JESUS as a child

Bible Passage: Matthew 2; Luke 2

Story Point: Even as a child, Jesus wanted to do His Father’s plan.

Key Passage: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. John 1:1-2 (NIV)

What is God Like: God is personal. (He is fully God and fully a human)

CHRIST CONNECTION: God sent Jesus to earth with a purpose. Even as a child, Jesus wanted to honor God. God blessed Jesus as He got ready to follow His Father’s plan: to die on the cross and rescue people from sin.








Consider questions that pursue the heart of your child during natural points of connection. Here's one for during a walk or at the dinner table this week:

  • In Our Bible story, Jesus assumed His parents would know that He would be hanging out at the temple.

  • Where’s the first place you think to look for me?

  • Where’s the first place I should ever look for you?



  1. Why did Jesus’ family travel to Jerusalem? (for a special celebration called Passover)

  2. How old was Jesus in today’s story? (12 years old)

  3. What did Mary and Joseph realize after they were on their way home to Nazareth? (Jesus was not with them; they couldn’t find Jesus.)

  4. Where did Mary and Joseph find Jesus? (the temple)

  5. Why did Jesus stay at the temple? (to listen to the teachers and ask questions, to be in His Father’s house)


  1. Why did Mary and Joseph travel to Jerusalem each year? (for the Passover, Luke 2:41)

  2. How long did it take Mary and Joseph to find Jesus? (three days, Luke 2:46)

  3. What about Jesus astounded people? (His understanding and His answers, Luke 2:46-47)

  4. Why do you think Jesus’ understanding and wisdom were so surprising? Help kids understand that Jesus would have seemed like an ordinary 12-year-old just by looking at Him. Remind kids that Jesus is fully God and fully human. Jesus was able to understand and explain God’s Word as One who had studied it for many years, despite His young age.

  5. Why do you think Jesus said it was necessary for Him to be in His Father’s house? Guide kids to understand that Jesus’ Father is God. Remind them that Jesus is God the Son, and He knew God’s plans for His life: to make the way for sinners to have eternal life. Jesus understood that He would need to rely on God’s power to obey Him, and Jesus wanted to obey God always.

  6. How can we live out God’s plans for us? Discuss the idea that God’s plan for all believers is for us to glorify Him by loving others, obeying Him out of love, and sharing the gospel throughout the earth. Remind kids that we can live on mission no matter where we are.



find the star

WHAT YOU NEED: star cookie cutter, cutout star from paper or anything star-shaped

WHAT TO DO: Hide a star somewhere in the room. Invite kids to find the star and bring it to you. For a competitive twist, hide multiple stars and see who can find the most in a given time limit.

WHAT YOU SAY: The wise men who visited Jesus followed a bright star. When they found Jesus in Bethlehem, they presented Him with gold, frankincense, and myrrh—three valuable treasures. Jesus was no ordinary child, and His extraordinary nature would become more and more clear as He grew up. How did we see Jesus was different from other kids his age in the Bible story?

amazing seats

WHAT YOU NEED: scraps of paper and pencil

WHAT TO DO: Explain that several world records are held by kids who have accomplished amazing feats. Form teams or give each individual a paper and pencil Describe a world record and ask a question. Team members or individuals should write it on a piece of paper. Award one point to the person closest to the correct answer.

  • A 9-year-old boy set the world record for most claps in 1 minute. How many times did he clap? (1,080)

  • A team of 12 jumpers and 2 rope holders set the world record for most jumps over a rope in 1 minute. How many times did they jump? (230)

  • A fifth grade girl set the record for longest distance to stretch homemade slime in 30 seconds. How many inches did it stretch? (88)

  • A 17-year-old boy set the record for the world’s largest drawing. How many square feet did it cover? (3,486)

  • A group of children set the record for largest gathering of people dressed as rabbits. How many children participated? (1,119)

WHAT TO SAY: Those were some amazing feats! Did you know that when Jesus was 12 years old, teachers in the temple were amazed by Him?



WHAT YOU DO: Invite a child to open your Bible to John 1:1-2. Read the key passage aloud. Mention that Word begins with the letter W. Guide boys and girls to pretend to write a large W with their index fingers in the air. Say the verse a few times, writing a W each time Word is spoken.

WHAT YOU SAY: The Word is Jesus. A few verses after our key passage says the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. Jesus brought God’s Word to life right here on planet earth! He lived with people. He knows what it is like to be like us, but He never sinned.


"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1


"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning." John 1:1-2


pack for a trip

WHAT YOU NEED: luggage items such as suitcases, duffel bags, backpacks, or totes. Access to child’s clothes and toiletries

WHAT TO DO: Invite preschoolers to pretend to pack for a trip. They may pack items such as play food, toys, or books. They may also want to pack clothing and toiletries.

WHAT TO SAY: In today’s Bible story, Jesus and His family took a trip to Jerusalem. I wonder what they packed? Jesus took a trip from heaven to earth too. Jesus came to earth to do His Father’s plan to rescue people from sin.

where is it?

WHAT YOU NEED: To be in an area where there are things around to describe

WHAT TO DO: Look around the room or outside. Choose an item and describe it to preschoolers, mentioning its color and shape. Give additional clues and ask if he or she knows where the item is. Encourage them to point it out. Allow children to take turns describing items too.

WHAT TO SAY: When Jesus was 12 years old, He went with His parents, Mary and Joseph, to Jerusalem. After the celebration, Mary and Joseph started traveling home with a large group of people. Later, they discovered Jesus was not with them! They did not know where He was. Do you remember from the Bible story where Jesus was?




Guide kids to think about and answer one or two journaling prompts. Be sure to join them.

  • What does this story teach me about God or the gospel?

  • What does the story teach me about myself?

  • Are there things God is asking me to do in this story? How are they for God’s glory and my good?

  • Are there any promises in this story to remember? How do they help me trust and love God?

  • What characteristics of God do I see in this story?

  • What does the story teach me about people around me?

  • If I’m honest, what parts of this are hard to understand or believe?

talking to kids about the gospel...

Here’s one way we talk about the gospel with elementary kids

A- We are God’s most treasured creation! Created to be with Him. However, there’s a problem. It’s sin. Sin is anything we do that isn’t what God wants for us. We’ve all done it, even me. And sin gets in the way of us having a relationship with God. We need to admit we have this problem!

B- Believe that Jesus is who He says He is and did what He said He did in order to make a way for our relationship with God to be made whole again...specifically He loves you SO MUCH that...”Christ died for our sins, just as Scripture said he would. He was buried. He was raised from the dead on the third day, just as Scripture said he would be.” (1 Cor. 15: 3-4) He took the punishment we deserved.

C- Choose to put your faith in Jesus. Jesus says that our response, or the way we accept it is by faith. In other words putting our trust in Him.