The Story of Peter

Jesus called different people to follow him. Meet a man called Peter.

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Memory Verse

“Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.

Matthew 14:28-29
Story Characters

Narrator
Peter
John
Jesus
Andrew
Lady
Servant Girl
Older Man

Transcript

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ON FISHING BOAT 

A short way from shore. Jesus is preaching to the multitudes.

NARRATOR

As Jesus began his ministry, he called different people to follow him. One of those disciples was a man called Simon Peter.

PETER

Andrew, do you hear this man? His words about the Kingdom of God...his stories! I’ve never heard anything like it.

ANDREW

Jesus certainly has many good things to say.

PETER

Are you angry that I let him use our boat to speak to the people on shore?

ANDREW

I know it makes it easier for him to speak to the crowd, but I’m exhausted, Peter. We fished all night, and we didn’t catch a single fish!

PETER

I know. Maybe tonight will be different.

ANDREW

(yawns) I just need a nap.

PETER

But I had to say yes to the Rabbi. There’s something about him, Brother.

Jesus approaches them.

JESUS

Peter, Andrew...

PETER

Rabbi. Your teaching...it...it was wonderful.

ANDREW

Yes, it was. But we should get the boat to shore and finish cleaning the nets.

JESUS

Go out where it’s deeper, and cast your nets out again.

PETER

(chuckles) Master, we worked hard all night and caught nothing!  (beat, serious) But...but we’ll do as you say.

ANDREW

We will?

PETER

I’ll cast this one. You take the other, Andrew.

ANDREW

(sighs) 

Peter casts out net.

PETER

(effort) There. We’ll see.

Andrew casts out net.

ANDREW

(effort, less certain) Yeah, I guess we will.

PETER

Rabbi, when you spoke of--

ANDREW

Peter...Peter, look!

PETER

What?

ANDREW

The fish...they’re swarming into my net!

PETER

Mine, too! I...I’ve never seen anything like this.

ANDREW

There are too many! My net is tearing ... the boat is tipping!

Creaking of boat.

PETER

(efforts)

Pull them in! Pull them in! Call to the others! We’ll need their help!

(calling)

Help! Help us pull in our nets!

Music sting.

ON BOAT, SHORT TIME LATER. 

Slippery fish abound.

ANDREW

I can’t believe it...all these fish.

PETER

All because you told us to throw out our nets again, Rabbi.

ANDREW

Both the boats are starting to sink under the weight of the fish, Peter. We need to get to shore while we’re still afloat.

PETER

Jesus...you did this. (beat, awestruck) You ought to get away from me. I’m a sinful man.

ANDREW

We don’t even deserve to be in your presence.

JESUS

Do not fear. Follow me, and you will become fishers of men.

ANDREW

Truly?

PETER

Yes. Yes! We will follow you.

Music bridge.

NARRATOR

Peter and Andrew, and two other fishermen, James and John, left their nets behind that day and became the first of Jesus’ disciples. One day they were all out on a boat--again. Jesus had been speaking to the crowds and had sent his disciples ahead on the boat, saying he would meet up with them later. But things didn’t go as smoothly as planned, as a storm came up at sea.

ON BOAT AT SEA

Winds howling. Large waves rock boat. Cargo sliding across deck. Disciples shout to be heard over the wind.

JOHN

Turn the sails! We’re being tossed around like a feather in the wind.

ANDREW

If only the Master were here!

PETER

Hurry. Change direction or we’ll hit the rocks.

JOHN

What...what is .. that?

ANDREW

What?

JOHN

Out on the water. A figure!

PETER

I see it! (beat) Is it a ghost?

ANDREW

It walks on the water...it must be!

PETER

(not shouting) Oh, if only the Master were here...

JESUS

(off, calling over waves) Take courage! I am here. Don’t be afraid.

Wind decreases slightly.

JOHN

Is it ... Yes! It’s the Master!

ANDREW

Are you sure?

PETER

(calling)

Lord, if that’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water.

JESUS

(calling, off) Come!

JOHN

Are you crazy?

ANDREW

You can’t even swim, Peter! What are you thinking?

PETER

I won’t need to swim. 

Climbs up side of boat.

JOHN

What are you--Peter!

Peter jumps into water. Slight splash as hits water, but he doesn’t sink.

PETER

I...I’m doing it!

ANDREW

You are! You’re not sinking!

JOHN

I can’t believe it! He’s standing on the water!

PETER

I’m walking! Right on top! (calling) I’m coming, Master!

ANDREW

The Master is getting closer.

The wind picks up again.

JOHN

Be careful, Peter! The waves are getting bigger.

Waves splash boat.

ANDREW

He’s wobbling...don’t look down.

PETER

The waves are too much...I’m sinking...

He splashes down into water.

ANDREW

He sank! Peter! Peter!

JOHN

Find something to throw out to him!

PETER

Help! Help! (gurgling of water, deep breath) Lord! Save me!

JESUS

Take my hand, Peter. 

Peter takes Jesus hand and comes out of water.

PETER

(coughs) How did you...how did you get here so quickly?

JESUS

You of little faith. Why did you doubt?

Wind and waves calm completely.

ANDREW

Here, Peter, give me your hand! C’mon, back in the boat. (helping Peter climb back in)

PETER

Thank you, Lord. Thank you.

JOHN

You really are the Son of God.

Music bridge.

NARRATOR

Peter had many adventures as a disciple of Jesus. He saw countless miracles, shared many conversations with Jesus, and listened to the Lord’s teachings. But there came a time when those opposed to Jesus wanted to kill him. During the Passover meal, as Jesus ate with his disciples, he said something surprising to Peter.

PASSOVER DINNER

JESUS

Before the rooster crows at daybreak, you will have denied me three times.

PETER

No, Master. I will never deny you.

NARRATOR

That very evening, Jesus was arrested. That night, in the courtyard of the high priest’s home, Peter waited by the warming fires to see what would happen to his friend and Lord.

COURTYARD - NIGHT

Fire burns. A few people mill about.

SERVANT GIRL

Hey ... I recognize you.

PETER

Me? I’m no one of importance.

SERVANT GIRL #1

I’ve seen you with the man they call Jesus. The one who stands before the religious leaders for his crimes.

PETER

I...don’t know what you’re talking about.

NARRATOR

Later, Peter was out by the gate and another young woman stopped him.

SERVANT GIRL #2

Wait – you were with Jesus of Nazareth!

PETER

No, you’re mistaken. I don’t even know him.

NARRATOR

Before long, yet another bystander came over to Peter and asked about Jesus.

OLDER MAN

You must be one of the men who have been following this Jesus. I can tell by your accent that you’re from Galilee.

PETER

I do not know this man! How many times must I tell you?! Leave me be! He is no one to me!

They leave.

Rooster crows.

PETER (CONT’D)

(to self) Oh, Lord...Lord. You were right. Three times I denied you. I am so unworthy ... (cries)

Music bridge.

NARRATOR

Later that day, Jesus was crucified. (beat) But then a miracle happened. On the third day after he died and was buried, Peter and John ran to the tomb to find it empty! Later Jesus himself appeared to the disciples. He had risen! He was alive!

ON BOAT

The men discuss the recent events.

ANDREW

I wouldn’t have believed it was him if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes!

JOHN

I still have trouble believing it. Jesus is alive! He came back from the dead!

Peter pulls in empty nets.

PETER

(Sigh) Still no fish.

ANDREW

Are you even hearing us, Peter? Wasn’t it incredible to have him just show up in the room with us? With the nail holes still in his hands!

PETER

It was amazing. It is amazing.

JOHN

Then why are we out here fishing? Why aren’t we telling the whole world?

PETER

This is our job.

ANDREW

Who cares about our job right now? What happened was--

PETER

(strong) The Lord wouldn’t want me in his presence anyway! (beat, quieter)  I denied him. Three times! I said I didn’t even know him. He’s the Son of God. And also my friend. Or...he was my friend.

JESUS

(calling from shore) Friends, haven’t you caught any fish?

PETER

(calling back) None, I’m afraid.

JOHN

He must be hoping to buy some. Too bad we can’t help him today.

JESUS

(calling, off) Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some.

ANDREW

What is he thinking?

PETER

Let’s...just do as he says. 

Throws net of side of boat.

ANDREW

(gasp) Peter! Look at all the fish swarming into it. It’s like...like when we first met the...

JOHN

It is the Lord!

PETER

The Lord!? (calling) Rabbi! Jesus! Lord!

He jumps out of the boat. Splash.

PETER (CONT’D)

(laughing, joyful)

It’s the Lord!

Music bridge.

ON SHORE, SHORT TIME LATER.

Jesus is cooking fish over a small fire. Peter, sopping wet, comes up on shore. The boat is coming in slightly behind him.

PETER

(out of breath)Jesus! Jesus!

JESUS

Bring some of the fish you’vejust caught.

JOHN

(calling) Peter! Help us drag the boat in. I can’t believe you beat us to shore.

PETER

(smiling) It wasn’t far. And I was in a hurry. (effort) There.

Pulls boat up on shore.

PETER (CONT’D)

Master...

JESUS

Come and have breakfast.

John and other disciples get off boat.

JOHN

I’m still counting the fish! I’m already at a hundred and thirty!

JESUS

Here, have some bread. And some fish. Eat.

PETER

Oh, Master. It is so good to see you again.

The other disciples agree. They start to eat.

JESUS

Peter, do you love me more than these?

PETER

(eating) Yes, Lord. You know that I love you.

JESUS

Feed my lambs.

JOHN

A hundred and fifty-three fish! I can’t believe it.

Other disciples agree.

JESUS

Peter, do you love me?

PETER

Yes, Lord. You know that I love you.

Beat.

JESUS

Take care of my sheep.

JESUS (CONT’D)

Peter...

PETER

Yes.

JESUS

Do you love me?

PETER

(a little hurt that Jesus keeps asking)

Lord, you know everything! You know I love you!

JESUS

Peter, follow me.

Music bridge.

NARRATOR

Peter wasn’t perfect. He made mistakes. At times he had great faith--and other times, none at all. Three times he even denied knowing Jesus. But Jesus redeemed and forgave Peter, giving him three opportunities to express his love. Jesus chose to use Peter despite his mistakes. Just like he chooses to use us, even when we make mistakes. We only need to choose to follow him.

Music bridge.

NARRATOR

If you would like to read more about the life of Peter, check out the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John and book of Acts.

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