Use this lesson to teach kids about the meaning of one of the names of Jesus: Messiah.
Use one or more of these activities to help students explore how they recognize people.
Welcome each student warmly by name.
Who Is It?
SAY: Let’s see how well you recognize your classmates by hearing only their voices. Have a volunteer stand by you, turning his back to the rest of the kids.
If desired, put a blindfold on the volunteer. One at a time, have several of the kids say in their regular voices, “Hello. Do you know who I am?” Have the volunteer guess who it is.
Give every student an opportunity to guess who several people are by listening to their voices.
ASK: How else do you recognize people? (seeing them, seeing their uniforms, hearing something about them)
How would you recognize someone you had never met or never heard? Accept responses.
SAY: In today’s lesson, two people recognize someone they had never met or heard, but they knew about Him. Let’s dig into God’s Word to find out about it.
Have kids get into groups of three. Give each group three sheets of paper, a pencil, and a flashlight. Tell students that they’re going to draw silhouettes of each other. Use one group to demonstrate this.
Have one kid sit on a chair against a wall. Another kid should attach a sheet of paper on the wall behind the seated kid’s head. The last kid should stand a few feet from the seated volunteer and shine a flashlight on her head.
The kid who attached the paper to the wall will draw on the paper the outline of the seated kid’s head. Each student needs to have a silhouette drawn. Ask kids to write their names on the backs of their papers; then collect them.
After all groups are done, gather kids back together. SAY: Let’s see how well you recognize your classmates by seeing their silhouettes. One at a time, hold up a silhouette. Ask the student closest to you to guess who it is.
If that student guesses incorrectly, ask the next student to identify the person. Keep going until someone guesses correctly. Then hold up the next silhouette and do the same, letting all students have a turn guessing.
ASK: How do you usually recognize people? (hearing them, seeing them, seeing their uniforms, hearing something about them) How would you recognize someone you had never met or never heard? Accept responses.
SAY: In today’s lesson, two people recognize someone they had never
met or heard, but they knew about Him. Let’s dig into God’s Word to
find out about it.
Explore His Word
Use these activities to help students describe what happened when Simeon and Anna met Jesus, the promised Messiah.
Ask students to turn in their Bibles to Luke 2:21-24. Have volunteers read those verses aloud.
SAY: Eight days after Jesus was born, Mary and Joseph took Jesus and traveled to Jerusalem to do what the law of Moses required. Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus were in the temple courts when some pretty amazing events happened. Let’s find out!
Divide the class into groups of four; if possible, have both boys and girls in each group. Tell each group to choose who will portray each person in the Bible story: Mary, Joseph, Simeon, and Anna. Give each group a baby doll.
Listen closely as I read. When I say “Group pose!,” your group is to quickly stage a group pose that shows what was happening right then to Mary, Joseph, Simeon, Anna, and baby Jesus. Hold the pose until I say “Unpose.”
Before reading Luke 2:25-28 aloud, tell students that Messiah means “the expected king and deliverer of the Jews,” “the deliverer,” or “the one who saves.” Then read and encourage each group to quickly get into a group pose.
Help them as needed to know how to pose. Simeon should be holding the baby doll, and Mary and Joseph should be looking on, wondering what’s going on. Anna is not in this scene.
After you’ve looked at all the group poses, say “Unpose.” Read verses 28-32; then say “Group pose!” Groups should get into a pose and hold it until you say “Unpose.”
Read the following verses, stopping after each one for groups to pose, then unpose: verse 33; verses 34 and 35; verses 36-38; verse 39; and verse 40.
When finished, thank everyone for their participation and ask kids to sit down.
ASK: What did Joseph and Mary do after Simeon said that Jesus was the promised Messiah? (marveled)
What do Simeon’s and Anna’s stories help us know about Jesus? (He’s God’s Son. He’s the promised Messiah. He’s the one who brings salvation and redemption [makes us acceptable to God].)
SAY: Simeon and Anna were among the first to know that Jesus is the promised Messiah. But they weren’t the last! Praise God that we can also know Jesus as our Messiah and Savior!
Luke 2:10, 11
“But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.”
Have kids turn in their Bibles to Luke 2:10, 11, and have volunteers read the verses aloud.
Then distribute a self-stick note to each student.
SAY: We don’t have to be afraid when we know the good news that Jesus came to earth for us. Write on your self-stick notes how you feel, knowing that Jesus can be your Messiah, Lord, and Savior.
Read the words kids wrote on their notes. Then lead everyone in saying the memory verses again.
Make It Real
Use one of these activities to help students understand their need to accept Jesus as their Messiah.
Have kids stand up. Tell them to stand on one leg and see who can stand that way the longest. If this is taking too long, tell kids to also tap their heads while rubbing their tummies.
Kids are out when their other leg touches the ground or anything else. After all the kids are out, SAY: I think it would be impossible to stand on one leg forever! Ask all kids to turn in their Bibles to Romans 3:10, 23, and have volunteers read those verses aloud.
SAY: Since sin separates us from God, we need help! Have a volunteer read Romans 6:23 aloud. Do the same with Acts 2:38 and Acts 13:38.
Let’s be as wise as Simeon and Anna and recognize that Jesus is the promised Messiah. But let’s do more than recognize Him. Let’s accept Him as our Messiah and Savior and live for Him every day!
Optional: Jesus Takes Our Sins
Before class, draw a large cross on roll paper. Display it on a wall.
Give kids several slips of paper. Tell students to write a different sin on each of their papers (front and back) and then scatter the papers in an open area on the floor.
When kids are done, ask for a volunteer who would be willing to get taped up and roll on the floor. Wrap the volunteer with masking tape, sticky side out, from his waist up to his shoulders (don’t tape his arms down).
Read some of the sins listed on the papers. Have a volunteer read Romans 3:10, 23 aloud. SAY: We all sin, even after we’ve become Christians. It’s impossible for us not to sin.
Ask the volunteer to roll around on the papers, picking up as many slips of paper as possible.
People who are not Christians carry their own sins, which separates them from God. But when Christians sin, Jesus takes our sins and forgives us.
Have volunteers read Romans 6:23; Acts 2:38; and Acts 13:38 as you carefully cut the tape from the volunteer and attach it onto the paper cross.
SAY: Jesus takes our sins and forgives us. Let’s be as wise as Simeon and Anna and recognize that Jesus is the promised Messiah.
But let’s do more than recognize Him. Let’s accept Him as our Messiah and Savior and live for Him every day!
Live It Out
Use one of these activities to help students talk with Jesus about His being their Messiah.
In Your Own Words
SAY: Simeon recognized Jesus as the promised Messiah and praised God. Anna recognized Jesus as the promised Messiah and thanked God.
Now it’s your turn to praise and thank God that Jesus is the promised Messiah. Give each student a half sheet of paper.
On your papers, use your own words to praise God that He sent Jesus as your Messiah, your deliverer. Thank God that Jesus is your Messiah, your Savior. Give kids time to do this.
When students are finished, encourage them to silently pray their praises and thanks to God. After a short time of silence, close in prayer.
PRAY: Heavenly Father, we praise You for sending Jesus as the promised Messiah, our deliverer. We thank You that Jesus is the promised Messiah, our Savior.
God, I’m thankful that I know You as my Messiah and Savior. I pray that all these students, if they haven’t already, will come to know You as their Messiah and Savior too. In Jesus’ name, amen.
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Did you enjoy this lesson? It was adapted from HeartShaper Children’s Curriculum, Middle Elementary. To learn more about this age level, check out the video below or visit HeartShaper.com.