Turning to Jesus! Story Three

A Vacation Bible School Curriculum by Barry McWilliams
an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America

Story Two: A Hard Day of Miracles

Daily Theme: Faith is trusting and obeying Jesus rather than what we see

Teaching Technique: Acting it out; Pantomime

Story Summary:

  1. Jesus sends the disciples homeward in a boat
  2. Toiling in the darkness into a stormy wind the disciples see Jesus walking toward them and are afraid.
  3. Peter trusts Jesus to walk toward him, then begins to sink

Lesson: "They forgot the lesson of the loaves"

Clear an area so the children can move around, then seat everybody on the floor in a circle. Be prepared to go through each story several times with different children taking the leads. Briefly read to the children Mark 6:30-44. Then select several children to act out the roles of Jesus and two or three disciples, the rest of the children will be the crowd. Act as Narrator using a simplified version of the story, letting the children go through the motions of the story acting out their hunger, eating and being satisfied, as the leads say their lines. Each time have the children count the loaves and fishes, and pretend to count the people: "1,000...2,000...etc" out loud.

As you proceed, verbally and in acting the story out, impress on the children the facts of the miracle:

After going though the story 2-3 times, you will find other children still wanting a turn as the lead characters. Let them have their chance with the second story.

Then comes the transition: "Children, you would have thought that the disciples would have learned a great lesson from what Jesus did: That Jesus, being God's Son, could take care of them. Feeding all those people with 5 loaves and 2 fishes seems impossible, but Jesus can do impossible things. The disciples had helped him as he did this great miracle.

But that night, as the disciples were rowing the boat across the Sea of Galilee, they forgot all about what happened that day. They forgot that Jesus would and could take care of them."

Read to the children: Mark 6:45-50; Matt 14:28-31; Mark 6:51-52. Line up all the children in two rows and have them practice "rowing". Then Narrate the story in simple words, allowing a couple of children to play the parts of Jesus and Peter, encouraging the children to act out the hard work of rowing, the tossing of the boat, the fear of the storm and darkness and also their fright at Jesus' appearance, as well as the sudden calm.

Again go through the story several times, with different children each time, impressing on them as you go that: Jesus deliberately sent them off without Him.

If time permits, do the entire story of both miracles from beginning to end.

The children will get to know these stories quite well with this teaching method. They love participation stories. Make application as you go through the story for the children. "Can Jesus take care of your needs? What are you afraid of? Does Jesus know when you are in danger? etc."

© 1989 Barry McWilliams and Mission Church Fellowship,
Hypertext Version © 1996 Barry McWilliams
For Permission to reproduce and use these materials and other information
Contact Barry McWilliams at eldrbarry@eldrbarry.net