Teaching the Divisions of the Bible: The Gospels | Sunday School Solutions
by Aubrey Kyle
Do you like to hear good news? I think it’s safe to say that everyone does! The word Gospel means “good news,” and the first division of the New Testament is called the Gospels. Throughout the Old Testament, God promised the Messiah would come to deliver His people. When the Messiah finally came, it was very good news! It’s only appropriate the first section of the New Testament is called the Gospels division because it tells us the Good News about Jesus! To learn more about the Gospel division of the Bible and how you can teach the truths it shares to the children in your Sunday school class, keep reading!
It’s only appropriate the first section of the New Testament is called the Gospels division because it tells us the Good News about Jesus!
The New Testament part of the Bible was written after the Lord Jesus came to Earth. This is where we learn about the life of Jesus, His disciples, the early church, how believers should live, and about what it will be like when Jesus comes the second time. The New Testament starts with the Gospel division and has four books: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. The Gospels all agree with each other in their accounts of Jesus, and each one also gives us individual looks at who Jesus was and is.
The first three gospels Matthew, Mark, and Luke, have much in common. They are called the Synoptic Gospels because they cover many of the same events in the same order. They tell of Jesus traveling from town to town, telling parables, doing miracles, and teaching the people about God and His kingdom. Even though they are similar, each of these three Gospels still gives us new and unique perspectives of Jesus that are a little different from each other.
Matthew was written for the Jews. It presents Jesus as the Christ, the promised Messiah, and sovereign King, who was prophesied about in the Old Testament. Matthew even shows 128 Old Testament prophecies that were fulfilled during the life of Jesus, showing both the Jews, and us, that Jesus is the Savior God promised to send. When teaching Matthew to the kids in your children’s church, you can use a crown to help children remember that this book is about the promised King.
Mark shows Jesus as the One who willingly became a servant, sent to serve God’s people and submit to His Father even unto death.
Luke focuses on the humanity of Jesus, showing Him as the Son of Man while still being fully God. Luke also shows Jesus as the Savior for all humankind.
John, the fourth and final book of the Gospels, shows Jesus as the I AM, the Son of Go, or literally, God in a human body. This book doesn’t follow the same structure as the other Gospels, and the book of John reveals greater insights into who Jesus is and how you can live a life of faith.
As you teach the children in your Sunday school about the Gospels division of the Bible, have them repeat the four books after you. A fun way you can do this is by having the children play “Four Corners.” Label the four corners of your classroom Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, and stand in the middle of the room. Cover your eyes and count to 10 out loud while having the children run quietly to a corner. Once all the children have chosen a corner, have everyone say the four Gospels with you. Then, chose call out a Gospel. All the children standing in that Gospel’s corner are out and join you in the middle! Continue to play until only one child is left or as time allows.
All four of the Gospels share the Good News that Jesus lived, died, was buried, and came alive again the third day so we could have our sins forgiven by believing in Him. Take time to read the Gospels so you can get to know Jesus better. Then, introduce Him to those around you, including the children in your Sunday school class.
Take time to read the Gospels so you can get to know Jesus better. Then, introduce Him to those around you, including the children in your Sunday school class.
Child Evangelism Fellowship® offers several lessons that teach specifically about the life of Jesus. These lesson series are Jesus: God Who Came to Earth, Jesus: God Who Cares for People, Jesus: God of Power and Glory, and Jesus: God Who Saves. To find these lessons and more, visit CEF Press®.
This is just the beginning of the New Testament. Join us again next time for helpful information on how to teach the Church History section of the Bible to the children in your Sunday school class!
Check out our New Testament lessons!