Use this Peter and Cornelius Sunday School lesson to teach students that God loves everyone, and so should we.
Lesson: (Note: Always allow students to give their answers to the questions before you clarify the teaching.)
Tell students, Imagine a foreign army coming to your county and attacking us and taking us over.
What would do if that happened?
Would you try to be friends with the people who conquered you?
The Jewish people, the Israelites, had been attacked and conquered by the Romans, so the Jewish people hated the Romans for taking them over, and most Jews did not talk to Romans.
(Have a student read Acts 10:1, or read it yourself.)
What was Cornelius’ job? (He was a Roman soldier.)
Did Jewish people like Romans? (No, because the Romans had taken over Israel.)
(Have another student read Acts 10:2, or read it yourself.)
Did Cornelius believe in God? (Yes.)
(Have students take turns reading Acts 10:3-8, or read it yourself.)
What did Cornelius see? (An angel.)
What did the angel tell him to do? (The angel told Cornelius to send men to ask Peter to come talk to him.)
Since Peter was a Jew and Cornelius was a Roman, do you think Peter would want to go talk to Cornelius? (No. Jewish people did not like Romans because they had taken them over.)
(Have students take turns reading Acts 10:9-16, or read it yourself.)
Did Peter want to eat the food God was giving him? (No.)
But God told him to eat it anyway. Sometimes God tells us to do things that we don’t want to do. Peter didn’t want to go talk to Cornelius because Cornelius was a Roman and the Romans had taken over Israel. But God wanted Peter to go talk to Cornelius, so God was showing Peter the food to show him that you have to do what God tells you to do, even if you don’t like it.
(Have students take turns reading Acts 10:17-43, or read it yourself.)
When Peter got to Cornelius’ house, what did he talk to them about? (Jesus.)
(Have students take turns reading Acts 10:44-48, or read it yourself.)
What did Cornelius and his family and friends do when Peter told them about Jesus? (They believed in Jesus and were baptized.)
Peter told Cornelius about Jesus. Do you think God wants you to tell people about Jesus? (Yes.)
What about people you don’t like? Do you think God wants you tell them about Jesus, too? (Yes.)
Just like Peter, God wants us to tell everyone about Jesus, even if we don’t didn’t like them. We have to remember that God loves everyone, even if they’re bad, and He wants everyone to hear about Jesus so that they can stop being bad and go to Heaven when they die. If we tell them about Jesus, maybe that will help them believe in Him and be better. But if we don’t tell them about Jesus, then they’ll just keep on being bad.
So let’s tell everyone we can about Jesus so that they can believe in Jesus and stop doing the wrong things, and so that they can go to Heaven when they die.
Find more Sunday School lesson ideas on our Free Children Sunday School Lesson Helps page.