Scripture Reference: Matthew 3

Memory Verse: Matthew 3:13

Children will learn about Jesus being baptized in the Jordan River by John the Baptist. Jesus’ baptism gives us an example to follow and shows how important it is for us to have God’s power when doing anything for him.

Knowing who Jesus is important. Knowing who he is and choosing to follow him as our Savior is even more important.

Let’s say our memory verse together. Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John (Matthew 3:13 NLT).

Icebreaker Questions:

Why do you think people get baptized?

What are the different ways you have seen people get baptized?

Why do you think Jesus got baptized if he never sinned?

Bible Story Time:

Reflection: Does anyone know the man’s name who baptized Jesus?

A long time ago, God spoke to his people through men and women called prophets. They were somewhat like today’s preachers. God spoke to them through dreams and visions, and then they would tell the people what God said. They told them how much God loved them, but they would also preach about God’s punishment if they didn’t obey his commands.

Almost 400 years had passed since a prophet had come to preach to the people. Suddenly, one appeared in the wilderness. He was a strange looking man. His clothes were made from camel’s hair, he wore a leather belt, and he ate locusts and wild honey. Since it had been so long since a prophet had been seen or heard, the people went out to see what he had to say.

The strange looking man was John the Baptist. His message was simple, but many people didn’t like it. John told the people they needed to repent of their sins and turn to God. Many of the people were descendants of Abraham—the man in the Old Testament who was a friend and follower of God. They thought because they were his descendants they were in good standing with God. John told them that didn’t matter. You couldn’t get to heaven just because your great, great, great, great grandfather believed in God.

Reflection: If your parents or grandparents are Christians, does that mean you are one? Why not?

John told the people God could take rocks and make children of Abraham if he wanted. Who their ancestor was wasn’t important. They needed to believe in God and be baptized as a symbol that they did. Many of the people believed John’s message, accepted Jesus as their Savior, and were baptized. But many others did not. They walked away without believing.

Reflection: What happens if people don’t believe in Jesus? Does God want this to happen to them?

As John was baptizing, Jesus appeared and asked John to baptize him. John was preparing the way for Jesus so the people would know who he was when he appeared. John was a servant and a cousin of Jesus. Jesus was important. John didn’t feel he was worthy to baptize him, but Jesus insisted. Being baptized was the right thing for Jesus to do. By being baptized, he would set an example for others and receive God’s power to do what God the Father had sent him to do: die for the sins of the world.

John finally agreed. Jesus went down into the water where John was standing. John put Jesus under the water and then lifted him out of the water. After Jesus came out of the water, a dove landed on him. The dove was a symbol of God’s Spirit. The Spirit of God would give Jesus the power he needed to preach to the people and then be crucified for their sins.

After we say we’re sorry for our sins and believe in Jesus as our Savior, the Bible tells us we should be baptized. Baptism is a sign we have died to our old way of living (being disobedient to God and not loving him) and are being raised up to a new way of living (loving God and obeying his commands). As with Jesus, God will then give us the power we need to live for him and do whatever work he asks us to do.