Luke 5:1-11 – Funny Fish

Peter’s big catch contained all kinds of funny fish, just like God’s family. We can explore the diversity of God’s family with this fun sketch and a very silly game!

You could use the sketch at All Age Worship or Messy Church, or for an assembly on inclusion and diversity. What other kinds of funny fish could you have?

The game, I freely admit, is simply an excuse for fun!

Game – Kipper Flipper

You will need:

  • Fish shapes [Click here for PDF – 3 fish]
  • pens / stickers / yarn / fabric glue for decorating
  • Either:
    • straws (if you are racing on a table) or
    • paper plates for ‘wafters’ (if you are racing on the floor)

kipper flipper

The ‘wafters’ can be anything big enough to waft your fish: A4 card, magazines or small trays also work fine.

Decorate your own funny fish, perhaps make it look like you with curly hair, or glasses, or clothes to match your own.

Put all the fish along a starting line, either at one end of a table or along a line on the floor and have a race – the Kipper Flipper!

You can blow your fish through a straw, or flap it with a piece of card, and see whose kipper is the first to reach the end.

 

Sketch – Funny Fish

Characters:

Peter – pretty much all the lines – feel free to improvise around script
Jesus – a couple of lines – can be volunteer from crowd
Helpers – a couple of people to help pull the net in (optional) – no words

Props:

Print out several fish on different colours of paper and add patterns or symbols to some. Eg stripes, spots, happy faces, question marks, tall arrows, short arrows.

If you have a lot of children, you can throw the fish into the air and have children collect them in. (This works very well!) If you do not have many children, slip the fish into the net at that point and take them out one at a time by hand or with the magnetic fishing rod.

If you are using a volunteer Jesus, print out these words on slips of paper as prompts.

Words of Jesus – 1

Well, I was fed up, I can tell you. Then my mate Jesus popped his head up (I’d given him a lift on my boat, you see) and he said

[voice from crowd] Peter, put out into the deeper part, and let down your nets for a catch.

Eh? What’s that you said, Jesus?

[voice from crowd] Peter, put out into the deeper part, and let down your nets for a catch.

 

Words of Jesus – 2

And I said to him, “Jesus, you are amazing, and I’m not good enough to be your friend. You leave me alone and I’ll get on with catching fish.” And do you know what he said? Jesus said

[voice from crowd] Don’t be afraid, Peter. From now on you’ll be catching people.

Eh? You what?

[voice from crowd] Don’t be afraid, Peter. From now on you’ll be catching people.

Script – Funny Fish

Hello, my name’s Simon Peter and I’m a fisherman. Well, I used to be. Something a bit funny happened today. Let me tell you about it.

You see, there I was, on the lake, in my boat, doing my fishing. Throwing the nets, pulling them in. [throwing net] Throwing the nets, pulling them in. Phew! It’s hard work fishing and I need some help. Can you do this with me? Throwing the nets, pulling them in. Throwing the nets, pulling them in.

And do you know what I got after all that work?

Nothing! Not one thing. Not even a shrimp!

Well, I was fed up, I can tell you. Then my mate Jesus popped his head up (I’d given him a lift on my boat, you see) and he said

[voice from crowd] Peter, put out into the deeper part, and let down your nets for a catch.

Eh? What’s that you said, Jesus?

[voice from crowd] Peter, put out into the deeper part, and let down your nets for a catch.

Umnn, well, that’s a nice idea. Thanks mate.

He’s a great guy, that Jesus, but he doesn’t have the first idea about fishing. He’s a carpenter, why would he? Wood. Get it? Why ‘wood’ he? Please yourselves.

But I thought I’d try anyway. I dunno why Jesus thought there would suddenly be fish, but there have been some funny things happening when he is around. There’s something special about him, I just don’t know what.

So I gave it another go. Throwing the nets, pulling them in. Throwing the nets, pulling them in. Oh, it’s stuck. My net is very, very heavy. Can you help me? [get helpers] Pull! Pull! And suddenly … [throw fish in the air] … there were fish everywhere!

There were so many fish that they spilled out of the nets and all over my boat! What a commotion! Can you help me collect the fish? [children collect fish]

Now I was pretty shaken, I can tell you. I’d never seen anything like this in all my days as a fisherman. It made me realise – there’s something really amazing about Jesus. How could someone so amazing want me as a friend?

And I said to him, “Jesus, you are amazing, and I’m not good enough to be your friend. You leave me alone and I’ll get on with catching fish.” And do you know what he said? Jesus said

[voice from crowd] Don’t be afraid, Peter. From now on you’ll be catching people.

Eh? You what?

[voice from crowd] Don’t be afraid, Peter. From now on you’ll be catching people.

Eh? Oh, right – I get it! ‘Catching people’. Jesus didn’t mean catching people with my net, he meant catching people to be part of God’s family. The fish in my net are like the people who are Jesus’ friends. And just like I caught all kinds of funny fish, Jesus has all kinds of funny people as his friends.

And that’s a good thing, cos I’m a bit funny sometimes, and I don’t mean funny ha ha. We can all be a bit funny sometimes.

Let’s have a look at the funny fish we caught and see who can be Jesus’ friends.

[Pull fish out one-by-one and make categories that include everyone]

A blue fish – anyone who has blue eyes / likes the colour blue / is wearing blue etc – you can be Jesus’ friend
A question-mark fish – anyone who has questions … etc

Well, what a lot of funny fish are in my net. And what a lot of funny fish we all are, we who are Jesus’ friends.

 

Reading

Luke 5:1-11 New Testament for Everyone

One day, as the crowds were pressing close to him to hear the word of God, Jesus was standing by the lake of Gennesaret. He saw two boats moored by the land; the fishermen had gone ashore and were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats – it was Simon’s – and asked him to put out a little way from the land. Then he sat down in the boat and began to teach the crowd.

When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deeper part, and let down your nets for a catch.’

‘Master,’ replied Simon, ‘we were working hard all night and caught nothing at all. But if you say so, I’ll let down the nets.’

When they did so, they caught such a huge number of fish that their nets began to break. They signalled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. So they came, and filled both the boats, and they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees.

‘Go away,’ he said. ‘Leave me, Lord! I’m a sinner!’ He and all his companions were gripped with amazement at the catch of fish they had taken; this included James and John, the sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon.

‘Don’t be afraid,’ said Jesus to Simon. ‘From now on you’ll be catching people.’

They brought the boats in to land. Then they abandoned everything and followed him.

Credits

New Testament for Everyone (NTE)

Scripture quotations from The New Testament for Everyone are copyright © Nicholas Thomas Wright 2011.


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