Acts 8:26-40 tells us how God lead Philip to a high-ranking Ethiopian official to help him understand the Gospel. It reminds us that we should always be ready to share Jesus with others.
- The Old Testament points to Christ.
- God gives us people to help understand the Bible.
- Salvation brings rejoicing.
Lesson Guide – Philip and the Ethiopian
Remind your child that Philip was a respected and faithful man. He was one of the first seven deacons chosen to help the apostles. Phillip began by sharing food to the widows, but later shared the Gospel in Samaria, where many believed in Jesus. God then led him to a quiet desert road. Speak about how we should serve God wherever He leads us.
Introduce the Ethiopian. Share that he was a very important and trusted servant to the Queen as “an important official in charge of all the treasury.”
Explain that the Ethiopian was on his way home from Jerusalem and decided to pass the time reading the Old Testament. Think of games or activities you like to play with your children on a long car, bus, or plane journey. Play’ Eye spy’, ‘Twenty Questions’ or listen to a story for example.
Ask your child if they remember the two parts of the Bible. One part is called the Old Testament, and the other is called the New Testament. Ask the child who they think is the most important person in the Bible. Talk about how Jesus is the way of salvation and the center of the Bible. Without Him, we cannot be saved from our sins. Name off some Bible stories. Ask the child if they can tell you whether they are found in the Old or New Testaments.
Many Old Testament stories are like fuzzy pictures of Christ and His coming. The Ethiopian was reading an Old Testament passage that spoke of Christ, but since the Ethiopian man didn’t know about Jesus, he didn’t understand what those Scriptures meant.
Select some photos of people from a magazine. On paper, draw stick figures with enough detail to represent the photos. E.g., if the picture is of a man with a red shirt, draw a stick figure with a red shirt and no other details. (Be careful to select photos, so there is only one man with a red shirt) Play a matching game with your child. Explain that even though the picture isn’t a good drawing, we can tell it is a representation of the man. In the same way, some Old Testament stories are like fuzzy pictures of Jesus. For example, the Ark saved people from death in the flood just as Jesus saves people who trust in Him from eternal death. People placed blood on the doorways of their houses during the ten plagues to save those within the house. In the same way, we need Jesus’s blood to cleanse our hearts to save us. Discuss some other Bible stories that are types of Christ.
The Ethiopian man wanted to understand more of the Bible. Philip explained it to him, and the man believed in Jesus and was baptized as soon as possible.
Ask your child what the best thing to do when they don’t understand something is. Share how God gives us parents, grandparents, pastors, and teachers to help us understand the Bible. We should never be shy to ask when we don’t understand something.
The Ethiopian rejoiced in his salvation. Even though Philip vanished, God was with him. We can always rejoice that God is with His people. Read Philippians 4:4. You may choose to memorize the verse or even set it to music.
Pray and thank God that He is with His people. Ask Him to help you understand Him more and more.
Video Bible story for children – Philip and the Ethiopian
Free Printable Bible Story – Philip and the Ethiopian
Bible Time video
Games and activities
Play some classical journey games. You could either make an actual journey or make a pretend car, bus, or airplane to sit inside.
Some ideas are ‘Eye spy’; ‘Grow that story’ (where each person can say ten words, then the next person takes over the story. ‘Going on a Trip Memory Game’ (One person starts the game with “I’m going on a trip and I’m going to pack…, each player adds to the list). Or your family’s favorite game.
Speak about how the Ethiopian decided to read scripture on his long journey.
Cut a hole in a cardboard box big enough for a soft toy. Attach some string to the box. This will become a chariot. Decided on a start and finish line and have your children race to pull the chariots. If the soft toy falls out, they must stop and put it back in before they can continue.
You could also use this week’s craft.
Learn about Ethiopia
Help your child to learn some facts about Ethiopia. Find where it is on a map. Look at some photos and videos online or in a book. What food is common there? How do you say some simple words? Hello = Selam. Which animals live in Ethiopia?
This will help put some context to who the Ethiopian was and his journey.
Free Bible Coloring Pages – Philip and the Ethiopian
Craft – Chariot
What you need:
- Template pages (on card for best results)
- 2 Cardboard tubes
- Colored pencils
What to do:
- Color the template pages.
- Cut out parts. Glue chariot together.
- Glue one person on each cardboard tube. Attach string to the front of the chariot.
Download the lesson for FREE
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