had a lot of faith in Jesus, he wouldn’t have been afraid. Do you have enough faith in Jesus not to be afraid when something happens to you?
(Read Matthew 14:32-36.)
“And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.’
“When they had crossed over, they landed at Gennesaret. And when the men of that place recognized Jesus, they sent word to all the surrounding country. People brought all their sick to Him and begged Him to let the sick just touch the edge of His cloak, and all who touched it were healed.”
Game: Faith vs. Fear
Print out or write the words Fear or Faith on a set of index cards. You should have an equal number of cards that say Faith as Fear.
Divide students into two teams, and have the teams line up on separate sides of the room in single file lines. Mix up the cards and give each student a card that says Faith or Fear. Set a timer for 3-5 minutes, depending on how many students you have. When you say Go! the first two students run toward each and show each other their cards.
If one says Faith and the other says Fear, the student with Faith scores a point for their team. The person with Fear does not score. If both say Faith, both score a point and if both say Fear, neither does. Both return to the back of their lines and trade their cards for a new card.
As soon as they leave the center, the second two players run up and do the same thing. Play continues until the timer runs out. The team with the most points at the end wins.
Game: Fast Reflexes
Lay out a deck of game cards on a table, face up. The cards could be regular playing cards, UNO cards, Go Fish! cards, etc.
Students gather around the table. You’ll call out a type of card (a number, color, shape, etc.). The last student to reach out and touch that type of card is out.
The last student in the game wins and becomes the caller for the next round.
Remind students that when Peter was sinking, he called out for Jesus to help him, and Jesus immediately reached out for him. Jesus does the same for us. When we pray to Him for help, He helps us very quickly and always in the best way. It’s just that sometimes, Jesus doesn’t help us the way we want Him to help us. He helps us in the way that will be best for us.
Jesus, we pray that You’ll help us to have faith in You and know that we don’t need ever need to be afraid because You’re always with us. Amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, The Miracles of Jesus.