VERSES: Luke 1:5-25
MEMORY VERSE: Luke 1:13 "...and thou shalt call his name John."
BOOK TO REMEMBER: Genesis. This is the first book in the Old Testament. Now that we have gone completely through the books of the Bible, we will begin again with the Old Testament.
PRAYER: Thank God for providing everything we need.
SPECIAL SONG: Jesus Loves The Little Children (see February - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #2 on this blog. Click on orange circles to hear tune.)
VISUAL AID: Draw a picture in the middle of the whiteboard or chalkboard of Zacharias talking with the angel. Write nine things the angel told Zacharias around the picture. After those things are discussed, erase Zacharias' mouth and insert an 'x,' showing he was mute.
- When we studied the last time in the Old Testament, the very last thing that God had said to the prophet, Malachi, was that He would send someone with Elijah's power and spirit, and he would turn the fathers' hearts to the children and the children's hearts to the fathers (Malachi 4:5, 6; Luke 1:16, 17). After 400 years of silence on God's part, God picks up where he left off, and we find out that that someone was John. He was promised 400 years before he was born and today we find out more about how he would be born and that his purpose was here on the earth was to prepare the way for Jesus.
- During the reign of the king of Judea named Herod, there was a man named Zacharias who was a priest and worked in the temple. His wife was a woman whose name was Elisabeth. Both Zacharias and Elisabeth were godly people who loved God and were righteous before God. They did everything they knew to do God's way. The Bible calls them blameless. They had no children and they were getting pretty old. Zacharias had prayed for a child.
- One day, Zacharias was in the temple because he had been chosen for the job of burning incense in the temple of the LORD. A large group of people was praying outside the temple, so Zacharias was in the temple alone.
- While Zacharias was inside the temple, an angel appeared on the right side of the altar of incense. When Zacharias saw the angel, he was troubled and afraid. But the angel told Zacharias:
- not to be afraid because his prayer had been heard. Elisabeth was going to have a baby boy!
- to name the baby John.
- he was going to have much joy and many people would be happy because of John's birth.
- that John would be great in the Lord's sight.
- John was not to drink wine or strong drink.
- John would be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before he was born.
- many of the children of God would be turned to God because of John.
- John would have Elijah's spirit and power.
- that John would make the people prepared for the Lord.
- Zacharias asked the angel how he could be certain that he would have a child because he was an old man. The angel said that his name was Gabriel and he stood before God in His presence and was sent to bring Zacharias this good news, but because Zacharias doubted the angel's word and asked how he could be certain that he was to have a baby boy, the angel told him that he would not be able to talk until the baby was born.
- The people waited for Zacharias outside and wondered why he was staying so long in the temple. When Zacharias finally came out, he could not talk at all! The people thought he had seen a vision in the temple because he made motions with his hands and could not speak a word.
- When Zacharias' days of ministering in the temple were over, he went home. Soon, they knew that the angel named Gabriel was telling the truth because Elisabeth was going to have a baby! Next time, we will find out who the angel, Gabriel, talks to next.
- Luke wrote the book of Luke to his friend Theophilus (Luke 1:3).
- God had not spoken to man in 400 years since He spoke to Malachi. Now, God was ready to speak and He chose Zacharias to whom to speak through an angel.
- Zacharias and Elisabeth were Jesus' aunt and uncle. This baby who was named John and baptized many people, was the cousin of Jesus.
- We need to remember that God answers prayers in His own time, not ours.
ACTIVITY: John Is Promised
Materials needed: 5" x 11" green construction paper, 12" x 18" yellow construction paper, stapler, staples, scissors, marker.
- Hand out green paper.
- Holding paper lengthwise, fold bottom edge about 2 inches from the top.
- Staple two or three staples on each side, forming a pocket.
- Hand out yellow paper.
- Fold yellow paper in thirds.
- Fold yellow paper in thirds again.
- Unfold paper.
- Cut on creases in yellow paper. In the end, there should be nine 'cards.'
- Write "Luke 1:5-25" at the very top of the green paper.
- Write "What the angel named Gabriel said to Zacharias" in the middle of the bottom portion of the green pocket.
- Card # 1: Write "Don't be afraid!" Zachariah's prayer had been heard. They would have a baby boy!"
- Card #2: Write "Name the baby boy John."
- Card #3: Write "Zacharias would have much joy. Many people would be happy because John was born."
- Card #4: Write "John would be great in God's sight."
- Card #5: Write "John was not to drink wine or strong drink."
- Card #6: Write "John would be filled with the Holy Spirit, even before he was born."
- Card #7: Write "Because of John, many of the children of God would be turned to God."
- Card #8: Write "John would have Elijah's spirit and power."
- Card #9: Write "John would make the people prepared for the Lord."
- Bonus: Turn pocket over and write on the back: "You cannot talk until these things are done."
- Place cards in pocket.
- See how many cards they remember before taking the cards out of the pocket.