Reply to "Peter & John Heal a Lame Man (Acts 3) - Lessons and Ideas"

Peter, John and the Lame Man

Lesson Set

Summary of Workshops:

  • Art Workshop: word art for “walking in Christ”.
  • Drama/Puppets Workshop: lame man healed drama.
  • Video Workshop: A.D. part I, session 3, by Gospel Films (1984)

 
Scripture Reference: 

Acts 3:1-4:31 

Memory Verse:  
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing.” John 14: 12
Bonus verse: “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

Lesson Objectives:

  1. Children will learn the story of the Peter, John and the lame man.
  2. Children will learn that each of us is as helpless to free ourselves from sin as the lame man was to walk unless and until we put our faith in Jesus.
  3. Children will see that God empowers believers by the Holy Spirit to do good things, just as Jesus did when he walked the earth, so that others can see that Jesus is God and that he loves us.
  4. Children will learn that the prayer made in faith in Jesus’ name and according to God’s will is answered.
  5. Children will learn that faith in Jesus’ name means faith that God has forgiven us through Jesus’ death on the cross and resurrection.
  6. Children will see that God wants us to love and obey him and to love people.


Concepts:

  1. Peter and John commanded healing by faith in the name of Jesus Christ to a lame man.
  2. We are all helpless because of sin, just as the lame man was helpless, until we know God by faith in Jesus Christ.
  3. God gives us power by his Holy Spirit to obey him, to love people, and to ask for good things in Jesus’ name.
  4. When we ask in faith, as believers, God answers the prayers we ask according to his will.
  5. The only way to know God is by faith in Jesus’ work for us when he died on the cross for our sins and rose again.
  6. When we believe and obey God, other people can see that God loves them and has sent Jesus for them also.



Art Workshop


Leader Preparation:

  • Read objectives, concepts and scripture. 
  • Ahead of time take a large sheet of 48” wide roll paper about 6’ long and block print in large letters the name, “JESUS”. Make the letters about 4” to 6” thick, with open double walls (not colored in), and cut out the top and bottom outlines of the letters to about 6” down (or up) on the paper.
  • Print in large letters across the “JESUS” the words, “Walking and leaping and praising God!”
     

Materials List:

  • Bibles
  • 48" wide by 6 long paper
  • construction paper (assorted colors)
  • glue sticks and/or white glue
  • pencils
  • student scissors
  • felt pens
  • glitter 

 



Lesson Plan

Opening:
Welcome the children and their guide to the workshop, introduce yourself, and open in prayer. Please try to start and end on time, and focus your attention on the children.

Dig:

Teach the lesson and the Bible verses. 

Review the memory verse, John 14:12, explaining any difficult words or concepts, and likewise review the “bonus verse”, Acts 4:12. 

Invite students to review with you what they already know of the story of the healing of the lame man. 

Older students can take turns reading Acts 3:1-10 to begin the lesson. 

You could ask if this reminds them of any of the miraculous healings that Jesus did. 

The story of the healing of the man carried in by four friends and let down through the roof is somewhat similar. (Matthew 9:2-8, Mark 2:3-12, Luke 5:18-26)

Point out that just as the crowds were amazed when Jesus healed the lame man, people were amazed at the power of God in healing the lame man that Peter and John talked to. And so Peter and John were able to talk to the crowd about faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the only way to know God and be forgiven of sin. Since some people, especially the people in power, did not like this message, Peter and John got into trouble. Peter and John kept on proclaiming faith in Jesus’ name; they didn’t care if they got into trouble.

That doesn’t mean we should be proud or obnoxious about believing in Jesus, however. God wants us to deliver his message in love, with warmth and kindness and goodwill, because He loves everybody at all times. Because God loves people so much, He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for the sins of each person so that each one who comes to Him in faith can be forgiven.

Since your particular lesson and project has to do with “in Jesus name”, teach what it is to have faith in Jesus to forgive and deliver from sin.

Art Project Directions:

  1. Have the students remove one shoe and sock and then trace one foot onto a piece of construction paper (their color choice), including the toes.
  2. Students should cut out their foot tracing carefully, including each toe.
  3. Students print their name lightly in pencil across the cutout foot so it fills the whole space, and then go over their name with felt pen tracing each letter line so it’s double or triple walled. They can fill in the space inside each letter with line designs or solid color.
  4. Students can add a bead of stick glue or white glue to outline the letters of their name, and dust it with glitter.

    (Put the cutout foot into a box top before applying glitter so you can save the excess glitter that doesn’t stick.)

    Remind them that using less glue is better because it dries faster. If stick glue holds the glitter, you won’t have to wait long for it to dry.
  5. Allow students to place and glue their name footprints “in” the name “JESUS”.
  6. When the project is dry, it might make a good hall poster display.


Discussion questions:

  1. What do you think the lame man in the story thought Peter and John would give him if they didn’t have money to offer him?
    (ANS: varied answers)
  2. What do you think the lame man thought of Jesus after being healed and hearing Peter preach?
    (ANS: He probably repented of his sins and asked God’s forgiveness through Jesus Christ. He “believed on Jesus”.)
  3. The lame man appeared with Peter and John before the authorities, and he doesn’t seem to have said anything (Acts 4:5 – 14). What do you think the lame man was doing?
    (ANS: Answers may vary, but the man was standing before the authorities in verses 10 and 14, and he must have walked there, instead of being carried as he was in Acts 3:2.)
  4. How was the healing of the lame man similar to something Jesus did during his ministry when he was alive on earth?
    (ANS: Jesus healed a lame man that was carried to him on a mat by four friends. Jesus also got in trouble with the authorities when he did that healing.)


Reflection:

Write or draw about what act of faith is God asking you to do today. Do you need to pray and ask God to forgive your sins? Do you need to make peace with someone else, and forgive someone else? Do you need to pray and ask God to fill a particular need in your life today?


Close with a circle of prayer

Give all who want to pray a chance to do so. Invite children to return next week with their Bible and a friend.




Drama/Puppet Workshop

 

Leader Preparation:

  • Read objectives, concepts and scripture.
  • Gather the materials.
     

Materials List:

  • Bibles
  • costumes
  • mat or chair or wheelchair
  • basket or cup
  • money pouch (bag)
  • prison cell


Lesson Plan


Opening:

Welcome the children and their guide to the workshop, introduce yourself, and open in prayer. Please try to start and end on time, and focus your attention on the children. 

Review the memory verse, John 14:12, explaining any difficult words or concepts, and likewise review the “bonus verse”, Acts 4:12. 

Invite students to review with you what they already know of the story of the healing of the lame man. 

Older students can take turns reading Acts 3:1-10 to begin the lesson. 

You could ask if this reminds them of any of the miraculous healings that Jesus did. 

They will/did review the healing of the paralyzed man carried on a mat to Jesus when they do/did the art project. 

Jesus also healed a paralyzed man near the pool of Bethesda, or Sheep Pool, and the story is in John 5: 1-9, and there was trouble with the authorities because of the healing, John 5:10-15. Review this story briefly with your students before continuing with the story in Acts 3 & 4.

Point out that just as people were amazed when Jesus healed the lame man, so also people were amazed at the power of God in healing the lame man that Peter and John talked to. Peter and John were able to talk to the crowd about faith in Jesus Christ as the Son of God, the only way to know God and be forgiven of sin. Since some people, especially the people in power, did not like this message, Peter and John got into trouble. Peter and John kept on proclaiming faith in Jesus’ name; they didn’t care if they got into trouble.

That doesn’t mean we should be proud or obnoxious about believing in Jesus, however. God wants us to deliver his message in love, with warmth and kindness and goodwill, because He loves everybody at all times. Because God loves people so much, He sent His Son, Jesus, to die for the sins of each person so that each one who comes to Him in faith can be forgiven.

Dig:

Drama Activity: Today’s drama may be done by either puppets or actors, as a shadow play or in pantomime with a narrator reading the story. It’s written as a narrative because Peter’s sermon would be somewhat difficult for our child actors and actresses.

Scene I: The Lame Man is Healed
(Actors perform the actions described below appropriately as the narrator reads Acts 3:1-10.)


As some people carry in the lame man either on a mat or in a chair (or to be contemporary, push him in a wheelchair onto the stage), Peter and John walk in his direction, looking toward the Temple gate.
The lame man holds out his basket or cup for alms, but Peter and John shake their heads and turn their pockets or bag inside out, indicating they have no money.
Peter and John point to themselves and look straight at the lame man, and the man looks at them.
Peter lip-synchs the words of Acts 3:6 (or says the words in the verse, if you prefer), holds out his hand to the man, and the man takes Peter’s hand and stands upright, looking amazed.
The man begins to walk, tentatively at first, then runs around in a circle around Peter and John and jumps up and down, looking very excited, as the narrator reads Acts 3:8.
A crowd of people gathers, gawking and looking amazed, shrugging their shoulders to show that they can’t understand how this man, who’d been born lame and was over 40 years old, could possible be walking with Peter and John into the Temple courts.


Scene II: Peter Preaches to the Crowd in the Temple
Have the beggar (formerly lame man) stand up with Peter and John, holding on to them as Peter speaks to the gathering and excited crowd. Peter can lip-synch the sermon, if necessary, as the narrator reads Acts 3:11-16. To make the sermon more contemporary, you could leave out “men of Israel” in verse 12.

Scene III: Peter and John Are Taken to the Authorities
The “authorities” were the priests, captain of the temple guard, and Sadducees (who don’t believe in the resurrection), but to make the play contemporary, it could just be some well-dressed, authoritative-looking people. If you keep the play in the first century, the authorities would be dressed in richer clothing than the typical person in the crowd. As the narrator reads Acts 4:1-4, the actors perform the appropriate actions, concluding with putting Peter and John into a prison cell. The narrator could substitute the word “authorities” for “priests, captain of the temple guard and Sadducee” in 4:1 and in 4:7 after Peter and John are taken out of prison to stand before them again. You could skip 4:5-6. The actor who’s asking Peter and John “By what authority did you do this…?” should point at them and look intense and somewhat angry.
Then, as the narrator reads 4:8-12, have Peter lip-synch and gesture appropriately.
After 4:12, have the “authorities” put their heads together for a discussion about what to do with Peter and John. Some shoulder-shrugging gestures would be appropriate as the narrator reads 4:13-17.
Peter and John are brought before the authorities again, and commanded (finger shaken in their faces) “not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus” (4:18). Peter then answers with 4:19-20, gesturing as the narrator reads the verses.
The onlookers could look concerned as the previous scene unfolds, and then look joyous, praising God, at the end of it.
Scene IV: The Believers Pray
Have Peter and John join the “believers” in another part of the stage after Peter and John are released, and everyone assume an attitude of intense prayer as the narrator reads 4:24b-31. After the prayer, everyone raises hands in joyous praise to God as they are filled to overflowing with the Holy Spirit and the place is shaken by an earthquake.

Discussion questions:

  1. As you did this enactment of the Bible story of Peter and John and lame man, with whom did you most identify, and why?
    (ANS: Answers will be varied.)
  2. Can you think of any situation today in which the believer in Jesus should act in obedience to God rather than men, as Peter and John did in this story?
    (ANS: Again, answers will vary. Possible answers include praying to thank God (silently) at mealtime, prayer before taking a test at school, prayer around the flagpole done by Christians teens at school, or offering to pray for a friend in need.)
  3. Peter said the Jesus is the “only name by which you must be saved”. What does he mean? Aren’t all religions O.K.?
    (ANS: God loves all people, but the only way God has provided for our forgiveness of sins is by faith in the work of His Son Jesus Christ when he died on the cross to take the punishment for our sins and was raised to life on the third day. A person needs to choose to believe that God loves them, and believe that He did this for them.)
  4. Why do you think the religious authorities were angry with Peter and John?
    (ANS: They didn’t believe Jesus was the Son of God, they didn’t believe in the resurrection from the dead, and they didn’t like Peter saying that they’d done wrong in God’s sight. They didn’t even like “uneducated” people like Peter and John preaching to people.)
  5. Could such a problem arise today?
    (ANS: It can, and it has, many times.)


Reflection:

Journal question:

When Peter and John were mistreated by the authorities, they could have been angry at the authorities for putting them in jail and for scolding them. Were they angry? Would you be angry? Draw or write about what you think Peter and John did that night in prison.


Close with a circle of prayer

Give all who want to pray a chance to do so. Invite children to return next week with their Bible and a friend.




Video Workshop 

Leader Preparation:

  • Read objectives, concepts and scripture. 
  • Preview video. 
  • Have popcorn and juice ready.
     

Materials List:

  • Bibles
  • Video - A.D. Part 1, Session 3, by Gospel Films (1984)
  • Popcorn, Juice 


Lesson Plan 

Opening:
Welcome the children and their guide to the workshop, introduce yourself, and open in prayer. Please try Please try to start and end on time, and focus your attention on the children. 

Pass out popcorn and drinks. 

Show the video, A.D. part I, session 3, by Gospel Films (1984), which is just about Peter and John and the healing of the lame man and Peter’s sermon following the healing. 

It runs about 10 minutes. 

After the video, ask the children if there was anything new they learned about the story they didn't know. 

Review some of the questions from previous weeks of this rotation, giving them time to share their answers. 

The video Visual Bible: Acts, Volume I (1996) also includes a section on the healing of the lame man that may be useful if you want a longer video showing. 

Circle Game

  1. Play a circle game in which the memory verse is passed around verbally.
  2. Anyone missing the next word is “out”.

    For example, using John 14: 12, the first person would say, “I”, the next person would say “tell”, and the next would say, “you”, and so on around the circle.
  3. The game could be repeated with the bonus verse.
  4. Everyone gets a treat.

 

Reflection:

Close with a circle of prayer.
Give all who want to pray a chance to do so. Invite children to return next week with their Bible and a friend.


Resources:

  • Acts – Chapters 1-14 by J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible Radio, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1991
  • Bible Study Fellowship’s Life and Letters of Paul by A. Wetherall Johnson, 1972
  • The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, Vol. 9, Frank E. Gaebelein, editor, Zondervan Publishing House, 1981
  • Halley’s Bible Handbook by Henry H. Halley, Zondervan Publishing House, 1962
  • The Interpreter’s Bible, Vol. IX, George A. Buttrick, editor, Arlington Press, 1952
  • The Thompson Chain-Reference Bible, New International Version, 2nd edition by B. B. Kirbride Bible Co. Inc., 1990

 

A lesson Set written by Gail Smith of Silverdale UMC
Some of the lesson material ideas were adapted from ideas posted at https://www.rotation.org.

A representative of Rotation.org reformatted this post to improve readability.


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