Resource Center

Jesus Called The Disciples

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Jesus Called Disciples - Matthew 4; 9; Mark 1–3; Luke 5–6

Jesus came to earth to show what God is like and to save people from their sins. This is great news! Jesus told His disciples to tell others about Him, and we are Jesus’ disciples when we trust in Him. Everyone in the world needs to hear the good news about Jesus.

Key Passage

“He must increase but I must decrease” - John 3:30

  • He (Point up with both hands)
  • Must increase (Change to “praise hands”)
  • But I (Point to chest with both thumbs)
  • Must decrease (Put hands about one foot apart in front of chest to make “small” gesture)


He Must Increase

God Will!

Bible Story Video

Jesus Called Disciples

Bible Story Summary

  • Jesus chose disciples to follow Him.
  • Jesus chose fishermen named Peter, Andrew, James, and John.
  • Jesus chose a tax collector named Matthew.
  • Jesus chose 12 men in all who left everything and followed him.

Family Discussion Starters

  • In Bible times, disciples chose their teacher. Why is it special that Jesus chose His own disciples?
  • What did Jesus say to the religious leaders who thought Jesus should not be friends with certain people?
  • Who needs to hear about Jesus?

Family Activity

  • Play a family game of “Duck, Duck, Goose” except say, “I choose, I choose, you!” Talk about how Jesus chose disciples to follow him.

Other Resources

For Preschool Kids

  • Game: Pretend To Fish
    • Use tape to make an outline of a boat on the floor or turn a table over to serve as a boat. Invite kids to pretend to fish by playing out casting a fishing rod or net overboard. If you've been fishing before, talk about that experience with your kids.

    • Say: Pretending to fish is fun! You probably use a fishing rod when you go fishing. You cast the hook into the water. Then you wait for the fish to bite on the hook so you can reel it in. The people in our Bible story today had boats and large nets to catch fish. They would throw the net over one side of the boat and wait for many fish to swim into the net. Then they pulled the net closed and took the fish to shore to sell. 

For Elementary Kids

  • Personal Bible Study (3rd-5th Grade Class Handout) - Download PDF

  • New City Catechism - Question 28
    • What happens after death to those not united to Christ by faith?

    • At the day of judgment, they will receive the fearful but just sentence of condemnation pronounced against them. They will be cast out from the favorable presence of God, into hell, to be justly and grievously punished, forever.

  • Discussion & Bible Skills
    • Help kids find Matthew 4. Discuss the slightly different accounts found in the gospels. Remind the kids that each gospel is written by a different man, but all their accounts are inspired by God and trustworthy. This is why some of the events in one book may not be in others or are recorded from slightly different perspectives.

    • Ask the following questions:

      • What did Jesus say he would teach His disciples to do? (fish for people, Matthew 4:19)

      • What were some things Jesus’ disciples left behind to follow Him? (nets, boats, family, jobs, and so forth; Matthew 4:20-22; 9:9)

      • With whom did Jesus eat and spend his time? (sinners and tax collectors, Matthew 9:10)

      • Why does Jesus love sinners? Help your kids understand that everyone is a sinner, and Jesus loves all people because we are created in God’s image. Jesus wants to see people repent of sin, turning to God to be saved. He loves sinners and rescues them. He helps us turn away from sin and glorify God instead.

      • What might we lose by following Jesus? Guide kids to talk about the cost of loving and obeying Jesus. Help them think about the ways others might react to them, the influence they may lose, or the persecution they may face. Remind the kids that, in some places, following Jesus may even cost a person her life.

      • What can we gain by following Jesus? Discuss the unending joy and eternal life we have with God when we have faith in Jesus. Point kids to the hope they have in life: that we gain new purpose, can resist sin, and are filled with the Holy Spirit’s power. Point kids also to the hope we have for the future: that Jesus will return and fix all that sin has broken. On that day, we will reign with Christ as children of God.

      • Jesus called disciples to follow him. If we have faith in Jesus, we are his disciples as well. God forgives us and gives us power to live for him. That means we can call people to follow Jesus, too!