TEXT: Acts 3:1-10
The students will be able to relate how God, through Peter and John, performed a miracle whereby a lame man was healed.
BIBLE LESSON OUTLINE
Introduction: Use the In-Class Activity utilizing the drawing of a faucet and a drooping flower as an opening for this class session.
- Peter and John were going to the Temple to pray when a lame man called to them and asked of them alms.
- Peter told the man to look at them.
- He did so, expecting to receive something.
- Peter told him that they had no money, but he would give the man what they did have. Then he commanded the man to rise up and walk, in the Name of Jesus.
Climax: Peter took the lame man by the hand, and he stood, his feet and ankle bones immediately receiving strength.
Conclusion: Peter, through the power of God, was able to perform a miracle and the man, lame from birth, received healing. The man leaped and praised God, and all the people were amazed.
Response: Your students will be able to describe what took place at the Beautiful Gate.
This is the first recorded miracle of the Apostles after the Day of Pentecost. This poor lame man was sitting at the entrance to the Temple, which was a huge brass gate approximately 80 feet high and 65 feet wide. While others were thronging into the Temple area at this 3 o'clock hour, when the daily burnt offering was offered and the incense was burned upon the golden altar, this man was left outside because of his infirmity. Acts 3:2 states that they daily laid him at the gate so he no doubt had been there a few weeks earlier when Jesus had cleansed the Temple, healed the blind, and lame, and received praise from the children (Matthew 21:13-15). His faith must have grown as he learned of these events. When Peter and John entered the Temple that day he was healed. What a tremendous testimony to the fact that Jesus was truly alive and that He had given the Holy Spirit to these men to carry on His work (Acts 3:16).
- Draw a faucet on the left side of a chalkboard, and on the right side draw a simple flower that is beginning to droop (see Patterns). Explain to the class that the flower needs water, but that the faucet is too far away. What do you need? They will likely come up with the thought of a hose. Draw the hose in, while you explain that we can be like "hoses" for Jesus. Peter and John had the power of God working through them, just like the water ran through the hose to water the flower. We can have God's power working through us also.
- For a class of older children who might enjoy something in the nature of a scientific illustration, use a battery, wire, and light bulb to illustrate how power travels from a source through something to provide illumination.
- Take the series of six pictures illustrating the story and have your students arrange them in the correct, chronological order (see Patterns).
- Use a cup which has dirty spots inside and out. Using a red cloth to represent the Blood of Jesus, wipe the spots from the outside of the cup, to represent salvation. Next, wipe the spots from the inside of the cup, to represent sanctification. Third, fill the cup with water or oil, to represent the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Explain that this is the power for service.
- Bring a board, hammer, and nail to class. Explain that the hammer cannot pound the nail into the board by itself. You must use your hand to pick up the hammer, then use your arm to swing the hammer and powerfully hit the nail. Explain how we cannot do our best work unless we have God's power in our lives.
- Other variations on the above concept are: Bring a hand puppet or marionette to class, showing how it cannot move without your help. Bring a child's pinwheel to class, explaining how the pinwheel cannot spin without the wind to move it. Use a flashlight and remove the batteries. The flashlight will not give light this way. It needs the power from the batteries.
- What do you know about Peter? About John? How do you suppose they obtained the power that was manifested by their ministry?
- Even if you never see a lame man on the street asking for money, what are some of the ways you can help someone in need?
- Why didn't Peter and John give the man money? What did they do to help him?
- What happened to the lame man? How do you know that he had a thankful heart?
- Can you describe how you think you would feel had you been that man before he was healed? after he was healed?
- How would you describe the actions and attitudes of those who saw this healing?
- A few lessons back, when we studied the miracles of Jesus, He explained after He had healed the palsied man why He did these miracles. What was that reason?
- Who healed the lame man? Did Peter and John have "power" to heal this lame man?
- Why was the lame man healed?
- What did Peter say that shows he gave Christ the credit for healing the blind man?
- What did the bystanders think about the lame man's healing?
- Show the children the picture of the lame man with thought balloons around him (see Patterns). Discuss what he might have thought Peter and John were going to give him: for example, money, food, new blanket, shirt, place to live. Have the main picture mounted over a second sheet on which you have drawn symbols representing each of these thoughts. Hinge the thought balloons so they can be lifted to reveal the symbols one by one.
- Make three figures from pipe cleaners to represent Peter, John, and the lame man. Make the lame man's legs crooked and bent, and lay him on a small square of cloth. When Peter and John speak to him, straighten out his legs and make him stand up.
- Make a balloon person to be connected with brads (see Patterns). This person can be the lame man sitting at the Beautiful Gate when Peter and John performed the miracle. Place the lame man so he is sitting on the top of the desk. Teach the lesson and then, after Peter prays, the person can jump and leap around the desk top. If you have enough class time the students could cut, color, and/or assemble their own.
The Holy Spirit is a person. We need His help every day to work for God. Use a flashlight without batteries as an example of how we would be without His help.
Peter and John through God's power were able to tell the man, "In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk."
Bring in a large garden hose and ask the children what it is for. Compare it to how we should be channels through which the power of God can flow to others.
This would be a good story to allow your students to dramatize with costumes.
Make a mural, approximately 5' high by 10' long on freezer paper or vinyl table covering (see Patterns). Herod's Temple and the Beautiful Gate can be drawn with colored markers. Include the lame man and Peter and John. Cut out circles on the mural the size of a child's head. Put masking tape around the holes to cover the sharp edges and prevent paper cuts. Use the story for the children to role play with their faces showing through the cut-out circles.
- Peter: The Prince of Apostles — Biblearn Series, Broadman Press
- Stories About Peter — Pict-a-graph, Standard Publishing
- A Lame Man Healed — Family Life Institute Tape No. 62
- Acts Volume 1 — Witness for Christ — Biblegram, Child Evangelism Fellowship
- Exciting Adventures — Bible Stories for Children by Doris Clore Demaree, Warner Press
- Jesus and His Friends — Flip-a-Bible-Story Book, Standard Publishing