Simon Peter – what did the fisherman think?

Bible base:

Luke 5:1-11

Teaching objectives:

To show that the Bible says that Jesus accepts people who are keen to follow him, no matter what they are like.

You will need:

Props for introductory activity:

  • Chef – apron, mixing bowl, a few small packets of baking products, a spoon
  • Nursery teacher – story book, paints and brushes
  • Driving instructor – car keys, a map
  • Cue cards with the following information:
  1. You really want to be a chef! You do not know how to cook. You have never cooked or worn an apron before. Put on the apron upside down and put all the packets in the bowl without opening them.
  2. You really want to be a nursery teacher! You cannot read and you hate getting messy. Open the book upside down and refuse to touch the paints.
  3. You really want to be a driving instructor! You have never driven (you are too young!). You do not know what the car keys are for, and you think a map is a funny picture.
  • Acetates or posters with the words, ‘What did the fisherman think?’ and ‘What do you think?’

Introductory activity:

Ask a member of staff to help you choose three pupils in advance with some dramatic ability and explain that you are going to interview each one of them for a different job. Tell them that they should pretend to be really keen to do the job. Explain that the interview will involve them being given some objects relating to that job, but they should pretend to have no idea what to do with them. Reassure them that they only have to answer your questions and give them the cue cards.

Today we are going to have some job interviews in the assembly. Ask the enthusiastic job hunters to come forward.

Pupil one wants to be a chef. Instead of an interview, we will give them a practical test.

Do you want to be a chef? Do you really want to be a chef?

Give them the apron and ask them to put it on.

Have you ever worn an apron before?

Give them the bowl, spoon and food packets.

Have you ever cooked before?

I know you are really keen to get the job but you really need to get some more experience before you can be a chef.

Pupil two wants to be a nursery teacher.

Do you want to be a nursery teacher? Do you really want to be a nursery teacher?

Give them the book and ask them to read a story to the assembly.

Have you ever read a book before?

Give them the paints.

Do you know how to paint?

I know you are really keen to be a nursery teacher, but you need to be able to read to teach young children! And you certainly will have to be happy to get messy!

Pupil three wants to be a driving instructor.

Do you want to be a driving instructor? Do you really want to be a driving instructor?

Give them the keys.

Do you know what these are?

Give them the map.

Do you know what this is? Have you ever driven before? What age are you?

I know you really want to be a driving instructor, but you have to be able to drive first, and you need to be a lot older.

Thank the pupils for their help and ask them to take their seats again.

To get any job, you need to have the right skills. It is not enough to be really keen to do a job – you need to be qualified. However, there is one job where you don’t need special skills. You just need to be keen.

We are going to hear about someone today who had a job he was very well-qualified to do. The Bible tells us that this man was a fisherman and his name was Simon Peter. He was a very good fisherman and was happy doing his job until one day he met Jesus and everything changed.

Display the acetate or poster, ‘What did the fisherman think?’

Simon was a fisherman in a very hot country, which meant that he went out fishing at night when it was cooler and the fish came up to the surface. One morning, after a hard night when they had caught nothing, Simon Peter and his friends were cleaning their nets. They saw Jesus on the shore, teaching a huge crowd of people. They had seen Jesus before and had heard some of the things he was saying, and so, as they worked, they listened to his amazing stories about God.

Soon, though, the crowd was so huge that lots of people could not hear what he was saying. Jesus came and asked Simon Peter if he would take him out a little way on to the water in his boat. Once he was out on the water, people would see him better, and as his voice carried over the water, they would hear him better too. Simon Peter and his friends were tired, but they didn’t like to say no, so they agreed and pushed out from the shore.

After a while, when Jesus had finished talking to the crowd, he told Simon Peter and his friends to take the boat out again into the deep water and let down the nets for a catch. Now, Jesus may well have been a great teacher who knew lots about God, but Simon Peter was the fisherman, and he knew that in the middle of the day, when the sun was hot, they would never catch any fish. But, because it was Jesus who told him to do it, he decided he would, even although he had just finished cleaning all the nets. There was something about this man Jesus – he seemed to know what he was talking about!

So out they went, down went the nets and everyone waited. And waited. Suddenly, there was a huge tug on the nets, and it felt as if the whole boat might tip over! There were so many fish that Simon Peter and his friends needed to call some other fishermen from another boat to come and help them to pull the nets aboard.

What was Simon Peter’s reaction? He was amazed and knew then that Jesus was someone totally different from anyone he had ever met before. He fell at his feet, asking him to go away, not because he didn’t like him, but because he did not feel that he was good enough to be with someone like Jesus!

But Jesus did not go away. In fact, Jesus called him to be his follower. Simon Peter had shown the qualification he needed to start his new ‘job’ as a follower of Jesus! He really wanted to be Jesus’ follower, but he needed to recognise how different from Jesus he was and how he needed Jesus’ help to become more like Jesus.

Display the acetate or poster, ‘What do you think?’

What would you have thought if you had been there? Would you have felt that Jesus was too amazing for you to be around?

Christians believe that the qualifications are still the same for people to becomeJesus’ followers.  They simply need to realise that they are not good enough to be Jesus’ followers, but if they are keen to follow him, he will still accept them and help them.

Optional prayer time:

Give thanks that Jesus is not expecting us to be perfect people, but he wants us to be honest people. Thank him that we can all meet his qualifications to be his follower, if we want to and if we admit that we are not good enough.

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