Wise Men Visit Jesus

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

TEXT: Matthew 2:1-12


The students will be able to tell of the wise men's journey as they followed the special star in search of the King—Jesus.


Introduction: Bring a number of small star stickers and pass them out to your children. Then bring out a large star such as might go on the top of a Christmas tree. (Or you could use one you have made from gold foil, glitter, etc.) Explain to your students that today your story is about a very special star.

  1. Explain that the wise men were important and powerful in their own land faraway in the East.
  2. They saw the star, realized its importance, and purposed to follow it.
  3. They came to Jerusalem, looking for the Christ Child, and there met King Herod.
  4. They were rewarded for their persistence and faith when the star led them to the Child they sought.

Climax: The wise men worshipped the Child and offered the gifts they had brought.

Conclusion: God led and directed the wise men through the miraculous guidance of the star.

Response: The students will be able to explain how and why the wise men made their journey and what happened when they reached their goal.


The term "wise men" in Bible times applied to those who had spent much of their time learning the wisdom of the day. Kings and potentates had wise men for advisors. Unfortunately, this class of people included astrologers (those who claim the position of the stars and planets foretell the future), soothsayers, magicians, and diviners. In the Bible, we first read about them when Pharaoh had a dream and called for his magicians and wise men. In Daniel we read that King Nebuchadnezzar called for the magicians, astrologers, sorcerers, and Chaldeans to interpret his dream. Belshazzar called for astrologers, Chaldeans, and soothsayers to interpret the writing on the wall. Of course, none of these so-called "wise men" could make any interpretation. Joseph was called in to interpret Pharaoh's dream and he told Pharaoh that God would give him the answer. Daniel was called in to interpret Nebuchadnezzar's dream and he bluntly told the king that the wise men, astrologers, magicians, and soothsayers could not show the king the dream, but God could. Daniel was also able to read the handwriting on the wall because he was truly a wise man and served the living God.

It is certainly apparent that the wise men who came to see Jesus were more than pretenders. In some way God had revealed to them that the King of the Jews was born. The revelation must have made a deep impression to cause these wise men to travel all that distance and bring gifts to a Baby they probably never saw again in their lifetime.


  • Discuss how the wise men brought beautiful gifts to Jesus. Show pictures of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Tell the children that God wants our best. Cut a heart into several pieces and let them help you put it together to see what is the best thing we can give to Jesus.
  • Bring an empty gift-wrapped box to class in which you have cut a slit so slips of paper can be inserted. Give the children paper on which to write or draw what they would like to give to Jesus. Encourage them to think about their own personal lives and to give something no one else could give. Place these slips in the box as gifts.
  • As you tell the story of the sweet-smelling gifts that the wise men brought to Jesus, help your students make their own sweet-smelling gifts to give. Fruit pomanders can be made with apples, oranges, or limes. You will need one fruit for each child. Prick the fruit's skin with a fork. Instruct the children to insert one whole clove into each hole. The fruit should be completely covered with cloves, then wrapped in nylon net (about an 8" square for each fruit). Secure the ends of the net with a ribbon. Tell the children to place their pomander on a saucer or small bowl and let it cure in a cool, dry place for about four days. Then it may be given to the person of their choice.
  • Help your students make soap sachets for gifts. Give them small bars of soap and some Christmas print fabrics in which to wrap the soap. Secure the ends with craft glue and trim with ¼" ribbon to resemble tiny packages.

Special Instructions for Unit 28: Refer to Lessons 4d and 16d for additional ideas.


  1. What do you think the wise men looked like?
  2. What gifts did they bring?
  3. How do you think the wise men heard about Jesus' being born?
  4. What does worship mean?
  5. How do we worship Jesus?
  6. How did the star show the wise men where Jesus was?
  7. How does God lead us?
  8. What treasures or gifts can we give Jesus?
  9. What would Jesus like for you to give Him that would be even better than all the treasures in the world?


  • Cut out several stars and cover them with foil or glitter. Give them to the children to hold up while you tell the story.
  • Make wise men envelope puppets for each child (see Patterns). Seal the legal-size envelopes and cut off one end of each. Cut out armholes for fingers to go through.
  • Decorate to look like wise men (each one different). Let the children help their wise men follow the star to find Baby Jesus.
  • Bake star-shaped cookies for the children to enjoy while listening to the story.
  • Let your little ones do the dot-to-dot star (see Patterns) as you talk about the special star the wise men followed.


Show a large star and a Bible. Talk about how the wise men followed the star—it was their guide. Every night they checked to see where it was. The Bible is our guide. When the children learn their memory verse and do what it says they are letting God's Word be their guide.

Bring three gifts:
bag of chocolate pieces covered with foil
two large bottles of perfume—various shapes
heart-shaped box with picture of Jesus inside

Talk about the gifts the wise men brought as you unwrap the gifts or have a child unwrap them. Save the heart-shaped box until last. As it is opened, tell them that each of them have a heart that they can give to Jesus.

Dress in a wise man costume. Fill a suitcase with things possibly needed for the journey to find the Christ Child. As you pull the items out of the suitcase, have the children name them. Discuss why they might have been needed. Examples: Best clothes—going to visit a King; Crown—to prove their royalty; Large handkerchief—to wipe brow in heat; Camel (toy, carved, or picture)—for transportation; Bucket—to give camel water; Gift—for Christ Child; Money—for food and lodging on journey. Have a large Christmas tree star hung nearby and have someone plug it in after you are through talking about gifts. Quickly put all the items back into your travel bag and say, "See, there's His star! I must be going!"