VERSES: Acts 20:13-38
MEMORY VERSE: Acts 20:35 "...remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, It is more blessed to give than to receive."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: 1 Peter. Write "1 Peter" on small slips of paper, so the students may memorize another book of the New Testament at home.
PRAYER: Pray that we are ones who will encourage others with our words and deeds.
SPECIAL SONG: This Little Light Of Mine (see March 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #3 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)
VISUAL AID: Bible Map, Large Activity (see below)
- Note: There is much information about Paul and his time in Ephesus in today's lesson. If all the information is used, this could be a longer lesson. Might begin the lesson on time in order to finish on time.
- Paul has been on his third missionary journey for quite a while. He began his journey with visits to Galatia and Phrygia (Acts 18:23), then to Ephesus where he stayed for a year and a half (Acts 19). He traveled to Macedonia and Greece (Acts 20:1, 2) preached in Troas (Acts 20:6-12), and in this lesson he said good-bye to the elders who lived in Ephesus for the last time. Paul still planned on going on to Jerusalem. Remember that Paul did not have the luxury of traveling in an air-conditioned car where he could travel comfortably and in ease. No, Paul traveled either on foot or in a ship where it was neither luxurious nor very comfortable. Still, the apostle Paul traveled on, meeting with disciples to encourage them or to convert the many lost souls along the way. Paul was determined, brave, and was a great help to Christ.
- We remember Paul was in Ephesus before.
- He had met twelve men who had never heard of the baptism of Jesus, but only the baptism of John. When Paul preached to them, they were baptized into Christ (Acts 19:1-7).
- Paul stayed in Ephesus that time about three months, preaching and teaching in the synagogue (Acts 19:8).
- Times got tougher and, when the Jews spoke evil things of the church, Paul left the synagogue and preached daily in the school of Tyrannus for two years (Acts 19:9, 10).
- Everyone--Jews and Greeks--who lived in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus (Acts 19:10).
- During that time, many brought their curious art and evil books and burned them, even though they were worth 50,000 pieces of silver! (Acts 19:19).
- Then, Demetrius and the Ephesian silversmiths who made idols with their hands created trouble for Paul (Acts 19:23-41).
- Finally, Paul had to leave Ephesus and go to Macedonia (Acts 20:1).
- After Paul left Troas, he was determined to sail close to Ephesus--which could have been a very dangerous thing to do-but Paul stopped in a town nearby called Miletus. Paul sent word to the elders or the men who took care of the church in Ephesus that he was in Miletus and wanted them to come to him. When the elders came to see Paul, Paul talked with them.
- Paul said that he had done his best serving the Lord with humility, and had served the Lord with tears and temptations which happened to him while the Jews were laying in wait for him. He told the Ephesian elders that he had told them everything that was good for them. He had taught them publicly and had gone from one house to another, teaching and preaching to the Jews and the Greeks. But, Paul said, now he was going to Jerusalem and he did not know what would happen to him, but they would never see his face again. He told them to take care of the congregation of the Lord's church in Ephesus, to teach and preach to the members because the Holy Spirit had made them overseers to watch over the church. He explained to them to be careful because there would be vicious people who would come into the church, pretending to be disciples of Jesus, but would divide the church. Paul said that he had showed them everything to do, to support the weak members, and to remember what Jesus said about how it was more blessed to give than to receive.
- After this speech, Paul knelt down and prayed with them all. Everyone cried and hugged Paul and was sad that they would never see him again. Then they all went down to the ship to see Paul off.
- The term 'elder' found in Acts 20:17 refers to a God-designed office in the church. Elders are men whom a local congregation appointed to guide, direct, and oversee the work of that independent body of believers. They must meet specific qualifications which are found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. Elders are also called bishops (1 Timothy 3:1, 2), overseers (Acts 21:28), presbyters (1 Timothy 4:14), shepherds (1 Peter 5:1, 2), and pastors (Ephesians 4:11).
- We also learn from Acts 20:28 that the church is very precious indeed. The church was purchased with the blood of God's only begotten Son.
Materials needed: 9" x 12" light blue construction paper, 4" x 12" dark blue construction paper, 2" x 12" tan construction paper, 4"x 11" white paper, 3" x 6" brown construction paper, scraps of different colored paper including tan and brown, glue, scissors, marker, crayons.
- Hand out light blue paper. This is the background.
- Hand out dark blue paper.
- Glue dark blue paper to the bottom edge of the light blue paper. This is the water.
- Hand out tan paper.
- Tear top edge of tan paper, gently.
- Glue tan paper to bottom edge of blue paper. This is the shore.
- Hand out brown paper.
- Cut a large boat out of brown paper. (A half of a circle works fine.)
- Glue boat to one side of dark blue paper, tucking boat under the shore.
- From brown scraps, cut a very thin piece of brown paper. This is the mast.
- Glue mast in the middle of the of the boat, sticking straight up into the light blue sky.
- Hand out white paper.
- Cut four large triangles out of white paper.
- Glue white triangles to mast to resemble sails.
- Out of scraps, cut six or seven tiny triangles. These are the people's clothes.
- Scatter clothes on shore, saving one to glue in the boat.
- Cut out tiny tan circles. These are the people's heads.
- Glue heads to tops of clothes.
- Cut out a small rectangle out of brown scrap paper. This is the sign post.
- Cut out a small rectangle. This is the sign.
- Glue post and sign in the bottom corner of the shore.
- Write "Leaving Miletus" on sign.
- Write "Paul's Tearful Goodbye" and "Acts 20:13-38" at the top of the light blue paper.
- Draw faces on people and lines on the boat to resemble wood.