Cornelius Becomes a Christian

Scripture Reference: Acts 10:1-11:18

Story Overview: Up until this time, Christians believed that the only way a person could become a Christian was to be a Jew first (a Jew is a person who is born into a Jewish family). Gentiles (all people who are not born into a Jewish family, most of us are Gentiles) who wanted to follow God had to study Jewish rules and follow them before they could become Christians. Cornelius was the first Gentile who became a Christian without learning to be a Jew first. God used a vision to show Peter that Gentiles could become Christians. While Peter was on the roof of a house, he fell into a trance and saw a vision of a sheet filled with animals that Jews were not allowed to eat. The sheet was being lowered from heaven. A voice told Peter to kill and eat the animals even though Jewish rules did not allow them to be eaten. It was just after this that the Spirit told Peter to go and teach the Gentile, Cornelius, how to become a Christian. The vision meant that the good news about Jesus was not just for those who followed Jewish rules.

Suggested Emphasis: God wants everyone to hear about Him and become Christians.

Memory Verse: God wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:4

Background Study
Way to Introduce the Story
The Story
Review Questions
Craft and Activity Ideas
Online Resources

Background Study:

Way to Introduce the Story: Before class prepare small pieces of paper–one for each child. Write the letter “J” on a few of the cards and the letter “G” on the rest. Tape the pieces of paper underneath each chair in your classroom. When you are ready to begin class tell the children that you have something wonderful to tell them. It is the best news in the whole world. Ask them to look underneath their chairs. “All of you who have the letter “J” may come up and here the good news.” Whisper “Jesus loves you” in the ears of those who have the letter “J.”

How does it feel when you only get to hear the good news if you have the letter “J”? In the days when our bible story took place the Jewish people thought that only Jews should hear the good news about Jesus. That means that they would have to be born into a Jewish family. If you weren’t born into a Jewish family then you were a gentile. The only way you could hear about Jesus was to first study and learn about God and then promise to follow the Jewish religion. Let’s see what God had to say about that.

The Story:

Review Questions:

  1. What is a Gentile? Any person who is not a Jew
  2. Who was the first Gentile to become a Christian? Cornelius
  3. What vision did Peter have on the roof of a house? A sheet full of animals came down out of heaven. A voice told Peter that all of the animals were good to eat
  4. What did Cornelius do after Peter taught him about Jesus? He was baptised
  5. Which people on this earth does God want to become Christians? Everyone!

Craft and Activity ideas for the class (choose age appropriate ones):

  • Use a bible dictionary to look up the words Jew and Gentile.
  • Sing (and/illustrate) Jesus Loves the Little Children
  • Older children can look up “prejudice” in the dictionary and discuss how Jews were prejudice against the Gentiles and how that people can be prejudice today.
  • Write today’s memory verse at the top of a large poster and let children cut pictures of people from magazines and glue them onto the poster to form a collage.
  • Check the Teaching Ideas page on this website for ideas that suit any

Online Resources:


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