SUBJECT: CHRISTIAN RELIGIOUS STUDIES
TERM: 1ST TERM
CLASS: PRIMARY 6
TOPIC: Paul’s conversion
At the end of this lesson, pupils should be able to:
1 give reasons for Paul’s proposed mission to Damascus.
2 describe what happened to Paul on the way to Damascus.
3 explain the baptism and mission of Paul.
4 explain the importance of Paul’s conversion.
Guide to Bible passages
Acts 9:1-19, 31.
BUILDING BACKGROUND/CONNECTION TO PRIOR KNOWLEDGE: Pupils are familiar with the topic in their previous classes.
CONTENT OF THE LESSON
Paul’s trip to Damascus
There was once a young Jewish man who was also a Roman citizen. His name was Saul. He lived in the days following Jesus’ ascension into heaven – the period when Jesus’ disciples were preaching the gospel in the power of the Holy Spirit. Saul hated Christians and the message of Christianity.
He was prepared to travel to different cities to find Christians and imprison them. So he went to the High Priest in Jerusalem and asked him for letters to the synagogues in Damascus. He wanted permission to imprison all the Christians he could find in Damascus, and bring them back to Jerusalem. Saul did not realize that whatever he was doing to the Christians, he was also doing to Jesus who felt every pain that the Christians felt. Jesus still feels the pain that we feel today because we are his Body. Saul and his companions shying away from the light shining on them from heaven.
On the way to Damascus
On Saul’s way to Damascus, suddenly a flash of light from heaven surrounded him. Immediately, he fell to the ground. Then he heard a voice say to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?’ The voice had such authority that even though Saul did not know who the voice belonged to, he asked, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ The voice replied, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting, but rise and enter the city and you will be told what you are to do.’
When Saul got up from the ground, he found out that he was blind. So the men who were travelling with him held him by the hand and led him to Damascus. The people who were travelling with him were shocked. They had heard the voice but did not see anyone. They took Saul to the house of a man called Judas and he stayed there. For three days, he remained blind and did not eat or drink anything.
Paul’s baptism and mission
Meanwhile, Jesus spoke to a Christian man named Ananias who lived in Damascus, telling him to go to the house where Saul was staying and pray for him to regain his sight.
Paul holding Ananias’ hands to pray for him At first, Ananias was alarmed and didn’t want to go because he had heard about Saul’s hatred for Christians, and how he had got letters to find and imprison the Christians in Damascus. But Jesus urged Ananias to obey because God had chosen Saul for very special work. Ananias obeyed Jesus’ instruction to visit Saul and to pray for him. As soon as Ananias laid his hands on Saul, something like scales fell out of Saul’s eyes and Saul could see again. He was filled with the Holy Spirit. Saul got up and got baptized in water, like the Christians did, and then he ate some food. Saul’s other name was Paul. After conversion, he never bore Saul again. He was now known by his Jewish name – Paul.
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