TEXT: Acts 9:32-42
The students will be able to describe the miracles that God performed through Peter.
BIBLE LESSON OUTLINE
Introduction: Draw a simple outline of a person on your chalkboard. Within the outline draw several spots or marks to represent sores. Explain to your class that it is a simple thing for you to make this "person," whom you have created, well—you simply erase the marks. Then tell them that in the same way, God has the power to take away the sicknesses or diseases that come upon one's body.
- Peter came to visit the saints at Lydda, and there he met a man named Aeneas, who had been sick in bed for eight years with palsy.
- Peter told him that Jesus made him whole, and commanded him to arise and make his bed.
- Aeneas was healed, and many people turned to the Lord because of this miracle.
- A good woman named Dorcas, who had done many kind deeds for others, took sick and died in the city of Joppa. Word was sent to Peter in nearby Lydda.
- When Peter arrived, the friends of Dorcas were weeping. Peter put them out of the room and prayed.
Climax: Peter commanded Dorcas to arise, and she opened her eyes and sat up.
Conclusion: God's power worked through Peter to do wonderful miracles of healing and raising the dead. He will also work through those in our day who are willing to be used of God.
Response: Your students will be able to describe some of the miracles that God performed through Peter.
Acts 9:31 is the first mention in Scripture of churches outside of Jerusalem. It seems the Lord was beginning to establish His people apart from traditional Judaism. Led by the Spirit, Peter decided to visit these various churches where Philip had recently been sowing the seed of the Word (Acts 8:40; 9:32).
The hearts of the people had been prepared, and when the Lord worked these miracles through Peter, many believed (Acts 9:35,42). There is a similarity between these two miracles and the ones performed by Jesus recorded in Mark 2:3,11 and Mark 5:40-41.
Seeing these similar situations, Peter no doubt remembered His Lord's actions and responded in the same way.
- Use an 11"x18" (or larger) sheet of green construction paper to represent grass and a 6" wide (or more) strip of blue for a river. From tan paper cut 10 or more shapes to represent stepping stones (depending on how many questions you wish to ask). Draw circles on the blue river where the stepping stones should be placed. Prepare a list of review questions. Write the answers on the stepping stones and pass them out to your students. As you ask the questions let the students with the correct answer place the stepping stone in the next place on the river. When you are done the class will have crossed the river safely.
- Enlarge the illustration given for the story in the Primary Pals handout. Mount the enlargement on construction paper and/or cover with clear adhesive plastic. Cut the picture into a puzzle and allow your students to assemble it as you talk about the lesson.
- Bring a stopwatch to class. To review the lesson, tell your class they are each going to have an opportunity to tell part of the story. Set the watch for five seconds. Tell the first student he should start at the beginning of the story and talk until the time is gone. He then passes the watch to the next student who resumes the narration for five seconds; and so on, through your group.
- How sick was Dorcas?
- What was the first thing Peter did when he saw Dorcas? What happened to Dorcas after Peter prayed?
- Has a minister ever prayed for you when you were sick? How did you feel?
- Has God ever healed you?
- Something happened in Peter's life that gave him special power: even to performing miracles. What was that?
- How do we know there is power in the Name of Jesus? Who did Peter say made Aeneas well?
- What other good thing happened after Aeneas was healed?
- What does the Bible tell us about the woman Dorcas? What are ways that people can help those in need today? What can Sunday school children do?
- What other story in the Bible tells of someone who was brought back from the dead?
- What miracles does God perform in answer to prayer today?
- Make a face to represent Dorcas' face (see Patterns). Cut out and glue the top half of another eye onto the face so that the eyes appear to be shut when folded down; open when folded back. Use this to demonstrate what took place when Peter came to Dorcas' bedside.
- Give each child a copy of the bed (see Patterns) with a slit at the top of the covers. Paste the two faces of Dorcas, one with eyes shut and one with eyes open, back to back. Insert the tab into the slit in the bed so that Dorcas appears to be sleeping. Remove Dorcas and reinsert with eyes open to show what happened when Peter came.
- Make a big batch of playdough. Give each child two lumps and help him make Peter and the palsied man. Then let them act out the story as you tell it, using the figures they have made.
Help your group pretend that you have a talking robot who is programmed to answer questions. Make one from a large cardboard furniture box, and decorate with dials and knobs. Have another teacher inside the box to answer questions. Allow students to come up one at a time, ask a question, and press a button to receive an answer. At the close, help the teacher out of the box. Have him/her holding a Bible, and explain that the answers to the questions about our Bible stories are not found in a robot, but in the Bible.
On the floor mark with masking tape an outline of a soccer field. Divide the oblong in half and mark a goal at each end. Across the top mark sections, making as many as you have questions concerning the lesson. Divide your group into two teams. On the center line put a stack of cut-out circles marked like soccer balls (see Patterns). On the back of each ball write a question. Have members from each team come up, take a ball, and attempt to answer the question. If they answer it correctly, they place the ball one move closer to the goal. The first team to reach the goal is the winner.
Using an overhead presentation, dramatize the way Peter worked for God.
Discuss with your group what might have happened if Peter had come to Dorcas' bedside and said, “Too bad she died. I should have been here sooner,” and then walked away. Or what if he had said to the man with palsy, “My, you have had this disease a long time. I doubt if anything can be done for you.” You might wish to act this out, and then portray what actually did happen because Peter was willing to let God work through him.