Resources for Christian Education

Free Workshop Rotation Model Lessons - Season 3

Children’s Sermon

Matthew 16:21-28

Peter Gets Turned Around

August 30, 2020

Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Lectionary Year A

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ASK    (a.k.a The On-Ramp)

  • Good morning!
  • I’m hoping you might be able to help me.
  • I have a phone, here, but it's not working for me.
  • But maybe you can fix it for me.
  • [Hold the phone with the screen facing down] So, here's the thing - I push the buttons on the side and then I tap on it, but I can't see anything.
  • [ Tap on the back of the phone (with the screen facing downwards) a couple of times; then show the back of the phone to the kids and say "See? Doesn't work." Then let them explain to you that you are using the wrong side of the phone - that you have it upside down. ]
  • I can't believe I've had the phone turned the wrong way the whole time!
  • Thank you so much for helping me out!

TELL    (a.k.a. The Freeway)

  • You know, this is a lot like what happens in today's scripture story.
  • Except, instead of the phone getting turned around, Peter gets turned around.
  • It all starts when Jesus is telling Peter and the other disciples about certain things that are going to happen to him.
  • And, the things Jesus was saying that were going to happen to him were not good things.
  • It's at this point that Peter then tells Jesus to make different choices.
  • But that's not what students are supposed to do with teachers in Jesus' time and place
  • Students were meant to ask questions and follow the teacher. And teachers were meant to lead the way.
  • But when Peter tells Jesus to change his choices, he's acting like the teacher and is treating Jesus like the student.
  • Peter has gotten turned around, just like I had the phone turned around.
  • Which is why Jesus tells Peter to get behind him.
  • Jesus is helping Peter turn the right way, just like you helped me turn the phone the right way.

SHARE the Good News   (a.k.a. The Destination)

  • Jesus knows that Peter has gotten turned around because he is afraid of what's going to happen.
  • The same thing can happen for us.
  • Sometimes we get scared and confused and turned around.
  • When that happens, we start to make mistakes which cause us to be even more afraid.
  • But today's story reminds us that when we're afraid and confused, one of the first things we can do is to turn our attention towards Jesus.
  • By turning our attention towards Jesus, we are reminded of what Jesus teaches about God and God’s way to help us get turned in the right direction again.
  • It seems like such a simple thing, doesn't it? Maybe it sounds so simple that it won’t work.
  • But, again, think about the phone - think about how much more I could do with the phone once I turned it the right way.
  • The same thing is true for us with Jesus – sometimes we are facing the wrong way and the way we get turned in the right direction is by turning our attention towards Jesus.
  • And that's the good news for today. Let’s pray.


  • This is a repeat-after-me prayer.

Dear God,
Dear God,

Thank you for Jesus…

Thank you for Jesus…

…who teaches us about you.

…who teaches us about you.

Help us to pay attention…

Help us to pay attention…

…to him and to you.

…to him and to you.

  Thank you and amen

Originally posted September 2, 2017

Updated on August 3, 2020
Written and edited by Nathanael Vissia

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Supplies: A smart phone (without a screen cover).

Related message(s): Mark 8:31-38