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									John the Baptist / Baptism of Jesus
Matthew 3:1-6, 13-17; Mark 1:1-11; Luke 3:21-22 TBB: The Man Who Could Not Talk (299), In the
   Jordan River (310)
Main Idea: We are baptized with water and God‟s word.
Key Verse: Matthew 3:16-17 “So Jesus was baptized. And as soon as He came out of the water, the sky
   opened, and He saw the Spirit of God coming down on Him like a dove. Then a voice from heaven
   said, „This is My own dear Son and I am pleased with Him.‟”
Or Mark 1:4 “So John the Baptist showed up in the desert and told everyone, „Turn back to God and be
   baptized! Then your sins will be forgiven.‟”

Discussion Questions:
   1. What is a messenger?
   2. Who chose John the Baptist to be a messenger? (God)
   3. What was John‟s message? (change your ways, prepare for the Lord, the Savior is coming)
   4. In what ways are you messengers in your everyday lives?
   5. How can you be a messenger for Jesus? (tell others about Him and His love for us. You can be a
       messenger just by mentioning you go to church or Sunday School, it can make another person
       aware of God)
   6. In which river did John baptize? (Jordan River)
   7. Who was the Lamb of God that John the Baptist talked about? (Jesus is the Lamb of God)
   8. Why didn‟t John want to baptize Jesus? (John did not feel worthy to baptize him.)
   9. What did Jesus say that convinced John to baptize him? (This was what God commanded.)
   10. What was God‟s big announcement? (God boldly identified Jesus as his Son.)
   11. What elements were used in Jesus‟ baptism? (Water and God’s word.)
   12. What is used when we are baptized? (Water and God’s word.)
   13. What does Repent mean? (turn away from wrong)
   14. John the Baptist was Jesus‟ brother. (False he was a cousin)
   15. It was unusual for someone Elisabeth's age to bear a child. True
   16. Mary came to visit Elisabeth when they were both pregnant. True
   17. John led an unusual lifestyle for the time. True
   18. John taught that men could be saved without changing their lives. (False repent means change)
   19. Who did Zacharias see in the temple? (The angel Gabriel.)
   20. John was how many months older than Jesus? six
   21. Where did John preach? in the wilderness
   22. What did he eat? Locusts/flying grasshoppers and wild honey
   23. What did he wear? animal skins
   24. What did he teach people? to repent and be baptized for the forgiveness of sins, the Messiah is
   25. Jesus was baptized for the forgiveness of sins. False Jesus never sinned
   26. When Jesus Christ was baptized, the Holy Spirit appeared and the voice of God was heard True
   27. The Spirit appeared in the shape of a raven. False a dove
   28. Fill in the blank: "He that believes and is _baptized___ shall be saved."
   29. Jesus was baptized at the baptismal font? (no He was baptized in a river)
   30. How did John feel when Jesus asked him to baptize him? reluctant, humble
   31. What did God say about Jesus? (Luke 3:22 "You are my own dear Son, and I am pleased with
   32. How do you think Jesus felt when God made such a public statement of his pleasure? happy,
   33. Baptism combines water with what? (God’s Word)
   34. When we are baptized, we become members of a new family. What family is it? (we become
       brothers and sisters in Christ; God’s family)
   35. What benefits does God give in Baptism? (In Baptism God forgives sin, delivers from death and
       the devil, and gives everlasting salvation to all who believe what he has promised.)
   36. What is God‟s promise? (In Mark 16 our Lord Jesus Christ says: “He who believes and is
       baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.”)
   37. How can water do such great things? (It is not the water that does these things, but the God’s
       Word with the water and our trust in this Word. Water by itself is only water, but with the Word of
       God it is a life-giving water which by grace gives the new birth through the Holy Spirit.)
   38. Is the water that we are baptized in special or "holy"? (No, we can be baptized in any water.)
   39. What does baptism represent? (Being buried as Christ was, and resurrecting a new person.)
   40. What are some ways we use water? (bathing, drinking, cleaning, watering plants, etc)
   41. How do we use the water in the baptismal font? (baptize people/babies)
   42. Why do we baptize people in the church? (welcome them into God’s family)
   43. What makes this water special? (God’s Word)

Activities in Folders:
   Coloring Sheets

Ideas for John the Baptist:
    1. Repent Game: A version of Simon Says to demonstrate that repent means to turn around. Have
        students stand while you read the following verses. Have them turn around 180 degrees each time
        they hear the word “repent” or the phrase “turn back to God”.
           Matt 4:17 Then Jesus started preaching, “Turn back to God! The kingdom of heaven will soon
            be here.”
           Acts 2:38 Peter said, “Turn back to God! Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ, so that your
            sins will be forgiven. Then you will be given the Holy Spirit.”
           Luke 13:5 But you can be sure that if you don‟t turn back to God, everyone of you will also
           Rev 2:5 Think about where you have fallen from, and then turn back and do as you did at first.
           Acts 17:30 In the past, God forgave all this because people did not know what they were
            doing. But now He says that everyone everywhere must turn to Him.
    2. Play "John Says". In the lines below, if it starts John says, they turn around first and then do it. If it
        doesn't start John Says, they don't turn around.
           John says take one step back
           John says hop once on your right foot.
           John says raise your hands
           sit down
           John says shake your head
           stand up
           John says stand up
           John says turn around!
    3. John the Baptist was a messenger. We can be messengers. Give each child a copy of a t-shirt on a
        white piece of paper. Have them design a message concerning their feelings about Jesus. You
        might suggest phrases like “I love Jesus”, “Jesus is my friend”, etc. Ask them to include their
        names somewhere on the T-shirt. Have them cut out the t-shirts and hang them on a piece of yarn,
        clothes line style.
    4. Provide sensory experiences based on John‟s life. Let children feel a rough cloth such as burlap,
        taste honey and milk, or sample a date or fig.
    5. Create a “Jesus Loves You” plaque using glow in the dark markers. Write the words “Jesus Loves
        You” in the center using glow in the dark markers. Use regular markers to create a border around
        the words. Discuss how we can share the gospel message with others, but sometimes we need the
        familiar comforting message to remind us Jesus is always there for us and He loves us. Have
        children display their plaques in the bedrooms at home.
   6. Write messages of cheer on postcards and mail them to people in need of such a message. Obtain
      names and addresses from the church office or leave the postcards in the office for use as

Ideas for Baptism of Jesus
    1. Make a mural of the various ways water is used by drawing pictures or cutting pictures from
        magazines. Place a picture or symbol for Baptism in the center. Title the mural, “God‟s Word
        combined with water in Baptism refreshes, renews, and gives new life.”
    2. Plan a baptismal anniversary party.
    3. “Spirit of God” Dove. Make copies of a dove pattern on white cardstock or construction paper.
        Cut tissue paper into 1”x8” streamers or use crepe paper streamers. Have children cut out the
        doves and print their names across the wingspan. Glue strips of tissue paper or streamers to hang
        off the dove‟s tail. Punch a hole in the top center of the dove and add yarn or fishing line to make
        a hanger.
    4. Baptism drops. Cover work table with newspaper. Provide a coffee filter for each child. Have
        each child cut a coffee filter (or paper towel) into a large drop shape. Place the drop on newspaper
        and draw designs with watercolor markers. The design could simply be spots or stripes. Then put
        about ½” of the drop‟s broad end into a glass of water. Watch while the water goes to work.
        Allow the drop to dry on the newspaper. Children may wish to make more then one. Dried drops
        could be hung from a construction paper baptismal shell to make a mobile.
    5. Baptismal Font. Sit around the baptismal font as you read the story for today. Before moving
        from class area to the font, emphasize the special-ness of the place. Ask them about baptisms they
        have seen in our church.
    6. Symbol Strip. Provide long ribbons or pieces of yarn. Have children cut out baptismal symbols
        (water drops, doves, shells, etc) Attach the symbols to the ribbon or tie together with yarn.
    7. (Grades 3 & 4) Using chart paper, record ways they use water every day. Remind them that there
        are so many ways we use water daily that we may not stop to think about what an important
        element it is in our lives. Help them realize that we could not live our lives without water. God
        generously gives us what is necessary so that we can live our lives. Water is one of these generous
        gifts. What does it mean to be generous? (To be free in giving or sharing.) Place an empty glass
        into a pan and begin pouring water from the pitcher into the glass. As the water spills over the
        sides of the glass into the pan, let learners know that God‟s generous love also fills us and is
    8. (Grades 3 & 4) Give each learner a cup of water. Ask: What does water smell like? What does it
        taste like? What does it feel like? What does it look like? Describe the feeling we call “wet”.
        Then conclude: Just like when you tried to describe water and found it difficult, it is difficult to
        describe something so necessary to our lives. Refer to the chart made in #1 above, noting if
        anyone included Baptism as a use of water. If not, note that there is one very important way that
        water is used that is missing. To be one of God‟s children, we need the waters of baptism.
    9. (Grades 3 & 4) Discuss baptism and ask learners if they have any knowledge of their own
        baptism. (Be aware that some learners may not be baptized or even be familiar with the term).
        Share pictures of baptism, baptism dresses/outfits, faith chests (like those given at the time of
        baptism in our church), baptismal napkins, candles, banners, etc. Refer to the “Rite of Baptism” in
        our hymnal.
    10. (Grades 3 & 4) Ask learners what names they answer to: student, son/daughter, grandchild, paper
        boy/girl, baseball player, dancer, etc. Note, the greatest of names you can answer to is CHILD OF
        GOD! Celebrate the day you became God‟s own in the waters of baptism. Encourage them to ask
        their parents to tell them about their baptism day: the date, their sponsors, if there was a
        celebration (family meal, etc) honoring their baptism, how were they dressed.
    11. (Grades 3 & 4) Set the scene for the Bible story by having learners pretend they are sitting on the
        banks of the Jordan River, a river important to the people of Bible times because it joined the Sea
      of Galilee and the Dead Sea. Have them visualize Jesus‟ cousin, John the Baptist, baptizing
      people in the water of the Jordan River as was the custom in Bible times.
12.   (Grades 3 & 4) When we are baptized, the words used in baptism remind us who we are. Have a
      sea shell available for each learner. Using permanent markers, have them each write their name
      on a shell. Drop each shell in a bowl of water. Allow them to swish their hands in the water and
      remind them that we are all joined together in the family of god through baptism.
13.   (Grades 3 & 4) Baptism mobile: Have each learner print “I am God‟s Child” on a blue strip of
      construction paper that has been cut 1” x 18”. Form the strip into a circle and staple the two ends
      together. Give each learner some artfoam and have them trace/sketch and cut out a baptismal
      symbol. Then, give each learner 2 pieces of ribbon in the lengths of 6” and 10”. Staple the short
      length of ribbon to the top of the symbol and attach it to the circle so that the symbol hangs in the
      center of the circle. Attach the long piece of ribbon to the outside top of the circle as a hanger.
14.   (Grades 3 & 4) Water-Washed Picture: Cover the work area with newspaper. Using a white
      crayon, draw baptism symbols on construction paper. Add the words “Baptism” and “Child of
      God”. Then cover the entire paper with the paint wash. Let dry.
15.   Spell BAPTISM on the sheets, one letter per sheet. Have students name a blessing that starts with
      that letter or sound.
16.   Marked by God. When we were baptized, we were marked with the cross of Christ on our
      foreheads. The mark, or symbol, reminds us that God continues to care for us. Have pairs paint a
      cross on each other‟s hand, face, or forehead as a reminder that God continues to care for them.
17.   Names for Jesus. On the top of a large piece of paper, write “Names for Jesus.” Encourage
      children to look through John 1:35-51 to find as many names for Jesus as they can. Write the
      names they find on the paper. (Lamb of God, Rabbi, Messiah, son of Joseph from Nazareth, Son of
      God, King of Israel, Son of Man) Talk about what each of these names tell us about Jesus (Jesus
      would be killed to save us from our sins. In those days, lambs were killed so God would forgive
      the people’s sins. Jesus is a teacher, our Savior, a person, God’s Son, our king, and one of us.)
18.   Place an empty glass in a pan and start pouring water from a pitcher into the glass. As the water
      spills over the sides of the glass into the pan, remind the children that God‟s generous love also
      fills us and is abundant. His generosity frees us to be generous with our giving and sharing. Talk
      about times people have shown generosity to them and times they have been generous with others.
      (sharing toys or food with others who have less, bringing cookies to the elderly, giving offerings
      in church, etc)
19.   Water Drop Hanger. Cut blue construction paper into 4”x6” pieces. Have children draw one large
      drop of water on each piece of paper and cut out the four water drops. Remind the children that
      God makes great promises to us in baptism: God‟s love, grace, and Holy Spirit. In Baptism we are
      reborn children of God and as His children we receive the benefits of forgiveness, salvation, and
      new life with God forever (old language: freed from sin, death, and the power of the Devil). Write
      their name on one drop and one of God‟s promises on each of the remaining water drops. Remind
      them to cling to those promises as they meet the challenges of the day. Punch a hole at the top of
      each water drop. Connect the drops with yarn or ribbon. Make a loop on the top water drop for
20.   Candle. A candle is given at baptism to remind us to shine our light to others. Have the children
      draw a candle on a piece of paper. Add a yellow flame. On rays coming from the flame, write
      ways they can shine their light so others can see (invite others to SS, obey parents, be generous,
21.   Blessing. At the close of the lesson, use a small amount of water in a bowl, dip your thumb in the
      bowl and trace the sign of the cross on the forehead of each child. As you do this say, “________,
      God loves you and promises to always be with you.
22.   Welcome. When children arrive, greet them with an enthusiastic “Good Morning” Talk about
      how it feels good to be welcomed. God shows us we are welcomed into His family in baptism.
      Talk about other ways of showing someone is welcome (shake hands, wave, smile, bow/curtsy,
23. Farmer in the Dell tune. Sing “My hand says hello, my hand says hello, Every time I see my
    friends, my hand says hello.” Repeat showing different greetings with each verse (wave, shaking
    hands, bowing, giving a high five, etc.)
24. “Spirit of God” Dove. Make copies of a dove pattern on white cardstock or construction paper.
    Have children cut out the dove and print their names across the wingspan. Cut tissue paper into
    1”x8” streamers or use 1” crepe paper strips. Glue strips of tissue paper or crepe paper streamers
    to hang off the dove‟s tail. Punch a hole in the top center of the dove and add yarn or fishing line
    to make a hanger.
25. Sign Language for “family”. As “adopted” children of God, we all belong to the same family; we
    are brothers and sisters in Christ. Teach the American Sign Language sign for “family” (touch
    forefinger to thumb on each hand; hold remaining fingers up. Forefingers and thumbs of each
    hand touch each other. Circle hands around until pinkies of each hand are touching) Say “We are
    the family of God.”

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