Paul Preaches About God at Mars Hill

Friday, March 6, 2015
There are so many different Bible facts that can be taught with this lesson. For this post, I decided on Names of God since Paul taught about God the Creator.
Last week Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown in prison! What did they do while they were there? They prayed and sang songs to Jesus. There was an earthquake, and the prison doors were opened, and the chains all fell off the prisoners. The jailor was so scared that everyone had left, he was going to kill himself, but Paul shouted at him to come and see that everyone was still there.
Click here to download the Roman Citizen poster.
Paul talked to him about Jesus and the jailor and his whole family were baptized. The next day, when the judges went to the jailor's house and told Paul and Silas they could leave, Paul said "No! We are Roman citizens and were publicly beaten then thrown in prison without a trial. We are not leaving in secret. Tell them to come to us to apologize in person." The officers were scared when they heard that Paul and Silas were Romans, and they went and apologized and asked them to leave the city. Paul and Silas left the prison and went back to Lydia’s house. They stayed there for many days with the other Christians.
The lesson is found in Acts 17:14-34. Paul and Silas left Philippi and went about preaching and baptizing people. We don't know where Timothy is. Remember, Luke stayed in Philippi. The wording in Acts changed from Luke saying 'we' to 'them'.
There were a lot of people listening to Paul preach. There were many women who believed. There was also a lot of people getting in an uproar about the way people were changing when they heard what Paul had to say in Thessalonica. They taught in Berea, and Timothy and Silas stayed in Berea and the Christians sent Paul to Athens. But Paul sent for Silas and Timothy to join him "as fast as they could".
While Paul waited for them, he walked the streets of Athens, he saw that there were idols in the city, and he was irritated. What does God say about idols? NO! Wherever Paul turned, he would have seen statues, temples, and shrines. It is written in history that there were about 30,000 idols in public places, plus what people had in their homes. An ancient proverb declared that there were more idols in Athens than men, and wherever Paul looked, on pedestals, in temples and on street corners, were idol statues. 

Paul must have been horrified as he saw all those idols, for "his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols" (Acts 17:16). Paul, a devout Jew, had been taught from childhood that, "You shall have no other gods before Me. You shall not make for yourself any carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth." (Exodus. 20:3-4).
Paul went to the synagogue and talked to the people. He went to the marketplace every day and talked to people about Jesus.

Some men saw him talking to the people and asked who Paul was, and they said he is speaking different from what they had ever heard, and they wanted to know what it meant. These men spent a lot of their time gossiping and wanted to know what Paul was talking about.

They took Paul to Mar's Hill, where the supreme court of Athens often met. The hill is in the middle of the city.
Paul stood at the top and told them “Men of Athens, I think you are very religious because as I was passing through and looking at all your idols, I even found one that said ‘To The Unknown god.”
“I am going to tell you about the One that you are worshipping that you do not know.” Paul told them about how God created the world and that He doesn’t like anyone to worship stone or gold or silver. He said that God had overlooked past times, because the people didn’t know better, but now He expects people to repent. God will judge everyone someday.

Paul talked about Jesus rising from the dead. Some of the people made fun of Paul and other people said that “We will listen to Paul again about this.”

So, not everyone will want to hear about Jesus when you tell them or invite them to worship with you. Some will make fun of you, but then others will want to hear more and we need to know the Bible so you can answer their questions.
Students can write (or draw) things that God created on this Concept Chart. You can also provide small stickers to fill in the hearts with things that God created. Use as a discussion starter and allow students to fill in with their thoughts so that everyone will have different answers, then let everyone share what they wrote. Click here to print.

You can find all the Acts worksheets here.
Click here to see all the updated posters for Paul.

Each week the students add something to their IFA bags. Click here to see the bags. 
Passport: Mars Hill in Athens. Click here to see the passports.
There are preschool ideas and printables for this lesson here.

Bible Verse:  Acts 17:24 

Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission.
Not all are shown.

(These are the same as the visuals but are black & white.) 


  1. This is a great story to be teaching kids!

  2. love teaching this story to kids in my ss class and now have even more ideas how to share
    come see us at

  3. Thank you for stopping by the Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop! Hope to see you again next week! Have a wonderful week!

  4. Debbie...I jut finished reading and studying this very chapter of Acts. I loved reading what you put together. It is a great chapter with many lessons to be learned. Thank you for sharing at Monday's Musings.

  5. I love the honesty that goes into these lessons and how you make them age appropriate for children to understand. Thanks for sharing with #SocialButterflySunday! Hope to see you link up again this week :)

  6. Hi Debbie. your 5 question worksheet "Click here to print the worksheet" link is broken. thanks so much for all you do! ~Linda Zaveson


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