THE FIRST CHRISTMAS - [ALTERNATE LESSON]

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    [Luke:2:7-20]; [Isaiah:11:1-5]; [Matthew:2:1-12].

    Lesson No.: 
    52
    Class: 
    Elementary
    Memory Verse: 

    “He shall save his people from their sins”  (Matthew 1:21).

    Notes: 

    A Wonderful Baby
    One night long, long ago, a Baby Boy came to live with a kind and gentle young woman in the land of Palestine. Can you guess her name? Yes, it was Mary! Mary and her husband Joseph lived in the town of Nazareth, but this night when her little boy was born they were in Bethlehem.

    The House of Jesse
    Many years before, a man named Jesse had lived in this same little town of Bethlehem. Jesse had several sons; and David, his youngest boy, took care of his father’s sheep. Sometimes David had to take the sheep a long way from home to find the good pasture, and grass for them to eat. No doubt David talked with God many times when he was alone with the sheep on the hillsides or in the valleys. God helped David to protect the sheep when a lion and a bear came to kill them.

    David loved and served God all his life. Even when he was a great king, he took time to pray to God three times a day

    -– in the morning, probably the first thing after he dressed; at noontime he prayed again; and also in the evening. And David read God’s Word, the Bible, so that he would know just what God wanted him to do. One day God sent a message to David and told him that someday one of his relatives would be king forever and ever.

    This great King who was to come would be wise and kind to everybody, and He would help the poor and sick people. Many people who read the Bible knew that this King was coming, but they did not know that that very night He had been born in Bethlehem.

    Men of the East
    Far away in the East there were some men who we are sure loved God. These men were wise, and they often watched the stars at night and perhaps talked about God and the King whom God was going to send to help all the people of the earth. No doubt they prayed and told God how much they needed a king who would love the people and teach them how to be good, just as we pray today and ask God to send Jesus again to take His people away from this wicked world.

    A Special Baby
    Mary’s Baby was different from any of the little boys who have ever been born in all the world. Mary knew this was a very special Baby because the angel, Gabriel, had come right down out of Heaven and told her about Him. The angel told Mary that God was pleased with her sweet, gentle ways and her good heart, and He was going to give her a Son. In a way, this little Boy really would not belong to Mary because He would be the Son of God, but Mary was to take care of Him until He grew up. His name was to be Jesus, and someday He would be King forever and ever. Mary may have wondered why God had chosen her from all of David’s relatives to be the mother of His very own Son, but she must have thought: I will be the very best mother I can be, and every day I will ask God to help me.

    In a Manger
    There were many visitors in Bethlehem at that time, because all the people who were related to King David had come to be taxed, to pay money to the government. There wasn’t room for Mary and Joseph in the Bethlehem inn, or hotel, but no doubt some kind family let them sleep in the place where the cows, sheep, and camels usually stayed at night. Perhaps Joseph put clean straw on the floor and then spread out the quilts and blankets the family let them have on which to sleep. But when the Baby Jesus came, Mary wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger.

    The Shepherds
    Suddenly they heard footsteps; and when Joseph went to the door, there were some shepherds. Probably one of them said, “Is there a baby here?” And as they caught sight of the Baby Jesus in the manger, they perhaps said: “Oh, this is the One the angel told us about! This is the Saviour, the Christ, we and our people have been waiting and watching for these many years. An angel came to us as we were watching our sheep out in the field tonight, and told us that Jesus was born in Bethlehem and that we would find Him wrapped in swaddling clothes and lying in a manger.”

    The shepherds surely knelt in worship before the tiny Child, and thanked God that they were among the first to see Jesus, the Son of God, who had come to save His people from their sins.

    The Wise Men
    One night a bright star shone right over the house where Mary and Joseph and the Child Jesus were staying, and some men who were most likely riding camel-back, came down the stony roadway to Bethlehem. Oh, they are the wise men from the East! Now they have found the Child, and they know He is the great King God had said He would send, and they fall down and worship Jesus. The wise men open the presents they have brought and give Him pieces of gold, and sweet-smelling frankincense and myrrh.

    Perhaps they tell Mary and Joseph that one night as they were watching the stars and thinking about the King who was to come they felt very close to God, and suddenly one of them saw a bright star they had never seen before, and someway they knew that if they followed the star they would find Jesus, their Saviour and King.

    Jesus Is Coming Again
    The shepherds, the wise men, and all who loved God and read His Word in those days were looking for Jesus to come because the Bible said He would come, and everything the Bible says always comes true.

    Now we know Jesus is coming again for those who are saved and love and serve Him every day, because the Bible tells us He is coming. We want to tell everyone that Jesus is coming very soon, so they will pray and be saved and be ready to go to be with Him, too.

    Questions: 

    1. Where did Mary first lay the Baby Jesus? [Luke:2:7]
    2. How did the shepherds know that Jesus had been born in Bethlehem? [Luke:2:10-11].
    3. How did the wise men find Jesus? [Matthew:2:2], [Matthew:2:9].
    4. Jesus was born in what family? [Isaiah:11:1]; [Psalms:89:20], [Psalms:89:29].
    5. What kind of King is Jesus? [Isaiah:11:2-5].