God's Eternal Plan - Lesson 6

By Stafford North

The Birth

Background Information for the Teacher


  1. The student can connect the previous lessons with this lesson on The Birth to show how the mystery is unfolding.
  2. The student can explain the meaning of "when the time was fully come" in Galatians 4:4.
  3. The student can tell the story of the events about the announcement to Mary and Joseph and the trip to Bethlehem.
  4. The student can relate the details of the birth of Jesus and the shepherds' visit.
  5. The student can describe the events of the presentation in the temple.
  6. The student can tell of the events of Jesus childhood.
  7. The student can name three prophecies which were fulfilled at the birth of Jesus.


  1. Have the Written Review over Lesson 5 and the Worksheets for Lesson 6 ready.
  2. Have access to a board on which to write the Bible locations and summation of the prophecies fulfilled in the birth of Jesus.
  3. Have songbooks or song sheets with "Hark the Herald Angels Sing."Theme: According to the prophecies from hundreds of years ago, Jesus was born in Nazareth to descendants of David, to a virgin, and was brought out of Egypt to grow up in Nazareth.

Lesson Plan for Teaching the Class

Introduction: (8 minutes)

  1. Welcome visitors.
  2. Prayer for class members in need.
  3. Review memory verses.
  4. Review the chapter titles to this point.

Learning Experiences: (26 minutes)

  1. Q: As we begin to study in the books of the New Testament, how long has it been since the last public prophet of God spoke to the Jews? A: About 400 years since Malachi. During that time, the Jews have been under the Persians and theGreeks, had a period of about a hundred years of independence, and currently were under the Romans. Q: Who had the Romans made king over the Jews and what was he like? A: Herod. He was a great builder having built five palaces and other buildings including the re-building of the Jewish temple, making it much larger and more beautiful. He was, however, ruthless, killing even his wife and a son because he thought they were plotting against him.
  2. Read Galatians 4:4. Q: What does it mean by "when the time had fully come?" A: It means that God decided that the time was right for Him to make His next move in unfolding the mystery, bringing His Son into the world. The Roman Empire had come (Daniel 2:44), there was general peace around the world, roads were built for travel, and the Greek language had spread to be universally used.
  3. Q: To whom did the angel Gabriel appear and what did he say? A: To Mary who lived in Nazareth, and he told her that, even though she would remain a virgin, she would bear a son whose name would be "Jesus." Q: To whom wasMary engaged and what common ancestor did they have? A: To Joseph and both were from the lineage of David.
  4. Q: What happened to get Mary and Joseph to be in Bethlehem when Jesus was born and why was that important? A: Caesar Augustus said that all should return to their ancestral home to be enrolled for taxes and this required them both to go to Bethlehem where the prophet (Micah 5:2) had said the Messiah would be born. Q: Under what conditions was the child born? A: In a stable because there was no room in the inn. Q: To whom did angels announce the birth and what did these people do? A: To the shepherds (Luke 1:10_14), so they went to see the young child who was lying in a manger.
  5. Read together the words to "Hark the Herald Angels Sing" and check them against the Bible account. Then sing the song together.
  6. Read Luke 2:22_32. Q: What do we learn from this account about Jesus and His parents? A: (1) That they were zealous to keep the Law of Moses; (2) That they were poor for only the poor could offer a sacrifice of doves; (3) That God had promised Simeon that he would live to see the coming of the Lord's Christ; (4)That Simeon recognized Jesus as the fulfillment of that prophecy
  7. Read Luke 2:36_38. Q: What do we learn from these verses about Jesus? A: That another person whom God inspired to speak for Him recognized Jesus as the one who would bring redemption.
  8. Read Matthew 2:1_6. Q: Who else did God send to testify that Jesus was to be a king and tell of their visit? A: The Magi or wise men. They were guided by a star and asked Herod where the child would be born who was to be king of theJews. Herod felt threatened by this and asked the Jewish leaders who told him the prophets had said He was to be born in Bethlehem. The wise men went there, found the child, and offered expensive gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. God warned the wise men not to tell Herod where the child was. Read Luke 2:13_15. Q: What did Herod plan to do and what did God tell Joseph andMary to do? A: Since Herod was going to kill children two and under who lived in Bethlehem, God warned Jesus' parents to take Him to Egypt. Q: What do we see in this story about God's provision for Jesus and His parents? A: God protected Jesus from Herod by getting Him to Egypt. God made financial provision for this poor family through the gifts of the wise man. God saw that Jesus would fulfill another prophecy about being His son called out of Egypt.
  9. Read Matthew 2:21_23. Q: What does God do next and why is this important? A: Tells the family to return to Nazareth so the prophecy can be fulfilled that the coming one will be called a Nazarene.
  10. Read Luke 2:41_52. Q: What do we learn about Jesus from this incident? A: Jesus was unusually wise for His young years? Jesus was obedient to His parents. Jesus developed in a well_rounded way-mentally, physically, spiritually, and socially.
  11. In what ways does God work behind the scenes to achieve His purposes and to fulfill prophecies?

Application: (6 minutes)

  1. Memory verse: "Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord" (Luke 2:11). How can our response to this announcement belike that of the shepherds?
  2. Discuss how the birth of Jesus is another important step in the development of the mystery.
  3. Review the prophecies fulfilled in the birth of Jesus.
  4. How can we help to keep the benefits of the story of the birth of Jesus fresh in our minds all through the year?

Assignment and Evaluation:

  1. Study the worksheet to prepare for the Written Review over Lesson 6.

Download Worksheets

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