Gather around the table or cozy up on the couch and read this week’s part of The Big God Story.
All you’ll need is a Bible – you can use a physical copy, biblegateway.com, or the YouVersion app on your phone. Choose a translation that’s easy for kids to understand – the NIV is good, but the New International Reader’s Version (NIRV) is probably even better.
After you read, use the discussion questions as a guide to have a conversation.
To end your time together, pray a blessing over your child. (You can use the one below or make up your own!)
The Big God Story:
Today’s part of The Big God Story is told in interview format between a reporter and an eyewitness. If your child is able to read, have them play the role of the eyewitness. If not, use different voices as you read to distinguish the two roles.
Reporter (pretending to speak into a microphone): This is [insert your name] with the Bible Times News Network. Right now, many Jews have begun to believe in Jesus Christ, but they’ve started being persecuted by Roman and Jewish officials. They are being throw into jail or killed for their faith, so many believers have fled north to the city of Damascus. I’m on the scene in Damascus with an eyewitness who has fled from Jerusalem. Why don’t you tell us what happened?
Eyewitness (pretending to speak into a microphone): Jesus is alive! It’s the best news in the world! They tried to stop us, tried to keep us from praising God. They tried to arrest us and kill us, but we’re praising God anyway! We’re still spreading the good news!
Reporter (pretending to speak into a microphone): Is that so? And what is this good news, exactly?
Eyewitness (pretending to speak into a microphone): The good news is that Jesus Christ is God! He rose from the dead, defeated sin and death, and sent the Holy Spirit to live inside of us. God’s Son has changed everything! Everyone can become God’s child!
Reporter (pretending to speak into a microphone): Well, there you have it. Jesus Christ changed everything. And believers who have fled Jerusalem are still spreading the good news of Jesus Christ. Question is, what will the officials in Jerusalem do now? Insider sources say religious officials in Jerusalem hired a man named Saul to round up the believers and bring them back to Jerusalem. Saul is in charge of all the arrests and killings. Saul and the religious leaders think Jesus was just a man and not God. So they think they’re doing what God wants by getting rid of people who believe Jesus is God’s Son. The high priest gave Saul written permission to find all of the new believers and bring them back to Jerusalem.
Put your hand up to your ear as if receiving a message. We have breaking news! Saul has been struck blind while traveling to Damascus! This just in – Saul was walking along a path toward Damascus and “suddenly a light from heaven flashed around [Saul]” (Acts 9:3). It was so bright he had to look away! When the light went away, Saul was on the ground…and he couldn’t see! Witnesses say Saul has been led away to a house in Damascus. We’ll check back later for more updates on Saul’s condition.
Put your hand up to your ear as if receiving another message. Wait, I’m getting something else. Saul has released a statement. He says, “Jesus is God! I spoke to him! It was incredible. I can’t believe I was trying to arrest people who believed in him. He’s alive! I was wrong…so, so wrong.” Saul goes on to say, “I was walking with my men when a light suddenly shone all around me. It was so bright I couldn’t see anything. I fell on my knees and heard a voice say, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?‘ (Acts 9:4). I was confused, but…somehow, I knew God was talking to me. I asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ He answered, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting‘ (Acts 9:5). Can you believe it? Jesus was God all along—and I had been trying to arrest people who believed in him! Everything in my life has been turned upside down. Jesus has changed everything!” There you have it, from Saul himself. End scene.
After Saul heard from God, he was blind for three whole days. During that time, God spoke to a man named Ananias and told him to go where Saul was, place his hands on him, and pray that his sight would be returned. Ananias was scared, because he knew Saul had been a dangerous man, but he obeyed God anyway. And when Ananias placed his hands on Saul, “something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized” (Acts 9:18).
Saul went on to play a big role in The Big God Story. He also came to be known by another name. What name do we call him today? Invite your child to respond. Right! Today we know him as Paul. If God could transform this man’s heart, he can transform anyone’s heart! And as we’ll see in coming weeks, Saul, later called Paul, went on to spread the message of Jesus far and wide. He even wrote several books of the Bible! Clearly, God’s Son changes everything. If you’re willing, share a personal story of how Jesus has changed everything in your life.
– Why did Saul want to arrest people who believed in Jesus? (Acts 26:9-10)
– Why did Jesus talk to Saul? (Acts 9:5-6)
– How do you think Saul might have felt while he was speaking with Jesus on the road? (Acts 9:4-6)
– How did Jesus change everything in Saul’s life? (Acts 9:20-22)
– How does Jesus still change people’s lives today? Are there any ways that you’ve seen Jesus change your life?
Look your child in the eyes, say their name, and then speak this blessing to them: May you know that God loves you, that he’s always with you, and may you become all that he’s created you to be. May you love God with your whole heart for your whole life.