This lesson is taken from the story of Peter visiting the saints in Lydda and Joppa. When Aeneas is healed and Tabitha is raised from the dead others turn their eyes to the Lord and many believe in Jesus. This lesson was prepared for Sunday School and could be used for Children’s Church. It can be modified to use with younger students.
Bible Story: Peter Heals Aeneas and Raises Tabitha from the Dead
Scripture: Acts 9:32-43
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: Spiritual Gift Survey for children, musical instrument, puzzle of a person (a floor size puzzle or a puzzle made by cutting apart a picture of a person), Bibles, Map of Jerusalem and surrounding areas, simple costumes for Peter, Tabitha, mat for Aeneas and clothes (doll clothes will work) for mourning widows. For memory verse: Clothes cut-outs with each word of the verse written on them, yarn or string, paper clips or clothes pins.
Learning Goal: Students will learn that God has given all believers gifts to serve Jesus. When believers use the gifts that God has given they are helping other believers and causing other believers to come to know Jesus.
Learning Indicator: By taking a Spiritual Gift survey students will be able to identify the gifts that God has given them. Students will demonstrate their understanding of the lesson by answering review questions.
Learning Activity #1: Before students arrive create an environment (play quiet classical or instrumental music) that will allow them to find a place in the room to begin working on the spiritual gift survey. Students may not be able to complete it in the time allotted. The test can be saved for next week to complete or they can take it home and work on it there.
Learning Activity #2: Give each student a piece of the puzzle (keep back any extra pieces). As the Bible verse is recited have students place their puzzle piece in the puzzle. Talk about what the body of Christ/the church is. (Believers) (God gave each of His children gifts to use to help other believers and also to bring unbelievers to faith in Jesus. Our human body has different parts that help the whole body function properly. If we are missing any parts of our physical body such as arms other parts of our body work harder to do the work that the arms/hands would do. Just like our physical body, the Body of Christ is made up of believers with gifts and talents that help the Body function properly. If every believer is using the gift he/she has been given the Body functions properly and the Church is able to function in the way God has planned. A properly functioning Body of Christ will have believers that help each other and will be powerful in their example to unbelievers causing them to see that Jesus is the Savior of the world.) After all the pieces of the puzzle have been placed on the floor look together at the missing pieces. These empty places remind us that if we are believers we all need to be faithfully using our gifts to serve Jesus so unbelievers can see Him clearly.
Learning Activity #3: Hang string like a clothes line and allow students to ‘hang’ the clothes with the memory verse in the proper order.
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse: 1 Peter 4:10 “Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. (NIV)
Amplified Bible: (to help explain the meaning of the verse) “As each of you has received a gift (a particular spiritual talent, a gracious divine endowment), employ it for one another as (befits) good trustees of God’s many-sided grace (faithful stewards of the extremely diverse powers and gifts granted to Christians by unmerited favor).
Bible Lesson: Peter heals Aeneas and raises Tabitha from the dead
Each week our class sings a hymn/song that has the theme to our lesson. After singing we have a time of prayer where each student praises, thanks and prays to God. (Teaching students to pray.)
(Give Bibles to any student who did not bring one. Encourage them if they have a Bible to bring one to class each week.) The following is a guide to give you an idea of one possible way to teach this lesson. As you pray and prepare the Holy Spirit will guide you to what the individual needs for your class are.
We have been studying the Book of Acts. We have been learning how the Holy Spirit’s power changes lives. We have seen believers boldly teach others about Jesus not fearing being imprisoned or harmed as a result. In our last lesson we saw how Jesus changed the life of Saul. He once persecuted people who believed in Jesus and after he was saved he began boldly sharing the Good News with others. God saved Saul from his sins when he believed in the Lord Jesus Christ. God had a job He was preparing Saul to do. Have a volunteer read Acts 9:15. (If you have a musical instrument show the class. Ask what it is. Talk about how the instrument actually plays beautiful music. This instrument (a recorder) requires air to be blown through the mouth piece and fingers to be placed over the different holes to make music. Without the air flowing through this instrument it does not function as a musical instrument. Every believer is an instrument God uses for His purposes. When a believer is saved His Holy Spirit comes inside a person and fills him/her with His power. The Holy Spirit enables the believer to function for the purposes God created.
At the end of our last lesson about Saul we learned that he was sent to Tarsus (show on a map) and the believers had rest from persecution. While Saul is in Tarsus many people who have studied Scriptures believe God was using that time to teach Saul and prepare him for the work God had chosen him to do.
Let’s turn in our Bibles to Acts 9:32. (Show Lydda on a map.) Have volunteer read. Who did Peter visit in Lydda? (Saints) What are saints? (A saint is anyone who places their faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins.)
Choose two volunteers to act out the scene of Peter and Aeneas. Introduce Peter and Aeneas (Un-nee-uhs). Have Aeneas lay on the mat. Have a volunteer read Acts 9:33. How long was Aeneas bedridden? (8 years) What do you think it would be like to be in bed for 8 years? (Allow responses)
Allow student playing Peter to look at Acts 9:34 to see what he/she needs to say. Allow another student to narrate the part of the verse that isn’t Peter speaking. After Peter speaks the words have Aeneas immediately stand up and roll up his mat. (Have ‘actors’ return to their seats.)
A miracle took place in Aeneas’ life. A miracle is something only God can do. The words Peter spoke pointed to the One who had the power to heal Aeneas. Peter didn’t say, “I am the apostle Peter and by my authority and power I heal you.” He knew that only Jesus Christ had the authority and power to heal. God used Peter as His instrument to speak to Aeneas and offer him the gift of healing.
When the people living in Lydda and Sharon saw that Aeneas was healed they turned to the Lord. When believers and in this particular situation, Peter use the gifts that God has given, people are able to see God’s work and His power.
As Peter continues to visit with the saints in Lydda there is a believer named Tabitha who lives in Joppa. (Locate Joppa on a map.) Tabitha’s name is translated Dorcas in the Greek language. Let’s read how Tabitha used her gifts to serve the Lord. Read Acts 9:36 .
Choose a students to play Tabitha, Peter, 2 messengers and mourners. Have them act out this scene as you narrate the story.
Tabitha became sick and died. Her body was washed and prepared and placed in a room upstairs. Believers in Joppa heard that Peter was nearby in Lydda. They sent two men with a message for him to come quickly to Tabitha’s house.
Peter returned to Joppa with the two men and went upstairs to the room where Tabitha’s body was placed. While Tabitha was alive she always showed kindness and helped others. She helped poor widows by making them clothes. When Peter was in the room the widows were crying and showing him the clothes that Tabitha had made while she was alive.
The life Tabitha lived reminds me of a verse in Revelation 14:13b: “They will rest from their labor, for their deeds will follow them.” As a believer Tabitha was always doing good and helped the poor. Even as her body lay lifeless her good deeds were being remembered.
Peter sent everyone out of the room (have widows return to their seats). Have volunteer read Acts 9:40-41. As the Scripture is being read have Peter and Tabitha act out the verses. Have the widows return and rejoice at the miracle of Tabitha’s resurrection.
Once again God used Peter as His instrument to perform a powerful miracle. Peter could not raise a person from the dead in his own strength. He could only raise Tabitha because the Holy Spirit lived inside of him.
Let’s look at Acts 9:42. As we saw with Aeneas’ healing, when people in Joppa heard that Tabitha was raised from the dead many believed in Jesus.
Peter and Tabitha both used the gifts that God had given them to serve Him. If you are a believer God has given you gifts to use to serve Him. Are you using your gifts to serve Jesus? Do you need to ‘get up’ and begin serving Him today? Are you allowing fear or distractions keeping you from serving Jesus? Maybe you aren’t exactly sure what your gifts are. As you complete the spiritual gift survey you received God will help you better understand what your gifts are. As you learn what your gifts are He will help you use them in ways that help others see Him and want to know Him better.
If you have never been saved anything you try to do to please God are like filthy rags in His sight. Isaiah 64:6 Jesus died on the cross for your sins and when you place your faith in Him, the blood He shed cleanses you from all your sins. The moment you believe the Holy Spirit comes inside of your heart and enables you to live a life that pleases God. The Holy Spirit will give you power to use the gifts and talents God has given you to help others see Him and want to know Jesus.
Close in prayer.
- Who was Peter visitin in Lydda? (Saints)
- Why was Aeneas bedridden? (Paralyzed)
- How long was Aeneas bedridden? (Eight years)
- Who healed Aeneas? (Jesus Christ)
- When the people living in Lydda saw Aeneas walking what did they do? (Turned to the Lord)
- Why did Peter go to Joppa? (2 men came and asked him to come quickly)
- How did Tabitha live her life? (Always doing good and helping the poor)
- What did the crying widows show Peter? (The clothes Tabitha had made for them)
- How did the people respond to Tabitha being raised from the dead? (Many believed in Jesus)
- What can you do this week to use the gifts God has given you?