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Free Workshop Rotation Model Lessons - Season 2

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Curriculum > Youth > Year 2 > Lesson 12


  • Explore the concept of unworthiness
  • Discuss why Jesus needed students and why Jesus' approach to finding students was unique
  • Highlight how Jesus' invitation is for everyone, even if it's only directed to Peter, James and John in this story


  • Device that allows class to view this video clip (from the movie Wayne’s World)
  • A set of UNO cards for every 6 to 7 students in class



  • We start today’s class with the opening question. One of the teachers will ask the question and then to give you some time to think of an answer, the teacher asking the question will also answer first to give you some time to think.
  • Once the teacher answers the question, we'll go around the circle.
  • When it's your turn, start with your name and then answer the question to the best of your ability.
  • Here's this week's question:  What is a gift that would be so awesome that you might have trouble accepting it?


  • The last two classes, we've been reading and discussing the beginnings of Jesus' life.
  • In those two stories, we discussed power, transformation, self-interest, and the difficulties Mary and Joseph faced during Jesus' birth and first couple of years.
  • Today, we wrap up our session by reading one of the beginnings story of Jesus' ministry.
  • In today's story, Jesus calls his first disciples
  • In it, we'll see that Peter has a response to Jesus that might seem a little surprising - where he tells Jesus to go away from him after Jesus does something pretty cool.
  • To help us think about why that might be Peter's response, let's watch the following movie clip from an early 90s movie called, "Wayne's World"
  • In it, Wayne and Garth, two rock-n-rolls fans, get backstage passes to meet Alice Cooper, one of their rock-n-roll heroes.
  • Alice Cooper made a name for himself with a very theatrical on-stage presence, including wearing make-up, always carrying a horse jockey whip, and having on-stage fireworks.
  • Seems almost tame by today's standards, maybe?
  • Anyway, let's see what happens when Wayne and Garth meet Alice Cooper.


ASK – answers are in parenthesis

  • Did Alice Cooper seem like a nice person? (he did)
  • Did he look like a nice person? (no, not so much)
  • Were Wayne and Garth excited to meet Alice Cooper? (Garth certainly was - he could barely speak at first)
  • At the end of the clip, when Alice Cooper invites them to stay and hang out for a while, what do you think of their reaction of "We're not worthy?" Does that reaction make sense to you?


  • Sometimes when really good things happen to us, we don't think we deserve it
  • Or, sometimes when really good things happen to us, we think someone else would've been more worthy to  receive that good thing instead of us.
  • In today's scripture story, both of these ways of thinking are possibility what happen for Peter when Jesus invites him to become a disciple
  • Let's see what happens


Recommend class reads it out loud; one person per verse

Luke 5:1 Once while Jesus was standing beside the lake of Gennesaret, and the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, 2 he saw two boats there at the shore of the lake; the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little way from the shore. Then he sat down and taught the crowds from the boat. 4 When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch." 5 Simon answered, "Master, we have worked all night long but have caught nothing. Yet if you say so, I will let down the nets." 6 When they had done this, they caught so many fish that their nets were beginning to break.

7 So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man!" 9 For he and all who were with him were amazed at the catch of fish that they had taken; 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching people." 11 When they had brought their boats to shore, they left everything and followed him.

ASK – answers are in parenthesis

  • Verse 1, who is pressing around Jesus? (the crowd; people who want to listen)
  • So that suggests that Jesus is already pretty popular, right? Just like there was a crowd trying to get to Alice Cooper, too. Not that Jesus and Alice Cooper are comparable - am just saying they both had crowds surrounding them.
  • Verse 2 and 3, what does Jesus do to give himself a little space from the crowd but still be able to talk to them? (gets into a fishing boat. Note: Something that's really cool about this idea is that it allows more people to see him AND hear him - the acoustics of still water are very impressive)
  • Verse 4, what does Jesus tell the fishermen to do after he's done teaching? (to put their nets down)
  • Just to pause for a moment: Is Jesus a fisherman? Is that his job? (Nope).
  • Does Simon Peter do as Jesus says? (yes, but he does first tell Jesus why it's an inconvenient suggestion)
  • Verse 6 - And what happens after they let down their nets? (they catch so many fish that they need a second boat to help out)
  • Verse 8 - What is Peter's response to this gift of fish? (to tell Jesus to go away from him - it's his "We're not worthy" moment)
  • Verse 10 - What does Jesus tell Peter? (Do not be afraid and from now on you will be catching people)
  • Verse 11 - What do Peter, James, and John then do? (Leave everything and follow Jesus)


  • Jesus is asking Peter, James, and John to be his students because…Jesus needs students.
  • But Jesus is doing something very different, here, that we might not be aware of due to how things worked in Jesus' time and place.
  • As a teacher (aka, a rabbi), Jesus should be hanging out in Jerusalem, in and around the Temple.
  • Instead, he's three days of travel from there. He's 3 days from where rabbis live and teach.
  • Which also means he's three days of travel from where the students are.
  • Only those best students of the rabbis would go on to become rabbis.
  • Which means Jesus was one of those best students.
  • It also means Peter, James, and John were not the best students, otherwise they would be in Jerusalem, not three days away.
  • Jesus, though, does not care if they are the best students.
  • He invites them to follow him anyways
  • This helps us understand, though, why Peter, then, feels unworthy.
  • He knows he's not one of the best.
  • So what I particularly like about this story is how Jesus uses a phrase to help Peter see how Peter is worthy
  • Jesus points out that the fishing skills that Peter knows very well can be used in what Jesus is going to teach him - that Peter can fish for people, too, and not just fish.
  • To help us think some more about how the skills Peter, James, and John had could be useful in a different situation than the situation in which they gained those skills, let's do the following activity.


  • We're going to play the card game, UNO
  • You win the game by not having any cards left.
  • The game starts with seven cards being dealt to each player.
  • The remaining cards of the deck are placed face down at the center of the table.
  • The top card is then turned face up to start the game.
  • Player to the left of dealer starts
  • Player is to discard one card from their hand by matching the number, color, or the symbol/Action with the top card of the discard pile.
  • If the player is unable to match the number, color, or the symbol/Action of the top card on the discard pile and does not have a wild card, they draw cards from the stockpile until getting a playable card.
  • You can play a regular wild card whenever you want
  • You can only play a draw-4 wild card if you cannot play another card
  • The game ends as soon as one player has emptied their hand - and that player is then the winner.
  • We'll play one or two rounds, wrap up the lesson, and then, if there's time left, we'll play some more rounds.



  • Did you sometimes have a really good hand, but then someone changed the color and you couldn't use your cards?
  • Or, did you sometimes have good cards but the wrong color was being played, but then someone changed the discard pile to the color that you wanted?
  • In both of those situations, it wasn't that your cards changed, it was that the actual situation had changed
  • And, that's the same thing we see happening in today's scripture story
  • Jesus is telling Peter, James, and John that the cards they are holding work well for catching fish, but will also work really well for being his disciples
  • Note, this is not a story that tells us what ALL disciples should be expected to do (aka "fish for people").  
  • Instead, this is a story that tells us that we are all invited to follow Jesus.
  • Jesus invites everyone to follow him, regardless of ability and status.
  • And, even if we feel like we are unworthy to do so, the skills we have will be put to good use: No one is unworthy of being Jesus' student.
  • And that's the good news for today


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Luke 5:1-11

Jesus Calls Peter, James, and John


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