VERSES: Acts 28:12-31
MEMORY VERSE: Acts 28:30 "And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Revelation. Write "Revelation" (no 's') on small slips of paper and hand out to the students at the end of class.
PRAYER: Thank God for our homes, having a safe place in which to live.
SPECIAL SONG: Read, Read Every Day (see February 2014 - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #1 on this blog. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)
VISUAL AID: Bible map, tracing Paul's steps from city to city, ending in Rome; a large Activity (see below).
- After three months on the island of Melita, Paul and all those who were with him left the island on a ship that had wintered there. They landed in Syracuse first and stayed there three days. After they went and found a compass, they came to the city of Puteoli where they found members of the church and stayed with them for seven days. From there they sailed on to Appiiforum and a place called The Three Taverns where more friends came to greet Paul when they heard that he was coming. Paul was thankful for his friends and was greatly encouraged that they were there with him.
- Finally after a very long journey, Paul, his friends, and the other prisoners arrived in Rome. The centurion delivered the other prisoners to the captain of the guard, but Paul was required to stay in a place by himself with a soldier that took care of him.
- After three days in Rome, Paul called for the important Jews to come together and said to them, "Men and brothers, I have done nothing wrong against the Jews or the customs of our fathers, yet I have been brought from Jerusalem as a prisoner into the hands of the Romans. When the Romans questioned me, they would have let me go because they found that I had done nothing worthy of death. But when the Jews spoke against me, I was forced to appeal to Caesar. I have nothing bad to say about my own nation and for this reason I have called you all together, to see you, and to speak to you for it is the hope of Israel that I wear this chain."
- The Jews replied that, while they had received no letters from Judea concerning Paul, and no one had come to speak to them about him, they had heard many things about the church and wanted to hear what Paul believed. They selected a day to come and hear him and many came to his house where Paul was staying and listened to him preach and teach about the kingdom of God and Jesus Christ from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets from morning until night! Some of the Jews believed what Paul had to say, but some did not. Paul spoke words from the prophet, Isaiah, whom even the Jews knew, saying that the salvation of God was also sent to the Gentiles and anyone else who would hear it. The Jews reasoned among themselves after they left Paul, thinking about the things he had said to them.
- In Rome, Paul lived two whole years in his own rented house and welcomed everyone who came to him. He taught about the church and many things concerning Jesus. He spoke with boldness and confidence and did not need to fear anyone.
- We all enjoy good friendships. As Paul sailed from place to place, making his way to Rome, the church and his friends encouraged him, giving him hope and cheering him along. We can think of our friends and know that there are friends we have that encourage us, making us feel better just by being there for us. That is how Paul felt when he saw his friends.
- Think what a journey Paul, his friends, and the other prisoners had endured: violent storms, little food, fear of being thrown in the sea and death!
- In Jerusalem, Paul was thrown into prison for preaching and teaching about Jesus and, in the end, even though he is in Rome and in chains, what did he continue to do? Preach and teach about Jesus. Would we continue to teach about Jesus if it meant that we would go to prison and be in chains?
- Read Acts 28:23. How long did Paul preach? From morning to night! Today we are squirming in our seats if the preacher preaches more than 30 minutes! Here is an example of how long a sermon could be! Let us be more patient and attentive.
- While Paul was in prison, he made the best of his time and wrote letters to congregations of the Lord's church encouraging them and, also, scolding them for doing things that were not right in God's sight. Many smart men who have studied the Bible for many, many years believe that Paul wrote Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon from prison. Whether Paul wrote the letters from Rome is hard to tell, but these letters that Paul wrote are in all of our Bibles. We can read these letters or 'books' any time we choose, simply by picking up the Bible and reading!
Materials needed: 9" x 9" light blue construction paper, 9" x 9" black construction paper, two 3" x 3" brown scraps of construction paper, four 1" x 1" scraps of green construction paper, 1" x 4" white paper, tiny star stickers (perhaps six or seven), fastener, glue, scissors, white, red, and black crayons, black marker, pencil, 9" pie pan or bowl.
- Hand our light blue and black paper.
- Place the light blue paper exactly on top of the black paper.
- Place pie pan or bowl on top of paper.
- Trace with pencil.
- Cut circles out of both papers at one time, holding papers tightly (or trace the pie pan or bowl on both papers with pencil).
- Draw a tiny circle in the middle of the light blue circle.
- Cut four inches off of light blue paper, saving both pieces.
- Lining the light blue paper on top of the black paper, insert fastener into both papers at once. (The Bible teacher may need to help with this step.)
- Secure fastener on the back. (Students may do this part. This is the fun part!)
- On the smaller of the light blue semi-circles, glue to the black portion that shows.
- Hand out white paper.
- Fold paper in half.
- Draw a cloud with a pencil.
- Cut out clouds.
- Glue clouds to the outer edges of the light blue paper.
- Glue brown paper just above the larger light blue paper. This is Paul's house in the morning.
- Add door, windows, and people in the windows, especially Paul preaching.
- Hand out green scraps.
- Cut four grass patches.
- Glue two grass patches in front of the house, saving two grass patches for later.
- Write "Paul's house" above door.
- Write "morning" on the blue sky by the house with a red crayon.
- Turn wheel so that black paper shows.
- Glue other brown square in the middle of the black area. This is Paul's house in the evening.
- Again, add a door, windows, and people in the windows, especially Paul still preaching in the evening.
- Add other two grass patches and glue them in front of the house.
- Add stars in the black sky.
- Write "Paul's House" above the door.
- Write "evening" on black sky by the house with a white crayon.
- On the unmarked light blue wheel, write "Paul preached from __________ till _______." and "Acts 28:23."
- The idea of this project: Stressing how Paul preached about the kingdom of God and about Jesus to the Jews and anyone else who would hear him---from morning until the evening.