25 lesson plans for children, young people and their teachers.
Lesson 22 The Christian church in Jerusalem – Acts and Peter Bible reference – Acts chapters 1-6; 10-12; and 15.
Have students look at Acts 1 verses1-5 in their Bibles. 1. Ask, for how many days after His death and resurrection did Jesus keep showing
His friends that He was alive? (40 days, Acts 1 verse 3). 2. Ask, what did Jesus talk to His people about? (The Kingdom of God, verse 4). 3. God’s special people were those who were living in this Kingdom.
God was interested in HOW they lived much more than WHERE they lived. 4. Ask, how did God promise He would help them to live the way God wanted them
to in His Kingdom? (They were to be given the Holy Spirit, verses 4-5). 5. The book of Acts tells us how Jesus lived on in this world after His death. Jesus
worked through people who trusted themselves to Him through the presence
of the Holy Spirit.
Have the students look at Acts 1 verses6-11. 1. Ask, did the followers of Jesus understand this Kingdom of God?
(No, they still wanted Israel to be free from Rome, verse 6). 2. Ask, what did Jesus tell them to do? (Be witnesses to Jesus throughout the
world, with the help of the Holy Spirit, verses 7-8). 3. Ask, what is a ‘witness’? (Someone who sees or hears something happen. For
example, the students are witnesses to this class– their parents and other
neighbours probably are not). 4. Ask, what happened to Jesus when He finished talking? (He went up into a cloud
in the sky. He went home to heaven, where He had come from – where He
really belonged, verse 9. See John 3 verse 3). 5. Ask, what did the ‘angels’ promise Jesus’ followers? (Jesus will come back to
earth. They did not say when – but it was certain He will come again! verse 11). Appoint twelve volunteers to act the next event. Have them kneel down quietly at the front, as if they were praying. Get the rest of the class to blow, whistle and ‘shshshsh’ – make the noises of a strong wind. The class can use their hands and arms to be flames of fire. Now have them do both: being wind and being flames. The class stop and are still. Suddenly the twelve get up and move quickly all around, saying to everyone,
“God has done great things”, “God has done great things”, etc.
Settle the class. Explain that when the Holy Spirit came and filled Jesus’ friends they became very courageous and brave. They did not stay hiding away afraid of the Jews. They shared the Good News of Jesus with everyone they met. Jesus was with them as they did (Acts 2).
Stop and discuss (1) Have students fill in the words of this text. “w t H S c u y ,
y w b f w p , and y
w b w f m inJerusalem, in all
Judea and Samaria, and t t e o t e . Acts 1 verse 8. p.84
When students have done this 1. Ask, when the Holy Spirit fills Jesus’ followers, what two things will they become?
(1. Filled with power; 2. Witnesses for Jesus). 2. Ask, can you remember what a witness is?
(Someone who sees or hears something happen) 3. Ask, what will “witnesses for Jesus” do?
(Tell others what they have seen and heard about Jesus).
Stop and discuss (2) Divide the class into groups of 4/5.
Give each group this list of questions. Tell them the answers are in Acts 2 verses 14-47. Which group working as a team can be the first to answer all correctly?
1. Which Old Testament prophet said the Holy Spirit would come? 2. What was Jesus’ home town when He was young? 3. Who planned that Jesus be crucified? 4. Who set Jesus free from the powerof death? 5. Who witnessed that Jesus was raised from the dead? 6. Where is Jesus – in His human body – now? 7. When people turn from their sins and follow Jesus’ way to live, what will God give
them? 8. What did people do to show they were joining the followers of Jesus? 9. What were people called who followedJesus in this way? 10. How were the practical needs of everybody in the group met? Bring the class back all together. Peter was the leading speaker on the day of Pentecost – the day the Holy Spirit was given by God to His special people, Acts 2 verses 1, 14, 38 and 40. At the start of Jesus’ ministry Peter was one of the fishermen called by Jesus to follow Him, Matthew 4 verses 18-20. Now Jesus was working through Peter. Peter followed the things he had learned from Jesus during three years of watching and listening. Jesus was not with Peter in a human body anymore. But God the Holy Spirit was with him. He was everything Peter needed.
The Holy Spirit helped Peter give good answers to people who asked questions, Acts 4 verse 8
The Holy Spirit made Peter believe he could do things Jesus wanted, Acts 3 verses 4-7 and 4 verse 31
The Holy Spirit helped Peter to understand and to teach God’s word, Acts 2 verse 42 and 4 verse 31
The Holy Spirit led Peter to meet people he could help, Acts 10 verses 1 to 11 and verse 18
The Holy Spirit helped Peter make right decisions which let God’s special people keep on growing, Acts 15 verses 1-22
The Holy Spirit helped Peter to live “the Jesus way” in his life. Peter wrote two books which are in our New Testament.
Stop and discuss (3) Ask the students to find Peter’s books and hold up their Bibles, open for you to see, that they have done so. When everyone has found the place have students fill the words of this text. “B h in a t y d, j a G w
c y is h ”, 1 Peter 1 verse 15. Holiness is the uniform or badge of God’s special people. A policeman or a soldier wears his uniform to tell everyone he is in that group. Christian believers show they are God’s special people by holiness of life. The Holy Spirit helps by filling them with Himself.
He makes His people more and more like Jesus. The Holy Spirit moves God’s special people as the wind moves the sorghum, durra, millet and fruit trees. People working in the fields cannot see the wind. But they can see and feel what it does. The work of the Holy Spirit is seen and felt in and around Jesus’ friends. They live with Jesus as their King.
Have two good readers read to the class:
“The members of the Council were amazed to see how bold Peter and John were and to learn that they were ordinary men of no education. They realised then that they had been companions of Jesus”, Acts 4 verse 13.
“But you are the chosen race, the King’s priests, the holy nation, God’s own people, chosen to proclaim the wonderful acts of God, Who called you out of darkness into His own marvellous light”, 1 Peter 2 verse 9.
Stop and discuss (4) Divide again into groups of 4/5. Peter understood that the old Jewish Temple and its worship sacrifices had been replaced by God. Ask each group to look up 1 Peter2 verses 4-5.
What is God building as a replacement for the stone and gold that made Herod’s Temple?
Ask each group to say or write what they understand by “building the spiritual temple”, verse 5.
Write one sentence that can be shared with the whole class.
The risen life of Jesus Christ was seen in more and more people.
Stop and discuss (5) Still in groups of 4/5 add the following sum: 1. The number of believers Acts 1 verse 15 2. Number added on day of Pentecost Acts 2verse 41 3. Number of men who heard and believed Acts 4 verse 4 TOTAL Read Acts 5 verses 13-14: “Nobody outside the group dared to join them, even though people spoke highly of them. But more and more people were added to the group – a crowd of men and women who believed in the Lord”. God was working out his purpose for the world.
Answers to ‘Stop and discuss’
1. “When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be filled with power, and you will be witnesses for Me in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth”, Acts 1 verse 8.
1. Joel – Acts 2 verse 16, see Joel 2 verses 28-32
2. Nazareth – Acts 2 verse 22
3. God – verse 23
4. God – verses 24 and 32
5. Peter and the other eleven apostles – verses 32 and 14
6. At the right hand side of God His Father – verse 33
7. God’s gift, the Holy Spirit – verse 38
8. They were baptised in the name of Jesus Christ– verses 41 and 38
9. Believers – verse 44
10. The believers shared the practical things they had – verses 44, 45.
3. “Be holy in all that you do, just as God Who called you is holy”, 1 Peter 1 verse 15.
4. God is building a living temple where His special people are the stones. God has chosen to use people who come to Jesus Christ as they are alive in this spiritual way.
5. 1. Acts 1 verse 15 120
2. Acts 2 verse 41 3,000
3. Acts 4verse 4 5,000