God's People and Me! Story Two

A Vacation Bible School Curriculum by Barry McWilliams
An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America

Lesson Two: The Christians who would not shut up

Story Outline:

This is a challenging story to stage on a flannelgraph board. The key figure is that of the Apostles, they remain in place and other figures are places beside or over them as the story proceeds. Pay careful attention to the descriptions in placing and removing figures.

Scene One: the temple courtyard. Use steps, pillars and Menorah to frame action and define scene.
A.The beggar's healing
B. Peter's Sermon and arrest.

Scene two: A. The jailed Apostles The Apostles's figure overlaid by bars and flanked by Guards.
B. Believers kneeling in prayer. Emphasize causes for fear and alarm in church, and danger to Apostles.

Scene Three: High Priest's Court. Uses pillars, steps and seated high priest on throne to frame action and define scene.
A. The courageous stand of the apostles when told not to preach any more.
B. The conference of the rulers.
C. Further Threats and release.

Scene Four: The Believer's Prayer meeting. The Apostles figure in midst of prayer group. Causes for praise and fear and their prayer for boldness. God's Spirit with them.

Flannelgraph Figures:

Key Phrases:

Scene 1.1 Add Pillar, Steps, Menorah. Describe the temple as the place where the early Christians would gather to worship. Other people gathered there too. Add Spectators on steps. One afternoon Peter and John were going to the temple to Worship. Add Peter and John in middle of board. They often went there regularly to pray and to teach people about Jesus. The early church used the temple building as a place for worship.

Scene 2.2 This afternoon they happened upon a crippled man being carried into the Temple. He was 40 years old and had been a cripple all his life, and had to beg for money to live on. Add Cripple being carried on stretcher overlapping the Apostles. He begged them to give him silver or gold. Peter Said: "Silver or gold I don't have, but what I do have I give to you. In the Name of Jesus stand up and walk." Replace crippled beggar with leaping beggar running up the steps.

Scene 1.3 The crowd of people recognized the beggar as a man they had seen for years as they went into the temple. But now he was leaping and dancing about. "Silver and and gold, he had none" He shouted, "But in the name of Jesus now I walk." over and over. Emphasize the excitement of the man leaping about and the awe of the spectators and their curiosity concerning what "power" accomplished it. The people gathered excitedly around Peter as he began to tell them about Jesus.

The people thought Peter had healed the man, but He set them straight. (Summarize sermon) "It was the power of Jesus' name, the same Jesus who was crucified has risen from the dead and by faith in Jesus' name this man has been made strong. Repent from your sins and trust Jesus to save you."

Scene 1.4 But as he was speaking, the temple priests (add Priests) had heard all the noise and excitement of the crowd and the shouting man. They came with the guards (Add Guards on the sides the apostles) to quiet things down. They heard Peter and John talking about Jesus. And they arrested them.

Scene 2. 1 (Leave spectators and leaping man figures up, remove pillar, steps, menorah. place bars over apostles, with guards on sides.) Describe the shock and fear that Peter and James must have felt. After all these same men had tried and crucified Jesus. Would they be next?

Scene 2.2 Place prayer meeting figures above the cell. Describe the fear and prayers of the church as they heard about the jailing. Perhaps they felt like hiding, or pretending not to be Christians. But they gathered and prayed anyway.

Scene 3.1 The next day the apostles were taken to the temple courtroom. (place Pillar and Steps on right) The high priest was there on his judgement seat. (Place High Priest) the members of the Sanhedrin were there. (Place Priests then remove Bars).

Scene 3.2 They bought Peter and John as well as the man who had been healed into the courtroom and began to question them. "Why were you disturbing the peace in the temple? What's this talk about a miracle? By what power or name did you do this?" Peter spoke out boldly. "God in his kindness healed this man. It was by the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. There is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved." This made the the priests upset.

Scene 3.3 They sent Peter and John back to their cell and began to talk. (Replace bars) Some of them had been at Jesus' trial just before he was crucified. They thought Peter and John were ignorant men. And yet no one could deny a miracle had happened. But they didn't want them to keep spreading this message about Jesus among the people. They decided to tell them to shut up, and stop talking about Jesus.

Scene 3.4 They called them back into the courtroom. (Remove Bars) The High Priest looked at them sternly and announced the verdict: "You are commanded not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus." Peter and John answered: Is it right in God's sight to obey you rather than God? We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard. We must obey God rather than men!" What could the High priest do, everyone in town knew a miracle had happened. all he could do was let them go.

Scene 4.1 (Remove all figures except the Apostles) The Apostles went to where the church was praying. (Add prayer circle figures on sides) The believers praised God. They thanked God for showing his power and healing the man. (Place leaping man) They praised God for all the people who had believed because of this. (Place Spectators). They thanked God that the apostles had been set free. (Place a Guard and empty bars) and they prayed that while the leaders of the city were conspiring against them (Place High Priest and Priests) that God had been with them through his Spirit (Add dove) and helped them be bold in speaking His word. They asked God to give them courage and to help them continue to be bold in preaching about Jesus and Salvation.

Boys and girls, it is not always easy being a Christian. Sometimes people try to stop us from telling about Jesus or hurt us for going to church and worshipping and praising Him. But Jesus gives his people power - power to be strong and bold. He delivered Jesus from death and Peter and John from jail. He can take care of us as well.

We should never be afraid to meet together and worship Him or afraid to tell others about the things Jesus has done.

© 1990, Hypertext Version © 1996 Barry McWilliams
This Curriculum may be downloaded, copied and used with permission of the author
by any Church or Christian Organization - Donations accepted.
For Permission and other information contact Barry McWilliams at eldrbarry@eldrbarry.net

This page is: http://www.eldrbarry.net/vbs/4/actsstr2.htm

Follow These Links to:
Eldrbarry's HOME Page . . . GOD'S PEOPLE AND ME!: INDEX . . . MORE About Eldrbarry