Jesus Was Born – Luke 2:1-20 and Matthew 2:1-12

One of the questions we can ask when studying a passage of Scripture is, “What do we learn about people from this passage?” Although you are most likely very familiar with these passages, it’s possible you have never analyzed the ways different people reacted to Jesus in these two, short passages. How our kids respond to Jesus will be the most important decision of their lives. This week, let’s challenge kids to consider carefully how they react to Jesus. Make sure kids hear that Jesus laid aside all that He had and all He was out of His obedience to His Father because of His great love for them.

  • Shepherds – responded immediately; hurried to Jesus; glorified and praised God; told others about Jesus (they became the very first missionaries!)
  • Wise men – worshipped Jesus and gave Him gifts
  • Mary – treasured up and pondered all she observed and experienced
  • Herod – was disturbed, threatened, and murdered children, trying to kill Jesus
  • People in the inn – ignored Jesus; didn’t have room for Him

When Jesus was a man, he taught people in Matthew 13 that people would respond to Him differently. The question for each of us (and our kids) is “How have you responded to Jesus?” Have you ignored Him as the people in the inn did? Have you believed Him as the shepherds did? Have you told others about Him? Have you given back to Him as the Magi did? Have you worshipped Him? Is your heart treasuring up what you have learned about Jesus as Mary’s heart did? Do you spend time pondering things you hear about Jesus? 

This lesson needs to be folded in prayer. It presents a great opportunity for kids to consider “what they have done with Jesus.” However, if any lasting fruit comes from the lesson, it will be the work of the Holy Spirit; we won’t need to twist any arms. Let’s pray that we will work in conjunction with the Holy Spirit, that we will be sensitive to His leading and sensitive to what He’s doing in the hearts of our kids.

Activity – Rank the Reactions – give kids coloring sheets of the shepherds, the wise men, Mary, Herod, and the innkeeper. (Point out that the innkeeper isn’t mentioned in Scripture, but we will use his picture to represent all the people in the inn, who couldn’t find room to accommodate Mary, Joseph and Jesus). As kids color, discuss with kids the way all 5 responded to Jesus. Break kids up in groups and ask each group to rank the responses from best to worst. (There is not a right answer. What’s more important is the thinking that goes on as kids try to evaluate the various reactions). Who had the best response to Jesus? Who had the worst response to Jesus? Why? Arrange pictures in order, according to what the kids in your group decided.

Shepherds - the shepherds said to one another, “Let’s go to Bethlehem. Let’s see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about.” So they hurried off and found Mary and Joseph and the baby. The baby was lying in the manger. After the shepherds had seen him, they told everyone. They reported what the angel had said about this child. All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them. The shepherds returned. They gave glory and praise to God. Luke 2:15-18 & 20

People in the Inn – [Mary] wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room available for them. Luke 2:7

Mary - Mary kept all these things like a secret treasure in her heart. She thought about them over and over. Luke 2:19

Herod - When King Herod heard about [the star], he was very upset. [When] Herod realized that the Wise Men had tricked him, he became very angry. He gave orders about Bethlehem and the area around it. He ordered all the boys two years old and under to be killed. Matthew 2:3, 16

Wise Men - 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, frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:10-11

Invite Kids to Consider

Regardless of how your group ranked these reactions, it is obvious that some responses were good and some were bad. How about you? How have you responded to Jesus? Has your reaction been more like the people in the inn who didn’t have time or space for Jesus, or have you discovered the joy of responding in worship and praise like the wise men and shepherds or like Mary, who thought about everything over and over?

What’s the big deal about a little baby being born? Why did Jesus come, and why do we celebrate His birthday every year? It’s because Jesus was no ordinary baby. He was also God, who laid aside all He was and wrapped Himself up in human skin to come to us. Philippians 2 tells us the story.

In his very nature [Jesus] was God. Jesus was equal with God. But Jesus didn’t take advantage of that fact. Instead, he made himself nothing. He did this by taking on the nature of a servant. He was made just like human beings. He appeared as a man. He was humble and obeyed God completely. He did this even though it led to his death. Even worse, he died on a cross! 

Why did Jesus die? To pay for your sins and mine. God knew it was THE ONLY WAY for us to have a chance to know God, to become friends of God and to one day spend forever with Him.

So, God lifted him up to the highest place. God gave him the name that is above every name. 

God wants each of us to recognize that Jesus is the Lord of the Universe and to give our lives to Him.

When the name of Jesus is spoken, everyone will kneel down to worship him. Everyone in heaven and on earth and under the earth will kneel down to worship him. Everyone’s mouth will say that Jesus Christ is Lord. And God the Father will receive the glory.

Would you like to bow and worship Jesus with me now? Would you like Jesus to be the Lord (that means the Boss) of your life? You can pray and give your life to Jesus.