Greetings once again on this not so summery summer’s day. Boo. Gloomy it may be, but hopefully you’re not letting that dictate the mood of your household!
Last week we looked at Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus and this week we carry on with Chapter 9 from verse 20-31. I’ve read it a few times and it’s a bit of a weird one in that there’s not anything totally immediate to me jumping out to share with children for them to apply to their lives. This could well be one of those weeks where the outcome will be to have learnt the story and a bit more about Saul’s life as a disciple and that the suffering Jesus told him about when he appeared to him in the vision last week, didn’t take long to get started. Let’s see how we get on…
Things you’ll need to do all activities/craft…
- Print out any of the colouring pages or the template for the scene craft.
- Colouring pens, crayons, pencils or paint (if you dare…)
- Glue or tape
- How about a game of hide and seek? Or your own version of it? In the story today, Saul has to escape from people who wanted to kill him (!) and he needed his friends to help him stay out of sight!
- Or play a guessing game- hide some items in a basket and cover it. Have your child/ren put their hands under the cover and guess what’s inside by feeling the items.
As usual, here is the passage from the International Children’s Bible. You can read with your child/ren, find the story in their bible and or watch the video links that also tell the story.
Acts Chapter 9:20-31
20 Soon he began to preach about Jesus in the synagogues, saying, “Jesus is the Son of God!”
21 All the people who heard him were amazed. They said, “This is the man who was in Jerusalem. He was trying to destroy those who trust in this name! He came here to do the same thing. He came here to arrest the followers of Jesus and take them back to the leading priests.”
22 But Saul became more and more powerful. His proofs that Jesus is the Christ were so strong that the Jews in Damascus could not argue with him.
Saul Escapes from Damascus
23 After many days, the Jews made plans to kill Saul. 24 They were watching the city gates day and night. They wanted to kill him, but Saul learned about their plan. 25 One night some followers of Saul helped him leave the city. They lowered him in a basket through an opening in the city wall.
Saul in Jerusalem
26 Then Saul went to Jerusalem. He tried to join the group of followers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe that he was really a follower. 27 But Barnabas accepted Saul and took him to the apostles. Barnabas told them that Saul had seen the Lord on the road. He explained how the Lord had spoken to Saul. Then he told them how boldly Saul had preached in the name of Jesus in Damascus.
28 And so Saul stayed with the followers. He went everywhere in Jerusalem, preaching boldly in the name of Jesus. 29 He would often talk and argue with the Jews who spoke Greek. But they were trying to kill him. 30 When the brothers learned about this, they took Saul to Caesarea. From there they sent him to Tarsus.
31 The church everywhere in Judea, Galilee, and Samaria had a time of peace. With the help of the Holy Spirit, the group became stronger. The believers showed that they respected the Lord by the way they lived. Because of this, the group of believers grew larger and larger.
This one is from Saddleback Kids.
This one goes over Saul’s conversion from last week and into this weeks passage too.
This is one with actors bringing to life Saul escaping in a basket.
This one is for the younger kids 😊
3-7s: After you’ve read or retold the story, ask the following to help your child/ren learn from it. Remind them of the story from last week, where Saul stopped trying to hurt people who followed Jesus after he was blinded for 3 days and Ananias prayed with him.
- Why did Saul need to escape? (Because some people didn’t trust him or like him talking so much about Jesus.)
- How did Saul escape? (In a basket)
- Do you think Saul might have been a bit scared? He will have had to trust his friends not to drop the basket!
- Even though some people wanted him to try to kill him, did Saul stop telling people about Jesus? (No)
- Some of the disciples didn’t trust that Saul had stopped trying to hurt them and actually loved Jesus like them now. Pray with your child/ren that they will be trustworthy and others will know they can be trusted and thank God that we can always trust Him to be the best for us.
7-11s: Have your child/ren read with you and or watch the videos to tell the story/
- What stands out? Anything weird? Ask your parents/carers about anything you don’t understand.
- Recap the story from last week and this one.
- So now we notice that Saul is the one people want to kill. The tables have turned! Does Saul give up and stop telling other Jews about Jesus? (No)
- How does he escape from Damascus? (lowered in a basket)
- When he gets to Jerusalem, the disciples there don’t believe he is actually a Christian now. Can you think of someone you’d find it hard to believe if they started following Jesus? What could you pray about that?
- What is the name of the disciple who accepts Saul and takes him to the apostles? (Barnabas)
- What happens after the apostles accept Saul and he starts teaching in Jerusalem? (Some other Jews don’t like what he’s saying and want him killed)
- Where does Saul end up going to get away from those wanting to kill him? (Tarsus, where he comes from)
- Do you think Saul could have been afraid?
- At no point has Saul given up wanting to tell others about Jesus and already, his life has been threatened twice. Pray with your child/ren that they would have the same courage, desire and trust in God to share the gospel with others.
- Choose one of the colouring pages to print off and colour in. One is less detailed and suits younger children 😊
- Print off these activities
- Print off the Saul in a Basket template to create the scene from today’s story! Print off the template (or you could draw your own!), colour and cut it out and then glue some string or wool to the basket and hang it over your wall. It should look something like this: