The story of Pentecost describes spiritual fire falling on the disciples. Something inexplicable was taking place that would ignite the disciples and change the course of history forever! The disciples were receiving the promised gift of the Holy Spirit! The fire and the wind speak of the role that the Holy Spirit plays in our lives today.
“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper to be with you forever: the Spirit of truth…”
– John 14.16-17a (NIV)
Supplies: A flashlight with batteries.
Note: The Holy Spirit is a person of the Trinity, so when you’re teaching, be sure to use the personal pronoun (he/him) when referring to the Holy Spirit rather than the impersonal pronoun (it).
Before Jesus died his disciples and followers were with him every day and he taught them and led them. After Jesus died the disciples didn’t know what to do! But Jesus wasn’t dead was he? He had conquered death and he had a new body and so, for forty days Jesus met with his disciples to teach them before he ascended into heaven on a cloud. Before Jesus ascended into heaven he told them to go to Jerusalem and wait because he was going to send them the Holy Spirit.
Let’s open our Bibles to Acts 2 to see what the disciples were doing after Jesus ascended into heaven. Before we get into our lesson for today let’s have a quick review of what we have learned about Acts so far. How many days did Jesus stay on the earth after His resurrection? (40) What did Jesus tell the disciples to do before He returned to heaven? (Go to Jerusalem and wait for the Holy Spirit.)
We have an idea what it is like to wait for a gift don’t we? Think about a time in your life that you knew you were getting a gift you wanted but had to wait for? Now, imagine you got a toy for your birthday and you unwrapped it and turned it on but it didn’t work because it didn’t have batteries (this is where you could have the flashlight as a prop as you’re speaking – You could even have it in a gift bag). Imagine your parents then said that you had to wait for the batteries. Could you use the flashlight without the batteries? (Yes, but to a limited degree). The disciples knew that they were called to shine the light of Jesus to the world but they knew that they had to wait for the power! The disciples were a bit like a flashlight without the batteries. They knew that they were waiting but they weren’t sure what was going to happen or when it would happen.
They might even have been a little scared but they were obeying Jesus’ instructions and were gathered together in Jerusalem. It had been 10 days since Jesus had ascended (went back up) to heaven. On this day the Jews were celebrating another special holiday called Pentecost and so Jews from all over had gathered together in Jerusalem to celebrate Pentecost and to bring gifts as offerings to God. (Leviticus 23:15-21) There were Jews from many of the surrounding countries like Parthia, Media, Elam, Mesopotamia, Cappadocia, Pontus, Egypt and Rome… Where were the disciples? (They were also gathered together in Jerusalem).
Let’s read Acts 2:1-4. (Consider having another volunteer read) Wow! What did it sound like in the room that the believers were gathered in? (Verse 2) What unusual sight happened in that room? (Verse 3) Who filled the believers? (The Holy Spirit) What did He help them to do? (Speak in other languages) (Verse 4)
The believers gathered together in that room had experienced an amazing event! God kept His Promise and sent the gift of the Holy Spirit! The noise caused the Jews visiting Jerusalem to gather and find out what was going on. Let’s read Acts 2:5-7. These Jewish people that lived in different countries and spoke different languages were amazed and confused. Each one of them could hear the believers from Galilee speaking their very own language! Let’s find out what they heard the believers filled with the Holy Spirit saying in their language. Read the last part of Acts 2:11.
So, when the Holy Spirit came upon them he empowered them in the same way that batteries empower the flashlight! They could shine God’s light to people in a way that they couldn’t do before!
Many in the crowd wanted to know what was happening and wanted to know what this meant.
Peter was filled with the Holy Spirit and he stood up along with the other eleven apostles. He began to explain to the crowd that God’s promise to send the Holy Spirit had happened that very day on the Day of Pentecost.
God spoke to the prophet Joel many years before this day. Remember what our memory verse says the Holy Spirit will do? (He will remind you everything I have said to you.) Having the Holy Spirit inside him, Peter remembered the words from Scripture that Joel wrote. Let’s read Acts 2:17-21.
On that very day the people witnessed God’s promise that He made so many years ago come true. God kept His promise and sent the Holy Spirit.
Since that time so many years ago every person who has believed in the Lord Jesus has received the gift of the Holy Spirit in their hearts. We don’t see flames of fire resting on our heads or hear loud wind noises but we do receive the power of the Holy Spirit to enable us to live lives that please God.
If you aren’t sure if you have been saved sometimes a good question to ask is, “Do I live a life that tries to please God?” If you have been saved you will want to do what pleases God. Believers cannot live lives to please God without the power of the Holy Spirit living inside of their heart (remember the flashlights from earlier?). If you ask God to help you live a life that pleases Him, the Holy Spirit will give you power to do the things you know you need to do.
Pray: Father, You know the hearts of every person in this room. You desire for all to be saved. If there is anyone in this room this morning who has not been saved, speak to their hearts and help them to obey what they know they need to do. For each believer here help us to allow your Holy Spirit to give us the power to do the things we know will please You. Let us see your power in our lives this week as we trust you each day. In Jesus Name we pray these things. Amen.
- Why were the disciples all together?
- What did they see and hear?
- How did the people in Jerusalem respond?
- What did Peter say when he stood up?
- How many people gave their lives to Jesus that day?
IDEA: illoom Balloon Volleyball
Supplies: illoom balloons (to be supplied)
Divide the kids into 2 teams. Blow up an illoom balloon for each team. Explain that the air in the balloon represents the wind that fills us and that the light inside represents the fire in the story. Have each team make a circle and compete with each other to see who can keep their balloon in the air the longest!