GROWING CHILDREN IN FOLLOWING JESUS
Today the lesson is about how Jesus changed Paul and how, empowered by the Holy Spirit, Paul shared the Good News of Jesus.
Read the Bible story first and then watch the lesson video.
Acts 9:1-22 (ICB)
In Jerusalem Saul was still trying to frighten the followers of the Lord by saying he would kill them. So he went to the high priest and asked him to write letters to the synagogues in the city of Damascus. Saul wanted the high priest to give him the authority to find people in Damascus who were followers of Christ’s Way. If he found any there, men or women, he would arrest them and bring them back to Jerusalem.
So Saul went to Damascus. As he came near the city, a bright light from heaven suddenly flashed around him. Saul fell to the ground. He heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul! Why are you doing things against me?” Saul said, “Who are you, Lord?”
The voice answered, “I am Jesus. I am the One you are trying to hurt. Get up now and go into the city. Someone there will tell you what you must do.”
The men traveling with Saul stood there, but they said nothing. They heard the voice, but they saw no one. Saul got up from the ground. He opened his eyes, but he could not see. So the men with Saul took his hand and led him into Damascus. For three days Saul could not see, and he did not eat or drink.
There was a follower of Jesus in Damascus named Ananias. The Lord spoke to Ananias in a vision, “Ananias!” Ananias answered, “Here I am, Lord.”
The Lord said to him, “Get up and go to the street called Straight Street. Find the house of Judas. Ask for a man named Saul from the city of Tarsus. He is there now, praying. Saul has seen a vision. In it a man named Ananias comes to him and lays his hands on him. Then he sees again.”
But Ananias answered, “Lord, many people have told me about this man and the terrible things he did to your people in Jerusalem. Now he has come here to Damascus. The leading priests have given him the power to arrest everyone who worships you.”
But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! I have chosen Saul for an important work. He must tell about me to non-Jews, to kings, and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”
So Ananias went to the house of Judas. He laid his hands on Saul and said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus sent me. He is the one you saw on the road on your way here. He sent me so that you can see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something that looked like fish scales fell from Saul’s eyes. He was able to see again! Then Saul got up and was baptized. After eating some food, his strength returned.
Saul stayed with the followers of Jesus in Damascus for a few days. Soon he began to preach about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “Jesus is the Son of God!”
All the people who heard him were amazed. They said, “This is the man who was in Jerusalem. He was trying to destroy those who trust in this name! He came here to do the same thing. He came here to arrest the followers of Jesus and take them back to the leading priests.”
But Saul became more and more powerful. His proofs that Jesus is the Christ were so strong that the Jews in Damascus could not argue with him.
Matthew 25:35-40 (ICB)
I was hungry, and you gave me food. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was alone and away from home, and you invited me into your house. I was without clothes, and you gave me something to wear. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.’
“Then the good people will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and give you food? When did we see you thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you alone and away from home and invite you into our house? When did we see you without clothes and give you something to wear? When did we see you sick or in prison and care for you?’
“Then the King will answer, ‘I tell you the truth. Anything you did for any of my people here, you also did for me.’
Questions to ask
- What are the hard words?
- What did not make sense?
- What questions do I have?
After you have watched the lesson and completed the bible reading, discuss these questions together:
What do you think is amazing about this true story?
- Paul started out as someone who wanted followers of Jesus thrown into jail or even killed, but an amazing encounter with Jesus changed him forever.
In what way did Paul changed and why?
- He experienced God’s power and his heart changed from wanting to hurt Jesus’ followers to wanting Jesus’ message to be shared with the whole world.
What did Paul do after he had this encounter with Jesus?
- Paul went on to write many of the letters that are in our Bible today. He was a leader and encourager of many early churches in different towns and cities and spent the rest of his life telling others about Jesus.
What do you think Jesus is saying in Matthew 25?
- Jesus is saying that whenever we show kindness, love, compassion and generosity towards others, especially those who need it most, we are doing it for HIM! As we serve and care for others, we are serving Jesus.
Dear God, Thank you so much for loving us and for sending Jesus to earth to show us your love and forgiveness. Thank you that we are all one in Christ Jesus and all equal in your eyes. Please help us to care and show your love and kindness to people, no matter who they are.
I pray also that you would fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we can be people who do as you asked, to let everyone know the Good News of Jesus. Help us to look out for times to tell others about you. We pray for all the people on our Good News sign, that we can share your Good News with them.
In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Memory Verse John 3:17
- For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.
- Do you think Jesus can change the game for people today?
- How could you show love and kindness and practical care for people?
- Sermon notes page to follow along with
My Lighthouse” from Rend Collective
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