Aim to learn about John the Baptist’s mission to prepare people to follow the Jesus

* To learn about John the Baptist’s mission to prepare people to follow the Jesus
* To learn the meaning of four words

* Story of John the Baptist and Jesus from the Bible (Matthew 3:1-17)
* First Bible Stories, illustrated by John Dillow
* word cards
* worksheets

Lesson Outline
1. Keeping a clean body and mind
2. John the Baptist
3. Tell the story
4. Questions about the story
5. Relate the story to children’s lives
6. Activities – worksheets, memory game
7. Review the aims
8. Prayer

1) Keeping a clean body and mind
* God gave us a body to keep clean. Who has the cleanest hands? Are your nails clean? How often do you brush your teeth? How often do you have a shower. Is your hair clean? 
* God also gave a mind to keep clean. Can you clean your mind? We should have clean thoughts, say clean things and do clean things. A dirty mind has bad thoughts, says bad words and does bad
things. Lying, stealing, swearing, hurting others we call sins. Can we get rid of sins with water or soap? First we have to repent for what we do wrong. Repent means to say sorry
* Today’s story is about a man who helped people to wash away their sins and keep them clean inside

2) John Baptist
Do you remember who John the Baptist was? His parents were Elizabeth and Zechariah. Jesus’ parents were Mary and Joseph. Elizabeth and Mary were sisters. That means that John and Jesus
were cousins. 
An angel visited Zechariah and told him his wife would have a baby boy, who would be very special, and he should be called John. The angel said that he would prepare many people to
receive God into their lives. His mission was to prepare people to follow God’s chosen person when he came. 
At that time the Jewish people were not free. They were ruled by the Romans. They were waiting for God to send them the Messiah (the chosen one of God) to free them like Moses. John expected
the Messiah to come soon, but he didn’t know his cousin, Jesus, was the chosen one. When the story starts both John and Jesus are 30 years old

3) Tell the Story
* Don’t just read the story without stopping. Use the large pictures to tell the story. Stop sometimes.
Ask questions. For example: Who is this? What is he wearing? What is he doing? 
* You can show the pictures again and ask the children to tell you the story in their own words.
* Test their knowledge by asking questions about the story.

4) Questions about the story
1. Where did John live? IN THE DESERT
2. What were his clothes made of? CAMEL HAIR
3. What did he eat? LOCUSTS & WILD HONEY
4. What do we call the bad things we do? SINS (bad thoughts, bad words and bad actions)
5. What did John say the people must do about their sins? REPENT (to say sorry)
6. What did John do to take their sins away? BAPTIZE THEM (to wash away sins with water.)
7. What happened when John baptized Jesus? A DOVE APPEARED AND GOD SPOKE
9. Who was Jesus? THE MESSIAH (the chosen one of God)

5) Relate the story to children’s lives
When we do something wrong, we don’t feel good inside our heart. Our heart doesn’t feel clean and happy. What can you do to get rid of bad thoughts, bad words and bad deeds?
We should say sorry when we say or do something wrong, and really mean it. Then we can be forgiven. We will then feel clean inside our hearts again and the bad feelings and thoughts can be
washed away.

6) Activities
* Worksheet 1 – Find 10 people to baptize. Write the key words,
* Worksheet 2 – Join the points together to make a path to John. Match the words and definitions
* Play the memory game using the word cards
* Learn the meaning of the key words using the word cards

7) Review the Lesson
– What can we learn from this story? Review the aims of the lesson.

1. To learn about John the Baptist’s mission – When John baptized Jesus he realized for the first time that Jesus was the Messiah or chosen one that the Jews had waited for. John’s mission was to be Jesus’ closest follower and to make many followers of Jesus

2. To learn the meaning of four words
sins – bad thoughts, bad words, bad actions
repent – to say sorry
baptize – to wash away sins with water.
Messiah – the chosen one of God

8) End with a Prayer