The disciples were learning to walk in the authority that Jesus had given them and that the Holy Spirit was empowering them. The outcome of that in this story was not just that a man got healed but that he received Jesus! It didn’t just stop there either, because his healing led to many others coming to know Jesus as well. The emphasis of the story is not on the healing itself, but that in Jesus we have a lot to offer people!
“Heal me, O Lord, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.”
– Jeremiah 17.14
The visual aid for this story can easily be the same thing you use for the craft (see craft suggestion). It’s a simple cut-out of a man with crooked legs. Other optional props could be crutches, a bag of small change and a cardboard sign with a message written on it.
As an introduction ask the children if anyone has ever carried them anywhere. Talk about your own experiences or suggest times when a person might be carried. A baby has to be carried because they can’t walk. A parent might carry a child to bed when they are sleepy. A fireman might carry a person out of a burning building when they save them. Ask the children to think about what it would be like if you could never walk anywhere and someone would always have to carry you. In today’s story we are going to talk about a man who couldn’t walk. He didn’t have a wheelchair and someone always had to carry him.
Read Acts 3:1-5 (start accordion folding the paper and cut-out the man as you share)
In an age appropriate way ask the kids if they’ve ever encountered someone so poor. Ask the kids what was wrong with this man? Explain how a physical disability would stop someone at that time from being able to work. How do you think God feels about that? What was the man hoping for? When he got Peter’s and John’s attention, he expected them to give him some money. The lame man on this day had no idea what was about to happen to him!
Read Acts 3:6-7 (hold up the man as you read and then stretch out his legs)
Wow, Peter told him that he didn’t have any money, but he would gladly give him what he did have. What he gave him was way better than money! He told him in Jesus’ name to stand up and walk.
Notice that Peter did this miracle in the name of Jesus. There was no way that he could do it in his own strength. But He was representing Jesus and this is what Jesus wanted to do in this man’s life. Any time we decide to do something good for someone we do it in the name of Jesus because Jesus teaches us to love and care for others! Sometimes Jesus empowers people in supernatural ways by working a miracle, but any time we decide to help someone in Jesus’ name it
Read Acts 3:8 (use the cut out man to demonstrate the leaping)
The man had never walked before in his life. He jumped up and began to walk. What else does it say the man was doing? He was praising God!!!
Think of a time in your life when God did something amazing in your life. Can you remember how excited you were? God is doing amazing things all of the time. Following Jesus is an exciting life to live!
Read Acts 3:9-11
When Jesus does something wonderful in our lives, other people see it and are amazed. When we come to Jesus, He changes our life, which changes the way we act around others. Instead of being selfish we are going to be giving and loving. Others will see Jesus in us and wonder what happened.
Read Acts 3:12
Explain that as the crowd gathered, Peter was able to tell them all about Jesus and that Jesus loves them and cares for them and died for their sins. He told them that one day Jesus would be coming back and that all things would be made new, just like the lame man’s legs! Many people believed in Jesus that day.
What can we do for Jesus? Kids are small and most don’t have money to give. But when we desire to serve the Lord by serving others, we can give hope and love and share the gospel, which is the best gift of all. Peter and John had no money to give. But because of Holy Spirit, they were able to give this man a new life through Jesus Christ! His life was so transformed and his love for God so visible, it affected many others! We might not be able to heal someone’s body, but we can bring healing to their hearts! And this becomes a ripple effect that can heal others!
Thank Jesus that we have so much to offer those around us because of him! Pray that the children would discover the wealth that Jesus offers us.
- What was the lame man doing at the gate?
- Where were Peter and John going?
- What did Peter give him in the name of Jesus?
- How did the lame man respond after he was healed?
- Did the lame man get what he was asking for?
- Do we always get what we ask for when we come to Jesus?
IDEA: Crafty Cut-out
Supplies: Paper with lame man outline will be provided.
Lame man instructions:
- Accordion fold horizontally from the bottom up to the middle fold line with the folded part to the back of the picture.
- Fold paper in half so figure is on one side.
- Cut out the figure from the head down to the leg. Cut out the triangle on the inside leg. Be sure to cut through the accordion fold.
- Unfold the figure holding the accordion legs in the back. When you get to the part where Peter takes the man’s hand and helps him up, unfold the legs from the back to show the man is healed.
- Make the man jump up and leap!
This is adapted from Snip and Tell Bible Stories by Karyn Henley.
IDEA: Jump Rope
Supplies: A rope
Use the rope as a jump rope.
Image Credit: “St. Peter Healing the Crippled Beggar” by Matthias Gerung