Angel to Mary and Joseph

Primary Pals for Teachers
Unit 28 - God's Gift—Jesus

TEXT: Matthew 1:18-25; Luke 1:26-38


The students will be able to recount how an angel announced the coming birth of Jesus, God's Son, to Mary and Joseph.


Introduction: Use the angel puzzle pattern described under Preschool Suggestions as your opener. (Or you could make a more complicated puzzle from any enlarged angel pattern previously given.) Spread the pieces out in front of your students and allow them to put the puzzle together. Explain that the completed puzzle will show who brought a special message to Mary and Joseph.

  1. An angel appeared to Mary and told her she was highly favored and blessed.
  2. He explained that she would bear God's Son, Jesus.
  3. Mary showed her willing and obedient spirit.
  4. After Mary was found with child, an angel appeared to Joseph. The angel told him the Child was conceived of the Holy Ghost.

Climax: Mary and Joseph believed the message of the angel.

Conclusion: Jesus was a very special Baby because God was His Father.

Response: Students should be able to answer review questions concerning the announcement of the angel to Mary and Joseph. They should also be able to tell why Jesus was a special Child.


While it is rather unusual for angels to appear to mortals, God does use them as messengers occasionally. We have records of their having appeared to Abraham, Hagar, Lot, Balaam, Gideon, Daniel, and others. In all probability Mary had heard about the angel's foretelling that her elderly cousin would have a son. In any event, Mary does not seem to fear the angel as Zacharias did, but she was troubled at his salutation. Perhaps she wondered why she was blessed among women. The angel told her that she was the one the Lord had chosen to be the mother of Jesus. This was in fulfillment of Isaiah 7:14, which foretold that a virgin would bear a son.

The willingness of Mary to accept the angelic announcement (Luke 1:38) was an indication of her devotion to God. Mary was engaged to Joseph and she undoubtedly was aware of the consequences of being found pregnant. She could be branded as an immoral woman and Joseph could legally divorce her. It was the custom of that day for the parents to arrange the marriage. For a period of a year the couple was engaged before they came together. This engagement was not to be broken unless one or the other proved to be unfaithful, and then it could be broken only by a legal divorce.

Since Mary left shortly after the angelic announcement, Joseph's knowledge of her condition may not have been until her return three months later. Joseph loved Mary, but he considered putting her away privately. Then an angel appeared to him in a dream and told him to take Mary for his wife, as that which was conceived in her was of the Holy Ghost. The Bible says Joseph was a just man and he proved his willingness to take Mary for his wife and endure whatever persecution might follow.


  • Make a paper-plate angel for each child (see Patterns). As they each hold their angel, ask them the various questions from the Teacher's Guide, about angels.
  • The children would probably enjoy making their own angel ornament to help remind them of the angel's visit to Mary and Joseph. Copy and cut out one angel for each student (see Patterns). Help them fold and tape (or staple) their angel. Stuff with tissue paper or shredded paper. Punch a hole in the top and tie together with yarn.
  • Use paper dolls to help tell this portion of the Christmas story (see Patterns).
  • Bring several props to illustrate ways we might receive a special message: a telegram, telephone, letter, newspaper. Talk about some dramatic ways people have chosen to deliver a message: sky writing, billboard, etc. Then tell your students that your lesson today is about the most exciting message ever received, and one that was delivered in the most exciting way.

Special Instructions for this Lesson: Refer to Lessons 4a and 16a for additional ideas.


  1. How do you think Mary felt when the angel talked to her? How would you feel if an angel talked to you? Would you be afraid or excited?
  2. How do you think Joseph felt when the angel talked to him?
  3. How many people do you know who have seen angels?
  4. What do you think an angel looks like?
  5. Why do you think God chose Mary to take care of Baby Jesus?
  6. Do you think Mary knew who Jesus was? Why?
  7. Why did Jesus come to this earth? Why did He come as a poor baby instead of a rich king?


  • Popsicle stick figures can be used to act out the story (see Patterns).
  • Use paper-bag puppets to help you tell this story to the children (see Patterns).
  • Copy and cut out the angel puzzle for each of your students (see Patterns). Help them put their puzzles together in the frame to see who brought the special message to Mary and Joseph.


Use three children to act as Mary, Joseph, and the Angel. (Narrate the story throughout the scenes.) First, have Mary sitting on a chair sewing or doing some handwork. Have the angel come into the room and Mary appear afraid. Both may then leave. (The scene changes to Joseph's house here.) Joseph is sleeping. The angel enters again. After the angel leaves, have Joseph sit up and rub his eyes as if just waking. He may then get up and leave, re-entering with Mary, as narrator concludes story with Joseph and Mary's getting married.

Choose the youngest girl teacher and have her come to the front of the room. Tell the children that God chose a young lady to be the mother of Jesus and compare the age of the young teacher and Mary. Have a large clean heart pinned or taped to the back of the young teacher ahead of time. Ask the children if they know why God chose Mary. Have her turn around and show them she had a clean heart and God was pleased with her. Mention that we want to have a clean heart so God can use us for something special too.

Tell of the angel's visit to Mary and Joseph by using patterns and illustrations from the Primary Pals and put together an overhead review. Make transparencies and overlays of the following:

Mary working—(overlays of Angel, Baby in thought balloon)

Joseph sleeping—(overlays of Angel, Mary in dream balloon, Baby in dream balloon)

Mary and Joseph together


  • The Birth of Jesus — Elaine lfe, Thomas Nelson Publishing