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Lesson Prep

Background Scripture (read 2-3 times during the week)

Matthew 14:22-33

Story Summary

(This story also appears in Mark 6:45-52 and John 6:16-21. Note that the Matthew account is the only one that explicitly mentions Peter walking on water along with Jesus. We strongly encourage you to read all 3 accounts to get a full picture of this story.)

This story happens directly after the feeding of the 5000. If you remember, Jesus was trying to get to a solitary place after the death of John the Baptist when the crowd descended on him in Bethsaida. So, after he taught them and fed them, he went away to a solitary place to pray and sent his disciples ahead of him to cross the Sea of Galilee to Capernaum. Overnight, another storm popped up on the sea (the disciples had some bad luck!).

Jesus saw that they were struggling to handle the boat in the tough weather, and began walking on the water to go meet them. The disciples saw Jesus approaching and thought it was a ghost (wouldn't you!). Jesus called out to them and told them to be brave. "'Lord, is it you?' Peter asked. 'If it is, tell me to come to you on the water.' (Matthew 14:28) Jesus told him to come, so Peter stepped out of the boat and began to walk on the water towards Jesus. As Peter began fearing the winds and the waves, he began to sink. But Jesus picked him up and helped him into the boat. Jesus told Peter that he shouldn't have been afraid, and that he should have trusted him.

We learn from the account in John that as soon as Peter and Jesus got into the boat, it immediately arrived to the other side of the Sea of Galilee - an aspect of this miracle that is often left out.

What You Will Need

Supplies
New Testament Bible map. Point out Bethsaida (on the northeastern shore of the Sea of Galilee, where the feeding of the 5000 most likely took place), the Sea of Galilee, and Capernaum (on the northwestern shore of the Sea of Galilee, where they were headed)
Snack Suggestion
Jesus Walks on Water Jello Snack

Resource Sheet

Jesus Walks on Water Coloring Sheet

This coloring sheet depicts Jesus walking on water to the disciples on the boat

Lesson

1. Warm Up

get your kids talking and engaged

If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

Today, we are going to learn about a time in the Bible when Jesus walked on water!

2. Teach the Story

teach a holistic story

Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.

For older children, read the story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or read directly from the Bible.

3. Bible Mastery

give them basic Bible skills

Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud: Matthew 14:22-33

4. Comprehension Questions

make sure they understand the story

First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?

  • What happened right before this story? (Jesus fed the 5000)
  • What body of water were they on in the boat? (the Sea of Galilee)
  • Where were they heading? (Capernaum)
  • Where was Jesus? (in a remote place, praying by himself)
  • What happened in the middle of the night while the disciples were on the boat? (a storm popped up)
  • What did Jesus do next? (he walked out on the water to meet them)
  • Who the disciples think Jesus was when they saw him walking on the water? (a ghost)
  • What did Peter ask Jesus? (if it truly was Jesus, to tell him to come out on the water to meet him)
  • When did Peter begin to sink? (when he became fearful of the winds and the waves)
  • What happened when Jesus and Peter got into the boat? (it immediately arrived in Capernaum)

5. Faith Questions

help them apply the story to their lives and open up a conversation about faith and the gospel; close with prayer
  • In this story, we learn that Peter needed to trust Jesus and not be afraid of what was going on around him.
  • What is going on in your life right now that you need to trust Jesus about?

6. Memory Verse

hide God's Word in their heart
Don’t worry about anything. Instead, tell God about everything. Ask and pray. Give thanks to him. Philippians 4:6

Reinforcement Activities

Peter sinking Craft

Scripture “Come,” Jesus said. So Peter got out of the boat. He walked on the water toward Jesus. But when Peter saw the wind, he was afraid. He began to sink. He cried out, “Lord! Save me!” Matthew 14:29-30

Supplies card stock, blue paint, paint brushes, popsicle sticks, Peter and Jesus patterns. glue

  • Cut a slit in middle of card stock.
  • Paint bottom half of card stock blue.
  • Color and cut out Peter picture from resource sheet.
  • Glue Peter to a popsicle stick.
  • Glue a picture of Jesus on the far right side of page, with his feet touching the blue.
  • Slide Peter through the slit.
  • You can make Peter sink into water, by moving him up and down.

Making an Anemometer

Scripture The boat was already a long way from land. It was being pounded by the waves because the wind was blowing against it. Matthew 14:24

Supplies 5 dixie cups, 2 straws, straight pin, pencil with eraser, tape

  • Peter took his eyes off of Jesus, noticed the wind and the waves and began to sink.
  • Punch two holes in 5 dixie cups (make them across from each other).
  • Take one of the cups and add two more holes, also across from each other, only slightly lower than the first holes.
  • Place a hole into center of bottom of the cup with 4 holes. Make sure pencil has plenty of room to move around, so it does not fit snug.
  • Place straws through the cups with 4 holes.
  • Put the pencil through the hole in the bottom of the cup, eraser side up.
  • Place a straight pin through the straws and into the eraser.
  • Slide one of the other cups onto each straw. Make sure they are pointing with the top in the same direction.
  • Bend the end of straw and tape to outside of each cup to secure.
  • It should spin when you blow on it.

Make a Wind Sock

Scripture The boat was already a long way from land. It was being pounded by the waves because the wind was blowing against it. Matthew 14:24

Supplies card stock, tissue paper, stapler, string, unsharpened pencil, glue, scissors

  • Decorate one side of card stock.
  • Glue tissue paper onto the bottom of card stock.
  • Cut slits in the tissue paper, all the way up to the card stock.
  • Staple card stock together.
  • Attach a strip of card stock for handle.
  • Tie one piece of string to the handle and another to the end of a pencil.

Sinking paperclip

Scripture “Come,” Jesus said. So Peter got out of the boat. He walked on the water toward Jesus. But when Peter saw the wind, he was afraid. He began to sink. He cried out, “Lord! Save me!” Matthew 14:29-30

Supplies paper clip, paper towel, container with water

  • Drop a paper clip in a cup of water. What happens?
  • Tear off a piece of paper towel that is slightly larger than the paper clip.
  • Place the piece of paper towel on top of the water.
  • Gently place another paper clip on the piece of paper towel. Wait a few seconds. Now what happens?
  • Explanation: If you drop a paper clip in water, the paper clip sinks. But if you put the paper clip on a piece of paper towel after about 30-45 seconds the paper towel sinks and the paper clip floats. This is because water particles are attracted to each other in all directions, making them "stick" together. However, because there are no water particles above them, the water particles at the surface "stick" only to particles next to and below them. This makes the surface act as if it had a thin "skin". This is called surface tension. The paper towel helps you to lower the paper clip onto the surface gently without breaking the surface tension.

Walking on Water

Heads up! This activity should be done outside.

Scripture They saw him walking on the lake and were terrified. “It’s a ghost!” they said. And they cried out in fear. Right away Jesus called out to them, “Be brave! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” Matthew 14:26-27

Supplies corn starch, water, large shallow tub

  • Mix cornstarch and water to correct consistency.
  • Have children remove their shoes and socks.
  • Take turns running and stepping on the cornstarch mixture.
  • Keep running, so you don't sink!
Walking on Water Example

Jesus Walks on Water Jello Snack

Heads up! Make jello cups ahead of time

Scripture Matthew 14:22-32

Supplies cups of blue jello, teddy grahams, banana, knife, cheese or melon-cut into triangle, pretzel sticks

  • Make a boat using a banana slice.
  • Stick a pretzel stick into the banana.
  • Stick a triangle of cheese or melon onto the pretzel to make the sail.
  • Have students place the boat on top of the jello.
  • Stick a teddy graham into the jello, just far enough so he will stand up.

jesus walks on water

Heads up! peter & Jesus cutouts

Scripture Matt. 14:22-33

Supplies card stock, blue paint

  • Cut a slit in middle of card stock...