Paul and Silas were in Philippi (a former city in present-day Greece), where they were arrested, flogged, and imprisoned for causing a public nuisance. The song relates what happened next, as recorded in Acts 16:25-31: 25. At midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises to God and the prisoners heard them.
This lesson offers deep motivation for finding joy in any situation. Additionally, it helps to remind students that God loves and cares for them. There may be times when you feel depressed or hopeless.
Although being a Christian doesn't require us to always smile, we can find peace in the Lord's presence. With God in charge, anything is possible! The lesson serves as a reminder of the value of taking advantage of every chance to spread the gospel.
Paul and Silas in Jail Children's Story
Luke, Timothy, and Paul were walking through the streets of Philippi, Macedonia, on their way to a place of prayer. They observed a young servant girl behaving strangely. She was a wise man, so the men who owned her benefited far more from her.
"These men are servants of the Highest God and they can tell us the way of salvation," the girl shouted after Paul. Paul became furious one day after she continued doing this for several days.
Paul turned around and commanded the spirit inside her to leave. Her masters didn't like it when the evil spirit left her because she would no longer be earning all of that money for them.
To get the authorities' attention, they dragged Paul and Silas into the marketplace. The judges were informed that Paul and Silas had caused a great deal of trouble in the city. They tried to claim that Silas and Paul were continuing to spread traditions that were against the law.
Paul and Silas in Jail
The people were angry and the judges tore off Silas and Paul's coats and commanded that they be beaten. After the people beat Paul and Silas, they were thrown in prison. The jailer was instructed to keep them tightly closed. The jailer locked them up inside and secured their feet in stocks in order to prevent them from escaping. Paul and Silas, however, were praising God through song and prayer at midnight. They were being heard by the other inmates.
Suddenly, a major earthquake struck. The prison's foundation shook, all the doors opened, and everyone's chains were removed. When the prison guard woke up and noticed that the doors had been opened, he drew his sword and prepared to kill himself.
Paul and Silas During the Earthquake
“Don't do that!” Paul shouted, as everything was fine and everyone was still present. The guard ran to Paul and Silas, called for a light, and questioned: "Sirs, what must I do to be saved?" He needed to first believe in Jesus, they told him.
Paul and Silas Praising God
Within an hour that evening, the guard's family washed the stripes from Paul and Silas' beating off after they had told them about Jesus. The guard and every member of his family were baptized right away. The guard was happy because his entire family believed in God as they returned to his home and ate.
The judges ordered Silas and Paul to be beaten as a result of the furious public's behavior. Paul and Silas were beaten by the public, and then they were imprisoned. The following day, the judges arrived at the jailers' residence to release Paul and Silas, but Paul objected "The judges want us to leave in secret after beating and imprisoning us in public, but we're Romans. Without a doubt!"
Allow them to apologize in person, Paul advised. They were terrified when the officers discovered they were Romans. They approached Paul and Silas and begged them to depart from the city. Paul and Silas left the prison and went back to Lydia’s house. They stayed there for many days, worshiping with the other Christians. Paul and Silas left Philippi. Luke stayed there for five years, historians believed.
Paul and Silas knew that even in the most difficult times, they needed to turn to God in prayer. In fact, their response of song and prayer led the jailer and his whole family to believe in Jesus Christ! Paul and Silas knew that they could pray to God anywhere, even in prison.
1. What does the story of Paul teach us and why did Paul and Silas not escape?
Paul cared so deeply for his Jewish brothers that, if it were possible, he would be willing to forfeit his own salvation so that they might have the chance to experience salvation. That goes beyond selflessness.
Silas and Paul did not flee. They were aware that God had actually sent the amazing earthquake to free the jailer, not to set them free. The jailer was spiritually imprisoned, but Paul and Silas had been physically bound.
2. What does Paul teach about faith and what were the charges against Paul and Silas?
Paul believed that faith in Christ alone was the only requirement for Gentiles, and he strongly argued that this was the only way that Gentile converts could join God's people in the last days without becoming Jews. Galatians and Romans define "justification" and "rightness" in terms of faith rather than legality.
Paul and Silas were accused of being involved in political anarchy, subversion, or various forms of resistance. Regarding the interaction between Paul and his companions and the officials or agents of the imperial (aligned) government, this accusation was a part of an ambivalent context.