Bible Lesson: Miracle at the Beautiful Gate (Acts 3)

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This is another option to teach the Bible lesson from Acts 3.  This lesson focuses on how a life without the Holy Spirit is helpless to live a life that pleases God.  When a person believes in Jesus the Holy Spirit enables and empowers him/her to live a life that pleases God.  This is only a suggested guide to give an idea how to teach this lesson. Make adjustments and adapt to the needs of your students. Click here to see all the lessons in this curriculum series. We also have an alternate lesson plan based on this same Bible lesson “Peter heals a blind beggar.”

Bible Story: Miracle at the Beautiful Gate
Scripture: Acts 3
Target Age Group: Age 9 – 11 (U.S. 3rd – 5th Grade)
Learning Context: Sunday School
Target Time Frame: 60 minutes
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Supply List:  Bibles, puppets, dry erase board (for memory verse),
Learning Goal: Students will learn that without the power of the Holy Spirit a person (like the crippled beggar) is helpless to live a life that pleases God.
Learning Activity #1: Puppet demonstration:  Lay a puppet on the floor and start talking to the puppet.  Ask the puppet to do something.  The puppet stays lifeless on the floor.  Ask the students why the puppet won’t do anything.  He is unable to do anything unless someone puts their hand in side his lifeless body to animate him.  Without someone’s help the puppet is only lifeless lying on the floor.
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: Act 3:6 Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you.  In the Name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.”
Teaching the Verse:  Recite the verse together and use the puppet to lead the class.  Choose a student to use the puppet to lead the class through the verse.  When he/she is finished have him/her choose another volunteer to use the puppet to lead the class (some students will use funny voices, accents etc.)  (Shy students who want to participate can use the puppet and just move his mouth as the students say the verse with the puppet with laryngitis.)  After reciting the verse a few times have students use the puppet to erase a word or a phrase than recite the verse.

Bible Lesson:  Miracle at the Beautiful Gate

(Introduce lesson with puppet illustration)  This illustration helps us understand how when a person believes in Jesus the Holy Spirit comes and lives inside the person and gives him/her power to do God’s Work.  Without the Holy Spirit living in and through a believer’s life he/she is powerless to live a life that pleases God.
Let’s turn in our Bibles to Acts 3.  We are going to do an exercise together in class to help you know how to study your Bible when you are by yourself.
Read verse 1.  Who is in this verse?  (Peter and John) Where are they going? (To the Temple) Why?  (To pray) When (3 o’clock in the afternoon)
Read verse 2.  Who is in this verse?  (Crippled man, those who carried him) What was wrong with the man? (Crippled) How long has this man been crippled?  (Since birth) Where was he carried?  (Temple gate called Beautiful) When was he put there?  (Everyday) Why was he put there?  (To beg from those going into the temple courts)
Just by asking those who, what, where, when, why and how questions we learned more than if we just quickly read over those verses.  When you have your quiet time asking these questions when you read your Bible will help you go deeper into God’s Word and receive more understanding.
We began the lesson using an illustration of a lifeless puppet.  The crippled man in verse two reminds me of this puppet in some ways.  He is helpless because he is crippled.  He cannot get up and go to work to make money because he is crippled.  The only way he can make money to support himself is to beg.  The only way he can get to a good place to beg is to be carried.
The crippled man also reminds me of every man, woman, boy and girl who is born into this world.  God’s Word tells us that every one of us is born with sin in our hearts.  Psalm 51:5 “Surely I was sinful at birth, sinful from the time my mother conceived me.”
Sin cripples us because it separates us from God and the life He has to give.  Our sin makes it impossible to live a life that pleases God and obeys His Word. Just like our lifeless puppet sin causes us to be lifeless and unable to walk with God in a right relationship with Him.  Sin equals death.  Ephesians 2:1 “As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,”
Everyday this crippled man is carried to the temple gate called Beautiful (Show a diagram of the Temple courts) because at this entrance there would be many people who would be passing through.  More people means more opportunities to get money.
Read verses 3-5.  Each of us have appointments in our daily schedules.  What are some appointments you have in your day?  (Going to school, sports, doctor, dentist, etc.)  God is in control of every circumstance in our lives, the other day I was really stressed because you know how my friend is starting her new job as a dentist, we didn’t know how to attract patients to her until we had the idea to check out the seo service that works in the dental niche so that her site looks more professional. If you and I are followers of Jesus there will be days God has Divine appointments in our day that He has planned in advance. This Divine appointment is an opportunity to share Jesus with someone that we come in contact with. This event recorded in Acts 3 is a good example of a Divine Appointment.  The crippled man is placed in the same spot every day.  He does the same thing he does every day.  He begs.  Peter and John are followers of Christ and they make an appointment with God everyday to go to the Temple at the time of prayer.  They haven’t been told what they are going to experience at the Temple ahead of time. They are being obedient to spend time in prayer.

  • As Jesus followers we have to spend time with God every day so we will not miss His Divine appointments as we go throughout our daily lives.

When Peter said, “Look at us!”  The man gave them his full attention expecting to get something.  What do you think the man expected to get?
Sometimes what we think we need and what we really need are not the same.  God knows what our most important needs are.  Peter has been saved from his sins and the Holy Spirit lives in his heart.  God knows that this man needs more than money.  God’s Holy Spirit gives Peter wisdom and power to know how to respond to the crippled man’s needs.
The need this man had was not only a physical one.  His physical need was to be able to walk so he could work and make money and no longer have to beg.  More importantly he had a spiritual need.  He was a sinner and needed forgiveness of sins so he could have a right relationship with God.  This is the most important need that every man woman, boy and girl has.  God wants to heal people spiritually so they can spend eternity with Him.
Let’s read verses 6-8.
The Holy Spirit enabled Peter to perform a miracle.  A miracle isn’t magic, it is something only God can do.  Only God could instantly give strength to this man’s ankles and feet.  This miracle happened because the man put his faith in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Notice the man’s response to the power of God in his life. (Choose a child to demonstrate the man’s response.)
This man was not silent and secretive when he had been healed. He was walking and jumping and praising God.  What do you think he was saying as he praised God?
Whenever God performs a miracle it should cause people to want to learn more about Him.  Let’s read verse 10.  When the people saw this man praising God on his two feet they were filled with wonder and amazement.
God has given Peter a Divine appointment to share the Good News not only with this crippled beggar, but now he has an opportunity to share the Gospel with this crowd of people.
Read verse 12. Peter takes no credit for this miracle.  Believers can do nothing without the power of the Holy Spirit.  “Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord Almighty.” Zechariah 4:6b  When the Holy Spirit gives a believer power to do something it is so people will come to believe in the Lord Jesus.  His power is never given so a believer can make his/her own name famous because peoples’ focus will be on the believer not God.
Peter takes full advantage of this opportunity to share the Good News.  The Holy Spirit gives Peter power to speak to the people.
Peter is talking to the Jewish people who have come to the temple to worship God.  God had given the Jewish people His laws and promises.  He promised Abraham that one of his descendants (future family member) would be the Savior.  Peter tells the crowd that Jesus is that Savior and God’s own people the Jews had Him put to death on the cross.
Peter explains that when the crippled man believed that Jesus is the Savior he was completely healed.
The people in the crowd could personally experience the power of God too.  Peter shows them how they too can be spiritually healed and saved from their sins.  He tells them to repent.  Let’s read verse 19.  Repent means to turn away from sin (disobeying God’s commands) and turning to God and accepting the Gift of Salvation that He has given through Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection.
Peter’s message gives us a clear presentation of the Gospel.  If we are believers the Holy Spirit will give us power to clearly share the Good News.  The message is very simple to share.  Sin must be punished by death.  Jesus the perfect sinless Son of God died on the cross in our place for our sins.  He was buried and three days later God raised Him from the dead.
Today if you are not a believer this Gospel message is for you.  Repent and turn to God so that your sins can be forgiven by believing in Jesus.  If you are unsure of how you can be saved talk to us and we can show you from the Bible what you need to do to have your sins forgiven so you can receive eternal life.
If you are a believer allow the Holy Spirit to control your life so you will have His power to live a life that pleases God and shares the Good News with others.  The Holy Spirit never leaves a believer but sin effects His power through him/her.  If a water hose has a kink in it there is still water in the hose, it only affects the power of the water coming out of the spray nozzle.  If the Holy Spirit is showing you sin in your life that is affecting His power in your life repent and turn away from it.
Close in prayer:  We are going to be still for a few moments so you can talk to God about what He showed you from this lesson and then I will close in prayer.
Review Questions:

  1. Where were Peter and John going at 3 o’clock in the afternoon? (To the temple to pray)
  2. Who was placed at the Gate called Beautiful everyday?  (A man crippled from birth)
  3. Why was he placed there every day?  (To beg)
  4. What did Peter give the crippled man?  (He shared the power of Jesus’ Name with him and he was healed)
  5. How did the man respond to the power of God?  (Walking, leaping and praising God)
  6. Who gave power to Peter to preach to the crowd?  (Holy Spirit)
  7. What did the crowd need to do to have their sins forgiven? (Repent and turn to God)
  8. What new thing did you learn about God and His Word?
  9. What changes will you make in your life this week based on what you heard this morning?

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