Peter’s Second Chance: Children’s Sermon Lesson on Jesus Restoring Peter from John 21:1-19. Use this Children’s Message on Peter’s Reinstatement and Second Chances in your Kids Church or Sunday School.
Lesson Objective: This message encourages children with the hopeful reminder that Jesus promises second chances when we make mistakes. There are a lot of things in our everyday lives that were invented by accident, mistakes transformed into success! In a similar but much more important way, God can transform our lives and our errors into positive joys. In the focus story, Peter had denied his Lord, but was given an opportunity to come back to Christ and became a pillar of the church. God can and will use anyone, no matter how hard we fall.
Law/Gospel Theme: God can use our mistakes and promises to grant us grace when we sin. We recognize that we will never keep the law perfectly or do everything “just right”, but the story of Peter reminds us that we don’t have to. God can and will use all of us in remarkable ways, no matter how we might slip at times. Jesus took the punishment for our sins and gives us second chances.
Optional Materials: Examples of items that were made “by mistake”…examples include chocolate chip cookies, potato chips, safety pins, Silly Putty, and Coca-Cola.
Bible Passage: John 21:1-19
More Children’s Ministry Lessons and Activities from John 21:
- Watch the video demonstration of this children’s sermon lesson and Sunday school crafts
- Compare our Miraculous Catch Bible Lesson for kids and John 21:1-19 Sunday School Lesson
- Compare another Jesus Reinstates Peter Children’s Semon from John 21
- Read more of this Peter, do you love me verse and feed my sheep Bible passage
Peter’s Second Chance (John 21:1-19) Children’s Sermon Lesson
Greet students and discuss mistakes… Hello, children of God!
Have you ever made a big mistake? We all mess things up from time to time, sometimes in bigger ways than others. We might forget someone’s birthday, color outside the lines, or put salt instead of sugar in your cookies. Sometimes we make mistakes in how we deal with people, and we might even hurt someone’s feelings and need to apologize.
What happens when you make a mistake? Do you just give up completely? Do you pretend it didn’t happen? Or do you own up and try again? Sometimes it’s tempting to quit when we mess up on something, but it’s important to be persistent. You never know what will happen when you give something another shot. In fact, did you know that there are actually a lot of amazing things that we have and use every day, that were invented almost by mistake? It’s true! There are many products that would not be around if not for an error. Hold up items or pictures as each one is discussed… For instance, potato chips! The story goes that a man in a restaurant complained that his potatoes were too thick and mushy. So the cook, in anger, sliced some up extra thin and fried them to a crisp. The customer loved them, and chips were born! There are several other things that people came up with on accident: chocolate chip cookies, safety pins, dynamite, Silly Putty, Coca-Cola, and ice cream cones, to name just a few. Initial blunders turned into items that we know and love.
You know what’s amazing? God can take our mistakes and turn them into something new and meaningful. The Bible is full of stories of people who made mistakes and were allowed another chance (often multiple chances!). The entire Bible is about this, in a sense, because we know that we sin and mess things up, but Christ was sent to restore us! There are many individuals that we see this pattern in, as well. One of these people was Peter. Peter was a close friend of Jesus during His ministry, and was often outspoken and ready to do anything for his Lord. But he made a mistake. On the night that Jesus was arrested, He predicted that Peter would deny him three times. Peter refused to believe such a thing was possible and claimed that he would never deny Jesus. But guess what? He sure did…he got nervous and pretended not to even know Jesus! Peter felt awful about it, but the story didn’t end there.
After Jesus rose from the dead, He spent some time on Earth, and appeared to people. In one of these times, Peter was out fishing with some of the other disciples. They hadn’t caught anything, when Jesus came walking by and suggested they try moving their nets. When they did, the disciples caught a huge load of fish! And even though they hadn’t quite recognized Him before, Peter realized it was Jesus on the shore calling to them. They came up, and Jesus cooked up some of the fish for breakfast. Then He spoke to Peter, and asked if he loved Him. Peter of course assured Jesus that he loved Him. But the Lord asked him again. In fact, three times in a row, Christ asked if Peter loved him, and three times he said yes. Jesus responded that Peter needed to “feed my sheep” and “take care of my lambs.”
What did this mean? Well, for one thing, Peter was getting another chance. He had denied Christ three times, but now he got to affirm his love three times. It sort of erased the previous mistakes. In addition, Jesus was giving Peter an important task. When He asked Peter to “take care of sheep”, He was calling on him to spread the Gospel to others. Peter became a very influential person in the early church. He was no longer just a fisherman, but a true fisher of men. God used him in remarkable ways. He shared his faith and proclaimed Christ, even when it later cost him his life.
God can always turn our stories around. Even if we think that we have fallen too far to recover, or we sin and don’t think we can ever be forgiven, God wants to use us. He wants to turn our mess into success, and He will, if we let Him! Bring your mistakes and your failures to the Lord, and watch what amazing things He can do!
Let’s say a prayer to thank God for His grace and opportunities for second chances:
Children’s Prayer Moment:
(Have kids repeat each line, if desired)
Thank you for giving us second chances
Even when we make mistakes
Help us return to you
No matter what we do
Thank you for loving us
We love you, God!
Thank you for Jesus
In His name, Amen!
Bible Verses/story to Reference: John 21:1-19
After this Jesus revealed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias, and he revealed himself in this way. 2 Simon Peter, Thomas (called the Twin), Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples were together. 3 Simon Peter said to them, “I am going fishing.” They said to him, “We will go with you.” They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. 4 Just as day was breaking, Jesus stood on the shore; yet the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, “Children, do you have any fish?” They answered him, “No.” 6 He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved therefore said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on his outer garment, for he was stripped for work, and threw himself into the sea. 8 The other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, but about a hundred yards off.
9 When they got out on land, they saw a charcoal fire in place, with fish laid out on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, “Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.” 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, 153 of them. And although there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared ask him, “Who are you?” They knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and so with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus was revealed to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. 15 When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” 16 He said to him a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” 17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” and he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. 18 Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you used to dress yourself and walk wherever you wanted, but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will dress you and carry you where you do not want to go.” 19 (This he said to show by what kind of death he was to glorify God.) And after saying this he said to him, “Follow me.” -John 21:1-19