Monday, June 15, 2015

Lesson - The Missionary Journeys Begin!

VERSES:   Acts 13:1-13

MEMORY VERSE:   Acts 13:9  "And Saul (who also is called Paul)..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Ephesians.  Write "Ephesians" on small slips of paper, so the students can memorize another New Testament book at home.

PRAYER:   Thank the Lord for the opportunities He gives us to tell others about His Son. May we pray that more opportunities would come our way.

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, tracing Paul and Barnabas' journey on the map.  Large Activity.

  • In the church at Antioch where Barnabas and Saul had been staying, there were others besides them who were teachers and prophets. A few others were Simeon, Lucius, and Manaen. While they did the Lord's work and fasted or did not eat any food for a time, the Holy Spirit spoke and said that he had work for Barnabas and Saul to do. When they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on Barnabas and Saul, they sent the two men on a journey to tell others about Jesus. They began the first missionary journey at Seleucia and then sailed on a ship to Cyprus. (Show on map.) 
  • Because people back in those days had no cars, trains, or airplanes, their journeys were long and hard. They either rode on an animal, sailed on a ship, or, most often, they walked. Their journeys took many days, weeks, months, and sometimes longer. They would go to where people would meet, such as market places, people's houses, or in the synagogues. On the island of Cyprus and in the city of Salamis, Barnabas and Saul preached to the people in the synagogues. John Mark, who was a younger man and some say was related to Barnabas was also with them and helped them.
  • When they had traveled through the island to a city called Paphos, Barnabas and Saul found a man there who was a Jew and was a sorcerer or someone who did magic tricks. He was called a false prophet because he pretended to be from God, but only tricked the people and could not do any miracles from God. The man's name was Barjesus, but he was mostly called by the name of Elymas in this lesson. Elymas traveled with a very important man, Sergius Paulus, who was the deputy of the country and a very wise man. 
  • Sergius Paulus wanted to hear the Word of God, so he called for Barnabas and Saul to come to him, but Elymas resisted Barnabas and Saul. He did not want Sergius Paulus to listen to God's Word. He wanted to turn Sergius Paulus away from the faith. 
  • Then Saul, who was also called Paul, was filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his eyes on Elymas and said to Elymas, "You who are filled with trickery and all mischief, you child of the devil and enemy of everything right, will you not stop making something evil out of the right ways of the Lord? Watch, because now the hand of the Lord is on you, and you shall be blind and will not see the sun for a season!" Immediately, a mist and darkness fell upon Elymas and he went around looking for someone who would lead him by the hand. When the deputy saw what had been done to Elymas, he believed and was amazed at the teaching of the Lord.
  • When Paul and the men who traveled with him left Paphos, they went to a city in Pamphylia called Perga. It was here that John Mark left them and went back to Jerusalem. (Show on map.)
"Older Student" Tips
  • Many of the apostles and Christians fasted, and when they fasted, they prayed as well. Fasting means that they did not eat food for a time. They were devoting their time to praying to God.
  • Remember miracles were performed to prove that those who performed them were from God. Elymas was a false prophet because, though he claimed to be a prophet, he could do no miracles, proving he was not from God.
  • It is interesting to notice that Saul, now called Paul, did not hesitate to rebuke or scold Elymas for the mischief he had made. He called Elymas a child of the devil because he was getting in Sergius Paulus' way of hearing God's Word.
  • Saul has his name changed on the island of Cyprus to the name "Paul." Paul means "little one" which is a name of humility. When we think of the name 'Saul' , we think of an important Jew who persecuted Christians, however, now the humble name of 'Paul' makes one think of a preacher of the Gospel who will be subjected to many hardships as a Christian.
ACTIVITY: Elymas Goes Blind
Materials needed:  9" x 12" tan construction paper, 4" x 12" black construction paper, 4" x 8" wax paper (or netting or clear sparkle paper), markers, crayons, staples, stapler,.

  1. Hand out tan paper.
  2. Draw picture of Elymas and Saul looking at each other.
  3. Color the two men.
  4. Above Elymas' head, write "Elymas".
  5. Above Saul's head, write "Saul", then cross out the "S" with a red crayon. Write a "P" close by the word "Saul."
  6. Draw a small arrow from the word Elymas to the picture of Elymas.
  7. Draw a small arrow from the word "Paul" to the picture of Paul.
  8. On the edge of the paper close to Paul, write "Filled with Holy Spirit."
  9. On the edge of the paper close to Elymas, write "Withstood Paul and Barnabas."
  10. In the middle of the words "Elymas" and "Paul", write the word "AND".
  11. Below the word "and", write "...and now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you shall be blind, not seeing the sun for a season." Draw a line all around the words, beginning close to Paul's mouth and ending close to Paul's mouth. This is a speech bubble.
  12. Below the speech bubble, write, "Immediately, a mist and a darkness feel on him and he went about seeking someone to lead him by the hand/" Also, write, "Acts 13:1-13."
  13. Hand out wax paper. This is the mist.
  14. Write the word, "mist" at the bottom of the wax paper.
  15. Hand out black paper.
  16. Write the word, "DARKNESS" across the front of the black paper.
  17. Place the wax paper over Elymas' face, folding excess wax paper to the back of the tan paper.
  18. Place black paper over the mist, completely covering Elymas, folding the excess wax paper and black paper to the back of the tan paper.
  19. Staple both papers at the top of the tan paper. The Bible teacher may need to help small hands.
  20. Fold both the wax paper and the black paper to the back of the tan paper until ready to tell that part of the lesson.
  21. Re-tell the story with all the students, covering Elymas first in the mist, then in darkness.