Peter and John are Bold for Jesus
Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids about being brave in Christ.
Intro Game: Resurrection Tag – Pick one student to be It. That student is Death. Pick another student to be Jesus. When Death tags someone, they fall down and lie on the ground like they’re dead. Jesus can then come to tag them, and they can get back up. If Death tags Jesus, Jesus must count to three (because Jesus was dead for three days), but can then get up again. If Jesus tags Death, the round is over. Play until everyone has had a chance to be both Death and Jesus or as long as time permits.
Remind students that Jesus will come back one day and will raise everyone who believes in Him back to life.
Lesson: Last time, we read about how Peter and John were walking to church, the Temple, and they saw a man who couldn’t walk. The man was begging for money since he couldn’t get a job, but instead of giving him money, Peter healed him so that his legs would work right and he could walk.
Then, Peter and John took the man into the church and showed everyone what had happened. Peter told them that he was able to heal the man because God had given him the power to do it. And he started telling everyone there about Jesus.
The problem was that most people back then didn’t believe in Jesus. Just a couple of months before that, they had nailed Jesus to a cross.
So, let’s read what happened to Peter and John next.
(Read Acts 4:1-3.)
“The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John and, because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day.”
Why did the priests arrest Peter and John? (Because they were teaching the people about Jesus, saying that Jesus would come back and raise everyone who believed in Him back to life.)
(Read Acts 4:4.)
“But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand.”
A lot of people believed in Jesus, didn’t they? That’s why Peter and John didn’t mind being arrested. They were just glad that more people believed in Jesus. They did the right thing by teaching about Jesus, even if they did get arrested for it.
(Read Acts 4:5-12.)
“The next day the rulers, the elders and the teachers of the law met in Jerusalem. Annas the high priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander and others of the high priest’s family. They had Peter and John brought before them and began to question them: ‘By what power or what name did you do this?’
“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: ‘Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. Jesus is “the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.”
“’Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.’”
How does Peter say we can be saved? (By believing in Jesus.)
(Read Acts 4:13.)
“When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”
The Bible says that Peter and John had never gone to school and that they were just ordinary men. If they were just ordinary people, where did they get the power to heal the man who couldn’t walk? (God gave it to them.)
So, the priests saw that Peter and John were only special because they believed in Jesus, not because they were smart or had anything special about them. They were only special because they believed in Jesus.
(Read Acts 4:14-18.)
“But since they could see the man who had been healed standing there with them, there was nothing they could say. So they ordered them to withdraw from the Sanhedrin and then conferred together. ‘What are we going to do with these men?’ they asked. ‘Everyone living in Jerusalem knows they have performed a notable sign, and we cannot deny it. But to stop this thing from spreading any further among the people, we must warn them to speak no longer to anyone in this name.’
“Then they called them in again and commanded them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.”
What did the priests tell Peter and John not to do? (They told them not to teach about Jesus anymore.)
Do you think God wanted Peter and John to keep teaching about Jesus or not? (God wanted them to keep teaching about Jesus.)
So, who should Peter and John listen to, the priests who told them not to teach about Jesus, or God who told them to teach about Jesus? (God.)
(Read Acts 4:19-20.)
“But Peter and John replied, ‘Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to Him? You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.’”
Did Peter and John say they would listen to the priests or to God? (To God.)
So, Peter and John made the right choice. We always have to listen to God first. Sometimes, people can tell us to do the wrong things, but God always tells us to do the right things.
(Read Acts 4:21-22.)
“After further threats they let them go. They could not decide how to punish them, because all the people were praising God for what had happened. For the man who was miraculously healed was over forty years old.”
Peter and John got in trouble for teaching people about Jesus. That was okay because God wanted them to teach about Jesus, even if other people said they couldn’t. If God told Peter and John to teach about Jesus, do you think He wants you to teach people about Jesus too? (Yes.)
God wants us all to help teach people about Jesus so that everyone can believe in Jesus and go to Heaven when they die instead of going to Hell.
Game: Listening to God – Have students line up at one side of the room. The teacher gives instructions, saying “God Says” as in “Simon Says.” Make the motions as you say the instruction. Every once in a while, do something and give the instruction without saying “God says” first. Anyone who does something without the teacher having said, “God says” has is out. You can also give an instruction that doesn’t match your motion to catch kids off guard. Students who are out wait there until the end of the round and then, join back in. The last student in the game becomes the new leader.
Game: Disciple Tag – Choose one student to be It. When they tag someone, that person links hands with them and joins their team. They continue adding people to their team, linking hands with each one until all but one student is part of their chain. That remaining student becomes It for the next round.
Play two or three rounds and then, explain that when we tell people about Jesus, we want them to believe in Jesus too. If they do, they become a Christian and join our team. Then, they help us tell more people about Jesus.
Closing Prayer: Father God, we thank You for the example of Peter and John, who were brave for You. We pray that You’ll help us to be brave for You too and always teach about You and Jesus, no matter what other people say. In Jesus’ name we pray, amen.
Recommended ExtraPeter and John Will Obey God – free coloring and activity pages
This lesson is included in my book, The Rock.
This lesson is included in my book, The Rock.