God Promises His Son

Primary Pals for Teachers
Unit 21 - God Keeps His Promises

TEXT: Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; Matthew 1:21-23


The students will be able to tell of God's promise of a Savior, and explain how this promise was fulfilled in the birth of Jesus.


Introduction: Bring to class several boxes with pictures on the outside indicating the contents, as described under In-Class Activities. Explain to your class that in a sense the box "promises" what the contents will be. Verses in God's Word are God's promises of Jesus' birth.

  1. Isaiah prophesied that God would give a sign: that a virgin would bear a son, whose name would be Immanuel.
  2. God promised that this Child would bring real and lasting hope. The prophecy of Christ sitting on the throne of David will come to pass as surely as His birth.
  3. The angel gives a message to Joseph revealing that Mary was to bear a special Son.

Climax: God's promise, given through Isaiah, was fulfilled when Jesus was born.

Conclusion: Because the promise of Jesus' birth was fulfilled, we can believe that the promises made to us will also be fulfilled.

Response: The students will be able to relate the promise and fulfillment studied in today's text, and will be able to explain that God will perform the promises He has made to us.


At first glance the prophecy in Isaiah 7:14 seems to have no connection with the birth of Christ.

Isaiah was standing before King Ahaz of Judah, who was about to be attacked by the kings of Syria and Israel. Isaiah told King Ahaz not to lose heart but to trust in God and ask for a sign. He refused to ask for a sign so Isaiah said God would give one anyway. The sign would be that a virgin would conceive and bear a son and before the child was old enough to know right from wrong Assyrians would come and destroy Ahaz's enemies. However, because of Judah's lack of faith, they, too, would be forsaken. This prophecy seems to find its immediate fulfillment in Isaiah 8:3-4 when Isaiah is given a son.

However, when the whole prophecy, from Isaiah 7:1 through 9:7, is considered, it becomes clear that God had much more in mind than just the local situation as is the case with most prophecies. This was indeed a prophecy of hope to a people without hope. God was promising to send a Child who would be called Immanuel which means "God with us." He would bring real and lasting hope and would be the manifestation of the eternal God (Isaiah 9:6-7), saving His people from the root cause of their trouble and establishing an everlasting Kingdom.

The birth of Jesus Christ beautifully fulfills this prophecy and, in fact, gives it its full meaning.


  • Bring a large wall calendar which shows the whole year and has space to write on it. Have the class help you write in important dates, such as their birthdays, youth camp, camp meeting, Easter, Christmas, first day of school. Explain how it is possible that some of these have already passed and you fully expect the other important events to happen. It was the same with the important birth of Jesus which was told to the prophets hundreds of years ago and they expected it to occur as we expect our birthday to come each year. So did they expect God to keep His promise of a Savior.
  • On the preceding Sunday you could promise a special treat to each one in your class who would come the next Sunday believing that you would keep your promise.
  • Have each class member read a verse of the lesson out loud. Ask the class which verses were the promise and which were the fulfilling of this promise.
  • From felt, cut two pieces for each basic finger puppet (see Patterns). Using paint, marking pens, or scraps of material, decorate two finger puppets, one for Joseph and one for Mary. Cut manger and two squares from light cardboard, assemble according to instructions (see Patterns for 16c). Fill with "straw" (yarn) and a tiny baby doll. Use these to tell the story of Jesus' birth.
  • Bring a large piece of parchment paper with a promise written on it concerning the birth of Jesus. Roll it up and tie it with a gold cord or ribbon. Have someone come to your class to present the promise at the appropriate time while you are telling the story. Use a picture of Baby Jesus to show the fulfillment.
  • Bring a box or boxes to class that picture what is inside. In a sense, the box "promises" what the contents will be. Verses in the Bible are God's promises of Jesus' birth. Put several small pictures of Jesus' birth (perhaps taken from Christmas cards) in places in your Bible where you wish to read a verse pertaining to His birth.


  1. What are some of the other names for Jesus?
  2. What does it mean to be a savior?
  3. Have you invited the Savior into your heart?
  4. Name some promises in the Bible that you have believed and then watched come to pass.
  5. Will all of God's promises come to pass?
  6. How did Isaiah know all about Jesus?
  7. Jesus' birth was a fulfillment of a promise. Name some other babies mentioned in the Bible that were born after God gave their parents a promise.
  8. Talk about some promises you have made. Did you keep them?
  9. What does "standing on the promises" mean?
  10. Jesus is God's promised Savior. What promise is given to us if we believe in Jesus?


  • Have gift boxes with things that represent good things and promises that God gives us. During class have the children open the boxes (one at a time) and discuss the promise the item represents. Examples: Heart—Love; Cross—Jesus' coming to save us; Crown—Reward for those who make Heaven; Angel—God's care for us.
  • In paper bags have some items that represent what we need to do to receive God's promises. Take out during class and discuss. Examples: heart—offer love to Him; Bible—learn God's promises; picture of folded hands—pray and talk to God.
  • Explain to your class that if something is important to us we make people "promises." Have your little ones give examples of promises they have made or fulfilled by giving. Prepare some examples of your own, using pictures to illustrate. For example: I promise I will take you to the zoo (show zoo picture). I promise to tell you a secret (show children whispering). I promise to share my toys with you (show children sharing).
  • Rainbows always make us think of promises. Give each child a rainbow book (see Patterns). Let them color the rainbow on the front cover. When they open the cover they can see and color the picture of God's promise come true.


From attractive cardboard, or cardboard covered with Contact paper cut a box form and fold on dotted lines and glue as indicated (see Patterns). Tie with ribbon and promise the children that each one will receive a gift. Then give each one a box and have a slicker of Jesus or a small gift inside. God promised us Jesus as a Gift and He kept His promise too.

Use other teachers and/or students to help you dramatize several small skits illustrating the keeping of promises. Some suggestions: If you get an "A" in math, I will make you a chocolate cake. If you help me with this job, we'll go fishing. If you save half the money, I will help you buy a new bike. Set up the situation with just one or two lines of dialogue, and then show the fulfillment of each promise. Close your review by briefly stating the unit theme—God Keeps His Promises.

Show the students a contract that was dated a year ago. Tell them the contract says that one year from that date the full payment of $100.00 (or whatever) will be made. The contract is signed, "Mr. Jones." Tell them this contract is the same as a promise. Next show them a check for $100.00. Tell them this is Mr. Jones' payment—the fulfillment of his promise. Compare this contract to the promise God gave—the promise of a Savior. The fulfillment of His promise was Jesus.