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Lesson Prep

Background Scripture (read 2-3 times during the week)

Matthew 3:1-17

Story Summary

These next lessons provide a good opportunity to share the salvation message with your children.

 This story is often depicted with a dove above Jesus. Note that the Bible does not say there was actually a dove. The author uses a simile, a comparison using like or as, to describe the Spirit of God coming down upon him. 

(note: this story also occurs in Mark 1:1-11 and Luke 3:1-22 )

This is a short story and is best read directly from the scripture.

 

What You Will Need

Supplies
Camel hair paint brushes, a locust or other large bug, honey
Snack Suggestion
biscuits and honey

Resource Sheet

John Baptizing Coloring Sheet

This coloring sheet depicts John the Baptist in the Jordan River, baptizing Jesus

Lesson

1. Warm Up

get your kids talking and engaged

Have you ever seen someone be baptized at your church? What is baptism?

Today, we are going to learn about when Jesus was baptized by a man named John. We call him John the Baptist.

2. Teach the Story

teach a holistic story

Read story from a Children's storybook Bible for younger children.

For older children, read the story from an age-appropriate Children's storybook Bible or read directly from the Bible.

3. Bible Mastery

give them basic Bible skills

Scripture for Kids to Read Aloud: Matthew 3:1-17

4. Comprehension Questions

make sure they understand the story

First, ask the children if they have any questions about the story. What to do if you don't know the answer?

  • What was John the Baptist preaching? ("Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.")
  • What did he mean by that? (Jesus was coming soon!)
  • Where did John live? (in the wilderness)
  • What did John wear for clothing? (clothes made out of camel hair)
  • What did John eat? (locusts and wild honey)
  • Why did people go out to the wilderness to see John? (they were confessing their sins and being baptized)
  • What did John the Baptist do when Jesus asked him to baptize him? (he tried to refuse because he considered Jesus more worthy than himself)
  • What happened when Jesus was baptized? (the Spirit of God descended on Jesus like a dove and a voice said "This is my Son, and I love him. I am very pleased with him.")

5. Faith Questions

help them apply the story to their lives and open up a conversation about faith and the gospel; close with prayer
  • In this story, people were confessing their sins to John the Baptist and being baptized.
  • Have you confessed your sins and been baptized?

6. Memory Verse

hide God's Word in their heart
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." John 14:6

Reinforcement Activities

John the Baptist craft

Scripture John’s clothes were made out of camel’s hair. He had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. John 3:4

Supplies Person sheet, brown yarn, leather string

  • Draw a face onto the person
  • Glue pieces of brown yarn to the person sheet, to represent camel hair.
  • Glue a leather string around the waist.

Water Play

Scripture As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened. Jesus saw the Spirit of God coming down on him like a dove. Matthew 3:16

Supplies tubs, water, towels, small cups and other water toys

  • What do we use water for? (to drink, swim in, take a bath, water plants, etc)
  • John the Baptist used water in a different way, He used water to baptize Jesus.
  • Explain baptism.
  • Allow the children to play in a tub of water. Place towels under the tub to prevent spills.

Prepare the Way Relay

Scripture For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.’” Matthew 3:3

Supplies balls of paper, chairs, toys and other obstacles, masking tape

  • Divide class into two teams.
  • Place a masking tape line at the end of the relay play space.
  • Place obstacles in the path.
  • It should include items that have to be carried and moved. Some can be larger items and some small and easy to carry.
  • Each person in the relay must pick up an obstacle on the way to the finish line. (They may have to scoot around the other obstacles that are in the way).
  • The last person in the relay will represent Jesus.
  • Once all of the obstacles are moved, Jesus can run to the finish line.

Eating Locusts and Honey

Scripture John’s clothes were made out of camel’s hair. He had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. John 3:4

Supplies twix candy bars, pretzel twists, pecans, black gel icing, brown icing, bread or rolls, honey

  • Follow directions to make locust snack.
  • Provide bread and honey, as well.
Eating Locusts and Honey Example
Eating Locusts and Honey Example

Jesus Baptized Craft

Scripture As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened. Jesus saw the Spirit of God coming down on him like a dove. Matthew 3:16

Supplies white card stock or construction paper, blue paper or blue cellophane, brads, clear tape, scissors

  • Attach blue paper or cellophane to bottom half of white paper.
  • Place John the Baptist and Jesus behind the blue paper.
  • Attach a brad to Jesus to make him go down into the water.

Baby Doll Baptism

Heads up! This activity would be good to use as you are teaching the lesson

Scripture As soon as Jesus was baptized, he came up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened. Jesus saw the Spirit of God coming down on him like a dove. Matthew 3:16

Supplies tub of water, waterproof baby doll (with clothes), water

  • The purpose of this activity is to give children an example of how baptism is done.
  • Regardless of how your church participates in baptism, children always feel more comfortable when they know what to expect.
  • I would encourage you to take your students to see any baptisms that take place at your church.
  • As you lead your students through the process of baptism, make sure you explain why people choose baptism.
  • Our church uses the illustration of a wedding ring. A wedding ring does not make you married, it is simply a way to show others you are married. Baptism is an outward way to show others that you believe in God.

Jesus being baptised craft

Supplies larger and small paper plates. Jesus and John printables. popsicle sticks. glue, crayons, scissors.

  • larger plate for background, smaller plate cut in half and glued to top and bottom of larger plate to make the foreground. Jesus on a popsicle stick to go into the water.

memory verse game

  • Active Verse
  • Display the Bible verse and say together. Then ask the children to say the verse in each of
  • these ways:
  • • At a normal pace while standing
  • • In fast forward while jogging in place
  • • In a whisper while tiptoeing
  • • Shouting while marching
  • • In slow motion while jogging in slow motion
  • • In a normal voice while walking backward