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Video, A-V Lessons, Ideas, Activities, and Resources for Teaching "Isaiah Foretells the Messiah" in Sunday School.

Post your Sunday School video, A-V lessons, ideas, activities, and resources for teaching about Isaiah's prophecies of the Messiah here, including lessons teaching about the names of Jesus.

In addition to all our public lesson ideas, the Writing Team has written a wonderful Isaiah Promised ~ Jesus Fulfilled lesson set that includes an excellent Video Workshop lesson plan where, after viewing an amazing free 8-minute film which dramatically explains the Bible's story and how the coming of the Messiah fits in it, your students will make their own movie trailer about Isaiah's dramatic promises!  (fun Script included)

Need help streaming videos in your classroom? Take a look at our article: How to show cellphone photos, videos, and websites on a laptop or TV.

Last edited by Amy Crane
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Jesus' Birth Through the Eyes of Isaiah and the Prophets


Summary of Lesson Activity:

Legend.of.Three.Trees.videoUses the DVD The Legend of the Three Trees.

Scripture Reference:

Isaiah 9:2-6; 11:1-2


  • To locate the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament.
  • To be able to name several other prophet’s names.
  • To see the characteristics of the Christ Child through the eyes of Isaiah, and also understand that Isaiah foretold Jesus' ministry and death.

Leader Preparation:

  • Preview the movie.
  • Make sure you can operate the television and equipment to play the video.

Materials list:

  • The Legend of the Three Trees (Tommy Nelson) running time about 30 minutes.
    Note: This wonderful video can be previewed on Youtube at
  • And a way to play or stream the video. (Tips here.)
  • Optional: popcorn or a seasonal snack.


Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction

Greet the children and introduce yourself. Explain that today We will see a video that helps tie Isaiah's prophecies into Jesus' birth, life, death, and resurrection.

Ask if they have ever thought of the Easter story (Jesus' death and resurrection) as part of the Christmas story.

Dig- Main Content and reflection

Read the scripture and give a bit of background information:

  1. The Prophets are a major portion of the Old Testament writings. Their writings make up 16 books, which use the prophets' names as titles.
  2. A prophet was a messenger of God to the people of that day. Their major task was to call the people back to the way of God. The prophet’s life was often filled with frustration and rejection. They spoke against violence, oppression, greed, dishonesty and idolatry.
  3. Isaiah was a Hebrew prophet, the son of Amoz of Jerusalem. He was a prophet during the years 742-700 BC, in and around Jerusalem.
  4. Our verses speak about a child, who would be their deliverer, the Messiah. The region spoken of in chapter 9, Zebulun and Naphtali, was generally the area in which Jesus grew as a child and later ministered.
  5. “A great light,” “authority,” wonderful counselor,” mighty God,” “Prince of Peace” all give us a different understanding of the Christ Child.
  6. In chapter 11, the prophet ties the birth of the Messiah to the family of Jesse and to King David.

The Movie:

Play the video. The movie is about three trees each with its own hopes, dreams, and aspirations. Their dreams don’t seem to come true. Disappointed and dejected, the trees despair about their existence until they all interact in some way with Jesus Christ in His birth, ministry and finally his ultimate sacrifice. They find God has a special purpose for all of them in his kingdom.

Discussion Questions:

  1. About 700 years before Jesus was born, Isaiah talked about him. I wonder if people were excited about this news. Did what Isaiah foretold happen right away? (People had to wait)
  2. In the video, were the trees looking forward to great things? Did those things happen when and how the trees expected? Did any of the trees’ dreams come true?
  3. Can your dreams not come true and yet things work out anyway? Is God's plan always clear and as we expected?


Close with prayer, asking God to guide each person present and to help make  hopes and dreams align with his will -- and come true.


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Last edited by Amy Crane

What's in the Bible? DVD #10 is all about Jesus. It includes 'why' and 'when' Jesus came, and how his story fits into the story of the Old Testament including a tie-in to the prophecies of Isaiah and others.
The DVD cover for What's in the Bible volume 10

In Part 1 of the DVD #10, Chapters 1, 2, 3 and 6 have some very good material about:

  • WHY a Messiah was needed
  • WHY it took so long
  • WHAT was happening in the world that made the TIMING RIGHT  

Total run time of these four chapters = about 20 minutes.

My estimated age range for these particular chapters: Age 6+ to 13.

Supporting Members: We have a complete outline to DVD 10 and all the other DVDs in this series over in our Bible Video Outlines Collection.

Excerpts from a Teacher's Guide to What's in the Bible? DVD #10 for teaching about the birth of Christ foretold by Isaiah:

Chapter 1: Old Testament Recap

  • Michael in the car (funny, and actually pretty deep!)

  • Theme Song

  • Buck and Phil begin the OT Recap "What have we learned from the OT?" (A good question to ask your kids.) "The OT is like a story without an ending."

  • "Why did God wait so long?" Pastor Bob and Church Lady explain the "fullness of time." Good section!

Chapter 2: Spread a Blessing

  • Sunday School Lady and others continue to explain the gap between Testaments and why God waited.

  • Alexander the Great changes the Middle East. How the Roman Empire took over and built roads. (You might want to skip these parts with younger children.)

  • "Pax Romana" How the Peace of Rome helped spread the blessing. Song. (Interesting)

Chapter 3: Four Jewish Groups

  • What were the Jews doing while they waited for the Messiah?

  • Pirates Guide to Jewish History: Pharisees, Sadducees, Zealots, Essene

Chapter 6: "The Whole Picture"  (Neil notes: A Very Good Summary. Not to be missed.)

  • The story told in the Old Testament help us understand the New Testament

  • The OT told us about sin, how we are broken. We learned God wants to save us, and how God wants us to live. The NT is the fulfillment of those promises.

  • "Promises, Promises" ("...the answer is in Jesus")

  • Phil ends with good questions: "How could one man Jesus solve the huge problem of the sinful world? What makes Jesus the most important person who ever lived?"
Last edited by Amy Crane


flashlight-3770625_640An idea for depicting Isaiah 9:

The people who walked in darkness
   have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
   on them light has shined.

(this idea was posted during a brainstorming session here at It needs a narration script)


God is atop a ladder with two flashlights: one to point down on group of 3 or 4 people, and the other to try and 'guide' them towards a distant objective (cross/Jesus/star of Bethlehem)

Aim a light at the wall behind the actors so that they appear in the dark in front of the wall (so we see their outlines).

Act 1:

A description of the people's suffering in Isaiah 9. People  wandering/bumping/sinning/complaining. Give each actor something to say.

Act 2:

Isaiah shows up on the scene prophesying the coming light, gesticulating wildly.

People are perplexed.

Act 3:

"In the fullness of time...."  God reveals his light on the people. They give various responses (some cower). As the narrator speaks, God's light tries to herd them in a direction, keep them together. (the actors are chased by the light but pulled by it back into the group and along the way. Eventually most step into the light and now we see a second light FLASHING at a cross in the distance, maybe even Jesus standing there beckoning the people. Or a Star of Bethlehem.  


With older students, I would outline the skit with them. List the lines we need to include, and have them come up with "things for the individual people to do" during the skit.

This could be videotaped.

If you have enough kids, split into two groups for two different versions of the drama.  For example, the second group could be a "modern setting" where a group of people are in darkness about the "reason for the season."  God's light tries to herd them towards the Christ child, but they wander away towards presents or Christmas parties.  I might make the addition of some CHRISTIANS with flashlights given to them by God to help people find the Christ child. The idea is that the light gets passed to those needing it.


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Last edited by Amy Crane

Isaiah tells of a coming Messiah VIDEO Workshop:
"Patience"... demonstrated by the famous "Marshmallow Test"

During a brainstorming session in this forum, several people identified the theme of "PATIENCE AND WAITING" which are key theological concepts in Isaiah's promise of a Messiah and the season of Advent. I'm building on that here...

There are several videos on YouTube showing the marshmallow test. This one is about 4 minutes long and is a good discussion kick-starter.  You can have the class view it online.

marshmallowWhat's very interesting about this experiment, is that it is used to illustrate the psychological and development benefits of waiting/patience.

Here is a link to an article on Edutopia by Anissa Ramirez (a TED scientist) on the "benefits of being/learning patience," -particularly as they relate to child development.

This is not so far-fetched from scripture!  Paul wrote in Romans 5:3-5 "suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,5 and hope does not disappoint us....

See my discussion/Bible notes on "WAITING" for Messiah. They are in the Bible Skills & Games Workshop in this story forum.

FOLLOW-UP VIDEO IDEA for reflection/discussion:  

Make your own 3- minute video showing YOUR students waiting for the Messiah.  

Setting: Create the marshmallow test 'room' seen in the above video, and wrap a Christmas gift with a big tag clearly marked "Messiah."  Have the teacher or another student enter the room to place the present in front of the student.

Give each student 10 seconds of video time to act impatient, look under the box, lick it, sniff it, pick it up and rattle it. Maybe have one walk away. Have one rip it open only to find another box with a tag titled "wait".  

For your own yucks, view the 3 minute adult spoof on the marshmallow test also on YouTube.


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Last edited by Amy Crane

Jesus' Birth through the Eyes of Isaiah and the Prophets

Video Workshop - The Promise

Summary of Lesson Activity:

Uses portions of the DVD The Promise - The Birth of the Messiah to look at Isaiah's promises of Immanuel, the Christ child, and consider how they relate to us today.

Note:  The entire movie is longer than the typical class.   As the focus of this workshop is on Immanuel/Isaiah's promise I have chosen to use only portions relating specifically to that story line therefore ending the video after the angel's annunciation to Mary.

Attention Supporting Members - A The Promise Video Guide can be found here in our Bible Video Resource Forum (free to Supporting Members).

The PromiseScripture References:

  • Isaiah 7:14 Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.
  • Isaiah 9:2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
    those who lived in a land of deep darkness—    on them light has shined.


  • Locate the book of Isaiah in the Old Testament.
  • Understand what a prophet is.
  • See God's promises full-filled, as foretold by Isaiah, and realized in the birth of Christ.
  • To know that Jesus is the light, that will light their path, if they choose to follow him.

Leader Preparation:

  • Preview the movie so you're comfortable with all the pauses and forward chapter jumps.
  • Have your Bible marked with yellow stick notes for easy reference at Luke 2.
  • I recommend you take a yellow highlighter and highlight PLAY - PAUSE - CHAPTER FORWARD areas on your lesson for easy reference.
  • On white Avery label sheets or cardstock print the attached prayer cards (there are 6 on a page).  You will need one per student.  Cut and hole punch each prayer card and insert into keychain ring on mini-flashlights.

Materials list:

  • VIDEO: The Promise - The Birth of the Messiah. An animated Christmas musical made by Glorious Films, 2013. (45 mins).

  • Television and DVD player or hookups to stream the video
  • Bibles
  • Whiteboard or large sheet of paper attached to wall with proper writing instruments.
  • White cardstock (a couple of sheets) or Avery Name Tag Sheets
  • Flashlight (a good bright one)
  • Popcorn & juice.
  • Optional: mini-flashlights / one per child. (At time of writing, you could buy a package of 12, cheap, "Jesus is the Light and the Way" flashlights by Fun Express, 780984495909.)
  • Printed Cardstock Prayer Cards

Classroom Preparation:

  • Have DVD in and stopped at main menu ready to hit play.
  • Have popcorn and juice poured and ready.
  • Write the two verses, on the whiteboard. (can children see these using your flashlight from any seat? - test it out to make sure your flashlight is bright enough)
  • Have your Bible, flashlight, and lesson ready.
  • You will need every minute you have for teaching time, so don't waste any!


Opening- Welcome and Lesson Introduction

Welcome the children and Introduce yourself.

Dig- Main Content and Reflection

Bible Story:

SAY: The Prophets are a major portion of the Old Testament writings. Their writings make up 16 books which use the prophets' names as titles. A prophet was a messenger of God to the people of that day. Their role was to call the people back to the way of God.  They also brought hope and encouragement to the Jews who were being persecuted by the Assyrians during that time.

Isaiah was a Hebrew prophet, the son of Amoz of Jerusalem. He was a prophet during the years 742-700 BC, in and around Jerusalem.  The book of Isaiah is the first book of the Major Prophets.

Today we are going to look at the prophet Isaiah's foretelling of the coming Messiah and how it was fulfilled in the Christ child.

Let's open our Bibles and read what Isaiah prophesized about the Christ child.

A quick way to find the book of Isaiah in the Bible:

Open the bible in the middle, you should find yourself either in the book of Solomon (last book of "Poetry & Wisdom") or the next book, Isaiah, the first book of the Major Prophets.

Have all the children find Isaiah 7:14.  Pick a child to read it.

Have the children find Isaiah 9:2.  Pick a child to read it.

  • Isaiah 7:14  . . . Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.. .
  • Isaiah 9:2 The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
    those who lived in a land of deep darkness—    on them light has shined.

The Movie:

PRESS PLAY (00:00)                 (Ref:  Chapter 1 -  How Long O, Lord - 0:00 - 1:50)

Simeon - In The Temple

PAUSE (01:40) after Simeon opens the temple doors


  1. Does anyone have any guesses as to who the priest is?
    His name is Simeon

    READ Luke 2:26

    Simeon dedicated his entire life to God while he waited for the promise God made to him to be fulfilled.

The People – When Will The Messiah Come?

PLAY                                             (Ref:  Chapter 2 - Cry of the People - 1:51 - 5:20)

PAUSE (04:10) - When the song “When will the Messiah Come?” is finished

Patience is something we all struggle with when we have to wait, especially when the waiting goes on and on, and the Israelites have been waiting a long time for the promised Messiah!

The Jews are ruled by King Herod who has found favor with the Roman emperor Caesar and does not appreciate hearing the Jews talk of their coming Messiah. Even the majority of Jewish leaders (Pharisees/Scribes/Sadducees) did not wish to believe in Isaiah's prophecy.  None of them wanted to lose their power.

Read Isaiah 9:2


  1. Did you just see the darkness that Isaiah talked about?  Did he mean  . . .
    a) the Sun would be covered and people would live in darkness.
    b) the people would live in persecution (being punished for being a Jew and loving God).
    c) not having God in your life was like living in the dark.
    Answer:  Both b & c.
  2. What is the darkness people walk in today?   Hearing about Jesus but choosing to not believe.
  3. What is the great light?  Jesus is the great light.
  4. How does it shine?     Allowing him to work in us and through us makes the light shine.

Simeon - Preaching


PAUSE (05:20) - after Simeon finishes singing

Give one of the children the flashlight and have them read Isaiah 7:14 from the chart.


  1. I wonder how is God "with us" today?  Has anyone seen signs of God around them?
    If the children can't come up with any ideas - share a couple of signs, that have shown you, God is here today.  It may also spark their own ideas to add to yours.

Gabriel’s Announcement to Mary

PRESS CHAPTER FORWARD TWICE (10:30) - to Mary humming to herself

PLAY                            (Ref:  Chapter 4 - Nothing Is Impossible - 10:44 - 15:02)

PAUSE (13:39) - after Mary’s finishes singing - nothing is impossible with God

This section is the FULFILLMENT of God's promise through Isaiah 7.


  1. The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (NIV)
    What shocked Mary most when the angel, Gabriel, told her she was going to have God's son?
    She is a virgin so it’s not possible.  (younger children - she's not married)
  2. What does Gabriel say to Mary’s “it’s not possible”?
    “Nothing is impossible with God!
  3. What other surprise does the angel Gabriel share with Mary about her cousin, Elizabeth?
    That Elizabeth is pregnant with a son.
  4. Why would this news, about Elizabeth, tell you again that "Nothing is impossible with God!"
    Elizabeth is very old, past the age of having children (barren)

END of video watching


  • Read the two scripture verses together. (Younger children - read a few words and have them repeat after you.)
  • End by saying "Jesus is our light".  As a reminder that Jesus is our light I'm giving you each a flashlight.  Attached to it is a suggested thought to add to your evening prayers,

"Thank you God for sending Jesus to light my path.  Tomorrow help me to follow the path he has chosen for me, in Jesus' name. Amen."


  • Bible Background by Carol Hulbert, First United Methodist Church, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Neil MacQueen - scripture and focus ideas made during the "Flash Mob" brainstorming on Isaiah

Written by Luanne Payne
Hampton United Church, Hampton, ON

A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.


Last edited by Amy Crane
Originally Posted by Amy Crane:

It looks like the What's in the Bible people have a "Christmas story" video .How is it?

It came out in 2013. I don't recommend that particular DVD. It's too long-winded, especially for younger children.

I usedWhat's in the Bible?  Why do we call it CHRISTMAS? DVD with a group of my kids who had been dropped off at our all-day "Christmas shopping day" event. They got bored 15 minutes into it, -and so did I.  For some strange reason it meanders and doesn't have half the energy that the other DVDs in the series do.

I LOVE to teach with the other DVDs in this series (based on books of the Bible). Kids love them too. But their special Christmas DVD was not their best effort.

Last edited by Amy Crane

DVD:  "The Story of Advent"

From: Speed Sketch Bible Stories Series, Wesleyan Publishing House, 2014, DVD, ISBN: 9780898279856.

There are four narrated story "speed sketches" on this DVD. (Speed sketches are "video-accelerated illustrations.") The four stories include Isaiah's vision of hope (Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; with Micah 5:2).

See this post for more details. The video (and related resources) is available for free download with the other speed sketch videos from Wesleyan Resource Center here: Isaiah's vision.

Last edited by Amy Crane

Free Isaiah 9 video: The Christmas Prophecy

This YouTube video from St Paul's Church (Auckland, New Zealand) is a thoughtful look at the scripture passage using modern forms of communication: "If Isaiah was alive today, how would he communicate his message? A modern interpretation of the bible passage from Isaiah 9, predicting the coming of the Messiah."

Consider using this as a brainstorm starter for an art or computer or media workshop where the students create some sort of visual to spread the good news.

This would be especially good with middle school and older students who are familiar with Instagram, TikTok, and texting.

Last edited by Amy Crane

Here's a really neat short film about how the coming of the Messiah fits into God's story, from Creation to Abraham to the Prophets to Jesus.

"The Beginning" (2010) is a terrific 8-minute film produced by the same folks who created the Jesus Film. It starts with a high-quality Creation Story then moves into the story of Abraham's near-sacrifice of Isaac as a way of laying the groundwork for the coming sacrifice of the promised Messiah. "Prophets promises," including those from Isaiah, are featured.

The language is kid-friendly. It's free and can either be viewed online in HD or downloaded as an MP4 video and played on any DVD player or computer or stream the video. Did I mention its free?

Below is the 8-minute YouTube version of "The Beginning." Be sure to view or download the high-def version from the Jesus Film website.

Most of our kids are just beginning to learn Jesus' story is part of God's "Great Story Arc" --a story of redemption stretching from Creation to the Cross. This short film makes that connection. Advent was not an isolated event. It was a promise that began with the creation of light, and fulfilled by the coming of The Light at Advent.

The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who lived in a land of deep darkness—
on them light has shined.
Isaiah 9:2

I could easily see this clip being used with John 1:1-18   --  John's "Birth - Genesis Story"

In the beginning was the Word,
and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was with God in the beginning.
...In him was life, and that life was the light to all people.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

Quick Outline

  • The opening minutes begin with the Creation story and scenes from Genesis.
  • Minutes 2:50 to 5:10 are a great visual summary of the story of Abraham and Isaac and an explanation of how their story fits into God's redemptive theme.
  • Minutes 5:43 to 7:10 visualize and explain the predictions of various prophets about the coming of the Messiah. Isaiah is featured.
  • The 8-minute video ends with a nod to the Jesus film. At 7:44 the narrator says, "An actor portrays Jesus..." In that respect, the clip serves as an introduction to the Jesus, but doesn't have to be used that way, especially if you stop just before that narration at 7:44.


Our Writing Team incorporated this terrific short video in its ISAIAH PROMISED ~ JESUS FULFILLED Video Workshop.   After viewing the film and studying Isaiah's scripture in a creative way, students use a fun "super hero" movie script to make their own "movie trailer" announcing the Coming of the Messiah, what he will be like and and what he will do.

Last edited by Amy Crane

Here's a short "Prepare the Way" Isaiah 40 video we created for Advent that you are welcome to download and share with church members, families, and friends. While we originally made it as an encouragement during the pandemic, its message is timeless.

Isaiah 40:3-5 "Prepare the Way"

A warm and inspiring visual presentation of Isaiah's famous words for challenging times.

Use it in worship, or email/post it to members with your own follow-up devotional questions, such as,

  • What are some of the "valleys" and "rough places" facing you this year as you approach the Advent season, and what can you do to "fill them in" (eliminate, improve, or get around them) so you can stay focused on the true meaning of the season?
  • List what your church, family, and you as an individual are doing this Advent to help prepare yourselves to receive the Christmas message --without all the cultural and consumer distractions.

View and download the MP4 video or  Share its YouTube link

Last edited by Amy Crane

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