High Voltage Elementary: Super Pete From Average... To Extraordinary!

Lesson 4: THOSE People

One of the issues that has plagued the human race for centuries is the issue of prejudice. Prejudice is when we have bad feelings toward a certain group of people just because of the way they look, the way they act, or the color of their skin, whatever! Sadly, this issue has been around in the church for centuries as well. Peter dealt with it—prejudice against anyone who was a non-Jew. He didn’t think that the gospel was for anyone who wasn’t a Jew by birth. God had other plans. In this lesson, the children will learn about dealing with prejudice through the experience Peter had with Cornelius in the book of Acts. They will learn that God has a SUPER love for everyone. We must show that love to all people and destroy prejudice!



Classroom

Classroom Instructions

Countdown
Materials:
Leader
Note:

In preparation for this lesson familiarize yourself with the Bible Story found in Acts 10; place the variety of items in a box, hidden from sight.

Materials:
Leader
Materials:
Drama Team

Chuck: (Chuck runs in dancing and making kung fu noises as usual. He is barefoot. )

Leader: Hey everybody, it’s Chuck Foo!

Chuck: Hello there, boys and girls! It is I, the Kung-Fu master Chuck—(Chuck stops himself, pointing at the Leader’s shoes like he’s just now noticing them.) Oh no….

Leader: What?? Am I standing on something?

Chuck: (Is suddenly agitated) Oh C’MON! Not YOU, TOO!!

Leader: What?

Chuck: You’re one of THOSE people!

Leader: “THOSE” people? Chuck, what are you talking about?

Chuck: You’re a SHOE-FER!!! (pronounced SHOO-fur)

Leader: What on EARTH is a shoe-fer??

Chuck: Oh don’t act all innocent! I can’t hang out with people like YOU!

Leader: Chuck, I’m REALLY confused, and my feelings are kind of hurt! What’s going on? We’re friends!

Chuck: THAT WAS BEFORE! That was before I found out you were a no-good SHOE-FER, walkin’ around with those…those….THINGS!!! (points at the Leader’s feet)

Leader: You’re mad at me for wearing SHOES?! That doesn’t make any sense!

Chuck: It makes PERFECT sense! You see this? (holds up his bare foot right in the Leader’s face)

Leader: (Leader accidentally smells it and tries not pass out) Oh yeah, I see it.

Chuck: All my life I’ve wanted to be a Kung-Fu master, the speed of a monkey, the grace of a crane, the AWESOME POWER OF A TIGER! And you wanna know what NONE of those things wear?

Leader: Um…clothes?

Chuck: Well, that….and SHOES!!! None of them wear shoes! So, I’ve been barefoot since I was a little baby-foo! And I always get MADE FUN OF! By YOU SHOE-FERS!!! “Hey! There goes BIGFOOT! Want some peanut-butter to go with that toe jam??” So, I don’t hang around with SHOE-FERS! They’re all mean!

Leader: Chuck, you’re in a place FULL of kids….all wearing shoes!

Chuck: What??? (looks around the room) Oh come ON!!!! I’M SURROUNDED BY SMELLY SHOE-FERS!!!

Leader: Chuck, that’s not nice at all! You shouldn’t label people!

Chuck: What do you mean?

Leader: Today we’re talking about how God loves EVERYBODY!

Chuck: I already know that! I know God loves everybody….especially me.

Leader: No, Chuck, God loves everybody the same! He made EVERYONE! He made the people that are good and the people that are sometimes not nice or are just DIFFERENT from us! We can’t put labels on people! God sent His son Jesus to die for EVERYONE’S sins because God loves EVERYBODY! We have to love others just as much as God loves them!

Chuck: Oh my….I…I feel terrible! I’m so sorry everybody! I didn’t mean to call you smelly shoe-fers! (gets on his hands and knees and starts baby-talking the Leader’s shoes)`Who’s a cute little shoe? You are! YES YOU ARE! (gets close and sniffs, gags) Um…you may want to wash those. (gets up) I’ll see you later boys and girls! I’m Chuck-Foo! KICK IT!!

Materials: Character: Chuck Foo (A wanna-be karate instructor with a Minnesota accent)
Materials:
Materials: a variety of items—most that kids will like, but a few that you know they will hate; five large name tags (or sticky labels); magic marker
Leader

Today we are going to start things off with a little activity. I am going to pull an item out of this box and show it to you. I want you to tell me whether or not it is something you like. (pull several things out of the box that you know the kids will get excited about, such as candy, video game console, money, etc.; every few items pull out something that the kids will not like, such as vegetables, chores list, etc.)

I noticed that there were a lot of things that you guys really liked in that box. There were other things that it seemed like you didn’t like at all. You know, life is like that. We have a freedom of choice. We can like some things and not like others, right? Of course!

Sadly, many people think that this same choice applies to how they accept other people. They think that they can love and accept some people, but then choose to dislike and mistreat other people. Sadly, some people make the choice to dislike whole groups of people simply because of the color of their skin, the way they dress, or the country they come from. That’s called “prejudice.” Isn’t that sad? It’s not only sad, but it is totally the opposite of how God wants us to be.

Even the Apostle Peter struggled with this. Even though Jesus had told the disciples just before He went to heaven that it was their job to “Go and make disciples of ALL nations, ALL people, ALL types.” This was their instruction. It was very clear. You would think that the disciples understood that this meant they were to take the gospel to EVERYONE.

The disciples didn’t get it. They had a real problem with anyone who was not a Jew by birth. They took the gospel to the Jews – no problem. They refused to include the non-Jews, or Gentiles, in their efforts to reach people. Peter was one of the main disciples who did this.

So, God appeared to the Apostle Peter in a dream as he was sleeping.

The story is found in Acts 10.

God showed Peter a vision of a blanket coming down from Heaven that had a bunch of animals on it. God told Peter to kill the animals and eat them. This food was the kind of food that Peter had been taught to NEVER eat.

Peter was offended. He couldn’t believe God was asking him to eat this stuff.

He told God, “I have NEVER eaten any food that is impure.”

God told Peter, “Do not call anything impure that I have made clean.” This happened three times, then Peter woke up.

Through this encounter and the vision Peter had, Peter realized what God was trying to tell him. God was trying to teach Peter through this dream some lessons that we need to learn as well.

John 3:16 says, “For God so loved THE WORLD…” It doesn’t say that He only loves certain people, does it? God sees everyone the same. He doesn’t love one group more than the other. He loves Americans as much as He loves Africans. He loves tall people as much as He loves skinny people. Everyone is equal in God’s eyes. We don’t always act like that is the case, though, do we? Sometimes we act like we think we are better than others. We treat people who are different than us like they are not as good as we are. We think, “I can’t be friends with THOSE people.” It’s like we put a label on them that says “LOSER” or “TRASH”. That is not what God wants for us to do, is it?

We do that sometimes as well. We label others and put them in groups. Some people we think are more important than others. (ask for five volunteers to come up to the stage) Take these people for example. We look at others and we put labels on them, deciding what they are “worth.” (write the word “nerd” on a label and place it on the first child) We decide, “That person is a ‘nerd.’ They aren’t good for anything but reading books and taking tests.” (write the word “athlete” on a label and place it on the next child) We decide, “Well, that person is a strong athlete, so they are probably not that smart.” (write the word “poor” on a label and place it on the next child) We decide, “That person doesn’t have much money and they don’t dress very nice. I can’t be their friend, or I wouldn’t be as popular.” (write the word “liar” on a label and place it on the next child) “This person told a lie once, so they are not to be trusted, ever. I hope nobody is ever their friend.” (write the word “popular” on a label and pace it on the last child) “That person is the most popular kid in school, so they must be so cool and amazing.”

We put these labels on others. We decide how much they are “worth” based on the label that we give them or that others give them. The problem is, when we label others, many times it keeps us from showing them God’s love. That’s what was happening with Peter. So, what should we do?

We need to learn the same lesson that Peter learned. We must NEVER label others as “not worthy” or “not as good as us.” We must get rid of the labels and begin to look at others through God’s eyes. God sees everyone as important. He sees everyone as worthy of His love. He sees everyone as worthy of sending His Son to die for them.

The ending to this story is very cool. Right after Peter woke up from his dream, there was a knock at his front door.

The men at the door were servants of a man named Cornelius. They took Peter to Cornelius’ house.

Cornelius was not a Jew, but God had told him to go get Peter so he could tell Cornelius about Jesus. Peter realized that God was trying to teach him that God loves EVERYONE the same.

He told Cornelius’ family, “I now realize that God does not show favoritism, but accepts men from every nation.”

Peter prayed with Cornelius’ entire family to accept Jesus that day. It was a miracle. It only happened because Peter chose to treat others just as God does. He showed love to Cornelius and his family. That’s what each one of us must do as well.

  • (play soft music) Pray with the children who have been guilty of labeling others. Pray with them for forgiveness and help to see others through the eyes of God.

Materials:
Leader
  1. What was today’s Big Idea?

    • Answer: “I Must Accept Others ‘Cause God Accepted Me!”
  2. What kind of people did Chuck say he didn’t like?

    • Answer: “Shoefers” (people who wear shoes)
  3. What did God show Peter in his dream?

    • Answer: a bunch of food that he didn’t think he was supposed to eat
  4. What did God say when Peter said he didn’t want to eat “unclean food?”

    • Answer: “Don’t call anything unclean that I have made clean!”
  5. What was the name of the man that Peter went to visit?

    • Answer: Cornelius
  6. According to our lesson today, “God Loves Everyone ____ _________.”

    • Answer: The Same
  7. According to our lesson today, “I Must Never __________ Others.”

    • Answer: Label
  8. According to our lesson today, “I Must Love Others Just As _________ Loves Them.”

    • Answer: God
  9. Is there ever anyone we are allowed NOT to love?

    • Answer: No
  10. Where was our Power Verse found?

    • Answer: 1 John 4:7



At Home

At Home Instructions

Family Devotion: THOSE People
Materials:
Family

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