Stepping Stones Sunday Lesson
May 3, 2020
*This plan is taken from “The Gospel Project for Kids” curriculum
Unit 19: Session 5–Jesus Was Baptized
Bible passage: Matthew 3:13-17; Mark 1:1-11; Luke 3:21-22; John 1:19-34
Main point: Jesus obeyed God by being baptized.
Key passage (Memory passage for the unit): 1 Timothy 1:15 “Here is a saying that you can trust. It should be accepted completely. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. And I am the worst sinner of all.
Big picture question: What makes Jesus different? Jesus is fully God and fully man.
Session starter activity: Uses for Water
Display a large cup of water at the center of a table.
Have the kids take a few minutes to brainstorm as many uses for water as they can think of. Sample answers: drinking, preparing food, bathing, washing clothes and dishes, brushing teeth, watering yards and gardens, washing pets or cars, and so forth.
Say: Did anyone think of baptism? Today’s Bible story is about Jesus’ baptism. John the Baptist baptized Jesus in the Jordan River.
Big picture question and Bible Timeline:
Last week we talked about Jesus as a boy who stayed behind at the temple. We learned that Jesus came to earth to do His Father’s plan. The week before that, we talked about Jesus’ birth and the miraculous way God announced it with angels and a bright star. We learned that Jesus was born to be God’s promised Savior. Who can remember back before our Palm Sunday and Easter lessons? We learned that God chose Mary to be Jesus’ mother, but His Father is God. And prior to that, we learned all about Jesus’ family line, which included Abraham, David, and others. Jesus was the fulfillment of God’s Old Testament promises. This week, our story is called, “Jesus Was Baptized.”
Remember our big picture question, What makes Jesus different? The Bible stories we have been hearing about the early years of Jesus’ life on earth teach us many things about who Jesus is and why He came to earth. God the Son has always existed, and when He came to earth, He took on the form of a human. Jesus didn’t stop being God the Son when He came to earth. So, What makes Jesus different? Jesus is fully God and fully man.
Tell the Bible Story: Read Matthew 3:13-17. **Try to have the kids find the passage on their own. If they have trouble, remind them that Matthew is the first book in the New Testament. It is one of the four Gospels.
Say: We talked about Mary’s cousin Elizabeth. Who remembers what her son was named? (Allow for a response.) That’s right, his name was John. That little boy grew up to be John the Baptist, who spent his time telling the people to prepare for Jesus. When people confessed and turned away from sin, John would dip them into water – an event we call baptism – to symbolize God washing away their sin. When Jesus showed up and asked John to baptize Him, John did not understand. He knew that Jesus was perfect and had no sins to repent of! John even thought that Jesus should baptize him instead! But God’s plan included Jesus being baptized, and Jesus obeyed God by being baptized.
After Jesus was baptized, something amazing happened. God made a special announcement from heaven. He said, “This is My Son, and I love Him.” Then the Holy Spirit came down from heaven and rested on Jesus! No baptism before then or since has been like that one! What makes Jesus different? Jesus is fully God and fully man. Jesus didn’t need to be baptized to show that He was turning away from sin because Jesus never sinned! Instead, God wanted Jesus to be baptized to show the world that Jesus is God’s Son and that we should follow Jesus’ example. He was also baptized as a symbol of what was to come. He went into the water to represent His death and burial. He came back out of the water to represent His resurrection. (See Romans 6:3-11).
You see, baptism is a symbol of the gospel. Baptism is a way God wants believers to show that world what Jesus did for us by dying on the cross, being buried, and rising again three days later.
When a believer goes into the water, it represents the old version of him or her – the version that is dead because of sin – being buried. When the person is raised back out of the water, it represents the way Jesus brings us to life when we have faith in Him. Because Jesus died for our sins and was raised again, we can die to sin and receive new life through Jesus.
Jesus never did anything wrong, but he was baptized like sinners are baptized. Baptism reminds us that Jesus died and came back to life. People who know and love Jesus should be baptized too, to show that we have come back to life with Jesus.
Bible Review Questions:
- Who was baptized in the Bible story? (Jesus, who never sinned)
- What kind of people are baptized today? (repentant sinners)
- Where was Jesus baptized? (in the Jordan River)
- Where are people baptized today? (in water, like in a baptistry)
- Why was Jesus baptized? (to obey God, to set an example for us)
- Why are people baptized today? (to follow Jesus’ example, to show others that we have trusted in Jesus)
- Who baptized Jesus? (John)
- Who baptizes us? (a pastor or church leader)
- Whose baptism is pleasing to God? (Jesus’ and ours)
Say: Jesus obeyed God by being baptized. We can follow Jesus’ example by being baptized as a sign that we trust in Jesus and want to live for Him.
Remember, baptism is a way we show that we have been saved by Jesus. Baptism is not what saves us from sin; faith in Jesus saves us.
Key verse review:
1 Timothy 1:15
Here is a saying that you can trust. It should be accepted completely. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. And I am the worst sinner of all.
Read the key passage together. Write the first letter of each word in 1 Timothy 1:15 on a piece of paper or dry erase board. Let kids verbally complete as many words as they know. Fill in the words as kids say them. If kids master the key passage, erase or cover up several words and challenge them to recite 1 Timothy 1:15 from memory. Keep working on memorizing the passage. Next week we will see if you all can say 1 Timothy 1:15 from memory.
Spend some time praying as a family.
Here’s a free coloring page the kids can print out if they would like: