Bible Stories for Adults
The Ministry of Peter
Acts 9:32 - 11:18
Welcome and Announcements
Next Week - The Conversion of Saul (Acts 9:1-31)
Bible Words to Remember:
All the prophets testify about Him that everyone who believes in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name. Acts 10:43
The Church's Mission (Acts 1:8)
What mission did Jesus give to His church before He ascended?
What verse in the Book of Acts summarizes how the early church grew towards this goal?
Who was given the responsibility and privilege to lead this church through these doors?
Doors Opened (Acts 8:25)
How was Peter involved in opening the first door to Jerusalem?
Acts 2:1, 4, 14, 40-41
How was Peter involved in opening the second door to Judea?
How was Peter involved in opening the third door to Samaria?
Acts 8:5, 14-17
After his visit with Philip, did Peter rush back to the temple to continue his ministry there?
Aeneas (Acts 9:32-35)
After he returned to Jerusalem, did he stay and focus his work in the temple as before?
Lydda - 25 miles NW of Jerusalem, at the southern end of the coastal Plain of Sharon
Christians there either from persecution (Acts 8:1) or by Philip's witness (Acts 8:40)
A commercial center since at crossroads of Egypt-Syria and Jerusalem-Joppa highways
Now called Lod, location of Israel's international airport
What happened there that was significant enough for Luke to include in this book?
But Peter had healed others. Why was this so significant?
Was it strange that people became Christians just because they saw Aeneas walking?
How else was this healing similar to the raising of Lazarus?
Dorcas (Acts 9:36-38)
Who was Dorcas?
What does the death of this Christian have to do with Peter?
Note: Jews washed bodies, anointed with spices and buried before sundown
Joppa - 10 miles from Lydda, 3-4 hour walk, Now part of Tel Aviv-Jaffa
Jonah caught a ship for Spain in Joppa to avoid bringing God's saving word to Gentiles
Where do we see an example of Joppa's role as the seaport for Jerusalem
A profitable port city, only natural harbor between Egypt & Ptolemais (near Tyre)
2 Chronicles 2:16
Tabitha / Talitha (Acts 9:39-41)
What else do we learn about Dorcas?
As leader of the church, did Peter try to comfort the mourners?
What had Peter witnessed that may have led to him asking everyone to leave?
What is interesting about his words, "Tabitha, cumi" (Tabitha, get up)?
Preparing for Another Step (Acts 9:42-43)
What happened as a result of this Peter raising the dead to life through Jesus' name?
Ten years after Jesus ascended, what door had Peter left unopened for the church and why?
Peter had been raised to avoid unclean Gentiles. How did God subtly work on him now?
How could this prepare Peter for reaching out to unclean Gentiles?
Leviticus 11:35, 39-40
Another Step Outward (Acts 10:1)
What person and place would God use to bring Peter to take this next big step?
Caesarea - In center of coastal Plain of Sharon, 65 miles NW of Jerusalem, 30 miles N of Joppa
Roman capital of Judea, home of governor, named after Augustus Caesar
Centurion led 80-100 soldiers, 600 men made up a cohort (regiment), 6000 men made a legion
Herod the Great built seaport, fresh water aqueducts, amphitheater, public buildings
Caesarea had 5 cohorts, Jerusalem had one
Jews were exempt from Roman military since soldiers ate pork and worked on Sabbath
Cornelius (Acts 10:2-8)
What else do we learn about Cornelius?
Cornelius was 30 miles away from Peter and didn't know him. How does he enter this story?
Besides serving as a vehicle for Peter to take the next step, why would God chose Cornelius?
What did Cornelius think about this strange vision telling him to send for some stranger?
Peter Prepared (Acts 10:9-16)
How urgently did these men go for Peter?
How did God prepare Peter for going with and ministering to unclean Gentiles?
How does this relate to Peter's upcoming encounter with Gentiles?
Leviticus 11:46-47 (1-47)
How did Peter respond to this tempting meal, and was God pleased?
What was wrong about Peter's response?
Amos 4:5 (Is 1:11)
What had happened years before when Peter thought he was being wise in rejecting God's will?
Go Where the Spirit Leads (Acts 10:17-29)
Did Peter remember his past experience and understand what God was trying to tell him?
Why did the Spirit specifically tell Peter to go with the men (v. 20)?
What did Cornelius think when Peter actually showed up?
Having had two days of walking and thinking, did Peter finally understand what was going on?
The Purpose Revealed (Acts 10:30-43)
What was the purpose of this confusing experience?
Did this click on any light bulbs in Peter's mind?
How do we see that Peter began to realize God's intent for the Gospel to be taken to all people?
The Purpose Realized (Acts 10:44-48)
How did Peter wrap up his message of the gospel?
Acts 10:44, 46
Why was the Spirit so visible? Does this mean the Spirit is only in us if we speak in tongues?
Was this enough for Peter and the others to accept these Gentiles into the church?
Great News! (Acts 11:1-18)
How excited was the central church with Peter's success in taking the Gospel out another step?
How did Peter respond to this attack?
What did Peter have to say about the fact that he had baptized them into the Christian church?
Note: If seven witnesses agreed on something, it was taken as completely proven (v12)
What was the critical and final outcome of this entire story?
That Jesus came for all seems pretty clear to us. Why was it a mystery to the early Christians?
Copyright © 1998 by Kurt Rosenhagen
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