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John the Baptist

To Remember: John the Baptist was a prophet who prepared the Jews for Christ’s teachings by teaching repentance, or turning away from sin, and baptism.

Vocabulary
:
  • Baptism: being immersed in water for the remission of sins
  • Repent: turn away from wrong
Lesson - Read Matthew 3:1-6
Matthew 3:1-6 And in those days cometh John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, saying, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. For this is he that was spoken of through Isaiah the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Make ye ready the way of the Lord, make his paths straight. Now John himself had his raiment of camel's hair, and a leather girdle about his loins; and his food was locusts and wild honey. Then went out unto him Jerusalem, and all Judea, and all the region round about the Jordan; and they were baptized of him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.
Zacharias and Elisabeth were a Jewish couple who pleased God. Zacharias was a priest in the Temple. One day, while he was serving in the Temple, an angel appeared to him. He was scared, but the angel said, don't be afraid, your prayer is answered. Your wife will bear a son, who you will name John.

Zacharias asked how he could be sure this would happen, for he and his wife were older. The angel said, I am Gabriel, and to prove what I say is true, you will not be able to speak 'til the child is born. When Zacharias came out, the people were astonished. Even though he could not tell them what happened, it was obvious he had a vision. Sure enough, soon Elisabeth was with child.

Now Elisabeth was the cousin of Mary, who was also with child with Jesus at the time. Mary came to visit Elisabeth, and when she did, John leapt in her womb and Elisabeth prophesied.

When he was older, John began to preach to the Jews. He did not live in cities, but in the the wilderness, eating locusts and honey, wearing skins, and teaching repentance. He taught that the Jews had to turn away from their sins and wash themselves clean through Baptism for the Messiah was coming. He was talking about his cousin, Jesus.

SING:
Be careful little eyes what you see

True or False
  1. John the Baptist was Jesus’ brother. F
  2. It was unusual for someone Elisabeth's age to bear a child. T
  3. Mary came to visit Elisabeth when they were both pregnant. T
  4. John led an abnormal lifestyle for the time. T
  5. John taught that men could be saved without changing their lives. F
  6. Sprinkling water on something is baptizing it.   F
Review Questions
  1. How were John and Jesus related? Their mothers were cousins.
  2. Who did Zacharias see in the temple?  The angel Gabriel.
  3. John was how many months older than Jesus? six
  4. Who did Elisabeth go to see? Mary
  5. Where did John preach? in the wilderness
  6. What did he eat? locusts and wild honey
  7. What did he wear? animal skins
  8. What did he teach people? to repent and be baptized for the remission of sins, the Messiah is coming
Activities
  • Musical Blessings
  • Memory Work: Mark 1:4 John came, who baptized in the wilderness and preached the baptism of repentance unto remission of sins.
  • Puzzle: Print out linked picture and cut into puzzles for the students to put together.
  • 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.
    • Matt 4:17 From that time began Jesus to preach, and to say, Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
    • Acts 2:38 And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 
    • Luke 13:5  I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish.
    • Rev 2:5 love. 5 Remember therefore whence thou art fallen, and repent and do the first works; or else I come to thee, and will move thy candlestick out of its place, except thou repent.
    • Acts 17:30 The times of ignorance therefore God overlooked; but now he commandeth men that they should all everywhere repent: 
  • OR 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!
 

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