Kids Lesson: Peter and Cornelius (Acts 10)
Peter and Cornelius (Acts 10)
The gospel is for all people.
The Lord Reigns
The Gospel is For Everyone
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Let the heavens be glad and the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” - 1 Chronicles 16:31
Bible Story - Peter and Cornelius
Bible Story Video
Cornelius was an officer in the Roman army who lived in Caesarea (sess uh REE uh). He and everyone in his house worshiped God. Cornelius helped other people, and he always prayed to God. One afternoon, Cornelius saw an angel of God in a vision which frightened him. The angel said to him, “God has heard your prayers, and He has seen how you help others.” Then the angel told Cornelius to send for a man named Peter, who was in the city of Joppa. So Cornelius sent two of his servants and one soldier to Joppa.The next day, as the servants and the soldier were nearing the city, Peter went up on the roof of the house to pray. Peter saw a vision of something like a large sheet coming down from heaven. In the sheet were all kinds of animals, reptiles, and birds. A voice said to him, “Get up, Peter; kill and eat!” “No, Lord!” Peter said. “I have never eaten anything that is unclean or not used for food.” Again, a voice said to him, “God has made these clean. Do not call them unclean.” This happened three times, and then the whole thing was taken up into heaven. Peter tried to understand what the vision meant. Then Cornelius’ men arrived at the gate. They explained that Cornelius had seen a vision, and an angel instructed him to send for Peter. So the next day, Peter went with the men to Caesarea. When Peter got to Cornelius’ house, he explained to Cornelius that God does not consider some people to be better than others. God had sent good news to the Israelites: Jesus is Lord of all. Peter said, “Everyone who believes in Jesus will have their sins forgiven.” As Peter said this, the Holy Spirit came down on those who heard the message—not just the Jews, but the Gentiles, or non-Jews, too. The Jewish believers were amazed.
Cornelius, his friends, and his relatives were baptized in the name of Jesus, and Peter stayed with them for a few days.
Christ Connection: God showed Peter that just as there is no “clean” and “unclean” food in Christ, there are no “clean” and “unclean” people. God calls believers to tell everyone the good news about Jesus, no matter who they are or where they come from. Jesus is the Lord of all.
Bible Story Summary
- An angel told Cornelius to send some men to find Peter.
- God gave Peter a vision to show him that the good news about Jesus is for everyone.
- Peter told Cornelius about Jesus. Cornelius’s friends and family believed too.
- Who did God show Peter the good news is for?
- What happened when Peter told Cornelius and Cornelius’s friends and family about Jesus?
- Who is someone you can tell the good news of Jesus?
Enlist your children to help put fresh sheets on everyone’s bed. Talk about how Peter saw a big sheet with animals in it coming down from heaven in his vision.
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Imagining a Vision
Guide children to lay down on the floor and close their eyes. Tell them to think about their favorite place: what it looks like, what they hear, and so forth. Then invite preschoolers to open their eyes. Allow a few children to describe what they thought of. Repeat as desired, inviting children to imagine more scenarios and then tell about it.
Say those are some great places you imagined! Do you know what a vision is? A vision is like a dream, except it doesn’t come from your own imagination. Today we will learn about a vision that God showed Peter to teach him something important.
Elementary Discussion Questions
Help your kids find Acts 10. Ask the following questions:
What did God tell Cornelius in his vision? (to send for Peter, Acts 10:5)
What did God show to Peter through a vision? (a sheet in which many animals, including unclean animals, were sitting; Acts 10:11-12)
What did Peter’s vision mean? (that God wanted the gospel to be preached to Gentiles; Acts 10:28,34-36)
Why does God love all people? Guide kids to remember that all people are made in God’s image. Help them see that our value and dignity do not come from our actions, our appearance, or the talents we have. Our value is based on God’s love for us and the fact that He has created each of us.
Why does God want us to love all people? Guide kids to see that our love reflects His love. If we behave toward others as if we hate them or do not care about them, we communicate untrue things about God. Help them see that the Bible teaches us that we cannot love God without also loving people. Our love for people is evidence of our love for God.
How can we show with our actions that we love God and love people? Guide kids to think practically about ways they can care for others. Suggest ways they can show kindness to their classmates and help them see that seeking out ways to show love to people who are different from them is a great way to show that God does not show favoritism.
Close with this: The gospel is for all people. When we are transformed by God’s love, we will see that all people are important to God and will show love to people— even those who are different from us or unkind to us.
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