Sunday, August 16, 2015

Lesson - Paul Before The Sanhedrin

VERSES:  Acts 23:1-11

MEMORY VERSE:   Acts 23:11  "...Be of good cheer, Paul: for as you hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness in Rome."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:  1 John.  Write "1 John" on small slips of paper and encourage the students to take it home and memorize another New Testament book.

PRAYER:   Pray that we will have the courage and confidence to speak up for Jesus and defend God's Word.

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:   Visual Aids #1 - TV Box (see February 2014 on this blog for instructions). 

  • After being rescued by a Roman chief captain from a crowd of angry Jews who had beaten him and had focused on killing him, and after escaping a serious scourging or whipping by the Roman soldiers, Paul informed the soldiers that he was a Roman citizen. Because of his citizenship, Paul's bands were loosed and he was permitted to speak to the important Jewish council called the Sanhedrin Council in order to defend himself.
  • Almost from the beginning, things did not go well for Paul. As he stood before the huge council, he told them that he had lived with a good conscience before God until that very day. Ananias, the high priest, commanded the ones who stood by to hit Paul on the mouth. Not knowing that Ananias was the high priest and a very important person on the council, Paul told Ananias that God would hit him for sitting and judging him after the law and commanding Paul to be hit which was against the law. People who were standing by were shocked! They said, "Do you scold the high priest?" Immediately, Paul said that he did not know that he was the high priest and quoted a scripture.
  • As Paul stood in front of the council, he realized that the council was made up of two groups of important people--the Sadducees and the Pharisees. The main difference in the two groups was the Sadducees did NOT believe in the resurrection or angels or spirits and the Pharisees DID believe. Paul addressed the council and said, "I am a Pharisee and the son of a Pharisee. I am here because of the hope and resurrection." When Paul said these words, he caused a dissension or a fuss between the Sadducees and the Pharisees. There was a lot of shouting in the room until some of the Pharisee scribes stood up and announced, "This man has done nothing wrong. If a spirit or an angel has spoken to him, we do not want to fight against God." 
  • The arguing over Paul got so loud that the chief captain thought that Paul might be hurt, so he commanded soldiers to go and take Paul from the council by force and they took him to the castle. That night, the Lord stood by Paul and said, "Be happy, Paul. Just as you have testified and talked about me in Jerusalem, you must do the same in Rome." Paul knew he would live through all of that trouble because the Lord had said Paul would be going to Rome!
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Even though the high priest was named Ananias, this was not the same 'Ananias' who had baptized Paul. They only shared the same name.
  • Just as the Lord knew Paul's name, He knows all of our names, too. He will not talk to us like He talked to Paul, though, because God only talks to us today through the Bible. (Hebrews 1:1, 2). 
ACTIVITY:   The Difference in the Pharisees and the Sadducees
Materials needed:  9" x 12" blue construction paper, 4" x 4" green construction paper, 4" x 4" red construction paper, 2" x 7" yellow construction paper, marker or crayons, glue.

  1. Hand out blue paper.  This is the foundation.
  2. Hand out red, green, and yellow papers.
  3. On each small paper, fold down 1/2".
  4. Glue on folds only.
  5. With fold at top, place green paper on the left middle of the blue paper.
  6. With fold at top, place red paper on the right middle of the blue paper.
  7. With fold at top, place yellow paper on the bottom middle of the blue paper.
  8. Press all folds to blue paper to secure.
  9. At the top of the blue paper, write, "The DIFFERENCE in..."
  10. On the front of the green paper, write, "The Pharisees."
  11. On the front of the red paper, write, "The Sadducees."
  12. On the front of the yellow paper, write, "What was Paul?"
  13. Between red and green papers, write "and."
  14. On bottom lest of blue paper, write, "Acts 23:1-22."
  15. Lift green paper up.
  16. Under green paper, write, "Believed in angels, spirits, and resurrection." Make sure the words are 'hiding' under the green paper!
  17. Under red paper, write, "DID NOT believe in angels, spirits, and resurrection." Make sure the words are 'hiding' under the red paper!
  18. Under yellow paper, write, "A Pharisee" and "verse 6." Make sure the words are 'hiding' under the yellow paper!