WHEN GOD BECAME MAN
Scripture: Isaiah 9:6; Matthew 2:1–2, 9–11; Luke 2:6–32; Philippians 2:5–11
Memory verse: Isaiah 9:6
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given...."
(This game works best with five or six players. If your class is larger, make a set for each group and have several games going at one time.)
You will need to make matching papers (small) from exercise books. Half will be labelled “Need” papers, while the other half will be “Action” papers. Make enough papers for each student to make four or five matches.
List one need per paper. Possible items are the following: No money; Hungry; Sad; Thirsty, Death in the family; Lost; In pain; Trouble with schoolwork; No friends; Moving to a new place. Each action paper lists one way that a need mentioned could be met. The list above can be met in these ways: Give of your money; Share your lunch; Give someone encouragement to make them happy; Bring extra bread money for someone; Comfort the grieving person; Help the person find his way; Seek help for the person in pain; Help the person understand the schoolwork; Be friendly; Visit a new person in the neighbourhood and invite them to church.
One last need paper completes the set. Label it “Sin.” Do not make an action paper for it.
To play, hand out all the need papers. Place the action papers in a stack on the table. The first player draws an action paper. If he has a need paper the action can fill, he can discard both papers face down on the table. If the action does not fill the need, he must hand the action paper to the player at his right. If this player has a need paper in his hand that corresponds with the action paper, he may discard both. Play then goes to the next student. However, if he cannot use the paper handed to him, he must pass it to the player on his right. Play continues until all the papers are matched and discarded but one (the “Sin” paper).
Show the students that one paper has no match. This is because not one of us can solve the problem of sin. However, Jesus provided the answer for us. We will learn more about this in our lesson today.
Hearing God’s Word
Imagine that you recently had a new brother born into your family. Your brother was born in a quiet and clean hospital. Your mother might have had a private room to herself. The doctors and nurses wore masks and gloves to protect your mother and baby brother from germs that might lead to infection and disease. As soon as the baby was born, he was washed and dressed in clean clothes. The nurses carefully watched the baby, making sure he was warm, dry and well fed. Your mother got plenty of rest before she took the baby home.
Conditions at Jesus’ Birth
Let us change the scene a little bit. Instead of a hospital, imagine your mother giving birth to your brother in a cattle barn! The new baby is placed in feeding trough, cushioned only with hay. There are no doctors, no nurses, no masks, and no gloves. As for germs—well, there are probably all the germs you would normally find in a barn full of animals! There was no bathtub or fresh-smelling baby powder to help the odour in the air either.
(Ask a student to read Luke 2:12 in the King James Version, if possible.) Over the years we have heard this verse so many times until we have come to think of it as a beautiful description of Jesus’ birth. The term swaddling clothes and the description of the Baby lying in a manger have come to sound lovely and perfect to us.
Think again! The manger Baby Jesus slept in was anything but lovely. The swaddling clothes were not beautiful baby clothes. They were simple strips of cloth Mary wrapped around Jesus to keep Him snug and warm. Jesus’ birth does not fit into our idea of how an important person should be born.
Signs and Wonders at Jesus’ Birth
Even though Jesus’ birth did not take place under the best conditions, some important signs pointed to the fact that He was no ordinary baby. Jesus was revealed to people while they were doing things they did every day. They all could relate to his humanity, but they knew that there was something special about Him. Let us look at some passages of Scripture that tell of some signs God used to confirm the lordship of Jesus. (Print “SIGNS AND WONDERS” on the chalkboard.)
Angels Appear to Shepherds
(Ask student to read Luke 2:8–11, 13, 14.)
Ask: “What is the sign mentioned in this passage?” (Allow responses. Print “Angels appeared” on the chalkboard.)
Angels appearing to lowly shepherds was no ordinary event. Their coming meant something special had taken place.
What did the angels say to the shepherds? (Ask a student to read Luke 2:12.)
Ask: What were the shepherds to look for?” (Allow responses.)
The details of Jesus’ birth that seemed so humble were those the angels used to describe Jesus to the shepherds. The shepherds could relate to His common birth, but they would know without a doubt that the Baby they found was the Messiah, the Saviour.
A Promise to Simeon Kept
When Baby Jesus was eight days old, Mary and Joseph took Him to the temple in Jerusalem to present Him to God. This was a practice all Jewish families observed under the Law of Moses. While they were at the temple, another sign occurred that showed Jesus was indeed the Son of God. (Ask the students to turn to Luke 2:15–32.)
Simeon, a man who loved and served God faithfully, was present at the temple when Mary and Joseph arrived. He was led there by the Holy Spirit.
Ask: “What had Simeon been promised by the Holy Spirit?” (Allow responses.)
When Mary and Joseph brought Baby Jesus to the temple, Simeon immediately knew this Child was the Messiah. What a moment this must have been for this man! The Holy Spirit’s promise that he would see the Messiah had been fulfilled. Now, Simeon could die in peace. He had seen God’s salvation. Jesus Christ, the Messiah, had come. (Add “Holy Spirit’s promise to Simeon fulfilled” on the chalkboard.)
Wise Men Bring Gifts
A while later, when Jesus was still a young child, another sign confirmed His lordship. (Ask a student to read Matthew 2:1, 2, 9–11.) Wise Men had seen an unusual star in the east. They were used to studying the stars, and they knew someone special and wonderful had been born. As they searched, the star guided them to the house in Bethlehem where young Jesus lived. They worshiped Jesus and presented Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. (Add “Wise Men guided by a star” on the chalkboard.)
One of the greatest signs of Jesus’ lordship is the number of prophecies His birth fulfilled. A prophecy given by Isaiah is the memory verse for this week. (Review the memory verse with the class. Focus on each description of Jesus. Add “Fulfilment of prophecy” on the chalkboard.)
Clearly Jesus’ birth was a special event even though it was not broadcast all over the world.
Ask: “Why did Jesus come to earth?” Why did He choose to leave heaven’s glory to come and live with imperfect human beings?”
Jesus Set Aside His Deity
In the first place, Jesus came to earth in human form so He could fully experience what it is like to be human. This is the major focus of this week’s study. In order to do this, Jesus had to be willing to do something that may have been difficult.
Jesus’ act of setting aside His deity and taking on the form of a servant is the theme of this important teaching on Jesus’ incarnation. (Ask a student to read Philippians 2:6, 7.)
Ask: “What do you think Paul meant when he wrote that Jesus did not consider being equal with God as something to be ‘grasped’ or ‘robbed’?” *(Allow responses.) * I’m not certain what version you are quoting here, but these two terms might need a little explanation – maybe by adding a phrase :”as some versions say.”
Jesus is God. He and the Father are one. They share the same nature. Jesus had every right to consider himself equally God. Yet, Jesus did not demand special treatment. He came to earth not to enjoy a high position in society but to live a life of humble service and sacrifice because of His love for all mankind.
Accepting God’s Word
Since Jesus is God, it proves that He did not first come into existence on Christmas Day. He has always existed. Jesus simply changed form at the Incarnation. He came to earth as a baby and grew up just as any other human being would.
No doubt it would have been easier for Jesus to come miraculously as a full-grown adult. Yet if He had, He would not have experienced all the struggles we face as young people. Jesus knows who you are, where you are, and what your struggles are. He will help you with your problems, if you will ask him, and submit to him.
Entering the Doe village, we looked down the hill at their houses in the fertile Wami River valley. They were well constructed and the yards swept clean. These first impressions lifted our expectations about researching a Doe village.
After the vehicle was parked, the driver, tour guide and I walked into a small market with a large shade tree at the center. Several men and boys were gathered there, and they warmly received us. One young man bought oranges for us, and while we enjoyed the juicy fruit, they expressed an interest in knowing why we had come to their village.
REMEMBER TO PRAY!
Pray for Intercessors
1. Our study group ask God to give us a love for the Doe,
2. Help us to pray for them on a regular basis,
3. Each of us to invite a friend to join us in praying for the Doe.
"May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else" (1 Thessalonians 3:12).
Remember: WHEN GOD BECAME MAN
Memory verse: Isaiah 9:6
"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given...."
1. Sin is a major problem.
2. God sent Jesus to earth to take care of the problem.
3. I will accept Jesus as my Saviour and Lord.
Pray for God to put a love in our hearts for the Doe people.
Study 3 | Will of God / Jesus is Lord | africaatts.org/go-teach