Thursday, December 4, 2014

Lesson - "His Name Is John"

VERSES:   Luke 1:57-80

MEMORY VERSE:   Luke 1:76   "...for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Luke.  Write "Luke" on small slips of paper, so the students can memorize the third book of the New Testament. Practice repeating the first three books of the New Testament as a class.

PRAYER:   Thank God for the blessing of babies and for preparing the way for Jesus.

SPECIAL SONG:   Read, Read Every Day (see and hear this song in February - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #1 on this blog. Simply click the orange circle to hear the tune.)

VISUAL AID:   This is a simple lesson in which to use the TV Box. The students--even older ones-- enjoy and learn from it. (See February - Visual Aids #1 TV Box on this blog. Type "TV Box" into the Search Box or click on February under Blog Archive. Directions are listed.)

  • After Mary, Elisabeth's cousin and mother of Jesus, went back home to Nazareth, Elisabeth had a beautiful baby boy! We remember that, because Elisabeth's husband, Zacharias, had doubted the angel, Gabriel's, words about having a baby, the angel had taken away Zacharias' ability to speak. He could not talk or say anything at all. He had been that way for nine months. The angel had said that Zacharias would remain that way until all the things that Gabriel had foretold had happened.
  • After Zacharias' and Elisabeth's baby was born, all of their neighbors and cousins came to their house to congratulate them and to see the baby. They had heard that Elisabeth, who could not have children when she was younger, now had a baby in her later or older years because of God's mercy. We do that, too, don't we?  When someone has a baby, we are happy for the parents and want to see the baby. That's what their neighbors and family did. But, while everyone was there, they assumed that the baby would be named Zacharias like his father since their custom in those days was to name the babies after their fathers. Not this time! Elisabeth said to everyone, "No. His name shall be John." The people said, "But there's no one in your family named John!" So, they made signs to Zacharias to see what he would say. Zacharias asked for a writing table and wrote, "His name is John." Everyone was amazed that the baby would be named an unusual name like John.
  • But then, something truly amazing happened. As soon as Zacharias had written those words, the Bible says that immediately, his tongue became loose and he could talk again!! Do you know what Zacharias did first?  The first thing he did was to praise God! 
  • Zacharias was then filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied and said that the LORD God of Israel should be blessed. After 400 years without God speaking through a prophet or to any of His people, God had finally visited His people again! God would use John to prepare the ways of His own Son, Jesus.
  • Now, you would think that everyone would be so happy for Zacharias, but the people who lived all around them, were a little afraid and the news about what had happened to Zacharias and Elisabeth traveled all through the hill country of Judea. Everyone who had heard what happened thought, "What will this baby become?" Everyone could see that the Lord was with the child.
  • The Bible says that the child grew and lived in the desert until it was time to present himself in Israel.
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Because Mary and Elisabeth were cousins, that made John and Jesus cousins, too.
ACTIVITY:   "His Name Is John"
Materials needed:  9" x 12" brown construction paper, 5.5" x 8.5" white paper, 5" x 7" tan paper, scrap of orange paper, marker, crayons, glue, scissors.

  1. Hand out brown paper.
  2. Hand out white paper.
  3. Write "His name is John." on white paper, landscape.
  4. Glue white paper to brown paper at an angle.
  5. Hand out tan paper.
  6. Have student pretend they are writing with a pencil. Trace hand in that position.
  7. Cut out hand.
  8. Continue to draw fingers (see picture above).
  9. Glue hand down in a way that it looks like it might have written the words.
  10. Hand out orange scrap.
  11. Cut out a long 'pencil' or writing tool.
  12. Glue orange pencil to hand and under thumb.
  13. Write "Luke 1:63" at the top of the brown paper or wherever there is room.
  14. Write "Zacharias' hand" on the hand.