Memory Verse: “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole” Acts 4:10.
Daily Bible Readings: Acts 3:1-10; Acts 3:11-4:31; Acts 4:32-5:16; Acts 5:17-6:7; 1 Peter 2:9-25; 2 Corinthians 5
Scripture Reading: Acts 4:13-22
Luke reports near the end of chapter 2 that many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. One of these wonders is going to be the subject of our study this lesson. Peter and John go up to the temple to pray in the Jewish tradition. They start to walk past a lame man who is at the temple gate. This man was a beggar, earning his living from the generosity of those passing by. Note that in the “name of Jesus” the lame man rises and walks, not in the power of Peter.
The miracle produces not just a healed man, but the attraction of a crowd ready to hear the Gospel. Peter uses the opportunity to preach the gospel and calls the people to repentance. Peter’s sermon speaks of the resurrection of Christ, which offends the Jewish authorities. They then throw Peter and John into prison.
This lesson, we see challenges being faced by the new church and how they are met. We see the beginning of persecution by Jewish leaders in Jerusalem. We see that some, so called, church members were deceivers. We find that the Grecian widows were being neglected.
Acts 3:1-4:31. Peter and John Preach in Jerusalem
- What is to be our response to those who are physically poor and spiritually needy like the man begging at the temple gate called Beautiful? Acts 3:1-4; Psalm 113:7-8; Isaiah 58:7-10; Galatians 2:10.
- How would you describe the crippled man’s faith? Acts 3:16.
- What is the punishment from God for those who commit sins ignorantly? Acts 3:17-20.
- After Peter and John were released, what did the believers pray? What were the important elements of their prayer? Acts 4:24-30.
- Did they pray for safety from persecution?
Acts 4:32-5:11. Ananias and Sapphira
- In what way did Ananias and Sapphira “tempt the Spirit of the Lord?” Acts 5:9. Do you think this story helped purify the church?
- What does the story of Ananias and Sapphira teach us about how we should regard our possessions?
Acts 5:12-6:7. The Apostles Arrested and Freed
- What can we agree with in Gamaliel’s speech in Acts 5:33-39? In what ways would we disagree with him?
- Who were the “Grecians” referred to in Acts 6:1? Do you think the seven appointed were Grecians or Hebrews? Acts 6:5.
- Does the story of the appointment of seven men to minister to the Greek widows institute the office of deacon? What were the qualifications of these men? Acts 6:3, 5.
Question for thought:
We are commanded to obey government authorities, unless their demands clearly violate God’s Word. In what areas might we need to “obey God rather than men”? Acts 5:29; Jeremiah 20:9; Amos 3:8; 1 Corinthians 9:16.