Scripture: Matthew 2: 1 – 12
Target Age Group: 1st through 6th grade
Welcome the children to the classroom and chat with them about their week as they gather around the table.
Pray and ask God to teach the children not just head knowledge, but also heart knowledge.
Have the children open their Bibles to Matthew 2 or pages 354 – 355 in The Golden Children’s Bible.
(Read the story to the children because at this age some of the children do not read smoothly, which hinders comprehension for the whole class.)
- Who came to worship Jesus? wise men or Magi
- Where were they from? the East. Show them a map.
- How many were there? We don’t know. We tend to assume that there were three because of the three gifts and because of the song “We Three Kings”, but we really don’t know how many there were.
- How did they know that Jesus was born? There was a special star
- Who was upset to hear about a Jewish King being born? King Herod and the people of Jerusalem.
- Why would King Herod be upset about this? He was a King and didn’t want someone else to take his place.
- Who did Herod call to tell him where the baby was to be born? the chief Jewish priests and teachers of the law
- Do you think that Herod usually called upon the Jewish priests for advise or information? No.
- Did the priests know the answer? Yes.
- What was the answer? Bethlehem
- How did they know the answer? The Word of God. They quoted Micah 5:2
- Knowing God’s Word helps us to answer questions that we have about so many things. How can we know the Bible well enough to be able to find the answers to questions that we have? Bible study, read it every day, go to church and Sunday School, memorize verses, etc.
- When Herod found out where the baby was to be born, what did he do next? He called the Magi to find out the exact time that the star appeared.
- Why do you think that he wanted to know the exact time? So that he would know how old Jesus was.
- Did he call a public meeting to ask them this question? No. He did it secretly.
- What instructions did he give them? They were to find the baby and then report back to him so that he could worship him, too.
- Do you think that Herod really wanted to worship Jesus? No.
- When the wise men found baby Jesus, what did they do? They bowed down and worshiped him and they brought him gifts.
- What were the gifts? Gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Show them a picture of them.
- Why do you think that they gave baby Jesus these gifs? Gold was costly – a perfect gift to give to a King. Frankincense – People believed that incense carried their prayers to heaven, so it illustrates his role as Priest. Myrrh – Myrrh was an antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, which and was used to heal wounds. Jesus healed the wounds of our sinful hearts, didn’t He. He is our Savior. Read about the gifts.
- How do you think that Mary felt when this happened? Amazed and surprised.
- Did the wise men go back and tell Herod where Jesus was? No. They were warned in a dream not to go back to him.
- Where did they go? Back to their own country by another route.
- Sometimes it’s easy to forget what Christmas is all about, isn’t it. Are you seeking Jesus this Christmas?
- What gift do you think that you can give Jesus? My heart and my life.
- Let’s pray and thank Jesus for coming as a baby to be our savior. And let’s tell Him that we want to give him our hearts this Christmas…
During the remaining class time do activities that help to reinforce what the children have learned. Here are some suggestions…
Memorize the verse.
Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
Sing “Follow That Star” by Mary Rice Hopkins
Have the children use colors or pastels to draw their own vision of the story on a sketch pad page. Or have them color a color page related to the story. Here is another one. An excellent color page book is “Through-the-Bible Coloring Pages For Ages 4-8” by Janet Skiles. The pages are reproducible.
Share a video:
Bible Class Creations has a fun Follow the Star activity.
My Little House has a great craft for this lesson.
Play Christmas music while the children make a star mobile.
Evaluate what the children have learned. While they are coloring or crafting ask each one what they learned today.
Send each child’s parent an e-mail (or a hard copy) of the Parents’ Page.