Bible Passage: Matthew 3; Mark 1; Luke 3; John 1
Story Point: John baptized Jesus
Key Passage: John 3:30
Children’s Lesson: Jesus’ Baptism
Show videos: There is a video for Elementary, and one for Early Childhood. If you have children in both age groups, show both!
Discussion Time: Follow up with the following questions. Answers are provided, but first see what your child comes up with.
Early Childhood 2-5 years old:
1. What did Jesus do for people who were sick? (He healed them.)
2. When did Jesus go out by Himself to pray? (early in the morning)
3. Where did Jesus want to go so He could preach more? (nearby villages; throughout the land)
4. Does Jesus care about people? (Yes!)
Elementary 1st-5th Grade:
1. Who was John the Baptist? (the one Isaiah prophesied about, the voice crying out in the wilderness; Matt. 3:3)
2. How did John respond at first to Jesus’ request for baptism? (John tried to stop Jesus at first, Matt. 3:14)
3. What happened after Jesus was baptized? (God spoke from heaven, and the Holy Spirit descended like a dove; Matt. 3:16-17)
4. Does baptism save us? Guide the kids to understand that baptism is important, but it is only a symbol of what Jesus has done for us. A person is baptized because she is saved, not in order to be saved. Suggest an analogy, such as dressing like a doctor versus being a doctor. Dressing the part can suggest you are a doctor but cannot make you a doctor if you are not one.
5. Why is baptism important? Help kids understand that God has commanded believers to be baptized, and Jesus provided an example of baptism for us to follow. We do not obey God to earn our salvation, but we want to obey Him out of love and worship. Baptism is a beautiful picture of our sinful lives dying with Jesus and our new life beginning when we are “raised” from the water. It shows the world we trust Jesus and identify with Him.
6. When should someone be baptized? Discuss with your kids whatever policies your church has in place regarding baptism. Remind kids that baptism is a way to show they have trusted Christ; anyone who has not trusted Christ should not be baptized. Direct kids to continue the discussion with their parents to decide if or when they should be baptized.
Activity: This is an activity from the lesson, that you may choose to do. If you do not have the supplies at home, get a little creative, or play a game you have as a family.
Prepare the way
Supplies: small toy cars, long cardboard track, small obstacles (paper wads, cotton balls, and so forth)
Hold a length of cardboard at a slight incline to serve as a track for the toy cars. Place small obstacles like paper wads, cotton balls, and so forth on the track. Let kids predict how long the car will take to reach the bottom. Then allow a kid to remove the obstacles before sending the car down the track again.
Say • The toy car was able to make it to the bottom much more easily when the obstacles were removed. When we “prepared the way,” it rolled down better. In a similar way, John’s job was to prepare people for Jesus by telling people the Messiah was coming and by preaching about repentance and God’s kingdom. When Jesus obeyed God by being baptized, God proclaimed that Jesus was His Son, and the Holy Spirit rested on Jesus like a dove. The people could remember what John had said and see that Jesus was the Messiah that God had promised long ago. When we show people love and teach them about the gospel, we are preparing the way for the Holy Spirit to change their hearts to love and worship Jesus.