In Acts 10, we read about an incredible meeting between two very different people, Peter and Cornelius. Peter was a Jewish man who followed Jesus, while Cornelius was a Roman soldier and a Gentile. Despite their differences, God had arranged for them to meet so that they could both come to know the power of the Gospel.
- We should obey God
- God does not show favoritism
- Whoever believes in Jesus will be saved
Lesson Guide – Peter and Cornelius
Ask the children if they know who Peter is. Explain that Peter was one of Jesus’ closest friends and helpers. Give some examples of things they may know about Peter (You may refer to another of our lesson packs such as Peter, fisher of men – Mark 1:14-17; Peter walking on water – Matthew 14:22-33; Peter’s miraculous prison escape – Acts 12:5-17; Peter healing the crippled beggar – Acts 3:1-9 and Peter preaching at Pentecost – Acts 2).
Explain that Peter became an important leader in the early church. He travelled around, preaching and teaching people about Jesus and encouraging others to follow Him. He wrote letters that are part of the Bible today, giving instructions to early Christians about how to live their faith.
Talk about how Cornelius and Peter were from two very different backgrounds. Cornelius was a Gentile, or a non-Jewish person, while Peter was a Jew. This difference had a big impact on their lives. Think of people or things today that are very different to each other. E.g., Rich or Poor. Old or Young.
Talk about obedience. Think about some ways that we can obey God. Sometimes, we might understand why God, or our parents ask us to do something. Sometimes, we might not. Talk through some of the requests you make of your child and ask them to reason out why the request was made. Such as why do parents make children take baths or eat vegetables.
Discuss favouritism. Talk about things that are the child’s favourite and things that aren’t. With older children, you may discuss whether they have ever been treated with favouritism or have felt someone else was favoured over them.
Talk about dreams. Discuss how dreams are usually nonsense but explain that God sometimes speaks to people in dreams. God once saved many lives when He sent a dream to Pharaoh and Joseph revealed its meaning. When Jesus was born, God also spoke to Joseph through a dream. Peter knew that the dream he had was sent by God to reveal something to Him.
God picked the nation of Israel to be his special people. He gave them rules to live by and called for them to follow Him and obey Him. One of the rules He gave to the people was about clean versus unclean animals. You may choose to play a game and throw clean or unclean animals into a sheet to replicate what Peter saw. You may also play a game with the child and allow them to use the animals to enact a “dream” while guessing what it means.
Say how God used Cornelius and the vision to teach Peter and us that the Gospel is for all people, regardless of background. Peter learned from the vision that despite his upbringing as a Jew and his own doubts, he should be open to sharing God’s love with Gentiles.
Even though God had picked Israel as His special people, when Jesus came, He offered salvation to anyone who believed in Him. God does not care what colour a person’s skin or hair is or where they came from or how tall they are, anyone who believes in Jesus can become His child. We should remember that the good news about Jesus is for everyone, not just people like us. We all have a part to play in spreading God’s message of love and grace.
Peter and Cornelius – Bible story for kids
Games and Activities
Sort the Animals
Materials: Pictures of different animals (farm animals, wild animals, pets, etc.) Two large baskets with labels.
Instructions: Show the child the pictures of different animals and ask them if they know the names of any of the animals.
Ask the child to sort the animals into two groups. E.g. farm animals and wild animals. Putting them in the correct box.
As they work, encourage them to name the animals they are sorting and talk about any interesting characteristics of the animals. Repeat the activity again with different animal pictures or categories of animals.
Deliver the message
Explain to the child that they are going to pretend to be a delivery person and deliver a special message to a friend or soft toy.
Give each child a small note, a pencil, and an envelope.
Help them write a message or draw a picture for their friend.
Give each child a toy or prize and say it is the gift they will be delivering to their friend.
Have the child deliver the gift to the person (or soft toy) and the note.
Talk about the messengers who came to Peter.
Talk about how the best message we can deliver is the good news about Jesus.
Special to God
Before the activity, cut out some people shapes from card or paper.
Help them to decorate their paper people by giving them crayons or other craft material. Encourage the kids to make each person unique with different colours, sizes, and features. Ask questions about their creations such as what colour their paper person is, what clothes they have on, and what colour eyes they have.
Point out how they crafted each person individually, just as each of us is unique and special.
Explain to the children that just like they took time to create a special paper person, God took time to create each one of us special too.
Free Bible Coloring Pages – Peter and Cornelius
Peter and Cornelius Bible Craft for Kids
What you need:
- Template pages,
- Colouring equipment,
What to do:
- Colour the template pages.
- Cut out animal page and across the lines above Peter.
- Slide the animal picture through the two cuts. Now you can move the paper up and down.