Easter Through the Eyes of Peter

Overview of all that is included in this Rotation:

 

  • Story Background
  • Video: Explore the story of Peter’s denial and restoration while watching the scripture come to life in The Gospel of John.
  • Drama: Enact the story of Peter’s denial and restoration.
  • Labyrinth: While walking the Labyrinth, the children will reflect on the story of Peter and how it relates to their own lives.
  • Cooking: Create Peter’s Trail Mix to help them tell the Easter story.

 

Workshops also used but not included here:

 

Games: The children will play a game (using the game wheel) to reinforce their knowledge of the details of Peter’s denial of Jesus. We used Faith Quest Lesson Sets at Kirk of Kildaire Presbyterian Church. “Peter’s Denial - Antioch Arcade.” 2005.

http://www.kirkofkildaire.org/...ialAntiochArcade.htm

Note: These workshops were written for 1st through 6th graders though not all grades visit all workshops.

 

Scripture Reference: John 13:33, 36-38 and John 18:15-18 and 25-27 and John 21:1-17

 

 

Key Verse: “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out.” Acts 3:19a NIV


Rotation Objectives--at the end of the Rotation, kids should be able to:

  • Locate the story of Peter’s denial and restoration in their Bibles (older children). Younger children will learn that the story is in the Gospel of John.
  • Relate the story of Jesus’ resurrection appearance to the disciples at the Sea of Galilee.
  • Know that Peter failed by denying Jesus, but Jesus always loved him anyway.
  • Learn that we, too, do wrong things sometimes – but God can forgive us.
  • Even though we all make mistakes, we can still do great things to honor God.

 


Story Background:

 

As Easter approaches once again, we tell the overall Easter account with an emphasis on a particular aspect of the Passion story. In other years we have focused on the Last Supper, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the Empty Tomb/Resurrection Appearances. This year we will focus on Peter’s relationship with Jesus, specifically, Peter’s denial of Jesus during Jesus’ arrest and Peter’s restoration with Jesus after Jesus’ resurrection.



Who was Peter?

 

Peter was a Galilean fisherman, called to be one of Jesus’ twelve disciples. Many consider him to be the “leader,” or at the least the disciple spokesperson. Originally named Simon, Peter acquired a nickname from Jesus. His new name was significant: it’s the Greek word for “rock” and translates into an Aramaic nickname, “Cephas” that also means rock.


Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which, when translated, is Peter). John 1:42


In Matthew’s telling of Peter’s name change there is an addition:


“And I tell you that you are Peter (meaning rock), and on this rock I will build my church” (Matthew 16:18a)


Did Peter, a lowly fisherman, become a building block for the church? Indeed if we look ahead in time, at Pentecost we see Peter preaching joyfully, telling the good news of what Jesus has done (Act 2:14ff ). Other stories in the book of Acts tell of Peter’s efforts towards building the church. So we know that Peter lived up to his nickname but there was a time when it didn’t look as though Peter would make it. This is where our story starts.



Peter’s resolve to follow Christ

 

The setting is the evening before Jesus’ death. The disciples have had supper with Jesus in an upper room. Jesus is now teaching his disciples.


“My children, I will be with you only a little longer. You will look for me, and just as I told the Jews, so I tell you now: Where I am going, you cannot come.” John 13:33


A confused Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, where are you going?” As a trusty disciple, Peter likely had plans to follow Jesus anywhere! Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” An exasperated Peter asks Jesus, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you!”


That statement speaks of Peter’s resolve to follow Jesus. But Jesus knew that Peter was weaker than he thought. Thus Jesus’ reply is a surprising prediction of Peter’s denial of Christ:


Then Jesus answered, “Will you really lay down your life for me? I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times!” John 13:36-38



The denials

 

Fast forward the story to the scene in the garden where Jesus is arrested and led away. His disciples flee into the darkness, fearful that they will be arrested too. However Peter and another disciple follow to the place where Jesus is taken. It is here that the first disowning occurs.


“You are not one of his disciples, are you?” the girl at the door asked Peter.

 

He replied, “I am not.” John 18:17


In just a few brief hours, Jesus’ prediction is starting to be fulfilled: Peter denies that he knows Jesus. This is Peter, who a few hours earlier had said he would die for Jesus, now rejecting any association with him. Two more denials occur shortly there after. Peter stands in the courtyard of the high priest, warming himself by a charcoal fire.


As Simon Peter stood warming himself, he was asked, “You are not one of his disciples, are you?” He denied it, saying, “I am not.”

 

One of the high priest’s servants, a relative of the man whose ear Peter had cut off, challenged him, “Didn’t I see you with him in the olive grove?” Again Peter denied it, and at that moment a rooster began to crow. John 18:25-27



Feeling Peter’s weakness

 

Can you envision Peter’s shame and sorrow when suddenly the rooster crowed? Imagine him thinking of Jesus’ words: “before the rooster crows…” Picture his feelings of failure; surely he was guilt-ridden and demoralized.

 

All of the other Gospels tell of Peter’s denials, but they word his denials stronger, having Peter use an oath to deny Christ.

 

He began to call down curses on himself, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.” Mark 14:71

 

His use of an oath does not mean that he used any foul language. He was in effect saying, “May God strike me dead if I am lying.” Luke’s Gospel includes more information about this event, including adding Jesus to the scene:


Peter replied, “Man, I don’t know what you’re talking about!” Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows today, you will disown me three times.” And he went outside and wept bitterly. Luke 22: 60-62


It is easy for us to identify with Peter’s pain, for Peter’s disposition demonstrates that of someone who wants so desperately to follow Jesus but lets human frailty get in the way. Peter promised never to leave or deny Jesus; and only a short while later he was hiding and had denied Jesus three times. How are our own stories like Peter’s? In what ways do modern-day Christians deny Christ? Have our lifestyles, our actions or our attitudes caused us to deny Jesus? Many of us have experienced Peter’s denial; through fear, lack of faith and disobedience we have left the presence of Jesus.



Crucifixion and Resurrection

 

Jesus was led away to trial and subsequent crucifixion on a cross. All the disciples, but surely Peter, were defeated and desolate. Peter must have thought about how his chances to express his feelings of sorrow and repent, were gone forever. After his death, Jesus was taken from the cross and placed hurriedly in a tomb.


Sunday morning, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb but much to her surprise, the stone covering the entrance to the tomb was rolled away! She ran and told Peter and Jesus’ favorite disciple (according to tradition, this is John). Peter and the other disciple ran to the tomb and saw that it was empty except for strips of cloth that had covered Jesus’ body and face. Mystified, the disciples went back to their homes but Mary stayed by the tomb. Then Mary saw Jesus! Later that day Jesus showed himself to his disciples. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. A week later, Jesus appeared to the disciples again.


One can imagine how the disciples felt – they had seen the risen Lord, some of them more than once. While they were full of joy, Jesus’ appearances seemed random, and they had no clear direction of what they should do next. Jesus was resurrected, but what would happen to them now, especially to Peter?



Breakfast on the beach

 

The Gospel of John includes one more resurrection appearance story. In this story Peter finds restoration with Jesus. It is interesting that none of the other Gospel writers chose to include this final incident. Many scholars think this chapter was a later addition. However, if this is the case, it was added very early on, for all early manuscripts include it.


Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James, John, and two other disciples were together, seven disciples in all. Peter had announced, “I’m going out to fish.” So the others went with him in their boat onto Lake Tiberias (the Sea of Galilee). They didn’t catch a thing all night long. In the morning light, Jesus, unrecognized by the disciples, called to their boat from the shore, “Friends, have you caught anything?” Jesus told them to let their net down on the right side of the boat. They did and the net was so full of fish that they couldn’t drag it into the boat. Then they recognized Jesus and said, “It is the Lord!” When they got to the shore, they saw bread and a charcoal fire with fish on it. Jesus said, “Come and eat!”



Peter’s Restoration

 

After they had finished eating, Jesus had a conversation with Peter. Now had come the time for a reinstatement of Peter. Jesus asked Peter a question: “Simon son of John, do you truly love me more than these?” It is interesting to note that Jesus does not call him Peter “the rock” but uses his given name, Simon. The question is also curious – do you love me more than these, what is meant by “these”?


Peter responded with “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.” Jesus then had a simple response, “Feed my lambs.” Three times Jesus asked Peter the same question: do you love me. Peter had denied Jesus three times, now Jesus is offering Peter three chances for redemption. Jesus does not place any guilt upon Peter for his earlier denials, but instead provides him an equal number of opportunities to affirm his love for his Lord. Peter readily accepts the opportunities, and each time Jesus instructs him to feed and take care of his flock. This is assurance for Peter that God has work for him to do – to nurture the church.


We are like Peter because we all lose courage and do the wrong thing sometimes. But even though we betray him, Jesus died for us. This powerful story of gentle forgiveness can be a great source of comfort and hope to all of us who have sinned and through our lifestyles, actions and attitudes, have denied Jesus. Through his tender mercies he forgives us too, and restores us to ministry (whatever that might be). All that he asks of us is to love him. And always his final command to us is “Follow me.” How do we love him and follow him? By following the call he has given to each of us, by serving his body, his church, using whatever gifts and abilities he has given.


References:

  • Achtemier, Paul J. ed. Harper’s Bible Dictionary. San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1985
  • Deffinbaugh, Robert L. What Is This Thing Called Love? (John 21:1-25) http://www.bible.org/page.asp?page_id=2394
  • Edscorn, Kris. “Bible Background on John 21.” 2001.
  • Johnson, Barton W. “Commentary on John 21”. People’s New Testament. 1891.
    http://www.studylight.org/com/...=joh&chapter=021
  • Life Application Study Bible. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 1996.
  • Lindsley, Steve. “Background for the Story of Peter Workshops.” (From a St. Elmo’s Choir Rotation Lesson Set).

    Except as noted, Scripture quoted is taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

A Lesson Set from: First United Methodist Church

Ann Arbor, MI 

Copyright 2006 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.
Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material

 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

Last edited by Luanne Payne
Original Post

Easter Through the Eyes of Peter
Video Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

Explore the story of Peter’s denial and restoration while watching the scripture come to life in The Gospel of John.

For scripture, objectives, and background - see above.


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Preview the video and have it cued to the correct starting place.
  • Gather the materials. 

Supplies List:

  • Video Reference: The Gospel of John, Visual Bible International, 2003. [Starring Henry Ian Cusick as Jesus, and narrated by Christopher Plummer] Use the 3-hour version.
  • The TV/DVD will have been reserved for your workshop.
  • Snack items: goldfish crackers, paper cups, napkins, water pitcher
  • Bibles (for 3rd grade and up)
  • A Bible bookmarked to John 13:33

 

Before Start of Class:

  • Prepare snack.
  • Make sure you know how to use the TV/DVD, especially how to move by chapters and scanning forward and backward within a chapter.
  • Using the DVD, from MAIN MENU, choose <Chapter & Verse>. Choose <more> 5 times until you see the option for <13:21-38, 14:1-14>. Turn the sound off.


Presentation

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the video workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults. Pass around a basket to collect any offering.
[Note: The Shepherd will quietly take attendance, etc. while you are starting your lesson.]

Say: Let’s begin with prayer. Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. A suggestion: “Jesus, we know that we will sometimes fail you. Thank you for always loving us in spite of our mistakes. Help us to learn from our mistakes and be your faithful disciples. Amen.”

Dig- Main Content and Reflection:
Ask:

  • Let’s say that a friend of yours promises to help you with a school project, but then they break their promise and don’t help. Will you ever trust your friend again?
  • What if a friend borrowed one of your toys and didn’t give it back. Would you ever trust that friend again?
  • What if a family member agreed to take you somewhere special, but then they didn’t. Would you ever trust them again?

Say: Today we will talk about one of Jesus’ disciples, Peter. Peter did something to Jesus that would make us think that Jesus should never trust Peter again.
Ask:

  • Does anyone know what Peter did?

Say: Let’s read about what happened.

Ask the children if they remember the Last Supper.
Ask:

  • Would the Last Supper be in the New Testament or the Old Testament? (new)

Tell them that the first part of our story took place at the Last Supper. It was a time during the supper when Jesus was teaching his disciples.
Read to them John 13:33 and 36-38.
Ask:

  • What is Jesus predicting? (Peter will disown him; he will say he doesn’t know him)

Does this happen? (accept all answers)

Ask the students what happened after the Last Supper? (disciples & Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane)
Say: After a time of prayer in the Garden, Jesus was arrested and taken to the house of the High Priest.
Ask:

  • Guess what happened then?

Say: While Jesus was being questioned by the High Priest Peter got asked if he was one of Jesus’ disciples, and he said he was not!
Ask:

  • What did Jesus say would happen if Peter said three times that he did not know Jesus? (a rooster would crow)

Say: Peter got asked three times and each time he said he didn’t know who Jesus was. When Peter heard the rooster crow he realized that he had denied Jesus; that he had let Jesus down. Peter felt terrible. Peter had failed Jesus but we will see that Jesus loved him anyway.

Ask:

  • What happened to Jesus? (he was killed on the cross)
  • What happened three days later? (Jesus had risen, Jesus was alive)

Say: The risen Jesus showed himself to his disciples. They were overjoyed to see him alive again. During the 40 days after his resurrection or his raising, Jesus appeared several times to his disciples. Let’s read about one of the times.

For 3rd grade and up:
Distribute Bibles. Have the students find the book of John, chapter 21, verse 1. Praise students for bringing their own Bibles.
[Make sure everyone remembers the quick way to find the New Testament – dividing the Bible in half gets them near Psalms. Dividing the back half in half again gets them near the New Testament.]
Have students take turns reading verses 1-17.
[If this is a week early in the Rotation, read the scripture together. Towards the end of the Rotation, ask the students if they can tell you the story. Have them check their Bibles for accuracy.]

For 1st and 2nd grade:
Tell them the following story:
Peter and six of the other disciples decided to go fishing. They went out in their boat on Lake Tiberias. They fished all night long but didn't catch anything.
Early the next morning Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not recognize him. Jesus called out, “Young men, have you caught anything?” They answered, “No!”
Jesus told them to throw their net out on the right side of the boat. They did, and the net was so full of fish that they could not pull it into the boat! That is when the disciples recognized Jesus. John grabbed Peter’s arm. “It’s the Lord!” Peter jumped into the water and swam to shore. He wanted to talk to Jesus!
The other disciples came to shore in the boat, pulling the net full of fish.
When the disciples got out of the boat they saw a charcoal fire with fish on it and some bread. Then Jesus said, “Bring some of the fish you have just caught. Come and have breakfast.” He handed them bread and fish and they all ate.
After they had eaten, Jesus called Peter by his real name, “Simon son of John, do
you love me more than these others do?”
“Yes, Lord,” Peter answered, “you know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Take care of my lambs.”
A second time Jesus said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
“Yes, Lord,” he answered, “You know that I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.”
A third time Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”
Peter became sad because Jesus asked him the third time, and so he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you!”
Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.”

For all students:
Ask:

  • How many times did Peter deny knowing Jesus? (3)
  • How many times did Jesus ask Peter if he loved him? (3)
  • Do you suppose that is why Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved him?
  • What did Jesus mean when he asked Peter to take care of his sheep? (take care of people)

Say: Notice that Jesus does not scold Peter for his denials, but instead provides him an equal number of chances to say that he loves Jesus. Each time Jesus instructs him to feed and take care of his flock. This is assurance for Peter that God has work for him to do – to take care of the people of the church – the flock.

Show the Video:
Have the Shepherd distribute the snack.

Turn the sound up on the TV.
Using the DVD, choose <13:21-38, 14:1-14> (Jesus Predicts His Betrayal)
Use right arrow to SCAN FORWARD to 1:58:45, to where Jesus is standing by a pole.
POINT OUT Jesus.
VIEW scene of about 1 minute 30 seconds.
PAUSE after Jesus says “believe in God and believe also in me.”
Say: Let’s watch this part again.

SCAN BACKWARD to the starting point and re-watch.
VIEW scene of about 1 minute 30 seconds.

Ask: How did Peter react to what Jesus told him? (dismayed, surprised)
Say: Peter does not suspect that he will say he doesn’t know Jesus.

From MAIN MENU, choose <Chapter & Verse>.
Choose <more> 6 times until you see the option for <18:1-27> (The Arrest of Jesus)
SCAN FORWARD to 2:21:28, to where Jesus gets his hands tied.
VIEW rest of chapter to where shows village gate at morning (scene is 3 minutes long).

Ask: How is Peter feeling now?
Say: Peter realizes he has denied Jesus.

[Note: Decide ahead of time if this next scene should be watched by younger students or just talked about.]
From MAIN MENU, choose <Chapter & Verse>.
Choose <more> 7 times until you see the option for <19:13-37> (Jesus is Crucified) SCAN FORWARD to 2:33:45 where Jesus is carrying his cross.
VIEW rest of chapter to 2:37:55, PAUSE when Jesus dies on the cross, bowing his head and giving up his spirit. (Scene is 4 minutes long.)

Say: Jesus was killed on the cross. Three days later he rose again and showed himself to his disciples. Let’s watch that scene.

From MAIN MENU, choose <Chapter & Verse>.
Choose <more> 8 times until you see the option for <21:1-25> (Jesus And Peter)
SCAN BACKWARD to 2:46:10 where the outside of the house is shown.
VIEW scene of 6 minutes, to 2:52:09.
STOP after Jesus says, “Take care of my sheep” and when Peter puts his hand on Jesus.

Discussion:
Ask:

  • I wonder why Peter denied knowing Jesus? (he was afraid)
  • Is it ever scary for us to follow Jesus? (it takes courage to be different from others)
  • What are some ways in which we deny Jesus? (going along with a group that is doing something wrong, worrying about what others think instead of what Jesus would want us to do, being too embarrassed to invite a friend to church, not helping someone who needs help, doing things that hurt someone else…accept all answers)
  • By denying him, Peter failed Jesus. But did Jesus love Peter anyway? (yes)
  • What about us, when we deny Jesus does he still love us? (yes)

Say: We, too, do wrong things sometimes but God can forgive us. The good news is that this is not the end of Peter’s story. He went on to be a leader of the early church and spread the word of Jesus to many places. The book of Acts tells us how he risked his life time and again by sharing his faith in Jesus. After his mistake, Peter didn’t give up; he kept trying to follow Jesus.
Ask:

  • What does that mean for us? (we can keep trying to follow Jesus, too)

Closing:
Say: Let’s say our key Bible verse: “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out.” Acts 3:19a
Ask:

  • What does “repent” mean? (means you recognize that you’ve done something wrong and you are sorry about it and want to change)

Say: When we are sorry for things we have done we can turn to God and ask for forgiveness. Peter had failed Jesus but Jesus loved him anyway. We, too, do wrong things sometimes – but God forgives us and loves us.


Resources:


 

A Lesson written by Carol Hulbert from: First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI

Copyright 2006 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.
Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material

 A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Easter Through the Eyes of Peter

Drama Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

The children will hear the story of Peter’s denial and restoration. Then they will enact the restoration portion of the story by following the lead of a narrator retelling the story.

Scripture references, and lesson objectives

See here.



Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson. cover of book - Journey to the Cross
  • Gather the following materials:
    • Bibles (for 3rd grade and up)
    • Bible storybook: Journey to the Cross
    • Costumes
    • Boat (see resource list at end of lesson for material to construct)
    • Fishing net
    • Videotaping equipment and a way to watch the video
    • Copies (2) of the narrator’s script
    • Map of Jesus’ time (to find where Sea of Galilee is - optional)



Lesson Plan: Opening

Do:  Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Drama Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults.

Ask:  Does everyone know what we do in a Drama Workshop? (allow a few answers)
Say: In the Drama Workshop we act out stories from the Bible. I wonder what story we will be enacting today? (allow a few answers)

Say: Today we will act out the story of Peter and some disciples on a Sea of Galilee fishing trip, a trip that is full of surprises! First, let's have a time of prayer.

Do:  Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. A suggestion: “Dear God, We are thankful that you forgive us when we fail you.  Thank you for many second chances! Amen.”


Dig

Ask:  What holiday is coming up soon? [Or, what holiday just happened?] (Easter) Why do we celebrate Easter?

Say:  We celebrate Easter to remember that Jesus, who had been killed, came back to life again!

Ask:  Where in the Bible would we read about Jesus and his disciples? (in thNew Testament)
What are the first four books of the New Testament? (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John)
What do we call those first four books? (the Gospels)

Say:  The word Gospel means “good news.” The first four books of the New Testament tell the story of the good news about Jesus.

For 3rd grade and up:

Say:  Part of our story can be found in all four of the Gospels – each gospel telling the story a little differently.

Ask:  Why do you suppose that the four Gospels might tell the story with slightly different details? (accept all answers: written by different authors, at different times; they all saw the same things happen but wrote about it differently; they wanted to place a different emphasis)


For all students:
Say:  We find our story in the Gospel of John. I am going to tell you the first part of our story using this Bible storybook.

Note: In later weeks of the Rotation, show the pictures and have the students tell you the story. Fill-in any missing details.


Do:  Show the picture on page 72 and 73. Ask the children if they remember the Last Supper.
Tell them that the first part of our story took place at the Last Supper.

Say:  At the Last Supper Jesus told his disciples, “My children, I will be with you only a little longer. Where I am going, you cannot come. Peter, one of his disciples, asked him, “Lord, where are you going?” Jesus replied, “Where I am going, you cannot follow now, but you will follow later.” Peter asked, “Lord, why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.” Then Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, before the rooster crows (before morning), you will deny me three times!” Peter said, “Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you.”

Ask:  What does “deny” mean?

Say: When someone denies something they are saying that something is not true. They don't want to own up to something!
Do:  Give an example, such as denying you broke a window.

Do:  Show the picture on page 84 and 85. Ask the students if they remember that after the Last Supper, Jesus went to the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus prayed there and later, Jesus was arrested.

Do:  Read pages 101 – 104. (Showing the picture on pages 102 and 103.)

Ask:  So what was Peter’s denial? (saying that he did not know who Jesus was)
How did Peter feel about his denial?
What happened to Jesus?

Say:  Jesus was killed on a cross. After he died he was taken from the cross and his body was placed in a tomb – a cave in the rocks. On the third day, some women went to the tomb.
Ask:  What did they find?

Say: They found that the tomb was empty! Jesus had risen!

Do:  Show the picture on page 210 and 211.
Say:  Jesus showed himself to his disciples. The disciples were very surprised but overjoyed that Jesus was alive again! Now, let's read what happens a few days later.

For 1st and 2nd grade:

Do:  Read pages 221 – 225. (You may paraphrase part of this story if you’d like to shorten it or, in later weeks of the Rotation, ask the students to tell you the story.)

 

For 3rd grade and up:

Say: Let's find the next part of our story in the Bible.
Do:  Distribute Bibles. Have the students find the book of John, chapter 21, verse 1.
Notice when someone remembers the quick way to find the New Testament. Have them show the rest of the class: dividing the Bible in half gets them near Psalms. Dividing the back half in half again gets them near the New Testament.

Say: Do you suppose it is a problem that only one of the gospels tells us the second part of our story? (Help students to realize that not everything Jesus said and did was written down.)

Do:  Have students take turns reading verses 1-17.  [If this is a week early in the Rotation, read the scripture together. Towards the end of the Rotation, ask the students if they can tell you the story. Have them check their Bibles for accuracy.]


Enacting the story!

Discuss before acting out the story (optional):

  • Who were the characters in our story: Jesus, Peter, Thomas, Nathanael, James and John (sons of Zebedee), and two unnamed disciples.
  • Where did the story take place: Lake Tiberias (another name for the Sea of Galilee).
    Do:  Find it on the map.

Do:  Warm-up exercises: (if time permits) Mime the emotional responses of...

  • Peter when he realized it was Jesus he saw on the shore.
  • Peter when he was asked the first time, “Do you love me?”
  • Peter when he was asked the third time, “Do you love me?”
  • Jesus, asking Peter, “Do you love me?”
Note that there are a variety of responses that may be correct. We don’t know if Jesus was sad or angry; if Peter was puzzled or sad or irritated by the repetition. Encourage the students to respond freely and creatively.

 
Do:  Assign parts and act out the story as the narrator reads through the script. (The script is attached here and linked at the bottom of this lesson at rotation.org.)
Allow time for creative responses.

Have someone videotape the enactment.

Discussion

Ask:  What did Peter promise Jesus at their last meal together? (He said he was ready to die for Jesus! John 13:37b)      
I wonder why Jesus asked Peter three times, “Do you love me?”
What did it mean when Jesus asked Peter to “Take care of my sheep?”
Do you suppose that we too are called to "feed sheep"?
What would that look like?
What do we learn about forgiveness from this story?


If you have extra time:

  • Watch the video of the drama.
  • Discuss what can be added to the enactment, change actors, and do the enactment again.



Resources:

Bartholomew, Gilbert L. “Jesus and Peter Talk after the Resurrection.” The Journal of Biblical Storytelling, 1999 (volume 9, number 1).
Christine OC. “Easter through Peter’s Eyes: Denial/Repentance/Forgiveness–Bible Skills & Games Workshop.” Rotation.org. Aug. 7, 2003.
Crane, Amy. “Jesus and Peter: No Matter What, God Gives Me Another Chance. (A creative dramatics lesson plan).” Rotation.org. 2001.
Filson, Floyd V. The Layman’s Bible Commentary: John (volume 19). John Knox Press, 1963.
Haidle, Helen. Journey to the Cross. Zondervan Publishing House, 2001.


For boat construction materials, use a heavy-duty corrugated paper that looks like wood. Try your local party store, or use this online source:  M&N Party Store. Search "corrugated paper".



A lesson written by Carol Hulbert and Carol Teener
from First United Methodist Church,
Ann Arbor, MI
Updated by Carol Hulbert in 2018.

Attachments

Last edited by Luanne Payne

Easter Through the Eyes of Peter
Labyrinth Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

While walking the Labyrinth, the children will reflect and the story of Peter and how it relates to their own lives.

 

For scripture, objectives, and background - see above.


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials 

Supplies List:

  • Bibles (for 3rd grade and up)
  • Bible storybook: Peter’s First Easter
  • CD player with soft music.
  • Labyrinth

Note:  In the room you will find the Labyrinth set up, please do not allow the children to walk on the labyrinth with shoes!



 

Presentation

 

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction:
Greet your students warmly, welcoming them to the Labyrinth Workshop. Introduce yourself and any other adults. Pass around a basket to collect any offering.
[Note: The Shepherd will quietly take attendance, etc. while you are starting your lesson.]

Say: Let’s begin with prayer. Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. A suggestion: “Jesus, we know that we will sometimes fail you. Thank you for always loving us in spite of our mistakes. Help us to learn from our mistakes and be your faithful disciples. Amen.”

Say: Today we will be walking this Labyrinth. A labyrinth is sort of like a maze, but unlike a maze, there are no tricks, no blind alleys to get stuck in. There is only one path to follow.
Ask:

  • has anyone ever walked on a Labyrinth before?

Say: there is one strict rule regarding this labyrinth, you must not walk on it with your shoes on. (Have everyone take off their shoes).
Say: This is an ancient walk that allows you to move as you pray and meditate. Please don’t talk to each other, and as you meet someone coming in or out, silently step aside to pass each other. Because there is only one path, you don’t need to think about where you are going. Your mind can focus on your conversation with God. But before we begin walking, let’s get out our Bibles and read the story.

Dig- Main Content and Reflection:

For 1st and 2nd graders:
Say: Our story today is from the New Testament section of the Bible, where we find stories about Jesus. We find our story in the Gospel of John.
Ask the children if they remember the Last Supper.
Tell them that the first part of our story took place at the Last Supper.
Say: As I read the story Peter’s First Easter your shepherd will tap you on the shoulder and you may start walking the Labyrinth. As you walk, listen to the story and think about what it means to you and your life. There should be no talking or whispering, you don’t want to disturb the others as they pray. As you meet someone coming in or out, silently step aside to pass each other.

For 3rd grade and up:
Distribute Bibles if needed. Encourage everyone to bring his/her Bible every week.
Say: this next month we will celebrate Easter. Every year we study Holy week, the events leading up to Easter Morning and learn about the post resurrection appearances of Jesus. In all four Gospels you will find different accounts of what happened. The four Gospels of the Bible tell the first part of our story slightly differently.
Ask:

  • Why do you suppose that happened? (Different authors saw the same things happen but wrote about it differently)

Have the students find John 13:33, and 36-38.
Make sure that the students understand that this part of the story is taking place during the Last Supper. Make sure they understand what the Last Supper was about.
Have the students read those verses.
Make sure that the students understand that verse 38 means that Peter will deny Jesus. [Some of the Bibles in the rooms will say “disown me” some will say, “that you do not know me.”]
Say: Here’s an example of the four Gospels being written differently. In Mark’s Gospel after Jesus says, “you will disown me three times” it has Peter answering with, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.”
Have the students notice that there isn’t any response from Peter in the Gospel of John.

  • Ask the students what happened after the Last Supper? (Disciples & Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane)

Say: After a time of prayer in the Garden, Jesus was arrested and taken to the High Priest.
Have the students find John 18:15-17 and read those verses.
Ask:

  • What did Peter just do?

Say: So Peter denied Jesus once.
Have the students read John 18:18 and 25-27.
Ask:

  • What happened?

Say: Peter denied Jesus twice more – and the rooster crowed, just as Jesus had said it would. I have another example of how the Gospels tell the story slightly differently. In the Gospel of Matthew it tells what Peter did after he heard the rooster crow.
Read Matthew 26:75: “Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken: "Before the rooster crows, you will disown me three times." And he went outside and wept bitterly.”
Ask:

  • What do you remember about the last part of our story?

Have the students read John 21:1-17
Say: Now we are going to start walking the Labyrinth. As you walk, pray about the last part of the story. When you get to the middle there are pencils and paper for you to write a question or an answer you discovered as you prayed and walked. Bring the paper with you on the journey outward. I will start the music and you may begin walking, one at a time. There should be no talking or whispering, you don’t want to disturb the others as they pray. As you meet someone coming in or out, silently step aside to pass each other.
If there is time, ask the students if they want to share what they have written on their papers. These are personal so if they don’t want to read it, don’t force them.

Closing:
When it is time to wrap up Say: In closing, we have learned about Easter through the eyes of Peter. Many of us have felt Peter’s denial; through fear, lack of faith and disobedience we have left the presence of Jesus. This powerful story of gentle forgiveness can be a great source of comfort and hope to each of us.

Have the kids repeat the key verse with you: “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out.” Acts 3:19a NIV


Resources:

  • Wangerin Jr, Walter. Peter’s First Easter. Zondervan, 2000.
    (This book is out of print. Search for a copy on Alibris.com ISBN: 0310222176)

 

A Lesson written by Ellen Lewis from: First United Methodist Church
Ann Arbor, MI

Copyright 2006 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.
Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material

 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

Last edited by Rotation.org Lesson Forma-teer

Easter Through the Eyes of Peter
Cooking Workshop


Summary of Lesson Activities:

The children will create Peter’s Trail Mix to help them tell the Easter story.

 

For scripture, objectives, and background - see above.


Leader Preparation:

  • Read the scripture for this lesson.
  • Read and reflect on the overview material provided for this lesson.
  • Gather the materials. 

Materials:

  • Bibles; at least one purple Adventure Bible
  • plastic baggies for leftover trail mix
  • Foods: pita chips, pretzel sticks, Bugles crackers, O’s-type cereal, pull-apart licorice, M&M’s, raisins, chocolate chips, and goldfish crackers
  • Kitchen Items: large mixing bowl, smaller bowls to hold individual ingredients, mixing spoon, small plates or bowls.
 


Presentation

 

Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction: 

Greet your students warmly, introducing yourself and any other adults.

 

Tell students: Today we’ll be learning about the Easter story from Peter’s point of view.


Say: First let’s begin with prayer.


Ask for any prayer requests. Ask if anyone would like to lead the group in prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself, working in prayer requests. A suggestion: “Dear God, Thank you for being with us, for bringing us together, and the opportunity to learn about your love through Jesus. Amen.”



Dig- Main Content and Reflection:

 

For 1st and 2nd graders:

 

Say: We find our story in the New Testament of the Bible, in the Gospel of John.

Hold open a purple Adventure Bible and summarize the story. You may want the have the children tell you the story and fill in the parts they miss.


For 3rd grade and up:

 

Distribute Bibles. [Praise those who have brought their own Bibles.]

Have everyone find John 13:33, 36-38 and John 18:15-18 and 25-27 and John 21:1-17 in his or her Bible.

[Remind them of the quick way to find the New Testament.]

Again, you may want to have the students tell you the story rather than read the entire story.


Ask: How did Peter feel about Jesus? What did Jesus know that Peter didn’t?

 

Say: Jesus knew that Peter loved him, but the coming events would be hard for Peter to understand and accept. Peter promised never to leave or deny Jesus; and only a short while later he was hiding and had denied Jesus three times.

 

Ask: How are our own stories like Peter’s? In what ways do modern-day Christians deny Christ? Have our lifestyles, our actions or our attitudes caused us to deny Jesus?

 

Say: Many of us have experienced Peter’s denial; through fear, lack of faith and disobedience we have left the presence of Jesus.

 

After reading the final section, Say: Jesus asked Peter three times if he loved him. Peter had denied Jesus three times, now Jesus is offering Peter three chances for redemption. Jesus does not place any guilt upon Peter for his earlier denials, but instead provides him an equal number of opportunities to affirm his love for his Lord. Peter readily accepts the opportunities, and each time Jesus instructs him to feed and take care of his flock.

 

Ask: Why do you think Jesus asked Peter to do this? How can we be like Peter?



The Cooking Project

 

Say: Today we will be making a trail mix to help us remember Peter’s story.

 

Retell the story and have kids add ingredients into the bowl to signify various parts of the story:

 

Pita chips=the Last Supper

 

Pretzel sticks=the sword used to cut off the servant’s ear

 

Bugles=listening for the cock’s crow

 

Licorice strips=Jesus being whipped

 

O’s=the crown of thorns

 

Goldfish=the meal on the beach

 

Stir the trail mix and serve. As you eat, review the story.



Closing:

 

Say: In closing, we have learned that even though we, like Peter, sometimes do the easy thing rather than the right thing and deny God, we are loved and forgiven.

 

Have the kids repeat the key verse with you: “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out.” Acts 3:19a NIV


End with a prayer. Ask for volunteers to lead the prayer. Be prepared to say a prayer yourself. A suggestion: “Thank you God that even when we deny you, we are loved and forgiven. Thank you for the knowledge that you are always with us. Be with us through the week and bring us back together next week. In Jesus’ name, AMEN.”

 

 


A Lesson written by Dianne McLaren-Brighton from: First United Methodist Church

Ann Arbor, MI 

Copyright 2006 First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI.
Permission to copy materials granted for non-commercial use provided credit is given and all cited references remain with this material

 

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.

 

Last edited by Rotation.org Lesson Forma-teer

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