In this lesson, we will study Matthew 3:13-17 and the baptism of Jesus. We will learn from the humility, obedience and love He showed in this story. This lesson is designed for pre-teen and teens and by the end of this lesson, they should have learnt about the following:
- The baptism of Jesus
- Jesus is the lamb of God.
- Pleasing God and setting a good example for others.
- The rewards of obeying God.
Start by reading the passage from the Bible. Repeat the memory verse and discuss the key points from the passage. Conclude by answering the discussion questions in small groups or individually.
MEMORY VERSE: “And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”” Matthew 3:17
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BIBLE STUDY NOTES FOR TEENS
- JESUS IS THE LAMB OF GOD WHO TAKES AWAY OUR SINS (John 1:29)
When John the Baptist saw Jesus approaching him one day, he declared that Jesus is the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world. Jesus Christ did not have to be baptized, but He was baptized to identify with us and to show us the hope of salvation. Jesus came to save us from our sins, He did all He could to give us hope and show us the way, including getting baptized.
Reference the importance of the lamb from the Old Testament.
- When Isaac asked Abraham about the lamb on the way to the mountain, Abraham said that God would provide the lamb (Genesis 22:6-8).
- During the final plague of Egypt, God promised to pass over the houses where the blood of the lambs was applied to the doorposts (Exodus 12:3–13).
- Every morning and evening, the priests in the temple at Jerusalem sacrificed a lamb in the morning and evening every day (Exodus 29:38)
- The priests sacrificed a clean, innocent lamb to make atonement for sin. (Leviticus 4:35)
We must always remember the fact that Jesus came to the world to take our sins away and He will always be there for us in our weakest times. In the Old Testament, the lambs dealt with sin. Jesus took our sins away.
2. JESUS GOT BAPTIZED TO OBEY GOD AND SET AN EXAMPLE (Matthew 3:15).
As mentioned above, Jesus was the spotless lamb of God. He had no sin to deal with but got baptized to fulfill all righteousness. This means that He got baptized primarily because of us and not Himself. Baptism was meant for the remission of sins and repentance. However, Jesus had no sin, and He did not really need baptism. He got baptized to show us the perfect example and to obey God. John recognized this and did not want to baptize Jesus, but Jesus persuaded him to do this.
We must learn from this selfless example of Jesus Christ too. There are times we might have to do something to show a good example and obey God’s commandments too. Doing the right thing is not all about yourself, it is also about being a light that will shine in the world too. There are times we might have to go past pleasing ourselves to doing what God has asked us to do and help others grow too. We must learn to put others before ourselves.
3. JESUS HUMBLED HIMSELF (Matthew 3:14)
Another lesson to learn from the baptism of Jesus is the humility he displayed to approach John for baptism. Jesus was greater than John, but He humbled himself to do the right thing and be baptized. He did not mind His reputation and how people would perceive Him, He prioritized doing the right thing and the will of His Father.
We must also be ready to do what God will have us do no matter what it may cost us. We must be humble and submit ourselves to our parents, leaders, and guardians as God instructed us to.
4. OBEDIENCE TO GOD NEVER GOES UNNOTICED (Matthew 3:16-17)
After Jesus obeyed God and did the right thing by getting baptized, the heavens were opened, and God proclaimed Jesus as His beloved son who pleased Him. God recognized and rewarded Jesus for His obedience.
We all want God to be pleased with us. For this to happen, we must continually obey what God tells us to do. Obedience to God brings tremendous blessings from God. Our obedience and sacrifice to God never goes unnoticed. Jesus promised that we will “receive many times more in this time, and in the age to come eternal life.” (Luke 18:30).
When we disobey God’s commandments, we miss the wonderful experiences God has planned for our lives.
5. THE HOLY SPIRIT DESCENDS ON JESUS. (Matthew 3:16)
During the baptism of Jesus, the Holy Spirit came upon Him like a dove. The Holy Spirit came upon Jesus to empower and prepare Him for the work ahead. We also need the Holy Spirit to empower us to live lives which please God and to fulfil His mission.
When we start following Jesus Christ, He gives us the Holy Spirit to guide us and direct us in our journey in life. The Holy Spirit empowers us, comfort us and helps us in all areas of life.
Here are a few points to note as you round up this study:
- Jesus is the lamb of the God that takes away our sins.
- There are times we might have to go past pleasing ourselves to doing what God has asked us to do and help others grow too.
- Our lives should please God in all we do.
- We must humble ourselves to obey God just like Jesus did.
- Our obedience to God never goes unnoticed.
- The Holy Spirit will empower and strengthen us just like He did for Jesus.
Pray on all that was taught in this lesson and as the Holy Spirit leads you.
YOUTH GAMES AND ACTIVITIES FOR THE BAPTISM OF JESUS
- All children should remove their shoes and place on one side of the room.
- Split children into teams.
- On “go”, the first child, runs find their shoes, put them on and returns to their team.
- The next player does the same. The first team to have all their players with shoes on wins.
- Speak about how John the Baptist recognized Jesus was special and said he was not even worthy to tie Jesus’ laces.
UNDER THE RIVER
- Lay a large tarpaulin on the floor. (It will represent the river).
- Split children int teams.
- On go, children can race under the tarpaulin and to the other side.
- When the first play makes it across than the second player can start.
- The first team to get all their players across wins.
- Create a line on the floor. One side of the line will be the river and the other the bank.
- Have the children line up on the bank side facing the river.
- The leader shouts out commands,
- River (Children jump into the river)
- Bank (Children jump onto the bank)
- Riverbank (Children put on foot in the river and one on the bank)
- If a player gets it wrong, they are out.