January 29, 2023 – Acts 22

Lesson Date: January 29, 2023

Focal Scripture Passage: Acts 22:1-30

AIM: To lead students to discover and describe the three parts of Paul’s personal testimony, and to write their own testimonies so they can tell people how Jesus has changed them.


Before class: Read the notes on Acts 22 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.  Write the words “Before and After” on the marker board or chalkboard.  Have enough copies of theHow Jesus Changed Meworksheet for your anticipated attendance.  Have some pens or pencils available for those who might need one.


INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Direct the students’ attention to the words “Before and After” written on the board.  Tell them that much of the advertising we see today tells how the product being advertised will make our lives better.  Such advertising often includes “before and  after” pictures to show the difference the product made.

Ask the students to name some examples of products or services that are advertised this way (they might name diet plans, exercise equipment, skin care products, hair growth products, colleges, career training, prescription medicines, lawn care products, home improvement, cell phone providers, or even political candidates).

Tell the class that we live in a very results-oriented world: we want to see the benefits or results of a product before we buy it.

Ask: “Does that go for religion, as well?  Are people only interested in church and religion if they can see a tangible benefit from them?” (yes, that is the culture in which we live: many consider church and Jesus to be optional unless they can see a perceived benefit).

Tell the students the title of today’s lesson is, Tell How Jesus Changed You.  Ask: “Have you told anyone lately how Jesus has changed your life?”  Tell them as we study Acts 22, we will see that in spite of hostility and danger, Paul gladly told people how Jesus changed his life; we’ll also try to prepare ourselves to do the same.



  1. Review.
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson about?” (Courage to obey God in spite of danger).
    • Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verse (Acts 5:29).
    • Remind the students of the following that took place in Acts 21:
      • A Jewish mob seized Paul at the Temple (v. 27-29).
      • The Jews were taking Paul out of the Temple to stone him to death (v. 30-31).
      • The Roman commander and his soldiers rescued Paul from the mob (v. 32-38).
      • Paul asked the Roman commander for permission to address the crowd (v. 39-40).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 22:1-2.
    • Tell the class Paul spoke to the Jewish crowd in Hebrew.
  2. Paul’s Life Before He Knew Jesus.
    • Read Acts 22:3.
    • Ask: “What did Paul tell about his background?” (that he was a Jew, where he was from, the extensive training he received in the Jewish Law, and his zeal toward God).
    • Tell the class Paul wanted the Jewish crowd to know for certain that he was brought up as a faithful Jew.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 22:4-5.
    • Ask: “What did he tell to show how completely committed he was to Judaism?” (that he had previously persecuted and arrested Jews who became followers of Christ).
    • Ask: “According to verse 5, who could verify the truth of what Paul said?” (the high priest and Jewish elders).
    • Tell the students these verses describe Paul’s life before he knew Jesus.
    • Ask: “What was Paul’s life like before he met Jesus?” (he was so zealous for the Jewish Law that he persecuted and arrested Jews who turned to Christ).
    • Summarize: Paul’s life before he knew Jesus was marked by faithfulness and zeal for the Jewish religion, to the extent that he persecuted Christians.
  3. When and How Paul Came to Know Jesus.
    • Read Acts 22:6-8.
    • Remind the students that Paul was on his way to Damascus (in Syria) to arrest Christians and bring them to Jerusalem for punishment (these events are recorded in Acts 9).
    • Ask: “What happened about noon as he traveled?” (Paul saw a blinding light, fell to the ground, and heard a voice asking, “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?”).
    • Remind the class that Paul’s Jewish name was Saul, while his Roman name was Paul.
    • Tell them Paul asked who was speaking to him.
    • Ask: “How did the speaker identify Himself?” (the voice said, “I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest”).
    • Stress the fact that when someone persecutes Christians (who are members of the body of Christ), they are also persecuting Jesus.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 22:9-11.
    • Tell the students that those who were traveling with Paul saw the light and were afraid, but could not discern the voice as Paul did (Acts 9:7; 26:14).
    • Ask: “According to verse 10, what did Paul ask Jesus?” (what shall I do; note that he called Jesus, “Lord”).
    • Ask: “What did Jesus tell Paul to do?” (go into Damascus and wait for instructions).
    • Tell the class that Paul was blinded by the light, so he was led by the hand into the city.
    • Read Acts 22:12-13.
    • Explain that a man named Ananias came to him, whom God used to restore Paul’s sight.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 22:14-15.
    • Ask: “What did Ananias tell Paul?” (the God of their fathers had chosen Paul to know His will, see Jesus’ face, hear His voice, and tell others what he had seen and heard).
    • Ask: “When and how did Paul meet Jesus?” (on the road to Damascus, in a blinding flash of light, and Jesus spoke to Paul and gave him instructions).
    • Summarize: Paul came to know Jesus in a dramatic experience while he was going to persecute Christians. Jesus revealed Himself to Paul and told some of His plans for Paul.
  4. How Jesus Changed Paul’s Life.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 22:16.
    • Ask: “What’s the first thing Ananias told Paul to do?” (be baptized in the name of Jesus).
    • Explain that baptism is an outward symbol of what has happened in the heart; it is the first act of obedience a new believer should do.
    • Read Acts 22:17-18.
    • Tell the class that Paul later returned to Jerusalem and was praying in the Temple, where he once again saw Jesus.
    • Ask: “What did Jesus tell Paul?” (to hurry and leave Jerusalem because the Jews would not receive his testimony).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 22:19-21.
    • Tell the students that Paul tried to argue with Jesus about leaving Jerusalem.
    • Ask: “What did he say the Jews in Jerusalem knew about him?” (that he previously had imprisoned and beaten Christians, and that he approved of and assisted with the stoning death of Stephen, the first Christian martyr).
    • Ask: “What did Jesus tell Paul in verse 21?” (to leave Jerusalem; He was sending Paul far away to take the Gospel to the Gentiles).
    • Ask: “How did Jesus change Paul’s life?” (He changed Paul from a persecutor of Christians to a missionary telling others about Jesus).
    • Summarize: Jesus dramatically changed Paul’s life: he obediently followed the Lord in baptism and obediently took the Gospel to Gentiles in faraway places.
  5. What Happened Next.
    • Read Acts 22:22.
    • Ask: “What happened?” (the Jews became enraged and demanded that Paul should die).
    • Ask: “Why do you think they listened to Paul until he said what he did in verse 21?” (because they hated Gentiles; they could not conceive that God would commission him to go to the Gentiles in faraway lands).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 22:23-24.
    • Ask: “What did the Jews do next?” (they yelled loudly, pulled off their outer garments in preparation for stoning Paul, and threw dust in the air like an angry bull pawing at the ground).
    • Ask: “What did the Roman commander do?” (ordered that Paul be taken into the fortress and scourged, in hopes of finding out why the crowd was so angry).
    • Read Acts 22:25-30.
    • Explain the following:
      • Paul asked if it was lawful to scourge a Roman citizen who had not been tried and convicted of a crime.
      • The Roman commander questioned Paul and learned that he was a free-born Roman citizen (which means his father was a Roman citizen).
      • Those who were prepared to scourge Paul immediately left.
      • The Roman commander was fearful because he had bound a Roman citizen.
      • The Roman commander still did not understand why the Jews wanted to kill Paul, so he called the chief priests and the Sanhedrin to come the next day and examine him.
      • The Sanhedrin (“their council”) was the “Supreme Court” of the Jewish people; this was the group that tried Jesus, Peter and John (Acts 4), the Apostles (Acts 5), and Stephen (Acts 7).
    • Summarize: The Jews refused to receive Paul’s testimony and still wanted to kill him. The Roman commander held Paul in custody until the Jewish leaders could examine him.


PERSONAL APPLICATION: Direct the students’ attention once again to the words “Before and After” written on the board.  Tell them today we have studied Paul’s “before and after” story of how Jesus changed his life.  Tell them Paul’s story, like our stories, had three parts:

  1. His life before he knew Jesus.
  2. When and how he came to know Jesus.
  3. How Jesus changed his life.

Give everyone a copy of the “How Jesus Changed Meworksheet and a pen or pencil if needed.  Ask the students to take a few moments to write some words or phrases that describe their life before they knew Jesus, when and how they came to know Jesus as their Savior, and how Jesus has changed their life since that time.  Allow a few moments for students to write.

Tell them that what they have written is their “before and after” story of how Jesus changed their life.  Tell them it is a blessing to think about how Jesus has changed us.

Remind the class that the title of today’s lesson is, Tell How Jesus Changed You.  Tell them that fellow believers are blessed to hear how Jesus has changed our life, and God can use our testimony to touch the hearts of unsaved people.

Stress the fact that we need to tell others how Jesus has changed our lives.  Ask: “Who do you know that needs to hear your ‘before and after’ story?  Will you make a commitment to the Lord right now to tell others how Jesus has changed you?”  Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes, and to make that commitment to the Lord.  Voice a closing prayer.


CONCLUSION: Tell everyone to look for opportunities this week to share their personal testimony of how Jesus has changed their life.

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