*This plan is taken from “The Gospel Project for Kids” curriculum
Unit 21: Session 2—Jesus and John the Baptist
Bible passage: John 3: 22-36
Main point: Jesus came from heaven to earth.
Key passage (Memory passage for the unit): John 14:6 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Big picture question: Who did Jesus say He is? Jesus said He is the Messiah.
Session starter activity:
Names that begin with J:
Give each child a paper and give them one minute to come up with as many names that begin with the letter J in that time. Did they come up with Jesus and John? Today’s Bible story is about Jesus and John the Baptist.
Big picture question and Bible Timeline:
When Jesus began His ministry on earth, He met with a lot of people. Last week, we learned about a man named Nicodemus who came to Jesus at night. Nicodemus was a religious leader, and Jesus told Nicodemus that people can’t earn salvation by following the rules or the law. Jesus told Nicodemus he must be born again.
Today we are going to hear about John the Baptist. John’s followers didn’t understand who Jesus is, so John told them.
Who did Jesus say He is? Jesus said He is the Messiah. The word messiah means “anointed one” or “chosen one.” The Messiah is the person God sent to save people from sin. Jesus is the Messiah! Keep that in mind when you listen to today’s Bible story.
Tell the Bible Story: Read John 3: 22-36. **Try to have the kids find the passage on their own. If they have trouble, remind them that John is the last of the four Gospels.
Say: God had chosen John the Baptist to do a special job. John’s job was to get people ready for Jesus. As John preached about the Messiah and called people to turn away from their sins, many people began to follow him. John baptized people to show that they repented of their sins.
John’s followers were confused when they saw that people were following Jesus and going to Him to be baptized. They went to John for answers. John explained who he was and who Jesus is. John said, “I am not the Messiah.” John did not want his followers to look to him for salvation; he wanted them to look to Jesus.
John could not save people from theirs sins. His job was to point them to the One who does have the power to save—Jesus! Who did Jesus say He is? Jesus said He is the Messiah.
John said that Jesus was like a groom at a wedding, and John was like the groom’s friend. Everyone knows that the groom at a wedding is more important than the friend.
John also talked about where he came from and where Jesus came from. John came from the earth, but Jesus came from heaven to earth. John said other things about himself and Jesus. “He must increase, but I must decrease.” John meant that it was time for him to get out of the spotlight. Jesus had finally come!
John the Baptist had told people to get ready for Jesus, the promised Messiah. Now that Jesus was on earth, John’s mission was complete. John the Baptist joyfully stepped aside as Jesus began His earthly ministry. John wanted people to trust in Jesus because Jesus has the power to save people from sin. When we trust in Jesus as Lord and Savior, God forgives our sin and gives us eternal life.
Bible Review Questions:
Read the following questions about the story.
- What did Jesus do in the countryside? (He spent tiem with His disciples and people were baptized, John 3: 22)
- What did John’s followers tell John? (Jesus was baptizing people, and people were following him, John 3:26)
- John said he was not whom? (the Messiah, John 3:28)
- To which people at a wedding did John compare Jesus and himself? (Jesus = the groom, and John = the groom’s friend, John 3:29)
- Who did John say must become greater? (Jesus, John 3:30)
- Where did Jesus come from? (Jesus came from heaven to earth, John 3: 31)
- Whose words does Jesus speak? (God’s words, John 3:34)
- What will those who believe in the Son have? (eternal life, John 3:36)
- Who will not have eternal life? (those who refuse to believe in the Son, John 3: 36)
- Who did Jesus say He is? Jesus said He is the Messiah.
Key verse review:
Write each word of the key passage on a separate index card. Have the kid(s) work to put the verse in the correct order.
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Print out the following crossword puzzle and enjoy!
Spend time praying as a family thanking God for His Word, for His salvation, and that we would treasure Jesus more.