The Names of Jesus
by Karen Caroe
(Click HERE to read about the 149-page expanded version of this unit.)
This Funschooling Unit is one that my family often uses as we enter into the Christmas Season. We alternate our studies each year between the Symbols of Christmas and Names of Jesus. The unit is meant to begin on December 1 and continue each day throuh December 25. It is a combination advent devotional and unit study.
It is recommended that your family make a NAMES OF JESUS Christmas journal while doing this unit. It will be fun for the whole family and a testimony to Jesus when people visit during the holiday season. We leave ours sitting out where others can enjoy it. This unit is suitable for the entire family and activities can be added or changed to meet the needs of the very young child or the older student.
(There may be other supplies needed for individual activities. Please plan ahead. These are basic supplies that you may want to use over the course of the unit)
1. 3-ring binder or Spiral Notebook for the
2. Construction Paper
5. Markers, crayons, colored pencils, etc.
6. Old magazines, books, etc that can be cut up.
8. Christmas hymns, carols, and songs.
9. Hymns that use some of the names of Jesus
10.Bible (these names were taken from the King James. Other translations may not use the same names.)
NOTE: For the computer graphic whiz, each day's page could be created on your computer and printed with a color printer. This is a great project for an older child. An older student could make their own journal or just add their computer generated page to the family Christmas album.
Each day you will use one of the Names of Jesus and look up the related scripture reference. Then you will discuss the meaning/quality/character of that name and how it relates to Jesus. Each child can create a page that shows this name or you can do one page together. Put it in your Christmas Journal.
The names do not need to be done in the order I've placed them. Christmas is a hectic time and school tends to slow down. The name study is the minimum you would do in a day. Names with other activities may work better on one day than another. This is a very flexible unit designed for the purpose of enhancing your celebration of Christmas and your understand of Christ.
In every age and every culture names are important. Parents often struggle to select just the right name to give their child. It is more than just a label of identification.
In Biblical times, a name had a significant meaning--often denoting a characteristic or something related to the history of the person or his time. Sometimes a new name was given to indicate a change of character or a major event in one's history.
To begin this unit, look up some of the Biblical people who had their names changed. Why did they change? Did they change names on their own or were they given a new name by someone else? Was their new name a good one? Did they live up to their name?
Throughout the Old and New Testaments, it is possible to find more than 100 names and titles for Jesus Christ. No other person is history has had as many names or titles. Why so many names for Jesus? Perhaps it is because a name is descriptive but it is also restrictive. A name or title has a self-imposed limitation and no one could begin to describe or define Jesus. His glory and His greatness defy description and definition!
DAY 1: ALPHA and OMEGA Revelation 22:13
These are "red letter" words--meaning they were spoken by Jesus about Himself.
Discuss: The verse and the name. Talk about beginnings and endings. Learn the Greek Symbols for Alpha and Omega. (Altnernative: Learn how to say and write whole Greek Alphabet) Do your journal page. (For your journal, you could take pictures of the children making the activity below. Then take a picture of them holding it up.)
Activity: Decorate your home with a Christmas banner showing the Greek symbols Alpha and Omega. Use about a yard of felt for the background. Make a casing and insert a dowel pole or stick to hang it from. Use other colors of felt to cut out your decorations and glue them to the background.
DAY 2: Wonderful Counselor (Isaiah 9:6)
[Note: The King James Bible seperates this name into 2 titles. We study them as one title here.]
Read and Discuss the verse and the meanings of the words. What qualities do they ascribe to Jesus?
Lesson: What is a Counselor? What are some other verses in the Bible that talk about counselors? What are the character qualities of a Counselor? (Close to us--accessible, confidential--we can take our intimate matters to him, compassionate, cognizant--of our needs, capable, communication--we communicate to Christ in prayer but how does He communicate with us?)
Activity: Design a page for your journal showing Wonderful Counselor.
Activity: Language Arts--Present your children with a "problem." What kind of counsel will they give. Have them write it out. Focus on what they are learning in grammar. Use adjectives, verbs, don't forget to capitalize--whatever they need to be working on at the time. Include writings in Christmas journal.
Alternative: Have them write about a time when they received wise (or foolish) counsel. What happened.
DAY 3: The Mighty God (Isaiah 9:6)
Discuss: The name and it's meaning(s)
Look up "mighty." What does it mean? How does it pertain to Jesus.
Find pictures that show "mighty." The great Redwood Trees. The bright sun. A high Mountain. A weight lifter. Christ is mightier than all those. Cut out the pictures to put on page for journal.
Music: Learn "A Mighty Fortress is our God." Use the words for a vocabulary. (fortress, bulwark, etc.)
Bible: Look up more verses with the word "mighty."
DAY 4: The Everlasting Father (Isaiah 9:6)
Discuss: The name and it's meaning. How it applies to Christ.
Activity: Brainstorm "everlasting." What was before the world? What is eternity."
Bible: Romans 6:23. What is the significance of this verse? How does it relate to the name of Jesus.
Art: Make and evergreen wreath. The wreath is "eternal." It is circular having no beginning and no end. Evergreens symbolize eternal life. Hang a wreath in your home for Christmas.
Applied Math: Depending on age of child, discuss circles. Learn radius, diameter, pi, etc. Expand into fractions by dividing the circle into sections. Use the circle for a clock face to introduce telling time. Discuss infinity.
DAY 5: The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6)
Read and Discuss the name and its application to Christ.
History/Math: Estimate how many years of war there have been in relationship to years of peace? Begin anywhere you want to. Easiest would be start with Declaration of Independence to now. etc.
Art: What are some symbols of peace? Draw pictures of them.
Living: What does it mean to have peace in our lives? Does it mean "no war?" What is the work of the Prince of Peace? (Enables us to have Peace with God, Peace within ourselves, peace with others.)
Bible: What does it mean to be a "peacemaker?"
Challenge: Commit to sharing the gospel of peace with someone this week.
DAY 6: The Firstborn of Every Creature (Colossians 1:15)
Read and Discuss the verse. Why is it important to see Christ as the first-born? What are the priveleges of a first-born?
Journal: Put a picture of your first-born on a page. Put the other children's pictures under the firstborn's.
Language Arts: Have children write a paragraph telling what it is like to be 1st, 2nd, 3rd born, etc.
Math: In many cultures, the 1st born received 1/2 the family wealth (land) as an inheritance and the other children split the remainder. Draw your home and land. Split it and color-code it. Who gets what? Put "map" in Christmas journal. [Caution: keep this light. There shouldn't be any hard feelings among the siblings. It should be fun and funny.]
Music: Listen to selections for Handel's Messiah.
DAY 7: Unspeakable Gift (2 Corinthians 9:15)
Read and Discuss the verse. Look it up in other translations to get more meaning of "unspeakable."
Discuss: At Christmas we give gifts. Christ was God's gift to us. Think of a really special gift you have received. Describe how you felt?
Language Arts: Listmaking/Adjectives: Make a list of words that describe love. Put it in your journal. Read the list. Does it cover everything about love?
Activity: Wrap up a box to decorate your home. Call it your box of love to remind the family that God's gift of Jesus is a gift of love. Indescribable.
Language Arts: Writing: Write a Thank-you note to God for his gift of Jesus. Be sure to use the correct form for writing Thank-you notes.
Art: Design some Thank-you notes you can use to write thank-yous for Christmas gifts you may receive.
DAY 8: Lamb of God (John 1:29)
Read and Discuss this name.
Bible: Do some research into the sacrificial lambs. Be sure your children understand the passover and its significance.
Bible: Who made this statement? Was it prophetic? What is a prophecy?
Art: Make lambs out of cotton and cardboard. Set them in a little display to remind yourselves of the Lamb of God.
Social Studies: Study lambs/sheep. They are mammals. They live in herds. What can you find out about them. Write a report about sheep and or sheep farming.
Language Arts: Read some poetry about sheep. Have your children write a poem about a lamb or sheep.
Home Economics: What are some products we get from sheep? Wool, lanolin. Try locating some raw wool to card or spin.
DAY 9: Good Shepherd (John 10:11)
Read and Discuss. Note that this is another "red-letter" title. Jesus gives the title to himself.
Bible: Read John 10:1-21 for more full understanding.
Language Arts: Compare/Contrast how Christ can be the lamb and the shepherd.
Activity: Begin to set up a nativity scene. Put in Mary, Joseph, shepherds and lambs thus far.
Music: Learn "While Shepherds watched Their Flocks by night."
DAY 10: Star (Numbers 24:17) Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 22:16)
Read and discuss. These are challenging verses.
Activity: Make star cookies.
Bible: What important star do we talk about at Christmas? Jesus is even brighter than that star. Wise men followed the star. If we follow the star--Jesus--where will it lead us?
Activity: Decorate your home with stars for Christmas.
Language Arts: Make a word poem from STAR: S is for_________ T is for ____________ and so on.
Be sure all of this is being kept in your Christmas journal. (Even include your Christmas cookie recipe)
DAY 11: The Christ/Annointed One/Messiah (Mark 8:29)
Read and Discuss the name(s)/title(s). What does it mean to be "annointed"? What are some examples of "annointing" in the Bible?
Bible for older children: Read the prophecies of Daniel (Ch. 9) What do they say about the Messiah?
Social Studies: Jewish people who believe in Jesus are called Messianic Jews or Completed Jews. What does this mean? Why do you think Jewish people do not accept Jesus as the Messiah? What are they looking for in the Messiah? How can we share the Messiah with Jewish friends?
Writing: Penmanship practice: Write Mark 8:29 in your best handwriting. Put it in your journal.
DAY 12: Immanuel (Matthew 1:23 and Isaiah 7:14)
Read and discuss. What are the implications of God With Us? What does it mean? How do we know God is with us?
Art: Draw or paint a picture of God With Us?
Music: Learn "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" This is a great Christmas hymn and if you can get all the verses, it is full of names of Jesus.
DAY 13: Holy One (Mark 1:24)
Read Mark 1:21-28 to get the full understanding of the verse. Who is naming Jesus the "Holy One" in this verse? What does it mean to be holy? Can we be holy?
Music: Sing "Holy, Holy, Holy" and "O, Holy Night."
Language Arts: Write a definition of "holy" for your journal. List ways we can be holy.
Language Arts: Homynyms: learn the difference between holy and wholly.
DAY 14: Light of the World (John 8:12)
Read and Discuss. Commit this verse to memory.
Science: Discuss sources of light. Which ones are natural? Which ones are man-made?
Project: Go into a dark closet with a match, and a flashlight. See how the slightest bit of light breaks the darkness. What is the practical application of this in Christian life?
Just for fun: Take some Wintergreen lifesavers into a dark closet and bite them with your mouth open. What happens?
Language Arts: Write a poem about light.
Art: Look at some "religious" paintings in an encyclopedia. What do you notice about "light"?
Activity: Light a candle at your dinner table during the Christmas season to remind yourselves that Jesus is the Light of the World.
DAY 15: Dayspring (Luke 1:78)
Read Luke 1:67-80 for Zechariah's prophecy. Note all the other Names for Jesus in this passage.
What does "dayspring" mean. How is it more commonly translated today?
Art: Draw, paint, etc, a dayspring for your Christmas journal.
DAY 16: The Word (Revelation 19:13 and John 1:1)
Read and Discuss.
Bible: Read John 1:1-5and 1:14 How does it summarize much of what you've learned about Jesus. What names could be fit into this passage.
Language Arts: Talk about words--written and spoken. Learn or review the 8 parts of speech. How is God's Word both written and spoken? How is Jesus, "the word"?
Art: Make a collage--using words--that has Christmas as the theme. You could do this as a regular size page for notebook or turn it into a banner you can hang for the holidays.
DAY 17: Servant (Matthew 12:18)
Read and Discuss. This passage calls Jesus a servant. What is a servant?
Bible: Where are there actual examples of Jesus being a servant? How can we be a servant?
Language Arts: Write a family story about a servant. One child writes the first paragraph, then the second child writes and so on until the whole story is finished. Type it, illustrate it, put it in your journal.
DAY 18: King (Zechariah 9:9)
Read and Discuss. Who is the King in this story? Is this prophecy? Was it a prophecy that has been fulfilled?
Language Arts: How can Jesus be a servant and a king? Learn the literary term "paradox." Have your children think of more examples of a paradox.
Art: Make crowns. Older children can perhaps illustrate the combination of Jesus as servant and king.
History: Talk about some Kings in the Old Testament or any other time period. Were they good kings or bad kings? why?
Civics: Why doesn't the U.S. have a King?
DAY 19: Rose of Sharon (Song of Solomon 2:1)
[Note: This concept may be too advanced for younger children. In that case, select an alternate name listed at the end of the unit.]
Read and Discuss. These names have become part of our devotional language. They are taken from this passage of love and are an expression of devotion in married love.
Science: Biology: What does a Rose of Sharon look like? (It was probably a common, abundant plant like a crocus or narcissus. It has a delicate beauty and gentle fragrance. It speaks to us of the beauty and fragrance He brings to those who know and love him.)
Language Arts: Parables. What is a parable in general? Read this Parable from the Persian Poet Saadi: The poet was given a bit of ordinary clay. The clay so vibrantly smelled of sweet perfume that its fragrance filled the room.
"What are you, musk or ambergris?" he asked.
"I am neither," it answered, "I am just a bit of common clay."
"From where then do you have this rare perfume?" the poet asked.
"I have been all summer in the company of the rose," it replied.
Discuss how this relates to the Christian life. (We are just bits of clay but if we keep company with the Rose of Sharon, some of his fragrance will pass into us. Hopefully, then, we will be a fresh and sweet influence on the world around us.)
Art: Make a flower bouquet to grace your home for Christmas.
DAY 20: Lily of the Valley (Song of Solomon 2:1)
Read and Discuss.
Science: Biology: What was/is Lily of the Valley? Some think it was a white amaryllis. This flower would be suggestive of Christ's character. How? Describe the flower. How is it symbolic of Christ.
Music: Sing "Lily of the Valley"
Art: Discuss the color "white." What does it symbolize? What does it symbolize in other cultures?
DAY 21: Friend (Matthew 11:19)
Read and Discuss. There are other passages about Jesus being a friend but this one is more revealing. Why?
Think of a good friend. Why are they your friend? What qualities do they have that make them a friend.
Language Arts: Send a greeting card to a friend.
Language Arts: Memorize a poem about friendship.
Journal: If possible take a picture of family friends to put in your journal.
DAY 22: Saviour (John 4:42)
Read John 4:39-42. Discuss. Why is Jesus our Saviour? Why do we need a saviour?
Art: Make an Easter (yes, Easter) banner showing the Cross.
Language Arts: Think about this statement: "If there hadn't been and Easter, there wouldn't be a Christmas." Write an explanation of this statement. Present it as a speech.
DAY 23: Shiloh (Genesis 49:10)
Read and Discuss. This is part of the prophecy/blessing of Jacob to his son, Judah. What does Shiloh mean? (to rest) Why is this a good name for Jesus. Read the verse: "come to me ye who are heavy-laden, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)
History: Discuss the history of Shiloh in the U.S. It is known as a Civil War battlefield where 25,000 men lost their lives. These events are far-removed from the true meaning of Shiloh.
Language Arts: Discuss the literary term "irony". It is irony that the Civil War was fought in a place called "rest."
Illustrate your idea of "shiloh" Put the illustrations in your journal.
DAY 24: Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:9)
Read and Discuss -- This may be too deep a concept for younger children. Make an alternate selection if need be.
Bible: This term appears in Daniel 7: 9, 13, and 22. In 9 and 22 it refers to Christ. In 13, it refers to God.
Math: Do review work with, or introduce clocks and calendars. Christ is the master of time. When He was born at Christmas, he divided time in two.
Consider this: Everytime we write a date, we acknowledge that all else in human history is to be considered in relation to Jesus Christ. Time is subordinate to the Soverienty of Jesus.
1. God (John 20:28)
2. I Am (John 8:58)
3. Son of David (Matthew 1:1)
4. Branch (Isaiah 11:1)
5. Arm of the Lord ( Isaiah 53:1)
6. Baby (Luke 2:12)
7. Jesus (Matthew 1:21)
8. Brother (Mark 6:3)
9. Son of Man (Matthew 20:28)
10. Rock (1 Corinthians 10:4)
I hope this unit will be a blessing to you and your family. As we go through life, we can never learn all there is to know about our Precious Lord Jesus. My prayer is that this unit study will bring depth of joy to your Christmas celebration.