Sunday School Lesson: The Birth of John (Luke 1:57-80)

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Sunday School Lesson:  The Birth of John
This lesson was created for a small group of students and focuses on God’s plan for John the Baptist’s life.  Students will discover that God has a plan for their lives.
Bible Passage: Luke 1:57-80
Bible Story Title:  The Birth of John  
Target Age Group:  Ages 5-11 (K-5th Grade U.S.A.)
Target Time Frame: 60 Minutes
Original Teaching Context: Sunday School
Supply List:  Bibles, activity pages, pens, crayons
Learning Goal:  Students will learn that God had a plan for John’s life and He has a plan for the life of every person.
Learning Activity #1:  Activity pages
Learning Activity #2:  Scripture Search-As a group have students look up the following verses in their Bible:  Jeremiah 1:5; Isaiah 44:2; Isaiah 43:7; Psalm 139:13-16; Ephesians 1:4; Ephesians 2:10; Philippians 1:6
Test: Review Questions
Memory Verse:  The LORD will fulfill His purpose for me; Your steadfast love, O LORD endures forever.  Do not forsake the work of your hands.  Ps. 138:8

Bible Lesson: The Birth of John (Luke 1:57-80)

(Begin with prayer)
God creates every person who is ever born.  He knows about you and me before we are ever created.  He has a plan for the life of every person.  Today we are going to learn about some people who lived a very long time ago.  We will get to discover God’s plan for their lives.
(Luke 1:5-25) Zechariah was married to a woman named Elizabeth.  They were God’s people who loved Him and obeyed His word.  Zechariah was a priest who served in God’s temple.  When we meet this couple in the pages of Scripture we learn that they are an older couple who have never been able to have a child.  One day Zechariah was in the temple serving the Lord.  God sent His angel named Gabriel to give Zechariah a message.  He said, “You and your wife will have a son that you will name John.  You will have joy and gladness, and many will rejoice at his birth.  Your son will be great before the Lord.”  Zechariah was startled by this message and because he couldn’t believe this message was true, Gabriel said he would not be able to speak until after the baby was born.  Zechariah left the temple and went home with his wife Elizabeth.  Just as Gabriel said, the Lord allowed Elizabeth to become pregnant even though she was old.

  • God’s plan for Zechariah and Elizabeth was for them to be the parents of John who would be His messenger to prepare His people for the coming Messiah, Jesus.  (Luke 1:17)

(Luke 1:57-66)  The time came for Zechariah and Elizabeth’s baby to be born.  Just as Gabriel said, the child was a son.  When the baby boy was born all their neighbors and family rejoiced at God’s kindness to them.  When it was time for the baby to be named, everyone expected that the baby would be named Zechariah after his father.  Elizabeth knew what God’s plan for this baby was and she said, “No, his name is John.”  Everyone was shocked that Elizabeth wouldn’t follow tradition and began to make signs to Zechariah who was still unable to speak.  He motioned for something to write on and he wrote:  “His name is John.”  Immediately after he wrote these words the Lord allowed him to be able to speak again.  He used his lips and tongue to praise God.
The people were shocked and amazed at what they were seeing and hearing.  Zechariah had not been able to speak from the time he came out of the temple until this very day.  The news of what God had done spread throughout the land of Judea.  They began to ask, “What then will this child be?”  God’s people could see very clearly that God’s hand was on this baby’s life.  They knew God’s promises to send a Savior and may have wondered if that was His plan for this baby’s life.
Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and began to prophesy (speak God’s message) to the people.  He spoke of the promised Messiah who would come and rescue God’s people from their enemies (Luke 1:67-75).  He then spoke of God’s plan for his baby son John.  God’s plan for John’s life was to be His prophet who would prepare His people for the coming Messiah, Jesus.  (Luke 1:76-79)

  • God’s plan for John’s life was to prepare God’s people for the coming Messiah, Jesus.

God has a plan for our lives as well.  He created each one of us and knew about us before we were born.  God’s plan for our lives is that we glorify Him and enjoy Him forever.  We cannot glorify Him if we have not yet put our faith in Jesus the Messiah.  Jesus came into the world as a baby.  He grew up and lived a sinless life on the earth.  John prepared God’s people for the coming Messiah but they didn’t believe that Jesus was the one God had promised.  They put Jesus to death by crucifying Him on the cross.  He was buried and three days later God raised Him from the dead.  Jesus came to this world the first time to rescue men, women, boys and girls from sin and death.  We glorify God when we put our faith in Jesus as the One and Only way to have our sins forgiven before God.  After we put our faith in Jesus we become His followers who glorify God by sharing the message of the Good News with others and live a life that pleases God.

  • God’s plan for His children is to live a life that pleases Him and fulfills the work He has planned for us to do. (Ephesians 1:4, 2:10)

(Close in prayer)
Review Questions:

  1. What was Zechariah’s job? (Priest)
  2. What message did Gabriel give Zechariah?  (He and Elizabeth would have a son who would prepare God’s people for the Messiah, His name would be John)
  3. What was God’s plan for Zechariah and Elizabeth?  (To be John’s parents)
  4. When the baby was born what did everyone think his name should be?  (Zechariah after his father)
  5. What did they name their son? (John)
  6. What was God’s plan for John?  (To prepare God’s people for the coming Messiah)
  7. What is God’s plan for us?  (Live lives that please Him, fulfilling His plan for our life)

Don’t miss these other Christmas lessons related to this one:

  1. Bible Lesson: John the Baptist’s Birth is Predicted
  2. Birth of John The Baptist: Christmas Lesson for Children
  3. Birth of Jesus Foretold to Mary: Christmas Bible Lesson
  4. Sunday School Lesson: Back to Bethlehem
  5. Free Christmas Lesson Plans for Kids Sunday School

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