Sunday, December 30, 2012

Christmas: Magi come to worship Jesus

1. Lesson
  • We’ve been looking at various Biblical prophecies about Jesus’ birth: 
    • A Messiah from the line of David will come 
    • A virgin will be of child
    • The Messiah will be born in Bethlehem

  • Today we look at another essential part of the Christmas story — the Magi/ Wisemen / Kings that visited Jesus (Matt 2:1-16)
  • Usually in Christmas cards and nativity plays, we see a picture of 3 Wisemen who visited baby Jesus in a stable, together with the shepherds.
  • But in reality:
    • We don’t know how many there were; at least 2 or more (Matthew uses the plural “we”). There were 3 gifts mentioned — gold, frankincense and myrrh — hence the idea of 3 kings. 
    • The wisemen visited Jesus in a house (Matthew 2:11), not the stable. So it was not at the same time as the shepherds.
    • Jesus was probably aged between 40 days to 2 years old at the time of the visit.
  • The wisemen from the east travelled to visit Jesus because they saw a sign — a supernaturally bright star. They entered Jerusalem and asked around, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 
  • The star led them ahead and stopped over the place where Jesus was staying. When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Christmas: Shepherds heard the Good News!

1. Lesson
  • Last week, we talked about a special visitor for Mary and Joseph and how a government ruling made them travel all the way from Nazareth to Bethlehem. This was done so God’s prophecy would be fulfilled — the Saviour will be born in Bethlehem.
  • Let’s find out what happened the night Jesus was born, according to Luke 2:8-20.

  • The lowly shepherds heard the good news first
    • The first people to find out about Jesus’ birth were not important dignitaries or VVIPs. They were lowly shepherds who had to spend the night in the fields to keep watch over their flocks and ensure their safety. 
    • We don’t know why God decided to announce the birth to the shepherds first. Perhaps He wanted them to know that the Good Shepherd of the world has come! Do you remember Psalm 23? The Lord is my Shepherd …

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Prophecy: Jesus will be born in Bethlehem

1. Lesson
  • Last week, we talked about a special visitor for Mary and Joseph. Who visited them? An angel, that’s right! What did the angel tell them? That they would be having a baby! Their baby would be special because He was from God. 
  • The Bible tells us that God made a promise to King David. God promised him that one of his great, great, great, great, great children would be king forever. That was a promise from God that He would send Jesus.
  • [extra info] In the Bible, we read that King David came from the very first man, Adam. He came by way of some other names you will remember: Noah (and his son Shem), Abraham (and his son Isaac), Isaac’s son Jacob, a man named Salmon (and his wife Rahab). Rahab’s son Boaz (and his wife Ruth). Ruth’s grandson was Jesse, King David’s father. Many kings followed David until a man name Jacob had a son whom he named Joseph. Joseph was the husband of Mary, the mother of the Messiah!
  • Prophecy #3: Jesus will be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2) 
  • God had given promises all along the way. The people believed and waited. One of those promises, though, was that the Messiah would be born in King David’s town, Bethlehem. It was a small town. 
  • Not only was Jesus King David’s forever king, but God promised — through the prophet Micah 750 years before Jesus’ birth — that Jesus would be born in King David’s town, Bethlehem.  
  • Micah 5:2
    “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,

    though you are small among the clans of Judah,
    out of you will come for me
    one who will be ruler over Israel,

    whose origins are from of old,

    from ancient times.”

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Prophecy: Jesus will be born of a virgin

1. HOOK: Matching game: Animal & their young

  • Prepare separate pix of animals and their young for kids to match them.
    • E.g. What do dogs give birth to? Puppies.
      What do cats give birth to? Kittens.
      How about snakes? They lay eggs that hatch into baby snakes.
  • Just like we get puppies from dogs, what do we get from sinners? Yup, more sinners. 
  • Last week we heard about how when Adam sinned, sin entered the world. Because Adam sinned, his children, grandchildren, great, great, great, great children and everyone in this world are born as sinners. We know the result of sin is death. 
  • But God promised that a descendant of the Eve will defeat the serpent. God wanted to change our family line so that we will not continue to be sinners but become righteous. Today we know He was talking about Eve’s great, great, great, great …. Great, grandson, Jesus.
  • One thing we cannot choose in life is who our parents are. But long before Jesus was born — a few hundred years before, in fact — God’s prophet, Isaiah, had already told the people what sort of person Jesus’ mother would be.

2.  Lesson: We are part of a great family, thanks to Jesus!
  •  Prophecy #2: Jesus will be born of a virgin 
    • Isaiah the prophet said, Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.”(Isa 7:14)
    • The mother of the Saviour of the world would be a virgin. (A virgin is someone who had never had any sexual relationship with another person.) This was special because virgins don’t get pregnant. You need both a father and a mother to become pregnant. But in Jesus’ case, there will only be a mother. God Himself will be the father, not a man. 
    • Hundreds of years after Isaiah, there was a young teenage girl lady called Mary. She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph. 

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Big Picture: Prophecies about Jesus

1. HOOK: Guess the picture
  • Show a picture bit by bit until it’s fully revealed. Get kids to guess what it is as soon as they can. 
  • Can use this Kids Countdown or create your own pictures.

    • Wasn’t guessing the pictures fun? Sometimes we see only a small part, and we don’t know what it is until all the many parts come together to form a big picture.
    • That’s what God did for us. He had a plan from the beginning of time, and through thousands of years, He revealed bits of the puzzle, little by little, through His prophets.
    • What was this big picture? That Jesus will come to save the world from sin. 
    • There were more than 300 clues/prophecies about Jesus recorded in the Bible. We’ll look at some of them in the next few weeks. One of the earliest prophecies about Jesus was revealed early on, way back in the Garden of Eden.