In this lesson, we will learn about John the Baptist. Some of the key points we will look at are–
- John came to prepare the way for Jesus. (Mark 1:3)
- John knew it was about God and not Him. (John 3:30)
- John taught that everyone should repent (Matthew 3:2) 4.
- Introduction to Baptism
John the Baptist – Lesson Guide
Remind the child that John the Baptist was the son of Elizabeth who Mary visited when she was pregnant with Jesus. Explain that John was a miracle baby since his parents were too old to have children. Talk about how the angel appeared to John’s father in the temple and told him that John would be born.
Explain that John had a very important job to do. His job was to prepare and make ready the way for Christ. Ask the child if they know what prepare means. To illustrate, select a recipe of some kind. This can be dinner, dessert, or a special snack. Before you start, lay out the ingredients. (For illustrative purposes, a recipe that uses items like flour, baking soda, or other items that are not good before preparation would be best.) Ask the child if the flour or other items are ready to eat. As you begin to prepare the recipe, ask the child throughout the process if the item is ready. Explain that the item will only be ready at the proper time when all the ingredients are assembled and baked. Talk about how, just like the ingredients, God selected a time and people to make ready the way for His Son.
Ask the child if they know how John prepared the way for Christ. Point out that he preached sermons and told people that Jesus was coming. Explain that a pastor preaches sermons in church. If the child is old enough, you may ask them whom the pastor talks about in church. Ask if the pastor talks about himself, or cartoons, or Jesus. Explain that just like a pastor, John’s job was to talk about Jesus not himself. Explain that we, too, are called to talk about Jesus.
Explain that John preached about the need for repentance. Explain that repentance is to be sorry for the wrong things we have done and to stop doing them. Talk about how repentance means to turn and go in the opposite direction.
Explain that John was called John the Baptist because he baptized people. If the child has witnessed a baptism, you may use that as an illustration. You may also choose to play an online video of a baptism or merely explain what happens. Discuss how baptism is a picture of us dying to our sinful self and resurrecting into a new life in Christ. Explain that baptism doesn’t save us, but is a representation of being saved. To illustrate, use either a phone or a camera. You may choose to take photos in advance or assist your child in taking photographs. Talk about how the photos are not the real object, but representations of the real object. Use at least one photo of food (if you made the earlier recipe, this would be an excellent choice). Point to the picture of the food and ask the child if that food will satisfy their hunger. Ask if the photo of their bed will allow them to rest. Or if the photo of water will help them wash their hands. Use this illustration to explain that baptism is a picture of what Christ has done for us, but it cannot in itself save us. Rejoice together that Jesus came into the world. You may do this with song, prayer, or speech. Pray and thank God for Christ. Ask Him to help you be like John and share the Good News with others.
Free Printable Bible Story
Games and Activities
Honey sandwiches and candy bugs
John the Baptist had a very strange diet (At least for us in the UK). While reading this week’s passage, make a small snack of Honey sandwiches. You could also buy some gummy or chocolate bugs or worms to eat alongside them. It will help your child to picture John’s diet.
Print two copies of the paper locust include in the lesson. Children should race to blow or fan the locust across the room. If you are playing with several children, you could make it into a relay race.
Part of the idea of repentance is to turn around. To turn from sin and to God. For this game, have the children listen to music and dance, facing away from you. When the music stops, the child should turn around as quickly as possible and face the adult. If playing in a group, the slowest child to turn around is out of the game.
Bible Coloring pages – John the Baptist
John the Baptist Craft – Includes free template
What you will need:
- Template page
- Coloring pencils or crayons
What to do
- Colour the template.
- Cut out water section, handle and man.
- Glue water section onto main picture. Fold handle and glue to man.
Recommended links and videos
- Tell Me the Story: John the Baptist – https://youtu.be/_OO84K9RuF0
- God’s Story: John the Baptist – https://youtu.be/7NMHOLPWeTM
- Kid Bible Story: John the Baptist – https://youtu.be/cROnNgHCYQw
- You Are My God – https://youtu.be/k4pvSgUp38c
- I’ve Got Peace Like A River – https://youtu.be/N2R4D6qhaD8
- Deep Cries Out – https://youtu.be/1gFwpOjF-5o
Download the lesson