Saturday, June 20, 2015

Lesson - "We Are Men Like You!"

VERSES:   Acts 14:1-28

MEMORY VERSE:   Acts 14:7  "And there they preached the gospel."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Colossians.  Write "Colossians" on small slips of paper, and hand out to the students at the end of Bible class.  By doing so, the student may memorize one more New Testament book in biblical order. Colossians is #12 of the New Testament books. Take a minute to review all the books that have been learned so far.

PRAYER:   Pray that we treat all people just the same and never treat anyone badly.

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; Large Activity (see below)

  • In the city of Iconium, Paul and Barnabas went together to the synagogue. The reason that both men went to the synagogue was that was where the people were! The people were already gathered together, so Paul and Barnabas did not need to invite or gather or round up people to listen to God's Word; they simply went to where the people were. In the synagogue in Iconium, not only were there Jews there, but also Gentiles. 
  • Jews had always heard the preaching of God's Word through their fathers, the prophets, and the judges, but Paul and Barnabas were preaching a different message than what they had heard before. They were preaching about Jesus. On the other hand, being accepted by God to hear His Word was something new to the Gentiles. God's chosen people had been the Jews for hundreds of years, but now that had changed (see June 2015 - Lesson - The Conversion Of Cornelius on this blog). The gospel of Jesus Christ--or the message of His life, death, burial, and resurrection--was now being preached to all people!
  • As Paul and Barnabas preached to the people about Jesus, a huge amount of the Jews and the Gentiles believed. But there were some of the Jews who did not believe and stirred up the Gentiles, influencing their minds in a bad way and undid the good that Paul and Barnabas had done.  Because of this, Paul and Barnabas stayed a long time and spoke boldly and unashamedly about Jesus. They even performed miracles to prove that they were sent from God, but the city was divided in their beliefs. Part of the people stayed with the Jews and part of the people stayed with the apostles. When Paul and Barnabas learned that the Jews and the Gentiles had plans to stone them, they fled to the cities of Lystra and Derbe which were not too far away in the region of Lycaonia. There, in Lystra and Derbe, they preached the gospel.
  • While Paul and Barnabas were preaching in Lystra, there was a man who had weak feet and had never walked before in his entire life, but there he sat, listening to Paul. Paul was looking intently at the crippled man and understood that the man had enough faith to be healed. With a loud voice, Paul said to him, "Stand up on your feet!" The man did not carefully, cautiously, or slowly get up and stand.. He LEAPED up and WALKED! 
  • When the people saw this man that they had known for a long time walk, they said in their own language in Lycaonia, "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!" They began to call Barnabas "Jupiter" and Paul "Mercurius." Both Jupiter and Mercurius were false gods of the city. The priest of Jupiter quickly began to bring oxen and garlands into the city, planning to offer sacrifices--not to God, but to Paul and Barnabas!
  • When the apostles, Barnabas and Paul heard about what was happening, they tore their clothes, which was a sign of grief, and ran in the middle of the people and cried out, "Sirs, why are you doing this? We are men just like you and we are preaching that you should turn from things like this and turn to the living God who made the heaven, earth, the sea, and everything that lives in them!" With these words, Paul and Barnabas persuaded the people not to offer the sacrifices to them.
  • Then, guess who showed up? The Jews from Antioch of Pisidia and Iconium. They took Paul and stoned him with stones. They dragged him outside the city of Lystra because they thought he was dead, but when the disciples stood all around him, he stood up and went back into the city. The next day, Paul and Barnabas went to the city of Derbe. (Show on map.) While they were in Derbe, they converted many people by preaching about Jesus. Then, Paul and Barnabas went back to the cities that they had already been--Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch--and strengthened the Christians there, encouraging them to continue in the faith. After they had ordained or appointed elders in every congregation of the Lord's church with prayers and fasting, they commended them to the Lord.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Let's look on our Bible map. Where have Paul and Barnabas gone? They started in Antioch, sailed over to the island of Cyprus, went up to Perga, then to Antioch of Pisidia, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. That is quite a long trip! Paul and Barnabas went through many hardships, but they remained true to the Lord. When we have hard times in our lives, we should also trust in God to get us through just like Paul and Barnabas.
ACTIVITY:  "We are men like you!"
Materials needed:  9" x 12" tan construction paper, 2" x 12" black strip of construction paper,  4" x 9" tan construction paper, markers, tape, crayons, scissors.
  1. Hand out large tan paper. This is the background.
  2. Fold large tan paper, so that the edges meet in the middle.
  3. Draw one  3" lines on each fold in the middle of the tan paper.
  4. Open tan paper.
  5. At top of paper, write, "We Are Men Like You!" and "Acts 14."
  6. Draw many men around the tan paper, include the priest of Jupiter somewhere on the paper close to an ox with a garland.
  7. Color.
  8. Write "Priest of Jupiter" on the priest.
  9. Write "Ox" on ox or close by the ox.
  10. Write "Healed Man" on the man who could not walk. Student chooses which man is the healed man.
  11. Hand out smaller tan paper.
  12. Draw, color, and cut out Paul and Barnabas.
  13. Write "Paul" on Paul and "Barnabas" on Barnabas.
  14. Draw tear marks on Paul and Barnabas' clothing. It is fine to write the word "torn" with arrows on clothing.
  15. With scissors, cut on two black lines on folds. The Bible teacher may need to help some who cannot cut well.
  16. Insert black strip into cuts.
  17. On back, secure ends of black paper with tape.
  18. Attach Barnabas and Paul to the front of the black strip with glue or tape.
  19. Idea Behind This Project:  Just after the men of the city have called Barnabas "Jupiter" and Paul "Mercurius", Paul and Barnabas have torn their clothes in grief and have run among the people. Black strip may be moved GENTLY back and forth like Paul and Barnabas are running through the people, saying "We are men just like you! Turn to the living God!" The whole project can stand up on a table by simply re-creasing folds.