Too Afraid to Follow Jesus

Hear the word:  Mark 14:22-72 or Matthew 26:31-75

Background:  Remind your class about the wonderful things we have seen Jesus do, the amazing things he has been teaching about.  Then, invite them to learn about 


(1.)  Children will re-tell the story of the last day of Jesus’ life.

(2.)  Children will reflect on the perspectives of various characters in the story (Peter, Judas, Jesus).


(1.)  Respond to the story by asking questions like these (taken from Sonya Stewart’s Following Jesus)…

I wonder why Jesus’ friends run away when Jesus is in trouble?

I wonder why Judas, who is one of the twelve disciples, would lead the soldiers to arrest Jesus?

I wonder why Peter says that he is not a follower of Jesus?

I wonder how Jesus feels when the people questioning him slap him?

I wonder why Peter denied Jesus three times?

I wonder how Jesus feels about being alone, without any friends?

I wonder what Peter will do when he stops crying?

(2.)  Write or tell the story from various characters’ perspectives.  How might Jesus have told the story?  How might Peter have told the story differently?  What about Judas?

(3.)  Younger classes may want to watch this video together.  (Let me know if you need a wi-fi password.)

(4.)  ‘I’m sorry’ stones:  Imagine how Peter felt after he betrayed Jesus three times.  Talk about what Peter may have wanted to say to Jesus.  How might he have wanted to make it better?  Take a bag of stones from the supply closet, and grab some Sharpie markers.  Invite the children to choose a few stones, and to write a word or phrase Peter may have wanted to say to Jesus on each stone.  Then, take the stones outside along with a large unbreakable bowl of water.  Invite the children to take turns throwing their ‘I’m sorry’ stone into the bowl of water. 

(5.)  Scavenger hunt / ordering activity:  Split your class into two teams.  Ask each team to choose 5 major moments in the story.  Each team should sketch a picture of their chosen  moments.  (Perhaps each team could use a different color paper.)  Then, get the teams to hide their pictures in a set area.  The other team will try to find all 5 pictures, and put them in the proper order.  The team who finishes first, wins!  

Conclude with prayer.



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