Greetings. How’s it going? Sick of the grey weather here, but all ok. I also can’t quite believe it’s July and we should be gearing up for the school holidays…! Anyway, this week we continue with the book of Acts and we’re at the part in Chapter 8 where Philip meets the Ethiopian in his chariot (because he obeys the angel’s instructions and then the Spirit), and leads him to the saving faith Jesus gives, baptises him and then vanishes leaving the Ethiopian rejoicing. It’s another radical account with plenty in it for us to consider. ‘Let’s go!’, as the young ones say… 😎😉🤣
Things you’ll need for all options:
- Print out of the Chariot Scene craft and instructions or colouring page/activity
- Colouring pens/pencils/crayons.
- Double-sided foam squares (optional for the Chariot Scene craft)
Here is the passage from the International Children’s Bible:
Acts Chapter 8 26-40
Philip Teaches an Ethiopian
26 ‘An angel of the Lord spoke to Philip. The angel said, “Get ready and go south. Go to the road that leads down to Gaza from Jerusalem—the desert road.” 27 So Philip got ready and went. On the road he saw a man from Ethiopia, a eunuch. He was an important officer in the service of Candace, the queen of the Ethiopians. He was responsible for taking care of all her money. He had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and 28 now he was on his way home. He was sitting in his chariot and reading from the book of Isaiah, the prophet. 29 The Spirit said to Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.”
30 So Philip ran toward the chariot. He heard the man reading from Isaiah, the prophet. Philip asked, “Do you understand what you are reading?”
31 He answered, “How can I understand? I need someone to explain it to me!” Then he invited Philip to climb in and sit with him. 32 The verse of Scripture that he was reading was this:
“He was like a sheep being led to be killed.
He was quiet, as a sheep is quiet while its wool is being cut.
He said nothing.
33 He was shamed and was treated unfairly.
He died without children to continue his family.
His life on earth has ended.” Isaiah 53:7-8
34 The officer said to Philip, “Please tell me, who is the prophet talking about? Is he talking about himself or about someone else?” 35 Philip began to speak. He started with this same Scripture and told the man the Good News about Jesus.
36 While they were traveling down the road, they came to some water. The officer said, “Look! Here is water! What is stopping me from being baptised?” 37 [Philip answered, “If you believe with all your heart, you can.” The officer said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”][ 38 Then the officer commanded the chariot to stop. Both Philip and the officer went down into the water, and Philip baptised him. 39 When they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord took Philip away; the officer never saw him again. The officer continued on his way home, full of joy. 40 But Philip appeared in a city called Azotus and preached the Good News in all the towns on the way from Azotus to Caesarea.’
This is from LifeKids
Here’s one from Saddleback Kids, good for all ages
This is from Sharefaith Kids and is a little more detailed
Retell the story including details you know they will understand, explain where Ethiopia is.
- What was the man in the story who talked to the Ethiopian called?
- Have you ever needed help with anything? Talk about the examples, who helps, how, etc.
- Have you ever helped anyone else understand something or how to do something? Highlight that in the story, the Ethiopian needed help understanding what he was reading and sometimes, we might have to help someone understand who Jesus is and that he loves us and dies for us.
- Have a go at writing, drawing, or talking about what you would tell someone about Jesus if they didn’t know who He is.
Read the passage together and use the following as a guide to your discussions.
- Does anything stand out?
- What was Philip doing in Samaria? (he was part of the Christians that were “scattered” because of persecution and Stephen’s stoning)
- Where did the angel tell Philip to go? (south, towards Gaza)
- Who did Philip meet on the way? (an important man from Ethiopia)
- What was the man riding in? (a chariot)
- What did the Spirit tell Philip to do when he saw him? (to approach the chariot)
- What did Philip hear the Ethiopian doing? (reading from the book of Isaiah)
- Did the Ethiopian understand what he was reading? (no, he asked Philip to help him understand)
- What did Philip tell the Ethiopian about what he was reading in Isaiah? (that it was really about Jesus, and then he told him about the Gospel)
- What did the Ethiopian want to do when he saw water? (be baptised)
- What happened to Philip as soon they came up out of the water? (he immediately found himself in another town – Azotus)
- Have you ever needed help in understanding something? Who helped you out?
- Have you ever needed help understanding something in the bible? Who helped?
- In the story today, there are a few really good points for us to think about. One is that Philip gets an instruction from an angel with very little detail as to what he’s supposed to do or why, just go to a certain road. He has no clue if he was going to meet anyone or anything but he goes. He obeys the instruction because he knows it’s a message from God. And then the Spirit gives him a bit more instruction and Philip obeys that too. When he meets the Ethiopian, he asks him a question. It’s good for us to notice that because he asks that question, Philip can help with exactly what the Ethiopian needs. Some other things to think about is that at the time Philip was met by the angel, he was in a city (Samaria) and doing a great job telling loads of people about Jesus, but God sends him to one single man to talk to. It reminded me of Jesus and the parable of the lost sheep and how the shepherd left the 99 to go and look for the 1 that needed finding.
- The story helps us to see and remember that God is always at work in other people and not just when he asks us to get involved. The Ethiopian was already reading the bible and already knew about God, but needed to hear more of Jesus so he could choose to follow him and be baptised.
- It helps us to see how much God cares for individual people, like a shepherd leaves the 99 to find the lost 1. God wants each person to be saved.
- It also shows us how important it is to listen and obey God’s instructions.
- Have a chat about how you would explain the Gospel message to someone who didn’t know or understand it.
- Think of one person you would love to ‘run alongside’ and explain more about Jesus to. Pray that God gives you the opportunity.
- Create the scene of Philip and the Ethiopian at his chariot. Print off the PDF, colour it in, cut it out and then follow the instructions on putting the bits together 😊 It will look something like this when finished:
- Print the colouring page with hidden pictures to spot – good for ages 4+
- Try the word search or maze!
This is another from Life Tree Kids and it’s called ‘I’m Trusting You’