As you prepare to teach, read Zechariah 9 and the surrounding chapters for more context on the Scripture. Read this blog post by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, and also see the following points and questions for more tips and helps pertaining to Zechariah 9.
- Explain the context and the Israelites’ situation to your students.
- Discuss the questions included in the Personal Study Guide and Leader Guide with your students, specifically how verse 12 addressed “prisoners who have hope.” This will be a good lead-in to discussing the persecuted church. Ask your students how the Israelites could live under Persian rule, yet still have hope and live in freedom.
- After you’ve thoroughly covered the Scripture passage with your students, take some time to talk with your students about the persecuted church today. Ask them if this is something they have even considered. If they have not, make them aware of the ways they can help . . . by praying for those who are being persecuted because of Christ, giving to organizations that help those facing persecution, and by writing to urge government officials to free those who are being held captive or facing persecution.
Consider closing your time with your students in prayer for the persecuted church. Encourage your students to pray about how God might be leading them to take action, not only in regard to the persecuted church, but also as they consider neighbors or friends who need need Jesus to liberate them from sin in their lives.