“Come follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed Him. – Matthew 4:19-20
What was it about Jesus that caused Peter and Andrew to leave everything they knew to follow Him? There must have been something – authority, love, power, grace – that drew them to Him in such a radical way. Jesus wants me to follow Him as well. I try, but, honestly, I do not always love Him more than I love other things, and I do not follow Him perfectly. Often it is my failures that help remind me of why I follow Him in the first place – because He loves me and has grace and mercy on me when I blow it. As you do this week’s activities with your children be reminded of His love and why He is worth being followed.
HIGHLIGHTS from Sunday…
This week your child learned that Jesus loves us and wants us to follow Him. In Matthew 4:18-22 and Mark 1:16-20, Jesus was walking by the Sea of Galilee when He saw two brothers, Simon and Andrew. These men were fishermen and were casting their nets. As Jesus passed by He called to them and said "Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." At once the men dropped their nets, left their boats and followed Him. They understood that following Jesus was more important than anything else. Jesus continued on and called James and John to follow Him in the same manner. They too followed at once. (Matthew 4:18-22 and Mark 1:16-20)
- Jesus wants us to follow Him.
- Jesus wants us to love Him more than anything else.
"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matthew 19:14
Here’s a simple song to help your child (and you) memorize this week’s memory verse!
3 Activities that remind us Jesus Wants Us to Follow Him:
1. Gone Fishing
At snack time, grab a muffin tin and these goodies: stick pretzels, peanut butter or something else that is sticky such as honey, sprinkles, raisins, mini teddy grahams, m&ms or anything else that is small that you can eat. Place the items in six of the muffin cups. At snack time have you child use a pretzel and dip the end of the pretzel in the peanut butter. Using the sticky end of the pretzel, let your child fish for something to eat and stick it on the end of the pretzel. Durin this time talk to your child about how Jesus was a fisher of men.
You can use these questions to start a discussion:
- What does it mean to follow someone?
- So, what does it mean to follow Jesus?
- What kinds of things did Jesus do that we should do, too?
- What did Jesus mean when He told Simon and Andrew He would make them fishers of men?
- How can we be fishers of men?
2. Hide and Fish
Cut out a large fish from construction paper. Let your child decorate is however they want. Have them close their eyes so you can hide the fish somewhere in the room where your child can't see it, or in the house if you have an older child. Give your child directions to find the fish. You can be as complex in your directions as your child to able. Once they have found the fish, talk about how they had to follow your directions just as Simon and Andrew followed Jesus' directions.
3. Follow Me
Play a simple game of follow the leader. When walking around the house or in the yard, play follow the leader. Start out simple - such as "you do what I do." Place your hand on your head and have you child copy you or clap once and have them do the same. Then move to following you. Have them stand behind you and place their hanfs on your waist, then walk through the kitchen, weave through the furniture in the den or zig-zag down the hallway. If they are able, switch roles and you follow them.
Jesus, help us follow You each day. Help us serve others the way You served. And help is love just like You. Teach us how to be fishers of men, so that other people can know how much You love them and how good it is to know and love You.
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