Jesus is Coming and John the Baptist Prepares the Way
Introduce the Lesson
Say: Today we’re going to learn that God came to be with us. He came to earth as a human—Jesus! That’s amazing!
Tell kids who you wish would come visit you today, and why.
Open a Bible to John 1, and say: It’s fun to have people we love visit us. God loves us so much that he came to be with us. Let’s dig in to the Bible to find out what happened! The Bible isn’t like other books; it’s special. The Bible is one way God talks to us and shows he’s with us. God is here right now, ready to talk to you. Let’s talk with him now.
Pray, thanking God that he came to be with us.
Watch This Video:
Play This Game:
- classroom toy
- When choosing a classroom toy, a small stuffed animal or figurine will work well.
Play a Game Like Sardines
Say: Let’s play a game of Hide-and-Seek. Hold up the classroom toy. But instead of one of us hiding, I’ll hide this toy somewhere in our room. When you find it, don’t yell or tell everyone. Instead, just quietly sit down close to it. Once everyone is with our toy friend, we’ll hide it again.
Have kids close their eyes and count with you to 10 while an adult or teen hides the toy somewhere in the room. Once the toy is hidden, have kids open their eyes and begin their search. If needed, give clues to help. When kids find the toy, remind them to quietly sit down near it.
After kids find the toy, say: We found the toy, and we’ve all gathered together to be with it. Let’s play again. This time, choose a child to hide the toy while the other kids close their eyes and count to 10. Continue playing several rounds.
Talk About It
Say: In our game, we found the toy and we stayed close to be with it. Since we stayed with the toy, we helped others find it, too. Like we went to be with the toy, God came to be with us through Jesus. Let’s celebrate and thank God for loving us and wanting to be with us. On the count of three, have kids jump up and say “Thank you, God!”
- extra chair
Set out an extra chair. Say: Picture Jesus sitting right here. Allow a minute.
Distribute paper and markers. Have kids draw Jesus in a chair just the way they pictured him. Then have them share their pictures and describe why they pictured him that way.
Say: We’re learning that God came to be with us. God sent Jesus to live with us about 2,000 years ago. Back then, men usually wore robes, so that’s what Jesus wore. Since he wore the clothes most men wore then, he might wear jeans and a T-shirt if he were walking around today. Let’s read a prophecy about what Jesus would look like. A prophecy is a message God sends about something that’s going to happen.
Read Isaiah 53:2.
Say: We know Jesus didn’t look like anything special, and he dressed like a regular, everyday person. If Jesus came today instead of back then, what might that be like? What would be different, and what would be the same? Let’s think about that.
Ask: • Do you think Jesus would use social media? Why or why not? After discussing, have kids write a social media post they think Jesus might write under their picture of him.
• Jesus was a carpenter. What kind of job might he have today? Have kids strike a pose to show their answers and then share what they’re thinking.
• Do you think Jesus would drive a car? What kind?
• Who do you think he would spend most of his time with?
Say: Jesus doesn’t live on earth in human form today, so we can’t know for sure the answers to those questions. But we can get some clues from the Bible. We wondered who Jesus might spend time with. Let’s see who he spent time with in the Bible.
Have kids read one of the following:
- Matthew 9:9-11
- John 4:7-10
- Matthew 19:13-15
Have kids report back on who Jesus hung out with in their Bible passage.
Say: Jesus didn’t hang out with the religious leaders very much. In fact, they didn’t get along well! Jesus hung out with people who everyone else treated badly. Even if they did bad things, that didn’t keep Jesus away. He hung out with people who most needed love.
Ask: • Based on who Jesus chose to hang out with then, who do you think he’d hang out with now?
• Do you think he’d hang out with you, your friends, and your family? Why or why not?
Say: Jesus talked to a lot of people while he was on earth. Let’s read something he said.
Read John 3:16.
Ask: • What about this message do you think would be the same or different today?
• What else do you think Jesus would talk about today?
Say: Jesus’ love doesn’t change. In fact, listen to this.
Read Hebrews 13:8.
Ask: • How does this verse help you connect with Jesus?
Say: Jesus doesn’t change, but our world does. We wondered what kind of car Jesus would drive, what kind of job he’d have, and whether he’d use social media in today’s world. We can’t know the answers to those questions, but here’s what we do know: Jesus isn’t that different from us—well, okay, except that he’s God and he’s perfect. But you know what I mean. Jesus faced all the same kinds of temptations and struggles we do. He knows just what it’s like to be you! And Jesus is still with us today. Listen to this.
Read Hebrews 4:14-16.
Ask: • How can these verses encourage you when you’re going through a temptation?
Say: I love that Jesus understands what I’m going through. And I love this, too. Read Matthew 28:20.
Ask: • How does it make you feel to know Jesus is with you always?
Say: Jesus already knows everything that tempts you. He understands all our struggles and weaknesses. And even though he’s not walking around in a way we can see, he’s still with us. God came to be with us, and now he lives in our hearts. We can come boldly before his throne to talk to him—anytime! Let’s talk to him now!
Pray: God, thank you that you came to be with us. Thank you that you understand what life is like, even life today! Thank you that we can talk to you anytime. And thank you for always being with us. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Do This Craft:
- white paper lunch bags (1 per child)
- chenille wires (2 per child)
- colored tissue paper (1 sheet per child)
- decorating supplies
- glue sticks
- Cut off the top 3 or 4 inches of the bags.
- Choose any decorating supplies that kids could use to decorate the gift bags; for example, washi tape, stickers, and scraps of wrapping paper.
- Make a sample craft to show kids.
Make Gift Bags
Say: When someone gives you a present, you might not know what the gift is, but the fun wrapping paper or gift bag tells you that a special present is inside! Show the sample craft.
That’s kind of like our Bible story. John told people that God sent us a special gift. The special gift was Jesus, the Messiah. People didn’t know who this person would be or what he would be like, but people were excited for this special gift from God! Let’s make gift bags to remember that God came to be with us through the gift of Jesus!
Give each kid a paper bag. Have kids keep the bags flat and decorate them with the supplies you’ve provided. Encourage them to decorate both sides of the bag. While they’re working, ask about gifts they’ve given family members during a recent holiday or birthday party.
When they’ve finished decorating, help open the bag and tape the ends of two chenille wires to the inside of the bag to create handles. Then help kids place a piece of tissue paper inside the bag.
Say: You can take your bag home and save it to use when giving a present to someone in your family. That person won’t know what the present inside will be, but I know they’ll be excited when they see your beautiful gift bag!Like that, God sent a special gift to us by sending Jesus to be our friend. That’s how God came to be with us.
Wrap It Up:
- extra chair
Set out an extra chair.
Say: God came to be with us. Jesus came to earth and lived as a human, facing some of the same experiences we face. And even though we can’t see him anymore, he’s still here with us.
Let’s use this chair as a reminder that Jesus is with us. Picture him in this chair. Then just sit and be in his presence. Don’t say much…just enjoy being with Jesus because he’s here with us.
Allow a couple of minutes.
Pray: God, thank you that you came to be with us. Thank you that you’re still with us. Help us see you at work in our lives this week. In Jesus’ name, amen