Needed: (Optional – The Visual Bible, object to toss)
Intro Activity: Word Association Scramble – Get a ball, bean bag, etc. Holding the item, tell your students that you’re going to say a word that describes Jesus. When you throw it to someone, they have to think of another word that describes Jesus. They then pass it to someone else. Play as long as you deem appropriate.
(Show The Visual Bible passage if you have it. If not, just skip to the reading.
Have the students take turns reading Matthew 2.)
Ask students, What do you all think of King Herod?
Herod was a pretty mean person. And he knew he was a mean person. He knew no one liked him and that no one would be sad when he died. So he ordered a bunch of other people to be killed on the day he died so that people would be sad when he died. Fortunately, his children didn’t carry out that order.
But why did Herod want to kill Jesus?
Herod was afraid that Jesus would grow up to be a king and take the kingdom away from Herod.
Did Jesus grow up to be a king?
Jesus is the rightful king of Israel. He is the descendant of King David and the kings of Judah. He should have been king. But He didn’t come to be king the first time He came to earth. He came to be our teacher and to die for our sins so that we could be forgiven. But when Jesus comes back, then He will be the king. Jesus will be the king not only of Israel but of the whole world. He’s David’s descendant, but He’s also God’s Son, and that means He is the ruler of everthing.
(Read verse 11 again.)
What did the Magi bring Jesus?
Gold, incense, and myrrh.
Why would they bring Jesus gold?
Back then, the people who would have had the most gold would have been kings. By Jesus giving gold, the Magi were showing that they knew Jesus was going to be a king.
What about incense? Does anyone know what incense was used for back then?
The priests burned incense as a way of worshipping God. By giving Jesus incense, the Magi were showing that they knew Jesus would be a priest.
Was Jesus a priest?
Jesus wasn’t a priest for his profession. He could have been because He was also a descendant of priests, but Jesus was a priest in another way besides professionally. The main duty of a priest is to help connect people with God. And Jesus does exactly that. He connects with God, so He is our Priest.
The last thing the Magi gave Jesus was myrrh. Myrhh was one of the spices that they put on a dead body to keep it from rotting too quickly. By giving myrrh to Jesus, the Magi were showing that they knew Jesus would die for our sins one day.
So the Magi knew that Jesus was going to be our King, our Priest, and the Sacrifice for our sins. Too bad Herod didn’t put his faith in Jesus like the Magi did or he might have been a better person and lived a little longer.