We are continuing our series in Matthew’s gospel. This week we are looking at Matthew 4:18-22.
Read the bible story as it is in the NIV bible as below or in a children’s bible or other bible you have at home:
18 As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. 19 “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.” 20 At once they left their nets and followed him.
21 Going on from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with their father Zebedee, preparing their nets. Jesus called them, 22 and immediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.
Watch the bible story
Questions to think about
Here are some questions to think about. The verses the answers are found in are given in brackets.
- Where was Jesus walking in this passage? (18)
- Who did he see? (18)
- What were these two brothers doing? (18)
- What did Jesus say to them? (19)
- What do you think Jesus meant by ‘follow me’? (19)
- What do you think it means to ‘fish for people’? (19)
Jesus asked these two men to follow him and said he would send them to fish for people rather than fishing for fish. Jesus is the Son of God so he can ask anyone to follow him. To follow Jesus is more important than following anyone or anything else in the whole world – this is as true for us today as it was for the first disciples Peter and Andrew back then.
When he says that Peter and Andrew will fish for people, he is talking about the taking part in his mission to call more people to follow him. They are called to follow Jesus and in turn will call more people to follow Jesus. If we are followers of Jesus, we too are part of Jesus’ mission to call more people to follow him.
- What did Peter and Andrew do? (20)
- How quickly did they follow him? (20)
- What did they leave behind? (20)
- Jesus then calls James and John to follow him too, what did they do when he called them? (21-22)
- What did they leave behind when they followed Jesus? (22)
We are told that Peter, Andrew, James and John went immediately to follow Jesus. They didn’t take a long time thinking about it but went straight away. They knew how important it was to follow Jesus. We are also told that these first disciples left their jobs and their whole livelihood to follow Jesus and we are told that James and John also left their father to follow him. It shows us that Jesus is more important than all these things, he is worth leaving everything for.
Questions to discuss
- How important do you think Jesus is? Why?
- What do you think it looks like to follow Jesus? What might look different between someone who follows Jesus and someone who doesn’t follow Jesus?
- What does ‘fishing for people’ look like today?
- It might seem scary to tell other people about Jesus, but it is Jesus who sends the first disciples to do this task and it is Jesus who sends us too. What do we know about Jesus and how he helps us day to day that makes this task seem less scary?
You will need:
- Card or paper – can be white or other colours
- String or wool
- Hole punch or an object to make holes in paper or card
- On one piece of paper or card Write out the verse: ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will send you out to fish for people.’ Matthew 4:19. Cut this out so that it is about A5 in size.
- On some different paper or card draw some pictures of fish – you could do these on coloured paper or colour them in if you want to. Cut these out.
- Now you need to make holes in your piece of card/paper with your bible verse on – first do holes along the bottom of the card; you will need as many holes as you have number of fish. You will also need to put one hole in each of your fish. Also, if you want to hang it up you can do two holes at the top of your bible verse.
- Now you can attach pieces of string or wool to your holes so that the fish hang off your bible verse. You can also attach a piece of string/wool through two holes at the top of your bible verse so you can hang it up.
Father God, help us to be people who want to follow you, just like the first disciples. Help us to remember that Jesus is more important than anything else. Amen