Christmas Lessons for Children #3 The Wise Men

Use this free lesson in your children’s church to teach children the biblical story of Christmas. This is the final lesson in a 3 part series about the birth of Christ. It could be modified to use in Sunday School or any children’s ministry setting. Be sure to modify it to best fit your ministry situation. Your feedback is welcome in the comment section at the end of this page.

Bible Story: The Birth of Christ – The Stable – Matthew 2:1-12

Learning Objectives: After this lesson, the children will demonstrate an understanding of the visit of the wise men by acting out the story.

Target Age: Kindergarten – 5th

Items Needed:

  • PRINT PRINT this lesson plan
  • Bible: Matthew 2:1-12. There is a detailed explanation below to help bring out some of the important parts of the story.
  • 1 paper lunch bag per child, decorating supplies – stamps, stickers, markers, etc.
  • Tissue paper, wrapping supplies
  • Construction paper, markers

Worship

Use Christmas Songs (extra print out) to lead the children to sing before the Bible lesson.

Teaching Plan: The Wise Men

Welcome Activity
Welcome activities are things to have out for the children to do as they are arriving for class. These activities will get them engaged as soon as they arrive and will help the transition from their parents.

Have stamps, stickers, markers and other decorating supplies available for the children to decorate a lunch bag for their parents. Make sure that each child puts their name on their bag. We will use these bags later in the lesson.

Worship
Christmas Songs

Bible Lesson Introduction
“We are going to do a craft a little early today because it needs to be able to dry. We are going to make a star today. This has a lot to do with our story today. There is a very special star that we are going to learn about during the Bible story.”

  • Give each child 2 craft sticks and demonstrate to them how to glue them to each other so that it makes one long stick
  • Have the children glue their yarn “circle” onto the top of their sticks (this will be so that they can hang it on their tree at home)
  • Give each child 2 more craft sticks and have them glue them in an “x” onto the previously glued sticks
  • Give each child 1 craft stick and have them glue this one across the center of the “x”
  • Have each child write their name on the back of their star
  • Let the children use the glitter and glue to decorate their star
  • Lay off to the side to dry (you will be wrapping them later)

Bible Lesson
Have the children open their Bibles to Matthew 2:1-12. To help them find it, use the following questions. Answers are in italics.

  • Which part of the Bible is Matthew in? New Testament
  • What book of the New Testament is Matthew? #1

Read Matthew 2:1-12 (NIV) aloud to the children.

Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea. This happened while Herod was king of Judea.

After Jesus’ birth, Wise Men from the east came to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the child who has been born to be king of the Jews? When we were in the east, we saw his star. Now we have come to worship him.”

When King Herod heard about it, he was very upset. Everyone in Jerusalem was troubled too. So Herod called together all the chief priests of the people. He also called the teachers of the law. He asked them where the Christ was going to be born.

“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied. “This is what the prophet has written. He said,

“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are certainly not the least important among the towns of Judah.
A ruler will come out of you.
He will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’ ” —(Micah 5:2)

Then Herod called for the Wise Men secretly. He found out from them exactly when the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem. He said, “Go! Make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, bring me a report. Then I can go and worship him too.”

After the Wise Men had listened to the king, they went on their way. The star they had seen when they were in the east went ahead of them. It finally stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy.

The Wise Men went to the house. There they saw the child with his mother Mary. They bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures. They gave him gold, incense and myrrh.

But God warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod. So they returned to their country on a different road.

Discuss Bible Lesson
Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea. This happened while Herod was king of Judea.

  • So Jesus was born in a little town in the region of Judea.
  • Herod was the ruler of that region. He is not a very nice guy!

After Jesus’ birth, Wise Men from the east came to Jerusalem. They asked, “Where is the child who has been born to be king of the Jews? When we were in the east, we saw his star. Now we have come to worship him.”

  • So these Wise Men, who lived in the east somewhere, saw a star in the sky?
  • What made that star different from all of the others? It doesn’t say in the Bible, but it must have been a pretty special star in order for them to be able to follow it.

When King Herod heard about it, he was very upset. Everyone in Jerusalem was troubled too. So Herod called together all the chief priests of the people. He also called the teachers of the law. He asked them where the Christ was going to be born.

  • Why would a king, a grown man, be upset by a baby being born? Because, it was the prophecy that He would be the king of the Jews. The Jews lived in the region of Judea and Herod was the king. He didn’t anyone coming in and taking over his kingdom.
  • What Herod didn’t understand was that Jesus’ kingdom is in heaven, not on earth.

“In Bethlehem in Judea,” they replied. “This is what the prophet has written. He said,

“But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
are certainly not the least important among the towns of Judah.
A ruler will come out of you.
He will be the shepherd of my people Israel.’ ” —(Micah 5:2)

  • This was one of many prophecies that Jesus fulfilled in His short life of 33 years.

Then Herod called for the Wise Men secretly. He found out from them exactly when the star had appeared. He sent them to Bethlehem. He said, “Go! Make a careful search for the child. As soon as you find him, bring me a report. Then I can go and worship him too.”

  • Herod doesn’t want to worship Jesus. We find out later that Herod wants to kill Jesus.

After the Wise Men had listened to the king, they went on their way. The star they had seen when they were in the east went ahead of them. It finally stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw the star, they were filled with joy.

  • The star was moving with the Wise Men to show them the way.
  • It finally stopped over there Jesus was.
  • They must have thought this was a really funny place for a king to be born – in a stable.
  • Just imagine if you were one of the Wise Men…they actually got to see Jesus as a baby!

The Wise Men went to the house. There they saw the child with his mother Mary. They bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures. They gave him gold, incense and myrrh.

  • Those are funny gifts to give to a baby!
  • The gold was because He was a king.
  • The incense was because
  • The myrrh was because

But God warned them in a dream not to go back to Herod. So they returned to their country on a different road.

  • God made sure that Herod wouldn’t find out exactly where Jesus was born, because Herod wanted to kill Him.


Bible Lesson Activities

Use the following activities to reinforce the learning goals. If time is short, move on to the evaluation portion of the lesson plan.

Activity: Wrap Gift for Parents

“The wise men brought Jesus gifts to show that they love Him. You all made a star earlier in class today. That is going to be a gift from you to your parents.”

Let the children wrap their stars, put them in their decorated bag and attach a card.

Activity: Bible Verse Memorization
The Wise Men went to the house. They bowed down and worshiped him. They gave him gold, incense and myrrh.” Matthew 2:11 (New International Reader’s Version)

Have the children do the following hand motions along with repeating the words after you, to help them learn the Bible Verse:

The Wise Men: point to your forehead
went to the house: make the shape of a house with your hands
They bowed down: bow
And worshipped him: raise your hands in the sky
They gave him: hold out your hands as though you are giving something
Gold: move your fingers around as though something is twinkling
Incense and myrrh: make a sniffing sound
Matthew 2: hold up 2 fingers
11: hold up all 10 fingers and then 1

Do this a few times with the children. Make it fun for them to do the motions and say the words. Involving them in active learning is essential for memorization.

Activity: My Gift to Jesus
“What did the wisemen bring to Jesus in our Bible Verse today? (allow for responses) The wisemen brought gifts to Jesus. If you were there at Jesus’ birth, what would you bring him? (allow the children to talk with their neighbors about their ideas) What were some of your ideas? (allow for responses—more than likely meaningful or thoughtful gifts) It seems like you guys really would give Jesus your best. Well, we won’t be able to give Jesus a gift. But, we can give our parents a gift. Let’s make cards for our parents. I would like you to write what you could give to your parents. Now, I’m talking a meaningful gift from your heart. Not anything that you can buy them, but something that you can give of yourself.”

* Allow them time to make their cards

Evaluation:
Have the children act out the story to show that they understand the wise men’s visit.

Need More Help? Browse all our Christmas Ideas and Christmas Sunday School lessons for children or find the right Craft Idea for Christmas


Comments

  1. Audrey says

    Hi I have used these lessons this Christmas and the children have learned and loved them. Just a quick comment on this lesson. I changed the part that says “The star was moving with the Wise Men to show them the way.
    It finally stopped over there Jesus was.” To “the star was over where Jesus was, and the Wise Men followed the star. Think about when you are in a car and the sun is ‘following you’. Who is moving you or the sun? This is how the Wise Men followed the star.”

  2. Tabitha Anglin says

    Thank you for the information! Although you know this story well, it is great to have diffrent options as to how to deliver it. The craft idea is perfect for my class. Quick and appropriate for their ages. Thank You again for such a easy to navigate thru web site and for sharing your ideas.

  3. fria catherine cayao says

    the wise men as stated in the verse did not see Jesus in a stable. at that time, Jesus was already a Child and not a baby so I guess it took a long journey for them to be able to see Jesus. They found him in a house and not in a stable. “The Wise Men went to the ***house***. There they saw the ***child*** with his mother Mary. They bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures. They gave him gold, incense and myrrh.”

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