Sunday School Lesson Text: Acts 3:11-21
Use one or both of these questions to introduce the lesson:
1.What TV reality shows do you watch? In your opinion, how “real” are reality shows?
2. In the well-known story, Pinocchio wanted to be a real boy. What does it take for someone to truly connect with reality?
Read Acts 3:11-15.
1. What miracle immediately preceded this sermon by Peter? In the view of those at the temple, where did they think they would find real life—existence filled with power and fulfillment? Why will human saviors never connect us to real life?
2. Peter revealed the irony of humankind’s search for meaning. Can you think of current examples of people looking for real life while disowning “the author of life?”
Read Acts 3:16-18.
3. A movie cliché shows a person shocking someone back into reality by shaking him or slapping his face. Noting where Peter was speaking just a few months after leaders called for Jesus’ crucifixion, how were his words a “slap in the face?” List some risks Peter took in doing so.
4. The Old Testament law demanded that a claim be substantiated by two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 19:15). What two witnesses did Peter present to back his claims about the reality of who Jesus is (Acts 3:16, 18)?
Read Acts 3:19-21.
5. Peanuts cartoonist Charles Schulz dedicated many strips to Charlie Brown’s precocious beagle typing book manuscripts on the top of his doghouse. In one series, Schulz had Snoopy writing a theology book entitled, “Has It Ever Occurred to You That You Might Be Wrong?” Why is repentance, turning from wrong ideas and actions, a necessary step in reclaiming reality? What are some ways Peter’s audience might have answered Snoopy’s question?
6. What connection do you see between sins being wiped out and “times of refreshing?” Can you give examples from your own life?
7. The New Covenant affirms that there is a time yet to come when God will “restore everything.” Contrast that coming real world with the broken world that remains until then. What will be gone? What will be present that is not yet here?
8. OK, Pinocchio. What truths from Peter’s sermon can help you “get real?”