Use this children’s Sunday School lesson about the Wise Men to teach kids how they can give their own gifts to Jesus.
Needed: gift box with mirror in it, flashlight, baby doll, candy, wrapping paper, drawing paper and crayons or colored pencils
Let’s review. So far, we’ve met Zechariah and Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s parents. You remember that the angel Gabriel told them that John was going to born even though Elizabeth was too old to have babies and he said that John was going to be a great preacher for God.
Then, we met Mary, Jesus’ mother, who was willing to listen to and do whatever God told her to do, right?
And we met Joseph, who adopted Jesus and took care of Jesus like Jesus was his own son, even though Joseph knew that Jesus was really God’s Son.
And we met one of the Shepherds, who came and saw Jesus when He was born. The shepherds then went out and told everyone about Jesus the Savior being born.
And last time, we met Simeon, an older man who had been waiting his whole life to see Jesus.
Well, today, we’re going to see meet another person who came and saw Jesus.
(Ask the “Wise Man” to come in. He’ll tell the following story based on Matthew 2 .)
Wise Man: Greetings, everyone! I am a Magi. That means I study the stars and the planets. Well, one day, I was looking up into the sky, and do you know what I saw? A new star had appeared! And it was very bright. I knew that a new star that was so bright could only mean one thing; a new king had been born!
So, my friends and I left our country and followed the star to the land of Israel. When we arrived in the capital city of Jerusalem, we started asking people, “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw the new star God made for Him and have come to worship Him.”
But when the evil King Herod heard us asking about this new king, he was very afraid and angry. He was afraid that the new king would take over the kingdom and not let him be king anymore. So, he asked the priests where the new king was supposed to be born, and they told him that the Bible said the king was supposed to be born in Bethlehem.
“Go find the new king,” Herod told us, “and when you find Him, come back and tell me where He is so that I can go worship Him too.”
Well, we went to Bethlehem and we did find the new king. He was a little baby named Jesus. And we bowed down and worshipped Him and we gave Him gifts of gold, and of good-smelling incense, and of myrrh. But we didn’t go back to Herod to tell him where Jesus was because an angel warned us in a dream not to. Instead, we left Israel in secret and went back to our own country.
That same night, Joseph, Jesus’ adopted father, also had a dream. An angel told Joseph to hurry up and take Jesus and His mother, Mary, and run away to Egypt because the wicked King Herod was going to come and try to kill Jesus. So, when Joseph woke up, he did exactly what the angel told him to do. He took Jesus and Mary and left right away for Egypt.
In the meantime, Herod was so mad that we hadn’t gone back to tell him where Jesus was, that he sent his army to Bethlehem and told them to kill every baby boy they found there who was two years old or younger. Can you imagine someone doing that? Killing little babies? But Herod thought that if he did that, then he would be able to kill Jesus too, since Jesus was supposed to be in Bethlehem.
But you remember that Joseph had taken Jesus and Mary to Egypt, right? So, they escaped. And once the evil King Herod died, an angel made Joseph have another dream and told him it was safe to take Jesus and Mary back to Israel. Then, Joseph and Mary and Jesus left Egypt and came back to live in their own country.
(Have the students thank the Wise Man for sharing his story. Then, review their learning with the following questions.)
How did the Wise Men find Jesus? (God sent a star to show them the way and they followed the star.)
Why did King Herod want to kill Jesus? (He knew that Jesus was going to be a king and he was afraid that Jesus was going to take over his kingdom.)
Is Jesus a King? (Yes, in two ways.)
Jesus is the great-great-great-great-great-grandson of the Kings of Israel. The son of the king is supposed to be the next king, so Jesus is the rightful king of Israel. More than that, Jesus is a part of God, born in a human body. Because Jesus is also God, as well as a human, Jesus is King of the whole world because God is King of the whole world.
What did the wise men do for Jesus when they came to see Him? (They brought Him gifts.)
Do you have any gifts you could give Jesus?
(Show students your wrapped gift box. Open the lid and show them the mirror inside. When students see their reflection, tell them that they are the gift that they can give to Jesus.) When we believe in Jesus and love Him and do the things that He wants us to do, that is the best gift we can give Him.
Did King Herod kill Jesus? (No.)
How did Jesus get away? God sent an angel to tell Joseph to take Mary and Jesus and run away.
What happened to King Herod? (He died.)
Game: Following the Star
Shine a flashlight on the wall or on the floor. Make it go different places. Tell the students that they have to follow the light. The last one to reach a new spot is out. The last place that the light stops is where a baby Jesus and a bag of goodies are hidden. The student who finds the goodies has to share with the rest of the class.
Game: Wrapping Paper Shuffle
Have students split into pairs and give them each a roll of wrapping paper. The goal is for one student to wrap the other as quickly as possible. The wrapped student must make it to the other end of the room without ripping their wrapping paper. Once they get there, they tear off their wrapping paper and use the second roll to wrap their partner. The second student then shuffles back to the starting line and rips off their wrapping paper. The first pair to complete the race without ripping their paper before they reach their individual starting lines wins.
Afterward, remind students that the Wise Men brought Jesus gifts. The gift he wants from us is us! He simply wants us to love and follow Him.
Craft: Giving Ourselves to Jesus
Give students drawing supplies and ask them to draw or write about one way they can give themselves to Jesus. Suggestions include giving their heart to Jesus, spending time with Jesus, doing something for someone else because it would make Jesus happy, or using their gifts and talents for Jesus.
Jesus, we thank You for the example of the Wise Men, who came to give You gifts when You were born. Help us to give You our hearts, our souls, our minds, and everything that we do because we love You. Amen.
You can also find this lesson for Kindle or in print in my book, Miracle Children.