Listening to God Instead of People
Use this children’s Sunday School lesson to teach kids the importance of obeying the Lord above all others.
Needed: Bibles, soft balls, paper wads
Intro Game: Despite All Obstacles – Set up an obstacle course with two mirror paths. Divide the students into two teams. One student from each team runs the obstacle course at a time while the other team members line up along the length of the obstacle course. When they’re not running, the members of the opposite team throw soft balls or paper wads at the runner from the sidelines.
If a student makes it through the obstacle course without being hit, they score a point for their team and return to the sidelines. If they are hit, they go to the sidelines to throw but not run again. After each pair runs the course, gather the balls or paper wads again for the next two to run.
The game ends when all the students have run the course. The team with the most points wins.
Afterward, explain that we have to do the right things in life even when it seems difficult. There might be things that get in the way of us doing the right thing. There might be people who try to keep us from doing the right thing, but we have to keep doing what we know is right.
Lesson: Ask students, Can anyone think of a time when they got in trouble for something they didn’t do?
(Read Act 5:12-16.)
“The apostles performed many signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers used to meet together in Solomon’s Colonnade. No one else dared join them, even though they were highly regarded by the people. Nevertheless, more and more men and women believed in the Lord and were added to their number. As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.”
So, Peter and the rest of the Apostles were healing people and making demons come out of people, just like Jesus had done. How do you think Peter and the Apostles were able to do those things? (God was giving them the power to do it.)
(Read Act 5:17-18.)
“Then the high priest and all his associates, who were members of the party of the Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail.”
Why did the priests put Peter and the other Apostles in jail? (Because the priests were jealous of the followers of Jesus.)
People were listening to Peter and the disciples instead of the priests, so the priests got jealous. They wanted people to listen to them, not to the Apostles.
(Read Act 5:19.)
“But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the doors of the jail and brought them out.”
How did the followers of Jesus get out of jail? (God sent an angel to help them.)
When you get in a hard situation, do you think God can help you? (Yes.)
God might not send an angel to you, but if you pray and ask God for help, He will help you.
(Read Act 5:20-28.)
“‘Go, stand in the temple courts,’ he said, ‘and tell the people all about this new life.’
“At daybreak they entered the temple courts, as they had been told, and began to teach the people.
“When the high priest and his associates arrived, they called together the Sanhedrin—the full assembly of the elders of Israel—and sent to the jail for the apostles. But on arriving at the jail, the officers did not find them there. So they went back and reported, ‘We found the jail securely locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, we found no one inside.’ On hearing this report, the captain of the temple guard and the chief priests were at a loss, wondering what this might lead to.
“Then someone came and said, ‘Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.’ At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them.
“The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. ‘We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,’ he said. ‘Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this Man’s blood.’”
The priests told Peter and the followers of Jesus to stop telling people about Jesus. Do you think Peter and the Apostles should listen to the priests and stop teaching about Jesus? (No.)
God told Peter and the Apostles to teach everyone about Jesus, so they couldn’t stop doing what God told them to do just because the priests said so. The Apostles had to listen to God.
(Read Act 5:29.)
“Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than human beings!’”
Peter said he and the rest of the followers of Jesus had to listen to God instead of other people. And the same goes for us too. Remember that God has to be number one in your life and that you always have to listen to Him before you listen to other people.
Well, after Peter and the other disciples said that they wouldn’t listen to the priests and stop telling people about Jesus, the priests became very angry, and they had Peter and the disciples whipped.
But Peter and the disciples didn’t care about getting punished because they knew they had done the right thing by listening to God instead of people.
Game: Defending the Faith – Divide the room into two sides. Divide the students into two teams. One team stands on one side of the line. The other team stands on the other. One team is the Priests, and the other is the Followers of Jesus.
Give the Priest wads of paper. The Priests must throw wads of paper at the Followers of Jesus. The Followers of Jesus must try to deflect the Priests’ wads. The Followers can use rolled up newspaper or cardboard to do so. They can’t use their hands or feet directly. They can make bats out of the newspaper or shields or whatever else they can think of. Give them time before the round starts to make their wads and their weapons of defense.
The Priests’ goal is to get as many paper wads on the Followers’ side of the line as possible. The Followers’ goal is to knock the wads back onto the Priests’ side of the line. After 3 minutes, have the teams switch, so that all students get to play both roles.
Game: Bad Priest Says – Tell students that you want them to practice not listening when someone tells them to do the wrong thing. You’re going to play Simon Says, but, now, they should only listen to you when you don’t say “Bad Priest says” first. If anyone does do what you tell them when you say, “Bad Priest says…,” they’re out.
Closing Prayer: Jesus, thank You for coming to save us and for giving us Your Holy Spirit to live inside of us. We pray that You’ll help us always to listen to You and not follow what other people say when they want us to disobey You. Amen.
This lesson is included in my book, The Rock.
This lesson is included in my book, The Rock.