Kids Lesson: Stephen's Sermon (Acts 4-6)
Stephen's Sermon (Acts 4-6)
Stephen was killed because he was a Christian. Jesus told His followers that they would be persecuted—hated, hurt, or even killed—for loving Him. Jesus also said that those who suffer for Him would be blessed. We can face suffering in this life because Jesus suffered first. He died and then rose again, and He is waiting for us in heaven.
One Body In Christ
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We who are many are one body in Christ. - Romans 12:5
Bible Story - Stephen's Sermon
Bible Story Video
Stephen was one of Jesus’ followers. God blessed Stephen and gave him power to do great wonders and signs. One day, some Jews began to argue with Stephen. The Holy Spirit helped Stephen speak with wisdom, so no matter how hard the Jews tried, they could not win the argument. The Jews lied about Stephen; they said he had spoken against God. The people dragged Stephen to the Sanhedrin (san HEE drihn), the Jewish court, and told more lies. “We heard Stephen say that Jesus will destroy the temple and change the laws that Moses gave us,” they said. “Is this true?” the high priest asked Stephen. Stephen began to preach about Jesus. He reminded the court about Abraham. God had made promises to Abraham and his son Isaac. He reminded them about Joseph and Moses. God kept Joseph safe when his brothers tried to hurt him, and God used Joseph to help all His people during a famine. When God’s people lived in Egypt, God called Moses to rescue His people from Pharaoh. Moses led God’s people away from Egypt, but they turned against Moses and against God. God did not give up on His people, though. He was working out a plan. God worked through Joshua and David and Solomon. The religious leaders knew these stories from the Old Testament. Stephen told them these stories to explain that Jesus was the Messiah God had promised! But just like their ancestors rejected and killed the prophets in the Old Testament, these Jewish leaders had rejected Jesus and murdered Him! Stephen’s words made the Jewish leaders so angry! Stephen was filled with the Holy Spirit. He looked up to heaven and saw Jesus standing there. “Look!” he said. “I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God!” The Jewish leaders screamed at the top of their lungs. They covered their ears and rushed at Stephen. They threw him out of the city and began throwing stones at him. Stephen called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” Then he said, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them!” After this, Stephen died.
Bible Story Summary
- Some people told lies about Stephen to get him in trouble.
- Stephen taught the religious leaders about Jesus using God’s Word.
- The religious leaders did not like what Stephen said.
- People hurt Stephen because he followed Jesus.
- Why did the people want to get Stephen in trouble?
- Why were the religious leaders angered by the things Stephen said to them about Jesus?
- Why can we be brave when people are mean to us because we love Jesus?
Look online to find out which countries do not let people share the good news about Jesus. Pray for believers in those countries and for the gospel to spread among them.
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Make Cards For Church Leaders
Set out construction paper, stickers, crayons, markers, or washable ink stamps. Show kids how to fold a piece of paper in half to create a card. Encourage them to make cards for those who serve our church. Transcribe a message about Jesus to the leader from a child on his card, or have them write it if they are able. Have them decorate the cards then make plans to deliver the cards to the church if you are able.
Say: We made cards with messages about Jesus for our church leaders. They will like hearing what we have to say about Jesus. In our Bible story today, a man named Stephen had a message about Jesus that he told to the religious leaders.
Elementary Discussion Questions
Help your kids find Acts 6. Ask the following questions:
What was Stephen accused of? (blasphemy, saying something untrue and dishonoring about God; Acts 6:11)
What did Stephen preach about? (Stephen used Israel’s history to explain Jesus is the Messiah; Acts 7:51-52)
What did the religious leaders do to Stephen as a result of his preaching about Jesus? (killed him, Acts 7:57-60)
Have you ever faced persecution for your faith? Guide kids to think about ways they may feel persecuted. Be sensitive to their experiences while taking care not to minimize the harsh persecution Christians face in other parts of the world.
How can we stand up boldly for Jesus in the face of persecution? Discuss the strength and power available to believers through the Holy Spirit. Remind kids that He can help us be bold in hard times. Encourage kids to trust God and have faith that He turns all things to good, even when we don’t see the good results.
What should we do if we are persecuted? Talk through what Stephen did. Help the kids see that Stephen did not fight his enemies, but instead asked God to forgive them for killing him. Remind kids that Jesus promised troubles and persecution would come. Encourage kids to pray for boldness in hard times, not just for things to get easier.
Close with this: Stephen preached about Jesus no matter what. We may not face the same kind of persecution. But whatever we face, trusting God is the best option. We can pray for boldness in the face of persecution and that God will use our trials to bless His church.
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