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Lesson 13 Leader’s notes: Acts 3 and 4
Healing Acts 3:1-11
Working altogether as a group, go through the five references (opposite) commenting on what happened. Focus on answering the top questions
1. The Christians at this point are still observing the Jewish times of prayer - 9am, 3pm (the time of the evening sacrifice) and sunset. They are still meeting in the Jewish Temple courts as well as in homes.
2. They were used to seeing and hearing people begging but Peter and John stopped to speak especially to this man.
3. “What you are asking for we do not have, but we do have Jesus and He is able to heal you”.
4. There is no mention of any prayer or the man’s faith until after the healing. Peter commanded and helped him up! Not only could the man walk, he could jump and praise God, apparently at the same time!
5. People around knew who the man was - they had seen him there many times on their way into the Temple. They were amazed. The power of Jesus healed and amazed.
The carfuffle created an audience and Peter took the opportunity immediately to speak about Jesus.
Sermon Acts 3:12-26 Continue working altogether to analyse Peter’s sermon.
Introduction. Peter does not start talking about abstract concepts, He uses the immediate interest - “Why do you stare at us as if by our own power we had made this man walk?” It is no surprise when you really know God.
verse 13 God did this. This God has glorified Jesus.
Conversely, you were all complicit in the death of Jesus. (Along with us).
verse 14 You acted against Jesus. You killed “the Author of Life”.
verse 15 We are witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection. We’ve experienced it.
verse 16 Can you see the difference placing faith in Jesus makes?
Notice it is Jesus, not your faith, Who changes things.
Lesson 13 Healing, preaching, prayer Acts 3 and 4
Healing Acts 3:1-11
What do you learn from these verses?
Do you find these things easy or difficult?
1. Acts 3:1 Jesus’ disciples followed good habits of prayer.
2. Acts 3:4-5 They kept themselves aware of people around them.
3. Acts 3:6 When prompted, they publicly trusted Jesus to intervene.
4. Acts 3:7-8 Is there one single method to always follow when seeking healing?
5. Acts 3:9-11 Since changed lives attract the attention of outsiders, think of
what to live like and to pray for.
The carfuffle or commotion created an audience. Peter immediately pointed away from himself and toward Jesus.
(Carfuffle, kerfuffle, kurfuffle is pronounced k’fuffle. It’s an old English word)!
Sermon Acts 3:12-26
Introduction verse 12 Those believers were not surprised by God’s action. Unbelievers were. How about you reading this true story?
Or by events recently in and around your life?
verse 13 Who did this miracle?
verse 14 Why did the people reject the One God sent?
verse 15 Is it easy to work against God, even by mistake?
verse 16 How do you explain God and human kind working together in this healing transformation?
verses 19, 25, 26
Ask the ladies to discover how many times ‘God’ or ‘Jesus’ are mentioned
by Name in Peter’s sermon.
Verse 19 ‘Repentance’ means a change of mind and purpose, always leading to
Verse 24 God told Abraham that ‘through his offspring (a singular word) all peoples on earth would be blessed’. See Galatians 3:16 and Genesis 12:3.
Prayer Acts 4
Work through the references from Acts 4 opposite
The Sanhedrin knew a miracle had undeniably happened.
They could not see how fishermen Peter and John could possibly do this on
their own. Hence verse 7’s question.
The word ‘boldness” would summarise the attitude of Peter and John with the man, and then the Jewish leaders, even after a night in prison.
Where had their boldness come from? Verses 8, 10 and 13.
The focus on Jesus is typical of people “filled with the Holy Spirit”, verses 8-12.
‘Jesus-centred’ people show differences from everybody else, verses 13-14.
There was no disputing the healing miracle, verses 15-17.
Verses 18-20 Even today some folk speak of their Christian experiences. Others do not. Why is this?
Verses 21-22 How do you get ‘people power’ on Jesus’ side? Is it right to try and do so?
Verse 23 It is always good to respect all parts of the local Christian fellowship.
If you had been through a situation like this, would your prayer be like that of this church in 4:29? Verse 31 God was pleased with their attitude!
4:32-35 is a heartwarming summary of what happened, but it also led to two problems: dishonesty 5:1-11, and organisation/administration 6:1-2. People and processes can both be difficult!
4:36 introduces us to well-named Barnabas – son of encouragement.
More in 9:22.
Verses 19, 25, 26 Notice how God is the centre of Peter’s preaching.
Christian conversion and Christian living - both responses to what God has done.
Jesus has come to you first of all - don’t miss the opportunity of meeting God His way.
Peter started from where the people were - amazed at a healing - and took them to Jesus.
A very good example for us in preaching, and in daily conversation.
Look for opportunities this week to lead conversations to Jesus.
Prayer Acts 4
4:1-3 By now it was getting towards evening and the upset Temple authorities decided to jail overnight these men who spoke about Jesus and Resurrection. The gates of the Temple were closed after the evening sacrifice about 4p.m.
4:4 Despite threats of prison, the believers’ group grew to about 5000 men.
4:5-6 The next morning the rulers, elders and teachers of the Law met.
4:7 What does this question imply? Compare verse 9.
4:8-12 Where is the focus of Peter and John’s answer? Why?
4:13-14 What makes people describe others as ‘Christian believers’?
4:15-17 What was the controversy about? Why?
4:18-20 What makes a person ‘unable to stop sharing experiences of Jesus?
4:21-22 Describe the value of ‘people power’.
4:23 Why did Peter and John do this?
4:24-31 (especially 29) How do you know God was pleased with this prayer?
See the summary in 4:32-7. Compare to Acts 2:43-47. Would other people say you are a ‘daughter of encouragement’?