VERSES: Acts 9:23-31
MEMORY VERSE: Acts 9:27 "But Barnabas took him, and brought him unto the apostles..."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Review the first six books of the New Testament.
PRAYER: Pray for our family and friends that they may be healthy and live long lives for the Lord.
SPECIAL SONG: Be Patient And Kind (see April 2014 - Lesson - Joseph Meets His Brothers Who Hated Him on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)
VISUAL AID: Large Activity, Bible map, showing Jerusalem, Caesarea, Tarsus, Judea, Galilee, Samaria; Large Activity (see below) using a real basket.
- We remember that Saul had believed that he was doing right when he was persecuting and hurting Christians. He believed that until Jesus spoke to him on the road to Damascus and told him to go into the city where he was baptized by Ananias and immediately began to preach to others about Christ. Many of the Jews were nervous about Saul because they had heard how he had arrested and persecuted many Christians in Jerusalem.
- As Saul grew stronger and confused the Jews living in Damascus by preaching that Jesus is the Son of God, the Jews had had enough! They met together and talked about how they should kill Saul. But, Saul found out about their plan to kill him and how they were watching the gates of the city day and night. But, Saul had friends--the disciples of Jesus helped Saul! These same Christians whom Saul had been persecuting, helped Saul get away from the Jews.
- There was a wall around the city of Damascus. The gates that were built into the wall could be opened and closed, so people could go through them to get in and out of the city. Since the Jews were watching the gates, hoping to find Saul and kill him, the ones who believed and followed Jesus took Saul at night and let him down one of the walls of the city in a basket and Saul escaped!
- When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to be with the disciples of Jesus, but there was a problem. The Christians were afraid of Saul! They did not believe that he was a disciple of Christ.
- But there was one man who became a close friend of Saul's and his name was Barnabas. Barnabas was a good man who was full of the Holy Spirit and of faith and because of him many people were baptized into Christ (Acts 11:24).This good man, Barnabas, took Saul to the apostles himself! He was not afraid of Saul! Saul told the apostles how he had seen the Lord on the road to Damascus and how Jesus had spoken to him. Saul, also, told them that he had preached with confidence in Damascus in the name of Jesus. So, with Barnabas' help, the disciples accepted Saul.
- In Jerusalem, Saul preached boldly in the name of Jesus. There were some from Greece, called Grecians, in Jerusalem and they argued with Saul and, finally, they, too, tried to kill Saul. They did not like or believe how Saul was saying that Jesus is the Son of God. When the brethren found out about the Grecians plotting to kill Saul, they took him down to the seaport of Caesarea and sent him back to his home--to Tarsus.
- Then, the congregations or churches rested throughout all Samaria, Galilee, and Samaria. They were edified or built up, walked in the fear of the Lord, and in the comfort of the Holy Spirit. During this restful period, the church grew.
- The Bible is a wonderful book and it is blended with statements that tell a story. We read in 2 Corinthians 11:32, 33 that Paul mentions his escape from Damascus. From this passage, we learn that the King of Damascus was Aretas. He had a governor that had a garrison or troops of soldiers who wanted to arrest Saul, but Saul was let down in a basket through a window in the wall and escaped.
- Communication in Saul's day was not like it is today. The only way they had to spread news was by one man telling another. No cell phones, no television,and no radios were available then. Perhaps this was a reason that the disciples in Jerusalem were suspicious of Saul being baptized. Barnabas vouched for or recommended Saul to the apostles and that was how he was accepted.
ACTIVITY: Saul escaped in a basket
Materials needed: A small basket or paper cup (I didn't have a small basket, so I used a paper cup; a cupcake liner could work, too), two pieces of 8" twine or string, 4" x 6" brown construction paper, scraps of tan construction paper, crayons, scissors, tape (if desired), hole puncher.
- Hand out a plain white paper cup and color a 'basket' design on it. This is Saul's basket.
- Write "Saul Escapes In A Basket" and "Acts 9:23-31" on the basket. If using a real basket, write this on a small piece of paper and attach to basket.
- Make one hole on each side of 'basket' with hole puncher.
- Tie one piece of twine through each side of the 'basket." Tie each piece of twine in a knot.
- Set 'basket' aside.
- Hand out brown paper.
- Cut a large triangle. This is Saul's robe.
- Using, leftover brown paper, cut two arms.
- Hand out tan scraps.
- Cut a tan circle, two hands, and two feet.
- Clue arms, head, and feet to robe.
- Color Saul.
- Write "Saul" on robe.
- If needed, fold Saul's legs to fit 'basket."
- If desired, tape Saul's hands to twine.
- Before leaving classroom, make sure Saul is in his "basket."