Hi all! Welcome back! Today’s story is from Acts 5:17-42.
Today we made puppets to help tell the story. We used two paint stir sticks and 4 pieces of construction paper. I started by taping two of the pieces together and tracing a head, then the kids cut through both pieces to essentially make two heads. We decorated them (one to look old, one to look younger). Then we glued them back to back on the paint stick.
The older side we labeled Gamaliel and the younger side we labeled Peter.
Then we again taped two pieces of construction paper together and cut out the shape of three heads together. We added googly eyes on (one side is angry, one is happy.)
The happy side is the crowd and the angry side is the angry leaders.
And here is the story:
The high priest and all his friends, were very jealous because Jesus’ disciples were teaching about Jesus and the people loved it! (THEY wanted to be the most important people). So they put the disciples in jail. But that night an angel of God opened the doors of the jail and brought them out. “Go back to the temple,” he said, “and tell the people all about Jesus and what He has done.”
So in the morning, they went to the temple and began to teach the people.
When the leaders got up, they asked the jail captain to send for the disciples, but the guards found out they weren’t there. So they went back and reported, “We found the jail perfectly locked, with the guards standing at the doors; but when we opened them, there was no one inside.”
Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.” With that, the leaders went and brought the disciples…(but they did it nicely so the people wouldn’t get mad and try to stop them.)
“We told you Not to teach in Jesus’ name,” the high priest said. “But you have told everyone in Jerusalem all about Jesus and now they are all going to think it’s OUR fault Jesus died.”
Peter and the other disciples said: “We have to obey God more than people! He wants us to tell EVERYONE about Jesus! God raised Jesus from the dead…the same Jesus you killed on the cross. God made Him Prince and Savior and He brings us back to God and forgives our sins.We have seen these things, and have been given God’s Holy Spirit, which He gives to everyone who obeys Him.”
When they heard this, the leaders were VERY angry and wanted to kill them. BUT a Pharisee named Gamaliel, who was honored by all the people (everyone thought he was really great!), stood up in the court and said: “Men of Israel, think carefully what you plan to do to these guys. You know sometimes people say they are somebody important and it all comes to nothing. When these people who pretend to be important get killed or run away, their followers leave too. So, with these men, I think we should leave them alone! Let them go! If they are just pretending to know God, or pretending that Jesus was someone really important…no one will care and they will all soon go away. But if Jesus really IS God’s son and they are telling the truth, you will not be able to stop them; you will just be fighting against God.”
They all thought that was a good idea. So they called the disciples in and beat them up! and then ordered them not to talk about Jesus anymore, and let them go.
And do you know how the disciples felt? They were happy! They were SO glad to tell people about Jesus and they were even happy when they got hurt for Jesus because they loved Him so much. Every day in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and telling everyone the good news that Jesus is the Messiah, God’s son.
In this story you can see not all the Pharisees were bad. Gamaliel was very wise and he knew it wasn’t good to make trouble. If Peter and the other disciples were making it all up, then eventually the stories would stop and people wouldn’t care. BUT, if they said was true, then trying to stop them would be like trying to stop God (and is that EVER going to happen???)
Peter and the disciples KNEW they had to obey God. Even when the people in charge said “NO.” It can be hard to do the right thing when other people are being mean to you. God will always help us obey Him if we ask. The disciples knew obeying God was more important than obeying the leaders…even if meant they would be hurt. It’s more important to do the right thing on God’s side, than the popular thing on peoples’ side. Gamaliel knew that too. He said “You don’t want to fight against God!” Be on God’s side. Obey Him. Tell others about Him and trust Him to help you make the right choices.
Thanks for joining us today. Love to you all!