This post is part of a 5-session teaching series covering the first 5 chapters of the book of Acts in the New Testament. It is designed to be used in a small group environment for young people aged 11-14, but can be adapted for other purposes. The young people were encouraged to read the chapter in advance.
I originally planned on writing a 12-part series, but our groups fell behind and I didn’t continue the notes. For more youth group resources check out my page here.
Image credit: JustinLowery on Flickr
Acts Chapter 3: Healing
To learn about how God worked through the disciples and understand that He can perform miracles today.
Activity: Begging Bowl
Get the group involved in a bit of drama by asking them to act out a small scene. Choose one of them to be a beggar on the street selling the Big Issue magazine. One by one, the rest of the group should walk past and each act out a different response to the beggar. Most of the group will have seen this happen in real life so should be able to relate to it well and invent their own ideas. The response given will depend on the character of the individual. Some may be humorous or silly, while others may be more thoughtful.
Once finished, discuss the responses. How did the groups’ responses compare to Jesusâ€™ parable of The Good Samaritan in [youversion]Luke 10:30-37[/youversion]? What did Peter and John do in the same situation in [youversion]Acts 3[/youversion]?
The Temple, where Peter and John were going to pray ([youversion]Acts 3:1[/youversion]), was really important in Jewish culture. It would have been like a busy town centre with people coming and going to offer sacrifices. The â€˜Beautiful Gateâ€™ where the crippled man was laying was one of 13 entrances and was a large, 18 metre (60 feet) wide structure said to be covered in Corinthian brass which made it shine in the sun. It was a good place to beg as people going in to worship God would feel guilty and give money. When the crippled man asked Peter and John for money, the Holy Spirit guided them to give him the gift of healing through Jesus instead.
Reading: [youversion]Acts 3[/youversion]
Your group should have read the chapter in advance. Take a few minutes to recap on its content for those who havenâ€™t.
Illustration: Modern Miracle?
Read the BBC News story of Frances Finn. She broke her leg skiing when she was 13 years old and the accident has led to having limbs of different lengths. However, at a Christian Conference in April 2008 an audience of over 100 people witnessed her shorter leg grow. You can view a video the healing taking place and Francesâ€™ reaction on YouTube here:
Peter commanded the man to walk in Jesusâ€™ name even though he had never walked since he was born! Peter clearly states that the man was made well through his faith in Jesus ([youversion]Acts 3:16[/youversion]).
- Have you ever met anyone who has been healed by God?
- Do you believe miracles and healings still happen today? Why or why not?
- If Peter and John healed a non-believer, should we as Christians be healing non-believers on the streets too?
- Which of our 5 Values (Follow, Honour, Serve, Support, Share) apply to this passage? What can you learn from it?
- Pray that we can have faith to see miracles happen
- Pray for anyone that needs healing
- Pray for any issues affecting the group this week.
This week you should pray that God will heal someone. This may sound like a difficult task, but all of us know someone who is sick or unwell and needs Godâ€™s healing. If you are confident, you should pray with that person as Peter and John did. If not, why not pray for them in your quiet time each day, asking God to make them well. Remember to be guided in your prayers by the Holy Spirit, having faith that God will answer.
Further Reading: [youversion]James 5:13-16[/youversion]
Anyone who is having troubles should pray. Anyone who is happy should sing praises. Anyone who is sick should call the church’s elders. They should pray for and pour oil on the person in the name of the Lord. And the prayer that is said with faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will heal that person. And if the person has sinned, the sins will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so God can heal you. When a believing person prays, great things happen. (New Century Version)