The First Disciples

Age 5+: Read Luke 5:1-11, Matthew 4: 18-22 
Under 5: Read about the first disciples from a children's story bible or the short summary below.

Jesus was standing by the Sea of Galilee when He saw two boats at the edge of the water. He got into the boat that belonged to Simon Peter and told him, “Go out into deep water, and let the nets down so you can catch some fish.” Simon Peter had been fishing all night and had not caught anything. If there was one thing in which Simon Peter felt he was an expert, it was fishing. He let Jesus know this was not his idea of a great plan, but he did as Jesus told him. When they reached deep water and drew the net in, it was filled! Simon Peter had to call to James and John for help. They brought their boat alongside, and both boats were so full of fish they began to sink. Simon Peter suddenly realized that Jesus was far greater than he had supposed, and he fell before Him. Simon Peter told Him to depart from him because he was a sinful man. Right after this, Jesus challenges these men to follow Him, because from now on they will be “catching people.” Then they beached their boats and left everything to follow Jesus.

Discussion 

Preschool questions:
What were the disciples doing when Jesus came over? Trying to catch fish. 
Did they catch any fish? Only after Jesus told them to cast their nets.
Did they leave everything and follow Jesus? Yes. 

Elementary questions:
What does the word disciple mean? Student or pupil. 
What job did these disciples have? They were fishermen. 
What did Jesus mean when He said they would be “fishers of people?” Instead of catching fish, the disciples would be encouraging others to follow Jesus. 

Preteen application:
How did Jesus choose His first disciples? Jesus wasn’t looking for perfect, sinless people. Instead, he chose ordinary people to do His extraordinary work. 
Are we called to be disciples of Jesus? Yes, as true disciples of Jesus Christ our heart attitude should be that of a humble servant who loves God and loves others. We should try to live out Jesus’ teachings in a way that blesses others and gives them a chance to follow Jesus themselves. 

Memory Verse: John 13:35 “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” (NIV) 

Journal (age 8+) Copy memory verse, and write what you think it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. Write down any prayer requests.

Journal (age 3+) Draw and color a picture of Jesus and His first disciples. Copy the memory verse if able.

Optional Activity: Do you think it was difficult for the disciples to drop everything and follow Jesus? What does it mean to follow Jesus today? Discuss how we can be followers of Christ.

Prayer: Praise and thank God, ask for forgiveness, and submit any prayer requests.

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