Monday, June 8, 2015

Lesson - An Angel Helps Peter Escape

VERSES:  Acts 12:1-25

MEMORY VERSE:   Acts 12:24   "But the word of God grew and multiplied."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Galatians.  Write "Galatians" on small slips of paper and hand out to the students at the end of the class, so they may memorize this new book at home.

PRAYER:  Always remember to pray for those in need, those in prison, those in troubled lands, those who are sick or have no food. When we cannot help in any other way, we can always pray.

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:  Large Activity (see below)


  • Soon, Herod, the king, began to persecute the Christians even more. When he killed John's brother, James, and saw that it pleased the Jews, he arrested Peter and put him in prison. King Herod assigned 16 soldiers to guard Peter at different times of the day, so there was never a time when someone was not watching him or was not with him. Since it was the feast days of unleavened bread, King Herod's plan was to bring Peter before the people after the Passover was over. 
  • But, one thing that King Herod did not count on was prayer. All the time that Peter was kept in prison, the church prayed for him. They prayed for him in the morning. They prayed for him in the afternoon. They prayed for him in the evening. They prayed for him at night. They prayed for Peter all the time. God was listening.
  • The night before Herod was going to bring Peter out to the people, Peter was chained to two soldiers with two chains. He was sleeping between them and there were two soldiers guarding Peter's door. They wanted to keep Peter right where he was--in prison! But God had another plan for Peter.
  • That night an angel of the Lord came to Peter and a light shone in the prison. The angel hit Peter on his side and woke him up. The angel said, "Get up quickly!" All of Peter's chains fell off his hands. Then the angel said to put on his sandals and Peter did.  Then Peter was told to throw his coat over him and to follow the angel. All this time, Peter didn't know he was really moving and doing what the angel told him to do. He thought he was seeing a vision, but he followed the angel of the Lord and did exactly as he was told. When they went through the first and second guards, they came to the iron gate that led into the city. The iron gate opened all by itself! Peter and the angel went on through it and out into the street of the city and the angel disappeared.  That was the moment that Peter knew that it was not a vision, but that the angel of the Lord had really helped him escape from the prison! He knew that God had sent His angel to deliver him from Herod.
  • After he had thought about what he was going to do next, Peter decided to go to John Mark's mother's house and many were still there praying for Peter. When Peter knocked on the door of the gate, there was a young girl named Rhoda who answered. She knew Peter's voice and was so happy that, without opening the gate, she ran into to tell everyone that Peter was outside. They thought she was crazy, but she kept telling them that it was really Peter. They said it was Peter's angel, but Peter kept on knocking outside on the door of the gate. When they opened the door and saw that it was truly Peter, they were amazed! Peter, motioning with his hand to be quiet and he told them all of the things that had happened to him. He told them to go and tell the others and he went to another place.
  • As soon it was daylight, there was quite a commotion in the prison! The soldiers had no idea what had become of Peter because they could not find him! They knew what would become of them if Peter was not found. After Herod had diligently looked for Peter and could not find him, he brought all the soldiers that were supposed to be guarding Peter and killed them. Being a guard was a very important job and they had failed to keep their prisoner in the prison.
  • Herod decided to go from Judea to the seaside where Caesarea was and stay. The people there celebrated Herod and made him feel special. They set aside a day to honor Herod. Herod had beautiful clothes to wear, he sat on a throne, and he made a very long speech. When the people heard Herod's speech, they shouted to Herod, "This is the voice of a god, not a man!" Because Herod did not disagree with the people and did not give God the glory, the angel of the Lord immediately struck Herod with worms that ate him up and he died. That was the end of that Herod!
  • But nothing man could do could stop the Word of God. God's Word grew and multiplied. Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem and took with them John Mark--whose mother's house the Christians had been inside, praying for Peter.

"Older Student" Tips:

  • The church we read about in the book of Acts was a praying church. They prayed for important things to happen and God listened to their prayers. If we are doing those things that are right and what pleases God, He will listen to our prayers, too. But, we know that the face of the Lord is turned against the ones who do evil and He will not listen to their prayers. Read 1 Peter 3:12, Psalm 34:15, 16 and John 9:31 .
ACTIVITY:   Peter's Chains
Materials needed:  12" x 16" gray or silver construction paper, tape, scissors, marker, crayons.
  1. Hand out gray paper.
  2. Width-wise, cut in eight 2" strips.
  3. On one strip, write "Acts 12:7."
  4. With the two ends of the paper meeting in the middle, secure with tape. This strip should be formed like a circle. These are the links in two chains.
  5. Insert a second strip in the middle of first circle.
  6. Secure with tape.
  7. Insert a third strip through the second circle.
  8. Secure with tape.
  9. Insert a fourth strip through the third strip.
  10. Secure with tape.
  11. Set this chain aside.
  12. On another strip, write "...And his chains fell off..."
  13. Insert a second strip in the middle of first circle.
  14. Secure with tape.
  15. Insert a third strip through the second circle.
  16. Secure with tape.
  17. Insert a fourth strip through the third strip.
  18. Secure with tape.
  19. Slip one of the end links onto the student's hand.
  20. Slip one of the end links of the second chain onto the student's other hand.
  21. The Bible teacher reads Acts 12:7 out loud. When the words "And his chains fell off" is read, all students' chains fall off of all wrists. (It's a beautiful moment!)
  22. Repeat until class time is over or the students tire of the exercise.