VERSES: Acts 21:15 - Acts 22:30
MEMORY VERSE: Acts 22:16 "...arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Review all the New Testament books up to Second Peter.
PRAYER: Pray that we will always stand up for Jesus and never be ashamed of the Gospel.
SPECIAL SONG: No, Not One (see June 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #6 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)
VISUAL AID: Activity (see below)
- When Paul, his companions, and some of the disciples from Caesarea arrived in Jerusalem, the city where Paul was determined to go, the church met them with great joy! Paul reported to them all that had happened since he last seen them. When the church heard all that Paul had to say, they glorified God and talked about how the church was growing, but how there were still a few problems.
- Over the next few days, there was trouble for Paul as he went to the temple. When the Jews saw Paul in the temple, they stirred the people up and took hold of him. The Jews cried out, "Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches against the law and the temple!" Then the Jews went on to accuse Paul of bringing a person into the temple that should have not been there which was not true. When the people heard those sayings and believed the lies, they all ran together and took Paul outside the temple and closed the doors.
- The people intended to kill Paul right then, but the chief captain of the soldiers heard about a disturbance and that Jerusalem was in an uproar. The chief captain immediately took soldiers with him and ran to where Paul was being beaten and hurt. As the chief captain and his soldiers got closer, the people stopped hurting Paul. The chief captain ordered his soldiers to bind Paul with two chains and demanded to know who he was and what he had done. Some people shouted that Paul had done one thing and another person shouted out something else. When the chief captain could not make any sense of what had happened and why there was such an disturbance, he commanded that Paul be taken to the castle where the soldiers were staying.
- When Paul was about to be taken away, he asked the chief captain, "May I speak to you?" The chief captain was surprised that Paul spoke in Greek since everyone had said that Paul was an Egyptian who had caused an uproar at a different time in Jerusalem. But Paul explained that his name was Paul and that he was a Jew from Tarsus and a Roman citizen. Then he asked to speak to the people. When the chief captain had given him permission to speak to the crowd, Paul stood on the stairs and quieted the people with his hand and then he spoke...in Hebrew! All of the people were surprised because they spoke Hebrew, too, so they got very, very quiet, so they could hear what Paul had to say.
- Paul told about his life's story, growing up in Jerusalem at the feet of Gamaliel, learning the law. He talked about how he had persecuted Christians himself until he had met Jesus on the road to Damascus, and then was baptized by Ananias. He spoke about how he had agreed to kill many Christians before he met Jesus on that road, but Jesus had told him that He would send him to preach to the Gentiles.
- Now, Jews did not think much of the Gentiles, and when they heard what Paul had said, they raised their voices and shouted for the soldiers to take him away because he was not fit to live. As the people shouted, they took off their coats and threw dust into the air.
- The chief captain took Paul to the castle and ordered soldiers to scourge or whip Paul. As the soldiers were binding Paul and getting him ready to be scourged, Paul asked the centurion who was standing by if it was lawful to scourge a Roman citizen. The centurion was upset and went and told the chief captain to be careful with Paul because Paul was a Roman citizen. The chief captain then went and asked Paul himself if he truly was a Roman and Paul answered that he had been a free born Roman. The chief captain, like the centurion, was afraid when he heard that Paul was a Roman because he was responsible for binding Paul. So, the next day, Paul was loosed from his bands, and the chief priests and council were commanded to appear to hear what Paul had to say. Next time, we will learn what Paul tells the Jewish council and many important people and what happens to Paul.
- Sometimes we may wonder why Christians call each other "Brother" and "Sister". When we turn and read Acts 21:20, we find that the church in Jerusalem called Paul 'brother." The church is the family of God. (Galatians 2:18, 19.) God is our Father and Christians are brothers and sisters in Christ. We should always have book, chapter, and verse for every thing we do.
- A chief captain was in charge of 1,000 Roman soldiers. A centurion ruled over 100 soldiers.
- Paul suffered much as a Christian. Peter also talks about suffering as a Christian in 1 Peter 4:16. Should we be ashamed if we suffer for being a Christian? Discuss.
- Did Agabus' prophecy become truth? (Acts 21:10, 11)
Materials needed: 9" x 12" tan construction paper, 1" x 6" scrap of colored paper, tiny bits of scrap paper, including tan, markers, crayons, scissors, tape, glue.
- Hand out large tan paper.
- Fold paper in half.
- Fold paper in half again.
- With folded edge at top, fold twice in and out like an accordion. (Bible teacher might want to practice once or twice before class. As long as the paper looks like stairs, it is fine.) These are the stairs.
- Place ends of paper together and tape. Stairs should stand up. If not, fold stairs again in and out, in and out.
- Set stairs aside for a minute.
- Fold small 1" x 6" scrap of paper in half and in half again.
- Fold in to a triangle and tape to secure. This is Paul's body.
- Cut two small rectangles. These are Paul's arms.
- Cut out of tan scrap, one small circle and two hands.
- Draw face on circle. make sure mouth is open!
- Glue head to the body.
- Glue hands on arms.
- Fold a small part of the end of the arm.
- Add a little glue at the end of each arm and glue to the inside of Paul's body, making sure one arm is in the air, quieting the crowd.
- On top of the stairs, write "PAUL: What he said to the crowd"
- On second step, write, "on the stairs." and "Acts 21, 22."
- On third step, write, "His life story" and "Grew up learning law."
- On fourth step, write, "He persecuted Christians."
- On fifth step, write, "He met Jesus on the road to Damascus."
- On sixth step, write, "Baptized by Ananias" and "Preached to Gentiles" and "Spoke in Hebrew."
- If stairs do not stand up, re-crease folds.