This children’s sermon on Matthew 2:13-23 is for a text the lectionary assigned to the first Sunday after Christmas. I missed the opportunity to write on it back then, but I’ve already written on the Sunday coming up as I write.
(You can find the children’s sermons for the Second Sunday of Lent in Year A with John 3:1-17 through this link and Matthew 17:1-9 through this link. Or you can find the Monday Meditations for these texts with John 3:1-17 through this link or Matthew 17:1-9 through this link.)
The story has one conundrum: The angel says that “the prophets” say that the Messiah will be “a Nazarean,” so Jesus has to move to Nazareth. Problem is, there is no OT prophecy that says that. Scholars have puzzled about it, but it isn’t a kid-size problem. Let me know what you think of my solution!
You can use this children’s sermon on Matthew 2:13-23 out of season of course, whenever this text is relevant in your church’s life — like if you are considering how Jesus’ life fulfilled OT prophecies of the Messiah. Or you can use it as a bedtime story with your kids. Or, hopefully, people will find it by Google search next time it rolls around!
A Children’s Sermon on Matthew 2:13-23
Good Morning kids! I am so glad to see you. Thanks for coming up to hear the children’s sermon.
Today is the first Sunday in Christmas Season. Christmas isn’t just one day. The birth of Jesus is so important, so amazing, that we always take twelve whole days to celebrate it.
Our story from the Gospels tells about some of the places Jesus lived. I don’t know if you have ever moved to a new town, but when Jesus was very little, his family moved a couple of times.
Our story starts with the Magi. The Magi had come from a far away country to find out where the Messiah was to be born.
When they got to Jerusalem, they asked the the Bible experts, “We have seen a new star! We believe it means a new king has been born near here. What do the holy books say? Where should we go to find the new king?”
“Bethlehem” said the Bible experts. ”Definitely Bethlehem.”
“Why there” asked the Magi?”
“Two reasons” said the Bible experts. “First, the Messiah is supposed to be from old king David’s family. Bethlehem was king David’s city long ago.”
“What’s the other reason?” asked the Magi.
“One of the prophets wrote about it,” said one of the Bible experts. “He wrote ‘Out of you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.’”
“Ah,” said one of the Magi. “So when we find the child in Bethlehem, we’ll know it’s really true—and it will be true for always and always.”
The Magi traveled to Bethlehem, of course, and they found Jesus, Mary, and Joseph there.
But one night, after the Magi had gone home, Joseph had a dream.
An angel appeared to him in the dream. “Joseph,” said the angel, “don’t be afraid. But you need to take your family far away. You need to move to Egypt.”
“Move to Egypt?” asked Joseph. “Why do we have to move to Egypt?”
“Two reasons,” said the angel. “First, King Herod is jealous. He heard Jesus is a new king so Herod plans to kill him.”
“Oh no!” said Joseph. “What’s the second reason?”
The angel said, “One of the prophets in the Bible wrote the Messiah would come out of Egypt. You need to move to Egypt now, so later Jesus can come back from there. Then it will be true for always and always.”
Joseph and Mary and the baby Jesus did move to Egypt. They found a place to live. Joseph found work as a carpenter. Mary made friends with other moms. And Jesus grew.
But then one night, Joseph had another dream.
Once again an angel appeared. “Don’t be afraid, Joseph,” said the angel. “I have good news for you. King Herod has died, so you can move back to Judea!”
“Oh,” said Joseph. “Do we have to? I mean, we’ve sort of settled in here. I have a job. Mary has friends. Things are going really well here in Egypt.”
“Sorry,” said the angel, “but you really do need to move to Judea. That’s where Jesus will grow up to be the Messiah.”
“So where do we have to live this time?” asked Joseph.
“Oh, you can pick the town,” said the angel. “Where do you want to live?”
Joseph thought about it for a minute. Then he said “Maybe we’ll move back to Nazareth. I’ll see if Mary likes that idea.”
“I think it’s a great idea,” said the Angel. “For two reasons.”
“What are the two reasons?” asked Joseph. “You tell me, and I’ll tell Mary.”
The angel said, “For one, both of you have friends and family in Nazareth. And for another reason, the prophets said the Messiah would be a Nazarean.”
“Wait a minute,” said Joseph. “I don’t remember ever reading that in the Bible.”
“Oh,” said the Angel, “it’s not on the Bible. They didn’t write it down. The prophets said it. They just talked about it.”
“Okay,” said Joseph. “I get it. Now it will be true for always and always.”
- I wonder how Mary and Joseph felt about being told they had to move again and again?
- I wonder what would have happened if Joseph had said he wouldn’t go to Bethlehem, or Egypt, or Nazareth?
- I wonder if you’ll ever move—and what God will have in store for you when you get there?
You are, of course, free to use this children’s sermon, or adapt it as you find most useful. But, if you use it, please do one (or more!) of the following.
- You can let me know that you are using it, either in the comments below, or using the contact form above.
- You can put a little notice in your church bulletin that your children’s sermon is adapted from one published on GaryNealHansen.com.
- You can support my work over on Patreon. (Just $1 per month brings my children’s sermons straight to your inbox about two minutes after they go live. And every little bit keeps me going…)
Leave a Reply