High Voltage Elementary: Average Pete

Lesson 8: Welcome Back!

Peter had made a HUGE mistake! He had ignored the warning signs and failed Jesus by denying Him three times. He felt like a loser, and rightly so. Jesus knew how Peter felt. He knew that Peter was sorry for his mistake. He showed up while Peter was fishing, and Peter did exactly what he needed to do. He went straight to Jesus and declared his love for Him. Jesus not only welcomed Peter back, but He gave Peter a chance to declare his love three times, the very number of times he had denied Jesus. In this lesson, the children will learn that when we make a mistake, there is only one thing to do: RUN to Jesus and receive His forgiveness!


Classroom Instructions


Before the lesson read John 21 and become familiar with all the details of the Bible Story; take the marker and write “GOD’S PLAN” on one piece of paper, fold it until it will fit and place it into the secret pocket of the Change Bag prior to starting the lesson.

Materials: Rod Tacklebox
Drama Team

Rod: Ahoy there, boys and girls!

Leader: Rod Tacklebox, everyone! How’s it going, buddy?

Rod: Oh Landlubber, I’m feelin’ sad.

Leader: Sad?

Rod: Aye, I’m sadder than a sea lion with strep throat. I’m rememberin’ a time I messed up!

Leader: We all mess up sometimes, Rod!

Rod: Oh I messed up BIG. It was terrible! Absolutely terrible!

Leader: It couldn’t have been THAT bad, Rod.

Rod: It’s worse than that time I tried to braid an Octopus’ tentacles! It’s worse than that time I tried to sharpen a swordfish with a pencil sharpener! It’s worse than when I made a peanut butter and jellyfish sandwich!

Leader: Wow…what’s worse than all of that stuff??

Rod: I flushed a toilet.

Leader: Rod…um..I’m not sure if you realize this, but it’s a GOOD thing to flush a toilet.

Rod: Not this time, it wasn’t! I remember it like it was yesterday. I was just a little boy, working on my pappy’s fishin’ boat. There was a bucket of crab shells he told me to get rid of. Well, I thought I’d just flush ‘em down the toilet!

Leader: Oh no…what happened?

Rod: The toilet EXPLODED!!!! It was terrible! It shot out of our ship like a stinky rocket, leavin’ a big hole in the ship! And then the ship SANK!

Leader: It sank? Rod, I’m so sorry!

Rod: Aye, it was a terrible day. I messed up big time and I was ashamed of myself. By the time we were rescued, I figured my pappy hated me somethin’ fierce.

Leader: Did he?

Rod: Well, I went up to him and apologized, and what he said to me I’ll never forget. He said “Sonny-boy, I know ya messed up, and I know you’re sorry. I forgive you. I still have big plans for you, so don’t give up on yourself, because I sure haven’t!”

Leader: Wow, what a nice thing of him to do! He said he had big plans for you?

Rod: Aye, that he did! I helped him get the boat out of the ocean, fix it up, and worked harder than ever! Later, he gave the ship to me, and now I’m the captain of the greatest fishin’ boat to sale the seven seas! I was completely redeemed!

Leader: Rod, that’s an awesome story! It just so happens we’re talking about how Peter messed up and was redeemed today. Jesus welcomed him right back into his arms!

Rod: I love that story! Y’know, no matter how bad you mess up, God can always bring ya back to where you belong. Now boys and girls, I gotta skedaddle! I got a lotta fishin’ to do! Until next time, THERE SHE BLOWS, AND HERE I GO!!

Materials: a small plastic basketball set made for toddlers (or you can use a wastebasket and many wads of paper)
  • Choose one boy and one girl to compete in this game. Choose a worker to be the “counter” for each team. They compete one at a time.

    When you say “GO!”, the first contestant attempts to make as many baskets with the ball (paper wad) as possible. At the end of the sixty seconds, the next contestant tries. When both contestants have had an opportunity, share the results. The contestant who made the most baskets wins!

Materials: two sheets of paper; black marker; Magic “change bag” illusion (found at any magic store or at www.gospelmagic.com)

Before the lesson read John 21 and become familiar with all the details of the Bible Story; take the marker and write “GOD’S PLAN” on one piece of paper, fold it until it will fit and place it into the secret pocket of the Change Bag prior to starting the lesson.

Today we are finishing up the series about the disciple named Peter. He was just an average, ordinary guy that God used to do some amazing things for Him. In our last lesson, Peter made a HUGE mistake. He ignored several warning signs and ended up making a BIG mistake. He denied that he even knew who Jesus was three times.

At that very moment, he looked over and saw Jesus was looking straight at him. Peter must have felt terrible. He must have felt like a failure. He had blown it. He was supposed to be a disciple who would tell everyone about Jesus. Instead, he was a failure who denied he even knew who Jesus was.

Peter isn’t the only person who has ever felt this way. He’s not the only person who has ever failed. Most likely you have felt the same way at times.

Romans 3:23 says, “All has sinned…” We all are capable of making mistakes and falling into temptation. Many times—when we do fail—we begin to believe that God’s plan for our lives is over. (take the blank piece of paper and write the words “GOD’S PLAN” on it just as you did on the other piece of paper that you placed in the secret pocket of the change bag) We believe that God had a plan for our lives before we failed, but now that we’ve failed, we believe that God’s plan must be over. (tear the paper that says “GOD’S PLAN” up into pieces so the kids can see that it is destroyed) We feel that there is no way God can still use someone who has failed like that. (place the torn pieces of paper into the change bag’s “standard” pocket as if it is a trash bag; then, place the bag down in plain sight until later)

Even though we may feel like we are a failure, there is only one thing we should do when we have sinned and failed. We should do what Peter did...

After Jesus was arrested, crucified, and buried, God raised Him from the dead. One day while Peter and some of the disciples were out fishing

they noticed a man walking on the shore. The man called out to them from the shore.

When Peter realized it was Jesus on the shore, he couldn’t wait to row in. He couldn’t wait to see Jesus.

Peter jumped out of the boat and swam to the shore.

Boys and girls, that’s what we need to do when we fail. We don’t need to run away from God, we need to run TO God. We need to go to Him and confess our sin to Him. He already knows what we did. We must confess it to Him and ask for His forgiveness.

When they all reached shore, Jesus had a fire started.

He said, “Bring some of the fish you just caught, let’s have breakfast.” They ate together around the fire - Jesus and His disciples, as they had done so many times before.

When they were done eating, Jesus said, “Peter, I’ve got a question: Do you love me?”. Peter said, “Yes Lord. You know I love you.” Jesus said: “Feed my lambs.” This meant “Lead my people.” Then, Jesus asked again: “Do you love me? Peter said: “Yes, you know I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep”. Jesus asked a third time: “Do you love me? This time, Peter got his feelings hurt. He couldn’t believe Jesus had to ask a third time. He said, “Jesus, You know everything. You know I love you.” Jesus said, “Then feed my sheep.”

Why did Jesus ask the same question three times? I don’t think the number is a coincidence. I think Jesus was giving Peter three chances to answer the question the right way. Peter denied Jesus three times. Now, three times, Peter gets to declare his love for Jesus.

Then, Jesus said something amazing to Peter. He began to tell him that he was going to do amazing things for Him, including die for Him. Can you believe that? The man who wasn’t willing to admit he knew Jesus would one day die for his belief in Him. What an amazing turnaround! Jesus was telling this to Peter to let him know that—even though he failed—God’s plan for him was still intact. What does this teach us?

Jesus didn’t hold Peter’s failure against him. Even though Peter failed BIG TIME—God still had an amazing plan for Peter. (pick up the change bag and hold it up for the kids to see) It’s the same with us. Even though we might have failed and we thought God’s plan for our lives was over (while you say this, secretly turn the “trigger” on the change bag so that the secret compartment is now open and the fresh piece of paper is now available), the truth is God’s plan was not over (pull out the piece of paper that says “GOD’S PLAN”). His plan is still in place.

When we fail, we must come to Jesus and receive His forgiveness. Then, we get right back into doing what God has called us to do. Just like Peter, we can get back on track and do BIG things for God. Failure isn’t forever!

  • (play soft music) Pray with those who have had a hard time receiving God’s forgiveness. Pray that they will allow God to put them back on the right track. His plan is still in place!!!

  1. What was today’s Big Idea? Answer: “Even When I Fail, God Will Take Me Back!”

  2. In our video, who broke the picture frame with the dollar in it? Answer: The King

  3. What was he doing when he broke it? Answer: practicing a dance move

  4. What was Peter doing when Jesus appeared on the beach? Answer: fishing

  5. When he saw it was Jesus on the shore, what did Peter do? Answer: jumped out of the boat and swam to shore

  6. According to our lesson, “Nobody’s ____________; We All Make Mistakes.” Answer: Perfect

  7. According to our lesson, “When I Fail, I Must Come To _____________.” Answer: Jesus

  8. According to our lesson, “Failure Isn’t ________________.” Answer: Forever

  9. Will Jesus forgive us of our failures if we ask Him? Answer: yes

  10. Where was our Power Verse found? Answer: Acts 3:19

At Home

At Home Instructions

Family Devotion: Welcome Back!

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