This is lesson continues our curriculum for preschoolers about knowing Jesus. Each lesson is based on a passage in the Gospel of Mark. You can read the series introduction for more explanation and links to the other lessons.
This particular lesson is from passages in Mark 14 and covers the events of the around Peter’s denial of Jesus. As Christians, we don’t always live in a way that honors Christ, but He offers us grace, mercy, and forgiveness in His perfect love. Preschoolers will know God takes away their shame when they’ve done wrong.
Bible Passage: Mark 14:27-31; 42-51; 66-72
Bible Lesson Title: Peter Denies Christ
Target Age Group: 4-5 years old (preschool & Kindergarten)
Target Time Frame: 40 minutes
Original Teaching Context: Preschool Sunday School
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Knowing Jesus through the Book of Mark: Lesson Twenty-Eight (40 minutes)
Scripture: Mark 14:27-31; 42-51; 66-72
Exegetical Idea: Peter denies Christ, but Christ restores him and uses him for His glory.
Pedagogical Idea: We deny Christ every day, but He offers us grace, mercy, and forgiveness in His perfect love.
Cognitive Aim: Preschoolers will know God takes away their shame.
Affective Aim: Preschoolers will feel love towards God who loves them unconditionally.
Behavioral Aim: Preschoolers will praise God through song and memorize His Word.
Memory Verse: Psalm 34:4-5, “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame” (NIV).
- Kindle Curiosity (10 minutes) Description: Tell a story; Supplies: Bible outfits, soft blanket, embroidery or pictures of embroidery (will need bottom view, top view and finished product).
- God Revealed (15 minutes) Description: Hear the Scripture passage; Supplies: Bible
- Personal Pursuit (10 minutes) Description: Apply the lesson, craft; Supplies: different colors of paper ripped into small pieces, full sheets of construction paper, glue.
- Daily Knowing (7-10 minutes) Description: Praise God through song, pray, memorize God’s Word; Supplies: Notecards with memory verse written out for each parent, song The Power of the Cross sung by Stuart Townend (link found in section below).
**Before the children arrive, have the Bible outfits ready.
1. Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes)
- After all of the children have arrived and put on their Bible outfits, gather them around you on a soft blanket.
- SAY: I have a story to tell you, so listen very closely…There was once a little boy whose mother loved to embroider (show pictures of embroidery or actual finished product like a pillow that has been embroidered). He would sit at her knee and look up from the floor and ask her what she was doing. She told him that she was embroidering. From what he could see, it just looked like she was making a big mess with a needle and thread (show the embroidery at this angle or a picture of an embroidery)! His mother smiled and gently said, “My son, you go play for a while. When I am finished, I will bring you to my side and let you see my embroidery.” Soon he heard his mother say, “Son, come and sit on my knee.” So he did, and he was so surprised and excited to see a beautiful picture (show them on your embroidering or from a picture)! He could not believe it! His mother said, “My son, from underneath it looked so messy, but you did not realize that the mess on the bottom was becoming a beautiful picture on the top.”
- SAY: Now this story is important. Remember it! We will come back to it later.
2. God Revealed (15-20 minutes)
- SAY: Today our lesson comes from Mark chapter 14 (show them in your Bible). This is the Bible. It is God’s Word. He wrote it, so we know everything in it is true. This story is about the disciple Peter, one of Jesus’ closest followers. Let’s go back to the last supper. After Jesus shares His last meal with His disciples, he tells them they will all fall away and abandon Him, their Shepherd. Peter declares to Jesus, “Even if all the other fall away, I will not!” But Jesus knows all. He tells Peter, “Today, even this very night, before the rooster crows, you yourself will disown me three times.” But Peter did not believe he would ever do such a thing! He kept insisting, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And the others said the same thing also.
- SAY: Now we are going to skip ahead. Remember that Peter kept falling asleep in the garden instead of praying like Jesus asked. Soon Judas came with a group of men who wanted to kill Jesus. Judas showed them who Jesus was by giving Him a kiss. They arrested Jesus and all of the disciples fled because they were afraid! Peter decided to follow them at a distance to see where they took Jesus. Peter came to a courtyard and a servant girl of a high priest said, “You were with Jesus!” But Peter denied it, saying, I do not know or understand what you are talking about.” Then he went out onto the porch. The same servant girl saw him, and began to tell others “This is one of Jesus’ followers!” But again, Peter denied that he followed Jesus. After a little while, others began saying to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, one of Jesus’ followers!” Peter acted angry! He yelled, “I do not know this man you are talking about!!” Immediately a rooster crowed a second time….Peter remember what Jesus said, “Before a rooster crows twice, you will deny me three times.” And Peter began to weep.
- ASK: Did what Jesus say to Peter come true? (Yes) Why do you think Peter began to weep when he remembered what Jesus said? (He felt ashamed (bad, guilty) for what he had done.) Was Peter guilty? (Yes) Should he have felt ashamed? (Yes) What do you think Jesus thinks of Peter? (Allow them to contemplate this without giving them an answer quite yet.) When we sin, it makes us feel very bad sometimes too. Have you ever felt ashamed? Can you tell me about it? (Allow time for them to discuss.)
3. Personal Pursuit (15 minutes)
- SAY: Peter wept because he felt ashamed and guilty. He saw how sinful He was. It embarrassed him to know what an awful sin he had done. We are sinners. We will always sin. This means we will often feel ashamed like Peter did in today’s lesson. But Jesus was not angry with Peter. In fact, His love is so perfect, He chose to use Peter for great things even though Peter denied Him! Jesus forgave Peter! Peter became a great man of God who shared the Gospel with many many people! He even wrote some of the books in the Bible!
- SAY: But Jesus takes away our shame. He forgives us and loves us, no matter what we do. Peter learned this great lesson. It was important for him to realize he was not as good as he thought he was. He saw in this moment that he was horrible and it made him ashamed. But God used this bad feeling to help Peter see how much he needed Jesus, His love, and His righteousness.
- SAY: Our sin makes us messy people. But no matter how sinful we are, God can use us for His glory, just like He did for Peter. In a way, God takes our mess (our sin and shame) and makes a beautiful picture, just like the embroidery we looked at. With Him as our Savior and Lord, we never have to be ashamed!
- Pass out paper scraps, glue, and construction paper. SAY: I want you to use these messy scraps of paper to make a beautiful picture. Hang this picture in your room or on your fridge to remind you of how God can use us messy people for His purpose and glory.
4. Daily Knowing (10-15 minutes)
- Worship together through song: The Power of the Cross, sung by Stuart Townend
- SAY: We stand forgiven at the cross because Jesus chose to be obedient and die for us. Let’s pray together to Him now. (In your prayer, communicate your great love for Jesus because of His great sacrifice and His forgiveness. Praise Him for the hope we have because He did not stay dead, but rose and that we no longer have to be ashamed.)
- SAY: It is very important for us to know God’s Word because it allows us to know Him. It also helps us to remember what Christ did for us and why it is important. Today we are going to memorize Psalm 34:4-5, “I sought the LORD, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.”
- Remind the parents how important it is for them to help their children review their verses all throughout the week. Encourage them to memorize the verse with their children. Provide each parent with a notecard that has Psalm 34:4-5 written on it.
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