How is Jesus the perfect Prophet? Jesus perfectly reveals God the Father and fulfills what the prophets spoke.
Zechariah said the Messiah is coming.
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.
- What did a prophet do? (shared God’s message with the people)
- What did God tell Zechariah to collect from the people? (silver and gold to make a crown for Joshua, Zech. 6:9)
- What was the special message of hope to God’s people? (Zechariah said the Messiah is coming, Zech. 9:9)
- Why do you think God spoke this message of hope through Zechariah? Guide the kids to see that God cares for us. The Israelites were struggling in rebuilding the temple and finding their identity as a people. God reminded them that they are His chosen people.
- How can we be encouraged to obey God even when life is difficult? Help the kids understand that God has given us hope for a future eternity with Him, but we also get to be part of His kingdom here on this earth. Our obedience flows out of our love for Him and for what He has done for us.
- How do we know Jesus is the Messiah? Guide kids to understand that Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, and God showed other people that Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus perfectly fulfilled Old Testament prophecies, such as those found in today’s story, and did miracles to prove His identity as God’s Son. Jesus perfectly obeyed all the law, showing us exactly who God is.