The Gospel Project

This week’s lesson in StoneWater Kids.

Zechariah the Prophet

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Zechariah was a priest who had been born in Babylon. He had returned to Jerusalem with Zerubbabel. At this time, the prophet Haggai was bringing God’s message to His people. The Judean exiles were struggling to finish rebuilding God’s temple. In fact, several years had passed without progress on the temple when God called Zechariah to prophesy to His people.

Zechariah’s message was twofold: first, look back and remember the past. Second, look forward and prepare for the future. God wanted His people to learn from the mistakes of their parents and grandparents who had ignored the prophets’ warnings. Zechariah set out to encourage the people.

The Book of Zechariah is organized into eight visions, four messages, and two oracles. The visions Zechariah saw each symbolized something God would do—such as rebuild Jerusalem, judge Israel’s enemies, and remove national sin. (See Zech. 1–6.) A couple of years later, God spoke to Zechariah again. This time, God spoke four messages to respond to a question the people had about fasting. (Zech. 7:3)

In the last six chapters, Zechariah changed the subject to the future of God’s kingdom. Chapters 9–12 are rich with Messianic prophecy; the words are quoted often in the New Testament. Compare Zechariah 9:9 with John 12:15; Zechariah 11:13 with Matthew 27:9; and Zechariah 12:10 with John 19:37.

As you talk with your kids about Zechariah, emphasize God’s promise: “A king is coming.” Zechariah’s visions were significant to the reality of God’s people at that time, but a greater reality awaited. Zechariah pointed to Jesus, the coming deliverer who would be struck and pierced to take away sin. God would deal with His people’s enemies. He would cleanse His people. “They will call on my name, and I will answer them; I will say, ‘They are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The LORD is our God’” (Zech. 13:9). Under the rule of King Jesus, our future is incredibly bright.

God was going to help His people and give them a different kind of king. Jesus is the King who came and rode humbly on a donkey, just as Zechariah said. Because Zechariah’s prophecy came true in Jesus, we can have hope and forgiveness of sins when we trust in Jesus.

Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

God’s people had been living in Babylon for 70 years. Some of God’s people had died in Babylon. Some of their children and grandchildren were born in Babylon and grew up there. But Babylon was not their home.

Before the people of Judah were exiled, God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah. These are the words of the Lord: “These nations will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years” (Jer. 25:11). Then the Lord said, “When seventy years for Babylon are complete, I will attend to you and will confirm my promise concerning you to restore you to this place” (Jer. 29:10). The time had come for God’s people to go back home.

Cyrus, the king of the Persian empire, had overthrown Babylon. Cyrus took over the kingdom, including the lands of Israel and Judah. In the following year, the Lord did something miraculous in Cyrus’s heart. He prompted Cyrus to issue a decree: All the Jewish exiles are free to return to their ancestral homes.

The exile was over! God’s people were free to return to their own land. They were free to live as God’s special people. The first group of Judean exiles returned home under the leadership of Zerubbabel (zuh RUHB uh buhl). Zerubbabel was the grandson of King Jehoiachin, who had been taken to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. (See 2 Kings 24:8-13.)

Ezra 2:64-65 says nearly 50,000 people traveled back to Judah. When they got to Jerusalem, they began working to rebuild the temple that the Chaldeans had destroyed. (See 2 Chron. 36:19.)

Explain to your kids that the temple was the place where God met with His people. Jesus came to earth to rescue God’s people from sin. When Jesus returns, He will restore the earth and will dwell with His people forever.

Zerubbabel led God’s people back to the temple to rebuild it. The temple was the place where God met with His people on earth. Jesus came to earth to rescue God’s people. One day Jesus will return to restore a greater home for all of God’s people, and we will spend eternity with Him.

Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
  • ○ The prophets told about Jesus.
  • ○ God kept His promise to send Jesus.
  • ○ Zechariah said that God would send a special King.
  • ○ Jesus is the special King whom God promised to send.
  • ○ One day, Jesus will live with His people forever.
  • Preschool
  • ○ How is Jesus the perfect Prophet? God speaks to us through Jesus.
  • ○ Zechariah said the Messiah is coming.
  • Kids
  • ○ How is Jesus the perfect Prophet? Jesus perfectly reveals God the Father and fulfills what the prophets spoke. 
  • ○ Zechariah said the Messiah is coming.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

  • Jeremiah 29:11

NEXT WEEK 

  • “Esther Saved Her People” (Esther)

The Captives Came Home

Sunday, January 12, 2020

God’s people had been living in Babylon for 70 years. Some of God’s people had died in Babylon. Some of their children and grandchildren were born in Babylon and grew up there. But Babylon was not their home.

Before the people of Judah were exiled, God had spoken through the prophet Jeremiah. These are the words of the Lord: “These nations will serve the king of Babylon for seventy years” (Jer. 25:11). Then the Lord said, “When seventy years for Babylon are complete, I will attend to you and will confirm my promise concerning you to restore you to this place” (Jer. 29:10). The time had come for God’s people to go back home.

Cyrus, the king of the Persian empire, had overthrown Babylon. Cyrus took over the kingdom, including the lands of Israel and Judah. In the following year, the Lord did something miraculous in Cyrus’s heart. He prompted Cyrus to issue a decree: All the Jewish exiles are free to return to their ancestral homes.

The exile was over! God’s people were free to return to their own land. They were free to live as God’s special people. The first group of Judean exiles returned home under the leadership of Zerubbabel (zuh RUHB uh buhl). Zerubbabel was the grandson of King Jehoiachin, who had been taken to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. (See 2 Kings 24:8-13.)

Ezra 2:64-65 says nearly 50,000 people traveled back to Judah. When they got to Jerusalem, they began working to rebuild the temple that the Chaldeans had destroyed. (See 2 Chron. 36:19.)

Explain to your kids that the temple was the place where God met with His people. Jesus came to earth to rescue God’s people from sin. When Jesus returns, He will restore the earth and will dwell with His people forever.

Zerubbabel led God’s people back to the temple to rebuild it. The temple was the place where God met with His people on earth. Jesus came to earth to rescue God’s people. One day Jesus will return to restore a greater home for all of God’s people, and we will spend eternity with Him.

Check this session’s Activity Page and Big Picture Card as well as the Gospel Project for Kids Family App for ways to interact with the Bible content this week.

FAMILY STARTING POINTS 

  • Babies and Toddlers
    • The prophets told about Jesus.
    • Jesus will give us a home with Him.
    • God brought His people back to their land.
    • Zerubbabel led the people to build the temple.
    • Jesus brings us to God.
  • Preschool
    • How is Jesus the perfect Prophet? God speaks to us through Jesus.
    • God kept His promise to bring His people home.
  • Kids
    • How is Jesus the perfect Prophet? Jesus perfectly reveals God the Father and fulfills what the prophets spoke. 
    • God kept His promise to bring His people home.

UNIT KEY PASSAGE

Jeremiah 29:11

NEXT WEEK 

“The Temple Was Rebuilt” (Ezra 4–6; Haggai)

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