Who Was John the Baptist?

Scripture: Matthew 3, Mark 1:1-12, Luke 3 and John 1:1-34

Learning Objectives:

  • Students will learn John the Baptist prepared the people to hear Jesus’ message.
  • Students will learn John the Baptist fulfilled a prophecy in the Old Testament.
  • Students will learn Jesus modeled baptism for us as submission to the will of God, even though he had no sins that needed forgiving.
  • Students will learn about John the Baptist’s culture and the importance of baptism.

Guiding Question: Why is baptism important for becoming a Christian?

Materials: Locusts, honey, camel’s hair, photographs of where John the Baptist was and a baptistry

Procedure: Share the story of John’s ministry and Jesus’ baptism from the scriptures above. Explain that Jesus was perfect yet He modeled baptism for us because He wanted us to know how we could receive forgiveness for our sins and become Christians. Jesus’ baptism was also a prophecy from the old Testament that John the Baptist helped to fulfill. The fulfilled prophecy was another way for people to learn about Jesus and want to become Christians. Explain that the story has a lot of cultural differences such as food eaten then that is typically not eaten today.

Purchase edible locusts from REI or other reputable dealer that students can try (crickets and grasshoppers are from the locust family if you can’t find locusts), honey, and camel’s hair. Show the students a photo of the area where John the baptist was, show students a baptistry, and discuss how it was always immersion in the Bible and for many years afterwards. For students at the age of accountability, a more detailed discussion and study of baptism may be appropriate. (For baptism resources: http://teachonereachone.org/baptism-study/)

Additional Questions: How can those older than us give knowledge and advice about baptism?
Supplemental Activity: Have leaders in your congregation come to speak with the students about baptism and why it is necessary to becoming a Christian. Have them share how baptism and becoming a Christian has changed their life for the better and answer any questions the students may have.

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