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Sunday School is a vital part of any ministry. In it, one is able to experience a deeper knowledge of God’s Word. Here at “Word For Life Says,” I want to help you help others. Below you will find resources to help you prepare for your upcoming lessons and my personal summary notes that I use when teaching. May God bless you!
“Faith in Jesus”
PDF Lesson Print Out is now Located at the Bottom of the Lesson. Please Scroll Down, Click and Enjoy! Blessings.
Please Note: All lesson verses and titles are based on International Sunday School Lesson/Uniform Series ©2013 by the Lesson Committee, but all content/commentary written within is original tounless properly quoted/cited. I am glad you like to read my personal summary notes that I use when teaching, but as always you are encouraged to do your own studies as well. Blessings!)
Miracles are wonderful to behold and even more wonderful to experience for oneself. But, the most wonderful thing about miracles is they point to the miracle maker Himself, Jesus Christ.
When He was alive Jesus performed too many miracles to be numbered. He was most certainly glad to heal people and deliver them from various physical and spiritual ailments, but the miracles verified Him as being the Son of God, as being God in the flesh, for all men to believe. In John 14:11 He states, “Believe me that I am in the Father, and the Father in me: or else believe me for the very works’ sake.”
Jesus did things that was mind-blowing. Jesus did everything from opening blind eyes and deaf ears to releasing individuals from spiritual oppression and possession of the devil. He even raised people, yes people, indicating more than one person, from the dead. Something that was totally unfathomable. And, all those things gave their own personal testimony of Jesus Christ and directed mankind to have faith in Him.
In today’s lesson Jesus has been off the scene for a little while with His crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension having already taken place. Now, His disciples, those very men of God who walked with Him during the course of His earthly ministry are picking up and carrying on the work He did and established.
With that being said, one day Peter and John were on their way to the temple to pray about the “ninth hour” (Acts 3:1), which in our time would be about 3:00 pm. While on their way, they had an encounter with a man whom the Bible states was “lame” (Acts 3:2), which means he was unable to use his feet or walk. The man was there that day to beg for “alms” or ask for money. People with disabilities during the Bible days were at a disadvantage to earning any sizable income, therefore many resorted to begging, such as this man did.
When the man saw Peter and John he gained their attention. Peter instructed the man to “Look on us,” (Acts 3:4). He wanted his undivided attention for what was about to happen. He pointedly told the man, “Silver and gold have I not; but such as I have give I thee . . .” The man wasn’t going to get a financial blessing such as he hoped, but what Peter and John could do for the man was so much more.
With that he spoke the words that would change his life forever: “In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk,” (Acts 3:6).
Not waiting for the man to digest what was happening (because sometimes our overthinking can overrun the blessing), he reached out, grabbed him by “the right hand, and lifted him up,” (Acts 3:7). And, when he did that something wonderful that I spoke of in the beginning happened for this man. The miraculous came in and took over his situation and “immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked,” (Acts 3:7-8).
All of a sudden, he was able to do what he was previously couldn’t. This man was “lame from his mother’s womb” (Acts 3:2) and was over “forty years old,” (Acts 4:22) and all this time, he had never taken a step in his life. Over those years he never knew what it was like to run after a ball, go for a jog, or any of those self-mobile things many of us take for granted each day. But, the very first thing he choose to do with his newfound ability was remarkable indeed.
“And he entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God,” (Acts 3:8). How awesome is that?! I think his response was very appropriate. Any time God chooses to deliver anybody from anything, our response should be to run where He is to give Him the praise!
As our lesson text picks up, we find Peter will use this occasion of the miracle to point back to Jesus, to encourage the people to have faith in Him.
Acts 3:11 “And as the lame man which was healed held Peter and John, all the people ran together unto them in the porch that is called Solomon’s, greatly wondering.”
Later, Peter and John were arrested in conjunction with the sermon that Peter preached following the man’s healing. At the time of those leaders questioning, they had to admit the truth themselves that there was a “notable miracle” that had taken place and they said everybody saw and “we cannot deny it,” (Acts 4:16).
The fact that God greatly delivered this man from his physical infirmity did not escape the attention of anyone present there that day. They surmised that this man who is leaping and rejoicing and praising God is in fact that same man who used to beg at the gate called “Beautiful . . . and they were filled with wonder and amazement,” (Acts 3:9-10).
God blew their minds that day! The man was miraculously “healed” and “all the people ran together unto them… greatly wondering.”
At their “wondering” Peter used this occasion of the miracle to do what Jesus did with the miracles He performed. Peter used the miracle to point to Jesus and to encourage the people to have faith in Jesus.
Acts 3:12 “And when Peter saw it, he answered unto the people, Ye men of Israel, why marvel ye at this? or why look ye so earnestly on us, as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man to walk?”
Most assuredly, many in the crowd had probably witnessed the miracles of Jesus when He was alive. Now that this man is up on his feet after battling with lameness his whole life, what do they think of the men who spoke the words and helped him to his feet? Are they looking at them as if they are somebody special? Maybe some in the crowd have the wrong impression and think this is somehow the new Jesus or some odd thought along those lines.
Whatever their supposed assumptions about this miracle, “Peter” had a ready answer to the wondering of the people and denied any suggestion or little hints that it had anything to do with himself or John. He knew the power that raised this man back to his feet again was not found in his “own power or holiness.” Therefore, he refused to attribute any credit of this healing to himself, but was ready to show the people where the real source for every healing we need, both physical and spiritual, lies.
This is a very important point because in the Bible we are taught the truth of ourselves: it is never about us or what’s in us. It’s always about what He can do through us (ex. Genesis 41:16). “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God,” (2 Corinthians 3:5). Anything we have or can do is because of God.
Acts 3:13 “The God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers, hath glorified his Son Jesus; whom ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.”
What they were seeking for; what they were wondering about can only be found in “Jesus!” When the man whom was healed he was done so by the apostles calling on and declaring that healing “in the name of Jesus Christ,” (Acts 3:6).
This is that same Jesus whom was prophesied about, saying, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed,” (Isaiah 53:5). He is that prophesied Servant (Isaiah 52:13) who would be “exalted.”
Now, the same God who rules the universe; the same God whom they know from their own history, the “God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob, the God of our fathers” it is He that “hath glorified his Son Jesus” and raised Him above all and honors Him (compare Matthew 12:17-18). And, it is even found that “in his name shall the Gentiles trust,” (Matthew 12:21). Through the healing of this man, God exalted the name of His “Son Jesus.” Therefore, Peter keeps the attention focused on Jesus, and not himself or John. This healing was made possible through His suffering and obedience to go to the cross.
Peter bluntly lets them know, the same Jesus whose name is responsible for this miraculous healing is the same Jesus whom “ye delivered up, and denied him in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let him go.” With the crucifixion still relatively new in the news of that day, many hearing Peter’s sermon on Solomon’s porch, can probably recall with great clarity the events of the day when Jesus was nailed to the cross. Do they remember when Pilate got up and stated, “I find no fault in this man” (Luke 23:4, 14; John 18:38; 19:4, 6)? Do they remember Pilate urging them to just let him punish Jesus and then release Him (Luke 23:22)? Pilate struggled with the issue of Jesus and even considered the words of his own wife who said, “Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him” (Matthew 27:19), but in the end, due to the people who persisted to deny Him and scream for His crucifixion, although he wanted to let Jesus go, Pilate allowed those deniers to have their way.
Acts 3:14-15 “But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.”
While Pilate may have had his part to play in the death of our Savior, so did the people, and Peter wasn’t going to sugar-coat their responsibility in the matter. He directly told them, “Ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you.” They are the ones who rose up in that crowd, despite the miracles they witnessed and the messages they heard, who called out to Pilate, “Crucify him, crucify him,” (Luke 23:21; see also Matthew 27:16-26; Mark 15:13; John 19:15) and then they asked for “murderer” instead: “But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus,” (Matthew 27:20).
Destroy Jesus who had done no wrong to anyone. Destroy Him who is described as being “the Holy One and Just,” meaning not only was there no guilt to be found in Him, but as with anything holy, He was specifically set apart by God for a special purpose. Being just and completely righteous and completely innocent, He was that perfect Lamb of God without spot or blemish (1 Peter 1:19).
Yet, with no fault found in him by God or man, the people proceeded to kill “the Prince of life” (compare Acts 5:31). Jesus once spoke to His disciples, telling them, “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly,” (John 10:10). The enemy’s job was to destroy, but through Jesus Christ, “the Prince of life,” life can be found. In other areas of Scripture, Jesus said, “Yet you refuse to come to me to receive this life,” (John 5:40). When the people denied Him and killed Him, they refused the gift He had to offer.
They did what they did, but then God did what He does. They killed, but “God hath raised from the dead.” God didn’t allow His Son to stay in the grave. The grave was never to be Jesus’ final resting place. In fact, it was prophesied long before His time, speaking of Jesus, the psalmist spoke, “For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One to see corruption,” (Psalm 16:10; compare Acts 2:31). He was always destined to rise (1 Corinthians 15:4)!
“We are witnesses!” (compare Acts 5:32). This is not a made-up story. Soldiers were paid off to deny what occurred at the grave on that third day and to place the blame on the disciples (see Matthew 28:11-15). Cover up or not, Peter said, we saw Him with our own eyes (compare Luke 24:34). While Jesus appeared to some on several occasions, and in various ways (Luke 24:13-32; John 20:1-2, 19-29; 1 Corinthians 15:6, just to name a few), Peter himself could testify that he and some of the other disciples even had a fish breakfast with Jesus after His resurrection (John 21:1-14), after the which, Jesus spoke directly to Peter, face to face, and instructed him to “Feed My sheep” (see John 21:15-17).
Acts 3:16 “And his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong, whom ye see and know: yea, the faith which is by him hath given him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.”
That Jesus whom we saw then, it is “his name through faith in his name hath made this man strong” now! The power of “his name” mixed with “faith in his name” supplied this man with his healing. The two work hand in hand as the building blocks which interconnected to bring about such a miracle. All in all, one must believe in Him!
When Jesus was alive, and His disciples were unable to deliver a young boy from demon possession, Jesus confronted them, saying, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me,” (Mark 9:19). But now that He is physically departed and they are fully endowed with the Holy Spirit and faith, Peter calls forth healing in “His Name.” Now they are working in the fulness of all Christ is and all He has done. Faith in Jesus; faith in what He has done and what His name symbolizes is needed. That’s why we sing the songs about power in the name of Jesus. Because, it’s true! And because it’s true, one must believe!
Faith in His name that is authentically real by both parties is powerful enough to do what is seemingly impossible.
“The faith which is by him hath give him this perfect soundness in the presence of you all.” When the Bible speaks of “perfect soundness” it carries the meaning of being made whole. And for anyone to experience “wholeness” on a physical or spiritual level, it not only has to be done, but can ONLY be done, through faith in Jesus Christ (see Matthew 9:22; Luke 8:50; Acts 9:34).
Acts 3:17-18 “And now, brethren, I wot that through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers. But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.”
“Through ignorance ye did it, as did also your rulers.” Paul would later use a similar expression describing himself in the same manner. In his letter to Timothy, he wrote, speaking of himself, “Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief,” (1 Timothy 1:13), as did those here in Peter’s audience.
When Paul was Saul and consenting to Stephen’s death because of his faith in Jesus, he was on the side of unbelief and thought along the same lines as those who were responsible for the death of Jesus. They were guided by “ignorance” of who He truly was. But, we must use a word of caution here because ignorance does not mean they are not guilty of the part they played in the suffering of Christ. Ignorance does not mean they are without total responsibility of the blood that was shed on Calvary’s cross. As Paul “obtained mercy,” so too can all who turn to Jesus in faith and repent.
But, Peter also knew, that for God to bring about His plan of salvation, the tragic event that occurred leading up to Calvary must follow through. Even in His suffering, Jesus fulfilled long-ago prophesies that declared Him as the “Christ.” When “prophets” such as Isaiah spoke, “I gave my back to the smiters… I hid not my face from shame and spitting,” (Is. 50:6), he was talking about the suffering of Jesus. When Zechariah said, “They shall look upon me whom they have pierced,” (Ze. 12:10), he was talking about Jesus. When the psalmist wrote, “I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none… they gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink,” (Psalm 69:20-21), he was speaking of the Christ. And, when David penned the words of Psalm 22, throughout it’s telling, we see in the Old Testament the suffering that was played out on the day of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. There we see the cry of Jesus as He yelled out from the cross, “My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me?” (22:1). There we see His pain and sufferings that tell of all He endured: “I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint,” (22:14) and “they pierced my hands and my feet” (22:16). The prophets told “that Christ should suffer” and “he hath so fulfilled.”
Acts 3:19-21 “Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you: Whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”
The reason behind all that Christ had to go through was for Peter’s audience, and for us: “that your sins may be blotted out.” God would love nothing more than to scrub a giant spiritual eraser over all your past mistakes and transgressions, but that can only occur through true repentance and a changed heart and life: “Repent ye therefore, and be converted.”
For Peter’s audience, Jesus Christ is the true Messiah and they must believe and accept Him as such and turn back to God through faith in Him that their sins in the participation of His death might be forgiven.
The Bible tells us that God is “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance,” (2 Peter 3:9). From the beginning of time all the way to the prophesied end, God is trying to get people to heaven! He gives man chance after chance to change their course that they may be found on the side of life eternal, and so that one can experience “times of refreshing.” The new life we find in Christ is “refreshing” when compared to that old one that dirtied us with sin. There used to be songs sung that described this feeling: “I started to walk, I had a new walk; I started to talk, I had a new talk; I looked at my hands, my hands looked new; I looked at my feet and they did too,” (You Must Be Born Again: Artist Unknown/Lyrics Source: Allgospellyrics.com). That’s a refreshed life! That’s a life that has experienced Jesus from the inside out and has been made new!
And, when Jesus comes back; when “he shall send Jesus,” they, and us, will experience it all the more, in its fullness. For now, He is in “heaven” but there is coming a day when “The Lord Himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first,” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18).
As God’s people, Peter’s audience originally rejected Jesus at the time of His crucifixion. But, through repentance and faith in Jesus, them and their nation can find wholeness once more if they will just believe.
For any one seeking, the same rule applies. Turn to Him in true faith with a repentant heart. A new, whole life in Him – well, that’s the best miracle anyone can experience.
Standard Print PDF: Faith in Jesus Sunday School Lesson Summary Standard Print
Large Print PDF: Faith in Jesus Sunday School Lesson Summary Large Print
Below are activities to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
Draw the Scene: Faith in Jesus Draw the Scene
Memory Verse: Faith in Jesus Memory Verse
Have Faith Mosaic Activity: Use cut up construction paper of different colors or crumbled tissue paper to get a colorful reminder to Have Faith! PDF: Have Faith Activity Sheet
Below are Activities/Resources/Links to support this week’s lesson. Enjoy!
“Healing of a Man Who Could Not Walk” (Here you will find lesson images to share with your students. There are also several ideas under activities and crafts section to incorporate into the teaching of your own class. Enjoy!)
“Peter and John Heal the Lame Man” (Lesson help with a printable cutout finger puppet template. Enjoy!)
Click here for a template of a person who can be put together using brad fasteners. Now, your students can make him dance and praise, too! Enjoy!)
“God Heals a Lame Beggar” (The activity ideas here are geared more toward the preschool age children. Enjoy!)
“Peter & John Heal a Lame Man (Acts 3)” (This site provides varied activities and ways to bring about this lesson. Enjoy!)
“Peter and John Heal a Lame Man” (With a wonderful construction paper craft for students to make and visual aid ideas. Enjoy!)
“Peter Heals a Lame Man Triorama Bible Craft” (Now, if you don’t mind spending $2 for the download this is an easy and awesome activity for your students. Enjoy!)
“Lame Man Cup Paper Craft” (Again, if you don’t mind spending $2 you can easily access this original puppet craft for your students to put together. It’s quite cute. If you are interested, scroll down to the section titled “Peter Feed My Sheep” and there you will find the link for the download. Enjoy!)
“The Cookie Jar” (Object lesson idea that goes with Acts 3:19 of today’s lesson. Enjoy!)
“Miracle at the Beautiful Gate” (Lesson idea involving the use of a puppet. Enjoy!)