Leader Notes “And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Philippians 2:11
The high priest and chief priests, together with experts in Old Testament law and Jewish legal tradition, formed the Sanhedrin, the governing council of the Jews. The Sanhedrin had authority to rule over religious and legal matters, within the limits imposed by the Roman governor. For example, they could not impose the death penalty on their own, as seen in John 18:31.
They should have been the spiritual caregivers of Israel, who welcomed the Messiah; instead they conspired to kill Jesus.
By night (the entire set of proceedings took place before dawn), they conducted a shady trial, during which they tried in vain to level trumped up charges against Jesus (Mark 14:55-56). In the end, they decided he should die for claiming to be the Messiah (Mark 14:61-64).
During Jesus’ trial, Peter—who was a leader of the apostles, and who had more than once sworn he would never abandon Jesus no matter what happened—denied even knowing Jesus, three times in short succession!
The third time, Peter went so far as to vow before God that he did not know Jesus (Mark 14:71). The third time, additionally, a rooster crowed, reminding Peter that Jesus had predicted his betrayal. Peter was immediately struck with overwhelming sorrow. Yet Jesus later forgave him and restored him to fellowship and service (John 21:15-17).
Prayer • Read Mark 14:31, 50. • Is there currently an area of your life that amounts to a denial of knowing Jesus? What can you do about it? • Pray: Lord, help me never to deny knowing you. Help me always to remain faithful to you no matter what. Help me be an example to the children by…
Theme Verse: Philippians 2:11 And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Bible Story Peter Denies JesusMatthew 26:69-75
Read from your Bible. Ask students to find it in a Bible too. Those that can read can follow along. Choose the passages you would like to read aloud. Use visuals to help tell the story.
And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:11
Today's story is about Jesus' disciple, Peter.
Jesus was arrested by soldiers and taken to the High Priest. He was being falsely accused. The High Priest was planning Jesus’ death on the cross.
Earlier in the evening, Peter had told Jesus that no matter what happened, he would stand up for Jesus, even to the death. Jesus told him that before the rooster crowed in the morning he would have denied Him three times.
JOHN 18:15 And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple. Now that disciple was known to the high priest, and went with Jesus into the courtyard of the high priest.
Peter and another disciple were following at a distance to see what was going to happen to Jesus. Since the other disciple (probably John) was known by the High Priest, he was allowed to go into the courtyard with Jesus. Since Peter wasn’t known, he had to stay at the door of the gate.
The other disciple came back to the gate, and got permission for Peter to come into the yard while he went inside.
JOHN 18:16-17 But Peter stood at the door outside. Then the other disciple, who was known to the high priest, went out and spoke to her who kept the door, and brought Peter in. Then the servant girl who kept the door said to Peter, "You are not also one of this Man's disciples, are you?" He said, "I am not."
The servant asked if Peter was a disciple of Jesus. If he acknowledged that he was, he was afraid that he would be arrested too, so he denied Jesus by saying that he was not. Peter was now afraid. Just hours earlier he was ready to go to battle with the soldiers who came to take Jesus away, but now he was afraid to acknowledge that he knew Jesus.
JOHN 18:18 And the servants and officers who had made a fire of coals stood there, for it was cold, and they warmed themselves. And Peter stood with them and warmed himself.
The servants and officials had set a fire in the courtyard of the temple too. Peter was standing before the fire with them. Notice that Peter was staying with the servants of the High Priest and the officers of the temple (possibly Roman soldiers). These were very possibly the ones who came to help in arresting Jesus.
JOHN 18:25 Now Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. Therefore they said to him, "You are not also one of His disciples, are you?" He denied it and said, "I am not!"
One of the servants in front of the fire turned to Peter and asked him again if he was Jesus' disciple. Peter denied it again for the second time that evening.
JOHN 18:26-27 One of the servants of the high priest, a relative of him whose ear Peter cut off, said, "Did I not see you in the garden with Him?" Peter then denied again; and immediately a rooster crowed.
Another servant recognized Peter as the one who tried to defend Jesus by cutting off the ear of a servant when Jesus was arrested. He challenged Peter saying that he knew and saw him in the Olive Garden with Jesus. This must have been pretty frightening because Peter was now all by himself. Again Peter said that he didn’t even know Him. The rooster crowed and he remembered that Jesus had said that he would deny Jesus three times that very night.
Peter went home and cried. He realized what he had done and he felt awful. He immediately asked for forgiveness. Do you think the Lord forgave him? (Yes)
Bible Challenge Read this passage from your Bible. Ask students to locate it in a Bible too. Help them learn this verse.
And every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:11
Play It! Before the Bell Rings You’ll Need: A box or bowl and three blocks.
Hide the blocks in the room and explain to a volunteer that the object of the game is to place the blocks in the container before you ring the bell twice.
Be prepared to ring the bell approximately every five seconds.
Ask volunteers how it felt to hear the bell ring for the second time before they had a chance to finish their tasks.
Ask how Peter must have felt to have denied Jesus three times when he heard the crow of the rooster. Peter had very good intentions, but good intentions are not enough; it’s what we do that counts.
Peter asked forgiveness and turned from his sin. He learned from his mistakes and became strong in his faith. Later he became a very great man with Jesus’ help.
Good Intentions are Not Enough Set up a race between two children in your class. Make a course that they must follow while carrying a ping-pong ball on a serving spoon.
The object of the game is to be the first to drop the ball into a narrow jar at the end of the course. Whenever the ball falls from the spoon the class must shout, “Good intentions are not enough!” When the balls fall the children must go back to the beginning of the course, even if they make it to the end and miss getting the ball into the jar.
Illustrate for the children that even though they tried really hard and intended to win the race, good intentions are not enough. Make this an opportunity to explain that even with our good intentions, we fall short and need the saving grace of Jesus.
Make It! Mosaic Cross Let children color the cross, using washable markers. Let them glue sequins and gems to their cross.
When dry, cut cross out and glue to black construction paper, cutting around the cross, or leaving it as is on the cross.
Make It and Eat It! Crisscross You’ll Need: Pretzel Sticks & Napkins Cups & Water
Gather children at a table. Hand each child three pretzel sticks. Tell children to make a cross using all three of the sticks. They may use two sticks for either the vertical or horizontal branch. When the crosses have been made, ask: • How many times did Peter deny he knew Jesus? (Three.)
Say: Each time I ask you if you know Jesus, shout “Jesus is our Lord!” and eat one pretzel stick. Ask three times: • Do you know Jesus?
When all of the pretzel sticks have been eaten, say: We’re glad Jesus always followed God—even when it was hard.
Let’s say a prayer and thank God for sending Jesus. Pray: Dear God, thank you for Jesus. His love was so great that he died for us. Thank you for helping Jesus follow you, even when it was hard. Please help us to follow you, too. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Even though we’re sad that Jesus died, we know that he came back to life. We can trust God to make things work out for the best. We can be happy that God loves us and that Jesus is our Lord!
Create It! Crosses to Wear
Before this activity, cut one 6-inch length and two 3-inch lengths of chenille wire for each child. You’ll also need one 14-inch length of yarn for each child.
Have children each get with a partner. Hand each child two 3-inch pieces and one 6-inch piece of chenille wire. Have one partner hold two shorter wires in a cross shape.Have the other person wrap the longer wire in a crisscross pattern around the crossing point, securing the wires together as a cross.
Demonstrate how to tie the ends of the yarn around the cross to make a necklace. Repeat for the other partners’ necklaces. As the children work, tell them that when they wear a cross, it tells others that Jesus is our Lord.
Closing Activity Pray Dear Lord Jesus, You died for my sin. You washed me clean. Give me a heart that joyfully serves others in Your name. May all that I do, Jesus, bring glory to You. In Your name I pray. Amen.
Blessing:May God, who is all around you, Beginning at the bottom of the circle, slowly pour his love upon you.make a large circle with your hands. Finish by bringing your hands down and wiggling the fingers to resemble rain.) And Jesus, his life a sacrifice,Slowly make a large sign of the cross. Then walk right there beside you.move your hands out to the sides. And may God’s Holy Spirit, Cross your hands over the heart. the one who lives inside you, keep you strong, Move to a “strong man” position. Then comfort, lead and guide you!cross your arms with the hands on corresponding upper arms to communicate comfort. Bring one hand forward with “lead” and the other with “guide” to complete the blessing.)