September 18, 2022- Acts 3

Lesson Date: September 18, 2022

Focal Scripture Passage: Acts 3:1-26

AIM: To lead students to discover that Peter repeatedly pointed people to Jesus and urged them to turn to Jesus for salvation, and to examine themselves to determine if their lives are pointing people to Jesus.

 

Before class: Read the notes on Acts 3 found in the Sunday School Teacher Book.  Place two objects on opposite sides of the classroom for the introductory activity described below.

 

INTRODUCTION (Create Learning Readiness): Ask the students to name some famous celebrities.  These could be athletes, entertainers, media personalities, government leaders, or very wealthy people.  Ask: “In what ways are these people made the focus of our attention?” (they are often featured in magazines, TV, movies, sporting events, commercials, the Internet, and social media).

Tell the class it seems the world picks out certain people – the very wealthy, the very powerful, the very beautiful or glamorous, or even the very unusual – to be the focus of our attention.  Ask: “How does it affect our society when the media keeps focusing our attention on these celebrities?” (many people try to imitate them: dress like them, talk like them, fix their hair like them, and buy their signature products).  Stress the fact that the way people talk, dress, and behave is profoundly impacted by who they focus their attention on.

Ask: “Can you look at (focus on) two things at once?” (no).  To illustrate this fact, ask the students to focus on two objects on opposite sides of the room.  Tell them that when they focus on one object, they cannot focus on the other.  Explain that our thinking is the same way: we can’t think about two different things at the same time.

Tell the students the title of today’s lesson from Acts 3 is Point People to Jesus.  We’ll discover that Peter repeatedly pointed people to Jesus, urging them to repent of their sins and trust Jesus for salvation.

 

HEART OF THE LESSON (Bible Study):

  1. Review.
    • Remind the students that we are studying the New Testament book of Acts, which tells about the early years of the church.
    • Ask: “What did we learn about in Acts 1?” (Jesus commanded us to be witnesses).
    • Ask: “What was last week’s lesson from Acts 2 about?” (the miracle of salvation).
    • Ask if any volunteer would recite last week’s memory verse (Acts 2:21).
    • Remind the class that Acts 2 closes with the church growing, unified, and having favor with the people.
  2. Peter Pointed the Lame Man to Jesus.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 3:1-2.
    • Ask: “Where were Peter and John going?” (to the Temple at the time of evening prayer).
    • Tell the class the early believers did not abandon Jewish rituals; they realized Jesus was the fulfillment of them.
    • Ask: “According to verse 2, why was the man laid at the gate?” (he could not stand or walk, so he could not work; he was there to beg for money).
    • Read Acts 3:3-5.
    • Tell the students the man asked Peter and John for money, so Peter got his attention.
    • Ask: “According to verse 5, what did the man expect to receive?” (money).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 3:6.
    • Explain the following:
      • Peter said they didn’t have any money to give.
      • We can’t give what we don’t have.
      • Peter realized that the man had a need far greater than money.
    • Ask: “To whom did Peter point the lame man?” (Jesus).
    • Ask: “What did he tell the lame man to do in the name of Jesus?” (rise up and walk).
    • Read Acts 3:7-8.
    • Ask: “What happened?” (the lame man was immediately healed).
    • Tell the class the lame man immediately leaped up, stood, walked, and went with Peter and John into the Temple to worship.
    • Ask: “According to verse 8, did the man praise Peter and John?” (no).
    • Ask: “Who did he praise?” (God).
    • Tell the students the key word for verses 1-8 is MIRACLE. A notable miracle was done in the name of Jesus Christ.
    • Summarize: Peter pointed the lame man to Jesus. The man’s life was completely transformed by the power of Jesus Christ.
  3. Peter Pointed the People to Jesus.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 3:9-11.
    • Ask: “According to verse 9, what did the people see?” (the formerly lame man walking and praising God).
    • Tell the class when Jesus touches a life, the effects are visible to others.
    • Ask: “According to verse 10, what did the people know?” (that this was the lame man who begged for money at the Temple gate).
    • Ask: “According to verse 11, what did the people do?” (they ran to where Peter, John, and the formerly lame man were, eager to find out what happened).
    • Explain that Solomon’s porch was a covered, colonnaded area along the eastern edge of the Temple complex.
    • Read Acts 3:12-13a.
    • Tell the class Peter asked why the people marveled at them, as though they had the power to heal the lame man.
    • Ask: “According to the first half of verse 13, who glorified God’s Son, Jesus Christ?” (the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of their fathers).
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 3:13b-15.
    • Ask the following questions:
      • “According to verse 13, what did the people [‘ye’] do to Jesus?” (delivered Him to Pilate).
      • “What did Pilate want to do with Jesus?” (free Him).
      • “According to verse 14, what did the people [‘ye’] do to Jesus?” (denied Him, “the Holy One and the Just”).
      • “Who did they prefer or desire instead of Jesus?” (a murderer, Barabbas).
      • “According to verse 15, what did the Jewish people do to Jesus?” (killed Him).
      • “What did God do for Jesus?” (raised Him from the dead).
      • “What were the disciples?” (witnesses who testified that Jesus is alive).
    • Read Acts 3:16-18.
    • Ask: “According to verse 16, how did Peter say the lame man was healed?” (through faith in the name of Jesus).
    • Explain the following:
      • Peter knew that the people and their rulers acted in ignorance when they delivered Jesus to be crucified (v. 17).
      • Christ suffered, died, and rose again in fulfilment of Old Testament prophecy (v. 18).
    • Tell the students the key word for verses 9-18 is MESSAGE. Peter used the occasion of the healing of the lame man to deliver a message about Jesus.
    • Summarize: Peter preached to the curious crowd, clearly pointing them to Jesus as the one who healed and transformed the lame man.
  4. Peter Pleaded with the People to Trust Jesus.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 3:19.
    • Ask: “What did Peter tell the people to do?” (repent and be converted, so their sins could be blotted out).
    • Tell the class that speaking of this verse, Charles Spurgeon said, “Repentance is a discovery of the evil of sin, mourning over the fact that one has committed it, and a resolution to forsake it. It is, in fact, a change of mind of a deep and practical character that makes a person love what once he hated and hate what once he loved.”[1]
    • Read Acts 3:20-21.
    • Tell the class Peter explained that Jesus had returned to heaven until the appointed time for His return; the Old Testament prophets foretold this.
    • Ask a volunteer to read Acts 3:22-23.
    • Ask: “According to verse 22, what did Moses foretell?” (that God would send a Great Prophet to Israel; that promised Prophet is Jesus).
    • Ask: “What did Moses command about this coming Prophet?” (Israel was to hear Him).
    • Ask: “According to verse 23, what did Moses warn concerning this Great Prophet?” (those who reject Him will be destroyed; contrast Acts 2:21).
    • Stress the fact that Peter told the people they faced a very important choice: to trust Jesus or to reject Him.
    • Read Acts 3:24-26.
    • Tell the students Peter said the prophets foretold the things the people were seeing take place in their days, including the fulfillment of God’s promises to Abraham.
    • Ask: “According to verse 26, what three things did God do?” (raised His Son Jesus from the dead, sent Him to bless Israel, and provided forgiveness through faith in Jesus).
    • Tell the students the key word for verses 19-26 is CHOICE. Peter placed a clear choice before the people: trust Jesus for forgiveness and salvation, or reject Him and face death.
    • Summarize: Peter pointed the people to Jesus, pleading with them to repent of their sins and trust Jesus for salvation.

 

PERSONAL APPLICATION: Tell the class that Peter repeatedly pointed people to Jesus: he pointed the lame man to Jesus; he pointed the crowd to Jesus as the one who healed the lame man, and he pointed the crowd to Jesus as the promised Savior who could forgive their sins.

Tell the students we often see directional signs that point the way to some destination.  We can see and obey those directional signs, or we can choose to ignore them.  The choice is left to us.

Tell the class that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the one and only Savior.  Through faith in Jesus, we can be forgiven of our sins and made right with God.  Just like the lame man’s life was transformed by faith in Jesus, Jesus is still transforming lives today.

Ask: “Has Jesus forgiven your sins and transformed your life?”  Tell the students if their answer is “yes,” they should thank God for salvation through faith in Jesus; if their answer is “no,” they should repent of their sins and trust Jesus right now.

Remind the students that Peter repeatedly pointed people to Jesus.  Ask: “Is your life pointing people to Jesus?  Are your actions and words pointing others to Christ?”

Ask everyone to bow their head and close their eyes.  Ask them to examine themselves to determine if they are truly saved.  If not, they should repent and trust Jesus now.  If so, they should ask God to help them point people to Jesus.  Voice a closing prayer.

 

CONCLUSION: Ask everyone to memorize Acts 3:19 this week.  Tell them to look for opportunities to point people to Jesus.

 

 

[1] Quoted from The Spurgeon Study Bible, Copyright © 2018 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, Tennessee.

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