Paul's Testimony to Agrippa
TEXT: Acts 26:1-32
- supplemental scriptures
The students will be able to explain that though Paul was a prisoner and was taken before a king, he was not afraid. He saw the situation as yet another opportunity to tell of Jesus. They will recognize that we must be ready and willing to give our testimony at every opportunity.
- memory verse
Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord. — 2 Timothy 1:8
- bible lesson outline
Introduction: Bring an "I go to the Apostolic Faith Sunday School" button for each child in your class. (Or use a button made from the pattern given for Lesson 20d which says, "I'm a Jesus Helper.") Use this as an opener to tell your class that the main point of your story today is telling others about Jesus.
- Paul had been imprisoned for his testimony, but King Agrippa granted permission for him to tell his story.
- Agrippa listened as Paul told how he persecuted the followers of Jesus until he received salvation on the road to Damascus.
- Paul let Agrippa know that since his conversion, the Jews had tried to kill him.
- Paul's testimony moved King Agrippa, and he was almost persuaded.
Climax: Paul convinced the king that he had done nothing worthy of death or of bonds. But Agrippa felt he could not free him because Paul had appealed to Caesar.
Conclusion: Others may not always receive our testimony but that should not discourage our telling the story.
Response: Your students should be able to outline the testimony that Paul gave before Agrippa.
- background information
The king before whom Paul gave his testimony came from a family who had ruled Palestine for many years. His great grandfather was Herod the Great who was ruler at the time of Jesus' birth and had ordered the destruction of all the babies in Bethlehem that were two years old and under. His grandfather's brother was Herod Antipas to whom Pilate sent Jesus to be judged. His father was Herod Agrippa I and was the king who had James put to death and had Peter imprisoned. Shortly after James' death this king gave an oration and the people said that it was the voice of a god. He accepted this praise and did not give God the glory and the angel of the Lord smote him and he was eaten of worms and died. His son, Herod Agrippa II was then seventeen and the Roman ruler did not make him a king immediately, but did at a later date.
For four years the young Agrippa used his influence to help the Jews and this may be the basis for Paul's statement, "I know thee to be expert in all customs and questions which are among the Jews." At this time Herod Agrippa II was called the King of Judea and came to visit Festus who had been made procurator in the place of Felix. Caesarea was the capital of the Roman province of Judea, although Herod's palace was in Jerusalem. This king to whom Paul witnessed appears to have been a fair man and would have set Paul free had he not appealed to Caesar.
- in-class activities
- Bring an "I go to the Apostolic Faith Sunday School" pin for each child in your class. Use them as openers to talk about witnessing.
- On 3" x 5" cards print the name PAUL and the names of each of your students (one student's name per card). Using as many spring-type clothespins as you need, write one letter on each clothespin (you will need four clothespins for the name PAUL, three for the name KIM, etc.). During class time talk about who can be a witness for Jesus. Give each child the card with his name printed on it (you take the card with Paul's name). Put a bowl in the middle of the table in which you have put all the clothespins. Tell the children that the bowl contains the names of some people who can be missionaries. Have them search through the bowl to see if they can find the letters for their own name. They should clip each clothespin letter they find onto their card in the order that spells their name.
- Talk to your children about details. Example: If you went on vacation and saw a spaceship launched, you probably wouldn't come home and tell your friends nothing much happened. You would tell them everything you could remember! That is how Paul felt about being a witness for Jesus. He wanted to tell everything! For each child prepare a copy of the testimony puzzle (see Patterns). Cut the puzzles apart into the five pieces. Put four of the pieces in an envelope for each child. Keep the fifth piece (the piece with Jesus on it) separate. As the children try to complete their puzzle, bring out that Paul's testimony wouldn't have been complete if he had not told the king that Jesus made the change in his life.
- Let each child complete a missionary letter which you have cut to size (see Patterns). They may choose a foreign country to which they want their letters sent.
- Make the helping hand testimony symbols for each child to complete and hand out to people (see Patterns).
- Why was Paul in jail? Why do you think God allowed this?
- What did Paul tell King Agrippa?
- Why did Paul believe Jesus was alive?
- What did King Agrippa tell Paul after he had listened to his story?
- Why do you think Paul was not afraid to tell King Agrippa about Jesus?
- Why do you suppose Paul wanted to tell the king these things?
- Why did Paul tell people they should be saved?
- What is the most valuable testimony (story) we can tell?
- Name some of the times when we can tell others about Jesus.
- Have you ever told anyone about Jesus?
- How would you like to tell the President of the United States about Jesus? What would you tell him?
- pre-school suggestions
- Give each child a copy of the picture of King Agrippa listening to Paul's testimony (see Patterns). Let them color their pictures as you tell the story.
- Use dolls to help you tell the children how Paul witnessed to the king about Jesus. Demonstrate how we can tell others about Jesus and invite them to Sunday school.
- Show the children two hearts—one clean and one with sin spots. Tell them how Paul had his heart washed clean and it didn't have any more sin spots. The king's heart had sin spots and Paul tried to tell him how he could get those sin spots out of his heart. Say that we should tell our friends too.
- review ideas
Bring several small lights. Turn off all the overhead lights in the room and turn on the small lights. Talk about how our lights (testimonies) for Jesus will shine in a world dark with sin.
Use a page of real estate ads from the paper as the basis for your object lesson. Explain to your group that these ads are designed to make people want what they are describing. They tell all the best things about the house that is for sale. Read a few of them that are especially descriptive. Ask which ones they think they would like to own, and why. Then tell them that all Christians are like a real estate ad. They are advertising a Person, the Lord Jesus. Other people look at them to find out what Jesus is like. The ads are very small; we may think we are small or unimportant, but we are noticed. The ad lists all the advantages of the property; we want to be sure people can see in our lives the advantages of being a Christian. The ads list a price; there is a price to pay for being a Christian. What are some of the prices Paul paid? We may not all pay the same price, but it will be there. Paul was a wonderful "advertisement" for the Lord Jesus when he stood before Agrippa. What kind of advertisement is the witness we are giving?
This story would work well as a puppet show. You could dramatize Paul's testimony or just have the whole scene in the king's throne room.