Son of God
A Quick Netlflix Discussion Guide for Parents
Son of God is the latest epic biblical drama recounting the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. It is an adaptation of History Channel’s “The Bible” miniseries and stars Diogo Morgado as Christ. The film covers the birth of Jesus, His public ministry, and concludes with His death and resurrection.
The movie has experienced mixed reviews, but succeeded in generating over $26 million during its opening weekend at the box office.
The film was rated PG-13 for its scenes of violence (scourging, crucifixion, etc.).
One of the scenes I found impactful was the scene where Jesus meets Peter, and invites the fisherman to join Him in changing the world. If you’ve been in Sunday School more than 4 times, you’re probably familiar with this story: Jesus performs a miracle to capture Peter’s attention, and then calls him to something far wilder that what the humble fisherman just witnessed. This dramatic interpretation of that historic event from 2,000 years ago helps us to understand what Peter might have been thinking in that moment.
After watching this scene, I couldn’t help but put myself in Peter’s sandals.
You gotta admit: that’s a pretty compelling way to get people to join you! Just perform a completely unexplainable miracle…and then say, “Let’s go!” But it worked in Peter’s case. He did end up following Jesus for the rest of his life. That’s because, in that moment, Jesus changed Peter’s life. Then, Jesus invited Peter to go with Him to change the world.
That’s the order it always happens. Jesus changes us…then invites us to change the world with Him.
Let’s read the Bible’s account of this same story and then talk about that some more.
On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret, 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon's, he asked him to put out a little from the land. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, "Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch." 5 And Simon answered, "Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets." 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus' knees, saying, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord." 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, "Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men." 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.
(Luke 5:1-11, ESV)
- What do you think of fishing?
- How would you have responded had a stranger approached you and wanted to climb into your boat?
- What kind of faith/trust did it take for Peter to go back out to sea with Jesus?
- What do you think Peter was thinking as he kept dragging in fish?
- Do you think it would have been easy or hard for Peter to leave his fishing business and go with Jesus after catching all those fish? Why?
- What did Jesus mean when He said He would make Peter a “fisher of men”?
- What were some of the similarities between the scene in the movie and the passage? What were some of the differences between the two?
- Why do you think that Peter told Jesus to get away from him after receiving the miraculous catch of fish?
- Something very powerful must have been stirring inside Peter for him to meet Jesus and then in the same conversation literally leave his fishing business to follow Jesus. Why do you think Peter and the other fishermen did this?
- In what ways did Jesus change Peter’s life? (Parents – To “fully” answer this question, your kids will have to know about the rest of Peter’s life. In this passage alone, Jesus changed Peter’s financial picture for the day. He came back to shore without any fish, but then brought back two boatloads with Jesus’ help. Furthermore, Peter followed Jesus around ancient Palestine and witnessed miracle after miracle, and then was used by God to reach the nation of Israel with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He literally led thousands of his friends and neighbors and countrymen to Jesus. Not too bad for a humble fisherman!)
- Peter had a remarkable encounter with Jesus on the seashore that changed the rest of his life. Have you had a similar “seashore encounter” with Jesus? If so, can you briefly share?
- In the clip, Jesus said to Peter, “Peter, just give me an hour and I will give you a whole new life.” Then Jesus invited him to go and change the world with Him. So, here’s my question: Which comes first: changing the world or having our lives changed? Why?
- Do you think Jesus wants to change your life? If so, how? If not, why not?
- For those of you who may already know Jesus, how does He want to use you to change the world?
- Regardless if you HAVE ALREADY had your life changed by Jesus or you HAVE NOT had your life changed by Jesus, what next step will you take with Jesus?
I love the story of Jesus calling Peter to be a fisher of men. I love it because it shows me that Jesus is interested in regular people just like me because Peter was certainly a “regular Joe.” But it also shows me that Jesus wants to use people like me – and you – to change the world.
But first, we have to have our lives changed by Jesus.
Don’t miss that! If we want to change the world – and who doesn’t – we must first have our lives changed by Jesus. For that to happen, we have to come to terms with our sin. In the story we read, Peter acknowledged to Jesus that he was a sinful man. Jesus didn’t discount Peter because of his sin; He forgave him of it, and then invited Peter to join Him. That’s powerful. And each of us desperately needs that kind of moment with Jesus. (If you haven’t had that moment in your life thus far, let’s talk more about this.)
But Jesus didn’t stop His relationship with Peter after forgiving him. No, He actually called Peter to follow Him and help change the world. And that’s exactly what Peter did.
Peter followed Jesus for three years and witnessed miracle after miracle. He saw Jesus die, and was then spoken to by Jesus after He was resurrected on Easter. Peter then began to lead the church in Jerusalem. He traveled around preaching the Gospel. Ultimately, he lost his life because of his love for Jesus, but not until he had left a deep impression on history.
So, what about you? Do you want to change the world?
If so, you have to be changed by Jesus…and then follow Him. There is no other way to change the world. As we close in prayer, listen to what Jesus may be calling you to do with Him. He may be inviting you to change the world with Him.
Written by David R Smith
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