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THE BIBLE: Luke 5:1-11
THEME: Jesus lived as Gods obedient son. His life of love, compassion and healing
show what children of God are called to be and do.


MAIN IDEA: Jesus called disciples to help in his work. Jesus still calls us to be his
disciples. He calls us to follow his teaching and to help with Gods work.
MEMORY VERSE: Jesus told Simon, Dont be afraid! From now on you will bring in
people instead of fish.Luke 5:10b CEV
a. Disciple - a learner or pupil of some teacher. It implies that the pupil accepts in
mind and life the views of the teacher. In this lesson, the disciple adheres
specifically to the teachings of Jesus.
b. Fishers of men and women - to show and teach people about Gods love in such
a way that they want to follow Jesus.
The story of Jesus calling the fishermen is in both the Gospel of Mark and the
Gospel of Luke.
Although all Jewish boys went to the synagogue to learn, some who were more
gifted went on to become scholars. After years of study, it was common for a boy to
associate himself with a teacher whose entire life was dedicated to meditation and
teaching. He would become a disciple of this teacher. It was common for a Jewish
teacher to call talented students to him. The disciples Jesus picked, on the other hand,
were quite unique. They were of the same social class as Jesus. They were poor
compared to the upper classes of society.
In the small group consisting of teacher and students, there was an emphasis on
doing deeds of service where the teacher set the example. Before and after these
works, the teacher would discuss which commandments from the Scriptures they were
following. Jesus certainly did this with his followers. He called upon his disciples to
retain all he told them and to pass along those teaching to others.
Children may have difficulty understanding becoming fishers of men because
they think literally. Help them to see that Jesus choose them to help him in preaching
and teaching and to show Gods love.
Children do not always connect the way they treat people with following Jesus.

They tend to categorize their relationships into home, church, playing yard, and market.
Help them to realize we are to follow Jesus teaching in all places and not just in church.
As we read Bible stories, we can see the example that Jesus set.
Read Luke 5:1-11. Do you ever feel that God is asking you to do impossible
things? Are there some children in your class who are very difficult to teach? Do you
feel that you do not know how to reach them? How does this story of the calling of the
disciples speak to those feelings?



Greet the children warmly. Decorate the room with fish cutouts or pictures.
(Draw your own or use the pattern at the end of this lesson.) Hang them from the
ceiling. Tape them on the wall. Write the memory verse on a large fish and tape
it to the door. This will let the children know that something exciting is going to
happen today and that it has something to do with fish.
ASK: How many of you have gone fishing? Have you ever caught anything?
What do you do with the fish?
TELL THE CHILDREN: In Jesus time, the only food people had was what they
grew and what they could hunt, catch or find.
SAY: The people you will learn about in todays Bible story helped provide food
for the village or town. They were fishermen. They made their living catching
and selling fish to everyone. They had small boats and fishing nets. Everyday
when they could, they went out to the lake to catch fish.
SAY: Jesus knew that he needed help. He needed some people to do more
than just listen to what he had to say. He needed some helpers whom he could
teach and who would in turn teach others. Listen to the story of how Jesus got


Tell the story.
Early one morning, Elijah and Samuel rushed to the lakeshore to watch the
fishing boats come in from a long night of fishing. Sometimes the boys would help their
father and brother fold the nets and spread the fish on the beach to dry, but today was
special. They had heard that Jesus, the teacher, was at the lake.
Wherever Jesus went, people followed. Some people followed to listen and
learn. Others went to make fun and cause trouble. Today, there were many, many
people. Samuel and Elijah found their father. He had pulled his boat onto the shore
next to Simon Peters boat.


How was the fishing? asked Samuel, as he jumped into the boat to help his

Not so good, son, said his father, tossing the oars into the boat. Neither Simon
nor I caught a single fish. Maybe tomorrow will be better.
The boys busied themselves helping their father. Suddenly, down the beach
they heard noise. Jesus the teacher was walking along the shore. He walked straight
up to Simon Peter, who was fixing his nets.
Simon Peter, Jesus called out to him, could I use your boat? There are so
many people that they cannot hear me when I talk. Perhaps if I could teach from your
boat more people could hear. Simon Peter agreed. Jesus got into the boat and Simon
and the crew pushed the boat a little way off the shore. From there Jesus could talk to
the people and everyone could hear.
When Jesus had finished teaching the crowd, he told Simon Peter, Go out a
little farther and drop your nets.
Teacher, said Simon Peter, weve already been out for today and have caught
nothing. But Simon Peter and his small crew did as Jesus told them. Soon there were
so many fish in the net that the small boat almost sank.
Simon Peter called to his friends on the shore, Quick, come help before the boat
sinks! Several men rushed into the water to help pull the nets to shore so the small
boat would not turn over. Simon Peter and his friends were frightened by what had just
Do not be afraid! Jesus said to them. Follow me and from now on you will be
catching people instead of fish. So Simon Peter and his brother Andrew left their boats
and their net and followed Jesus.
As the three walked down the beach a little farther, they came to another boat.
Sitting in the boat were James and John, and their father. They were mending their
Come, Jesus called out to them, James, John! Come with me and I will teach
you to catch people. They dropped their nets and said good-bye to their father and
followed Jesus.
ACTIVITY 1: Questions
1. Who were the first people Jesus called to help him with his work? (Simon
Peter and his brother, Andrew.)
2. What did they do for a living? (They were fishermen.)
3. How did they respond to Jesus call? (They left their nets and went with
4. What were they going to help Jesus do? (Teach others about God and His
5. Does Jesus want us to be His helpers today? (Yes.)
6. How can we be Jesus helpers? (Accept various answers such as: being kind
to one another, inviting others to come to church, sharing with others.)

ACTIVITY 2: How we follow Jesus

Explain to the children that we can be followers of Jesus today, too. Simon
Peter and his friend left their fishing nets to follow Jesus. We can follow Jesus in
a different way.
SAY: I am going to tell you three short stories. Listen and tell me which children
followed Jesus and which did not. Here tell or write stories that show children
doing what pleased Jesus and some things that do not. Here are some samples:
Story 1: The Sunday school children had a picnic in the park. When it
was time to leave, the teacher told everyone to pick up the trash. They
wanted to leave the park as clean as they found it. John saw some trash.
He said, I did not throw this trash on the ground. I am not going to pick it
up. Why should I clean up a mess someone else made?
Story 2: Jim had saved a little money. At church he heard about a family
whose House burned down. The family had two children who did not have
clothes to wear. The church was collecting money to give to the family
and Jim gave some of his money.
Story 3: Betty and Mary were playing in the yard. Marys brother, Mike
came and asked, May I play with you? The girls answered, No, this
game is only for girls.
Which children are following Jesus?
ACTIVITY 3: More about following Jesus
1. Ask for volunteers to come up and tell a short story like in ACTIVITY 1. The
story can be about someone who followed Jesus or about someone who did not.
(Children like to listen to other children tell stories.)
2. Have two or three children act out an experience of following Jesus or one of
not following Jesus.
ACTIVITY 4: Making a fishing net
Fold a newspaper lengthwise like a fan in four-inch sections. Then make
alternate cuts about one inch apart. (See picture at the end of this lesson.) Cut
up to one inch from the edge. Do not cut all the way through the folds. Open
carefully and pull gently while holding both ends. Tape the net to the wall at the
four corners. Have the children make small fish and write their names on them.
Place the fish in the net. Leave on the wall for several Sundays.

Remind the children that Jesus called ordinary people to follow him and to learn
from him, just as we learn from Jesus today. We were caught and we can catch
others. Have the children take a fish from the net that you made in ACTIVITY 3. Have
each child take a fish home with someones name on it. Ask them to pray everyday for
that person. Pray that God would help them to be a good follower of Jesus. Pray:
Dear God, thank you for your gift of Jesus. Help us to follow the example
Jesus set for us. Help us to catch others by our example. Amen.