Sunday School Lesson

The Magi Visit Jesus

Matthew 2:1-12
When the Magi saw a new star, they traveled a long distance to worship the newborn King Jesus and to present Him with precious gifts. Through story-telling, games and a craft, kids learn that Jesus is worthy of our worship and our gifts too! Send them home with a treasure chest with a pop-up heart to remind them to worship Jesus, our Savior and King!

Lesson Overview

1

Get Them Curious

Prepare kids for an exciting
learning journey.

Spot the New Emoji

Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus 1

Players must race the clock and identify the new emoji that has been added.

2

Screen Time

Show kids a video on the
Bible story.

The Magi Visit Jesus

Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus 2

The Story of Christmas (Jesus and the Wise Men), by Saddleback Kids

3

Make it Stick

Help kids remember the
Bible story.

The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story

Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus 3

Kids arrange 14 Emojis in sequence, then use them as prompts to re-tell the story of The Magi Visit Jesus.

4

Dig Deeper

Help kids grasp
the big idea.

A Gift for Jesus

Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus 4

Kids make a Treasure Chest with a Pop-up Heart for Jesus.

5

Walk the Talk

Help kids live out
the
big idea.

Mystery Stocking

Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus 5

Using their sense of touch, players must guess what the mystery stocking contains.

6

Take it Home

Send kids home with a concrete action plan and fun midweek activities.

I Will Worship Jesus

Worship Jesus not just with words but also with actions.

Big Idea

Jesus deserves our worship.

Key Verse

They bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Matthew 2:11

Live it Out

We should worship Jesus as our Savior and King.

This Sunday School Lesson requires some advance preparation. For a consolidated summary of preparation, supplies and free printables required, please scroll to the bottom of this lesson.

1. Get Them Curious – Spot the New Emoji

Remember to download, print and cut up the Spot the New Emoji Printable Cards in advance.

Spot the New Emoji Cards

Set up each round by placing 12 Emoji cards on a table or on the floor, visible to all the kids.
For each round, allow players 30 seconds to look at the cards.
(You can vary the number of cards and timing according to the age/ability of the players.)

 

After the given time, have 2 helpers hold up a towel or bedsheet to block the players’ view as you add 1 new card. (You can also rearrange the existing cards to make it more challenging.)

 

Remove the towel or bedsheet.
Players must quickly identify and shout out the new emoji that has just been added.

 

Play as many rounds as you like.
To make the game progressively challenging and exciting, increase the number of cards and reduce the viewing time with each round.

For the final round, the new Emoji card that you add must be the Star emoji:

Spot the New Emoji Cards Star

 

Discuss:

  • Did you enjoy this game?
  • Are you generally good at noticing new things?
  • What new card was added in the final round of today’s game?
  • Do you remember a Bible story about a group of people spotting a new star?
  • Can anyone guess the title of today’s Bible story?

Say: Let’s watch a short video on The Story of Christmas (Jesus and the Wise Men).

 

Pray: Dear God, thank you for our Spot the New Emoji game! Please help us learn the Bible story about the wise men visiting Jesus and teach us how you want us to live out today’s lesson. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

2. Screen Time – The Magi Visit Jesus

This is our favorite YouTube video on The Magi Visit Jesus: https://youtu.be/Zk1LhnqROCM

Before you begin, tell the children to pay attention to the various events in the story.

3. Make it Stick – The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story 

Remember to download The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story Printable, The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story Prompts, and Slide 2 (Solution).

The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story Printable    The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story Prompts

Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus Slide2

Print 1 copy of The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story Printable for each group of kids.

 

Discuss: What Bible story did we just watch?

Show Slide 1 (Sunday School Lesson Title & Bible Reference):
Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus Slide1

For older kids, you may like to have them open their Bibles to today’s passage.

Say: Let’s see if we can use Emojis to help us re-tell the story of The Magi Visit Jesus.

 

Divide into small groups.
(We suggest a group size of 3-5 kids. Groups can be larger, but smaller groups allow everyone to be involved.)

Give each group:

  • The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story Printable
  • Scissors
  • Re-stickable Glue Stick

Part 1 – Sequencing Emojis

Read out the story prompts, one at a time, from The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story Prompts you have downloaded. 

The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story Prompts

(You can also show the story prompts on a screen.)

After reading each prompt, give kids some time discuss and look at the first page of The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story Printable: 

The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story Printable-01

They must choose 1 emoji that is most representative of that prompt.
Cut out that Emoji and paste it on the second page of their Moses and the Burning Bush Emoji Story Printable: 
The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story Printable-02     

 

For example:

  • Prompt 1 says, “Some wise men from the east spotted a new star.”
  • Kids look at all the emojis and decide to choose the star emoji ⭐
  • They must cut out the star emoji and paste it on the first square

(We recommend using re-stickable glue sticks so that kids can move the Emojis around if they change their minds later.)

Carry on until you have read out all 14 prompts, and kids have finished sticking all 14 emojis.

You may want to read out all 14 prompts one more time for kids to confirm their choices.

 

Finally, show Slide 2 (The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story Solution): 
Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus Slide2

 

Part 2 – Re-telling the Story

By now, the kids should be familiar with the 14 emojis and the story of The Magi Visit Jesus.

Continue showing Slide 2 (The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story Solution).

Starting with the first emoji, have each group take turns to re-tell (in their own words) the part of the story represented by each emoji.

The Good Shepherd Christian Card Game

4. Dig Deeper – A Gift for Jesus

Remember to download Treasure Chest Craft Printable and prepare all necessary materials in advance.
Treasure Chest Craft Printable

Show kids a sample of the Treasure Chest Craft that you have made.

Tell kids they will be making their own Treasure Chest Crafts.

 

You will need for each child:

  • 1 Treasure Chest Craft Printable
  • Scissors
  • Sticky Tape or glue

To make the Treasure Chest Craft:
1. Cut out all the pieces, along the black solid lines.
2. Carefully cut a slit for the latch, along the black solid line (kids will need help with this).
Treasure Chest Craft1

3. Fold along the dashed lines.
Treasure Chest Craft2


4. Apply some glue on the white flaps to assemble your treasure chest.
Treasure Chest Craft3


5. Take the L-shaped strip of paper. Fold the longer side over the shorter side, along the grey dashed line.
Treasure Chest Craft4


6. Continue folding in accordion style.
Treasure Chest Craft5

7. Continue folding until you have reached the end of paper. Glue the 2 ends together.
Treasure Chest Craft6

8. Glue on the Heart.
Treasure Chest Craft7

9. Glue the pop-up heart to the inside bottom of your Treasure Chest.
Treasure Chest Craft8

10. Close the treasure chest and slot in the latch.

Discuss: What does our Treasure Chest with Pop-up Hearts have to do with today’s story?

 

Read Matthew 2:11

Show Slide 3 (Key Verse): 
Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus Slide3

Have everyone read the slide.

 

Discuss: What did the Magi from the east do when they found Jesus?

Read Matthew 2:1-2

Discuss: Why did they do this?

 

Say:

  • When the Magi saw a new star, they knew that the King of the Jews has been born.
  • They traveled a long distance from the eastern land to Jerusalem to search for the newborn King.
  • When they found Jesus, they bowed down and worshiped Him, and they presented Him with special gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
  • They honored Jesus because they knew Jesus was no ordinary King. Jesus was worthy of their worship and their gifts.
  • Jesus is not just our King. He is also our Savior!
  • Jesus is worthy of our worship and our gifts too!

Show Slide 4 (Big Idea): 
Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus Slide4

Have everyone read the slide.

5. Walk the Talk – Mystery Stocking

Remember to prepare a Christmas Stocking and a variety of objects to be placed inside the stocking during the game.

If you are playing with a very large group, you may like to split into two or more smaller groups.

Have each group sit in a circle.

You will need to for each group:

  • 1 stocking
  • 1 set of the following mystery objects that can be associated with worshiping God:
Mystery ObjectHow this object relates to worshiping God
Any small musical instrument (For example: maracas, castanet, bells, triangle, harmonica)We can worship God by singing praises.
We can worship God by playing music.
BibleWe can worship God by reading the Bible.
We can worship God by obeying God’s Word.
MoneyWe can worship God by tithing.
We can worship God by giving to the needy.
Bottle of waterWe can worship God by giving a bottle of water to someone who is thirsty.
Christmas cookieWe can worship God by sharing the food that we have.
SweaterWe can worship God by sharing the clothes that we have.
Gospel tractWe can worship God by telling others about Him.
Band-AidWe can worship God by caring for someone who is hurt or sick.
Packet of tissue paperWe can worship God by comforting those who are sad.
A school book, pen or pencilWe can worship God by doing our best in school.
We can worship God by helping others with their homework.
Watch / Clock (used to symbolize time)We can worship God by spending time with Him (reading the Bible, praying, going to church).
We can also worship God by using our time wisely to do things that please God (e.g. studying, helping others).

Secretly place 1 mystery object in the stocking.

Hand the stocking to the youngest player.
The player must not look inside the stocking but just put one hand in to feel the object inside.
The player will try to guess the object or pass the mystery bag to the left if they need help.
Once any player guesses correctly, show the object to everyone.

Set the first mystery object aside.

Secretly place a second mystery object in the stocking.
Hand the stocking to the next player.

Carry on until you have used up all the mystery objects.

Discuss:

  • Did you enjoy the game?
  • Was it easy to guess the object?
  • Have you ever received any Christmas gifts placed in stockings?
  • What were some Christmas gifts that you have received?
  • Were there some gifts that you liked more than others? Tell us more.
  • What gifts did the Magi give to Jesus?

Say:

  • In today’s story, the Magi worshiped Jesus and gave him special gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh because they knew Jesus was no ordinary King.
  • Jesus is not just our King. He is also our Savior!

Have kids look at all the mystery objects.

Discuss:

  • What are some ways we can worship Jesus?
  • What are some gifts we can give Jesus?

Say:

  • In today’s story, the Magi bowed down and worshiped Jesus and they presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
  • Jesus is worthy of our worship and our gifts too!
  • We should worship Jesus as our Savior and King.

Show Slide 5 (Live it Out): 
Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus Slide5

Have everyone read the slide.

6. Take it Home – I Will Worship Jesus

Say: Let’s recall all that we have learned today. Can you remember the title of today’s Bible Story?

Show Slide 1 again (Sunday School Lesson Title & Bible Reference):
Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus Slide1

Have everyone read the slide.

 

Say: Can you remember today’s big idea?

Show Slide 4 again (Big Idea):
Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus Slide4

Have everyone read the slide.

 

Say: Can you remember today’s key verse?

Show Slide 3 again (Key Verse): 
Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus Slide3

Have everyone read the slide.

 

Say: How can we live out today’s lesson?

Show Slide 5 again (Live it Out): 
Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus Slide5

Have everyone read the slide.

 

Say: In the game we just played, we learned that there are many ways we can worship Jesus.

Discuss: How will you worship Jesus this week?

 

Give each child a copy of The Magi Visit Jesus Take it Home Handout.

 

 

Discuss:

  • What is one way you will worship Jesus this week?
  • Write that down on the first page of the Live it Out section.
  • Then spend some time worshiping Jesus in a prayer.
  • The other pages are for you to do at home. Tell me next week about what you did at home!

Give everyone some time to write down their Live it Out action plan before ending the lesson with this closing prayer:

Pray: Dear Jesus, thank you for today’s Bible lesson on The Magi Visit Jesus. Thank you that you are our King and our Savior. You are worthy of our worship and our gifts. We want to worship you not only by singing praises, but also in our lives. Please help us to worship you this week! In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Bible Spot It

Lesson Preparation and Supplies

Here’s a summary of all the preparation, supplies and free printables required for this lesson.

1

Get Them Curious

Prepare kids for an exciting
learning journey.

Spot the New Emoji

Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus 1

Players must race the clock and identify the new emoji that has been added.

Download, print and cut up the Spot the New Emoji Printable Cards.

Spot the New Emoji Cards

 

You will also need a large towel or bedsheet.

2

Screen Time

Show kids a video on the
Bible story.

The Magi Visit Jesus

Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus 2

The Story of Christmas (Jesus and the Wise Men), by Saddleback Kids

Ensure that you can play this YouTube video:
The Story of Christmas (Jesus and the Wise Men), by Saddleback Kids  (Video URL: https://youtu.be/Zk1LhnqROCM)

3

Make it Stick

Help kids remember the
Bible story.

The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story

Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus 3

Kids arrange 14 Emojis in sequence, then use them as prompts to re-tell the story of The Magi Visit Jesus.

Download Slide 1 (Sunday School Lesson Title & Bible Reference):
Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus Slide1

 

Download The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story Printable.

The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story Printable

Give each group:

  • The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story Printable
  • Scissors
  • Re-stickable Glue Stick

(We suggest a group size of 3-5 kids. Groups can be larger, but smaller groups allow everyone to be involved.)

 

Download The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story Prompts.

The Magi Visit Jesus Emoji Story Prompts

 

Download Slide 2 (Solution):
Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus Slide2

4

Dig Deeper

Help kids grasp
the big idea.

A Gift for Jesus

Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus 4

Kids make a Treasure Chest with a Pop-up Heart for Jesus.

Download the Treasure Chest Craft Printable.
Treasure Chest Craft Printable

Make 1 Treasure Chest with Pop-up Heart in advance.
(Follow the instructions in “Dig Deeper” section above.)
You will need to show kids your sample craft.

 

You will need for each child:

  • 1 Treasure Chest Craft Printable (printed on cardstock)
  • Scissors
  • Sticky Tape or glue

Download Slide 3 (Key Verse):
Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus Slide3

 

Download Slide 4 (Big Idea):
Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus Slide4

5

Walk the Talk

Help kids live out
the big idea
.

Mystery Stocking

Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus 5

Using their sense of touch, players must guess what the mystery stocking contains.

For this game, everyone will be seated in a circle. However, if your class is very large, you may like to split into two or more smaller groups.
You will need for each group:

  • 1 Christmas stocking
  • A variety of objects that relate to the lesson: 
    Bible; Money; Bottle of water; Christmas cookie; Sweater; Gospel tract; Band-Aid; Packet of tissue paper; A school book, pen or pencil;
    Watch or Clock. (Details on how these suggested objects relate to the lesson can be found in the “Walk the Talk” section above)
  • Small prizes for volunteers who have guessed correctly.

Download Slide 5 (Live It Out):
Sunday School Lesson - The Magi Visit Jesus Slide5

6

Take it Home

Send kids home with a concrete action plan and fun midweek activities.

I Will Worship Jesus

Worship Jesus not just with words but also with actions.

Download The Magi Visit Jesus Take it Home Handout. You will need to print 1 copy for each child.

 

It would be good to tell parents about the Take it Home Handout. Encourage them to do the suggested family activity with their child.

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