Baptism of Jesus Matthew 3:1-17 John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Galatians 4:4-5 - But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
Matthew 3:17 - “This is my Son, whom I love.”
Today’s Bible Lesson: Matthew 3:17 - And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
When Jesus was thirty years old, it was time for Him to begin the public journey that would lead Him to the cross. The baptism of Jesus marks the beginning of His ministry (His service for us) and identifies Him as the promised Messiah.
Matthew 3:1-17 v. 1
This verse marks the beginning of a new time period, the beginning of the ministries or public service of John the Baptist and (about 6 months later) Jesus. Jewish law didn't allow men to publicly teach or preach until they were 30 years of age or older.
John preached both the Law and the Gospel.
< The Law shows the people their sins, calling them to repentance and preparing their hearts for Jesus, their Savior.
The Kingdom of heaven is God's ruling activity over our hearts and lives through the Good News ofJesus, Who was already on the scene.
Isaiah proclaimed God's promise that God would send a messenger who would preach in the wilderness to prepare the way for God Himself to come to people's hearts.
John's clothing and food showed the simple, humble life he led as one whom God had dedicated to the special mission of preparing people to meet their Savior.
People from a wide area around the Jordan and Southern Palestine went to hear John's message.
God blessed his ministry so that the people not only heard but responded to his important message.
Scripture in various places exposes the Sadducees and Pharisees as hypocrites who acted holy but were not truly holy.
John's harsh words were meant to break down their trust in their own holiness.
They needed to repent of their sins and seek forgiveness so they wouldn't be condemned by God's anger against sin.
The Pharisees and Sadducees often trusted that because they were descendants of Abraham, God would forgive them their sins.
John told them that true repentance with faith shows itself in works that demonstrate genuine sorrow over sinfulness and faith in God's forgiveness.
This was a picture of how God condemns to the fires of hell those who do not repent of their sins through faith in Jesus.
True repentance and faith show themselves with the good works.
John here spoke of Jesus coming among them.
John's work was to prepare people to know Jesus when He came.
In humility John realized that he did not deserve to serve Jesus in even the simplest way because Jesus was greater than John.
Jesus would bless the people with the Holy Spirit and powerful faith.
The wheat God would keep, but the chaff or waste from the winnowing process would be gathered for burning.
This pictures God separating the repentant believers from unrepentant unbelievers, sending the former to heaven and the latter to hell.
Galilee was the northern region of Palestine where Jesus spent a good part of His ministry.
John was baptizing along the Jordan river east of Jerusalem. See a map.
John recognized that Jesus was the Son of God.
John knew his own sinfulness and need to repent and be cleansed by Jesus, so John questioned why Jesus wanted John to baptize Him.
Jesus requested that John baptize Him so that Jesus could continue fulfilling the Law of God for us.
Part of the requirements of the law that Jesus had to perfectly keep for us was that He be baptized.
In effect, Jesus was baptized for us, voluntarily obeying as our substitute.
When Jesus explained that it was intended to “fulfill all righteousness”, John baptized Jesus.
As soon as Jesus was baptized, some amazing events followed that marked the beginning of Jesus' public service or work for us.
Luke 3:21 mentions that Jesus was praying when the events took place.
The heavens were opened in a way that scripture leaves to our imaginations, not giving distracting details.
Both Jesus and John (and others probably) saw the Spirit of God (the Holy Spirit) in the form of a dove (see Luke 3:22) descending and landing on Jesus. (cf. John 1:32-34 also: Acts 10:38, Luke 4:18ff, Is 49:8,9; 61:1,2).
And at the same time, a voice from heaven (God the Father) announced that God was well pleased with Jesus, His beloved Son.
This was God's public stamp of approval on Jesus as the Messiah and Savior at the beginning of His ministry.
Why was Jesus baptized? Jesus was baptized to obey the Law of God perfectly for us because we are not able to do that. He was acting in our place in order to be able to be punished for our sins in our place. How does your baptism compare? Our baptism cleanses us from sins through faith that Jesus forgives us our sins because He suffered for them already on the cross, although Jesus was not guilty of any sin.
God told us at Jesus' baptism that Jesus was His Son so that people then and now would know He is the Savior whom God sent to save the world from sin. There is no one else like Jesus!
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for showing us that through His baptism Jesus is Your Son sent to be our Savior. Help us to picture in our hearts Jesus' baptism and how He kept the Law for us to be our perfect Savior. When we sin, call us to repentance and faith that Jesus Christ, Your Son, washes us clean from all our sin, just as our baptism reminds us. We ask this in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Exploring God’s Word Baptism of Jesus Matthew 3:1-17
Do you know when you were baptized? Why are we baptized?
Today we will see that Jesus is baptized, not to wash away His sins, but to keep the commands of God perfectly for us.
Jesus had a relative named John. When John grew up he lived in the wilderness. He wore a belt and a camel hair coat. He ate wild honey and grasshoppers.
John preached God's Word. He told people to admit their sins. He wanted people to be sorry when they did something wrong. He told people Jesus was coming to save them. John baptized people in the Jordan River.
One day Jesus came to see John. John called Jesus the Lamb of God. Jesus wanted to be baptized.
John did not feel worthy to baptize Jesus, but John did baptize Jesus in the Jordan River. A miracle happened after Jesus was baptized.
The Holy Spirit came down to Jesus. The Spirit was in the shape of a dove. He landed on Jesus' shoulder. God the Father said, "You are My Son; in You I am well pleased."
Review Questions: Who baptized Jesus? (John the Baptist) Who came down in the shape of a dove? (Holy Spirit) What did God the Father say? (“You are my beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”)
Lutheran Link Baptism What is Baptism? Baptism is not just plain water, but it is the water included in God’s command and combined with God’s word.
Which is that word of God? Christ our Lord says in the last chapter of Matthew: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” [Matt. 28:19]
God’s Word is THE thing in baptism. Not the pastor saying it or using his hands to baptize, but God’s Word is the power to give life, faith, and salvation. It is God’s Word and therefore God’s action.
When Lutherans (that’s us!) talk about what baptism means, it is not simply some water put on our head, but that God put His name on us through His Word, and in doing gave us the promise of salvation, that is, the forgiveness of our sins and the hope of eternal life in heaven!
Theme Verse: Matthew 3:17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”
Play It! Game 1: Fast Phrase
Bible Focus: Matthew 3:1-17
Lead the Game Choose a volunteer to be the Announcer.
At your signal, students begin walking around the room at random.
When the Announcer says “Hear ye! Hear ye!” students stop walking, spin around where they stand and sit down on the floor as quickly as they can.
The first student to sit down tells something he or she knows about Jesus or answers one of the questions and becomes the new Announcer.
Play again as time allows.
Discussion Questions 1. Some people learned that Jesus is the Savior by hearing Johns’ announcement or by seeing Jesus being baptized. What are some ways you have learned that Jesus is God’s Son, the Savior?
2.What does it mean to say that Jesus is the Savior? (Jesus saves us from the punishment we deserve for our sins.)
3.How might a kid announce that Jesus is God’s Son, the Savior? (Tell a friend what you know about Jesus. Invite a friend to come with you to Faith Alive or Grace Place, or the Wave.)
4. Who did God send to get the people ready for Jesus to come? (John the Baptist)
5. Why did John say that he should not baptize Jesus? (He said that Jesus should baptize him because Jesus had never sinned.)
6. What happened after Jesus was baptized? (The Spirit of God came down on him like a dove; God said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”)
Game 2: Shoe-Tie Guy Game
You’ll Need: 1 large die
Say: John the Baptist said he wasn’t important enough to untie Jesus’ sandals. Let’s play a game to help us understand what John meant by this.
Ask for a volunteer to roll the die as the rest of the kids walk around.
Have the child roll the die and call out the number rolled. When a number is called, students will form groups of that many children.
In each group, students form a group and stand so everyone in the group has one foot touching some else’s foot in that group.
After the number is called, call out one of the ways toes can touch: toe to toe, heel to heel, heel to toe….make up more ways.
Students who didn’t manage to join a group of the correct number will join in a group the next time.
Alternate the person rolling the die every four rolls.
Post-game Discussion Questions: 1. Which was the hardest way to touch feet? The easiest?
2. Why do you think John said he wasn’t good enough to untie Jesus’ shoes?
3. What attitude should we have as we serve Jesus?
Say: The truth is, it’s a privilege to serve Jesus. John the Baptist knew that it was an honor to be allowed to serve Jesus. Jesus honors us, too, when he tells us that he wants us to serve him. We can serve Jesus with a great attitude knowing that we have the best job in the whole world.
Learn It! SIGN LANGUAGE: “A friend loves at all times.” (For visual demonstrations, see commtechlab.msu.edu/Sites/aslweb/browser.htm)
Each time we say today’s Whisper Verse, let’s say it with three hand motions:
“(A) friend” Alternately hook the second knuckle of each index finger into the opposite index finger while rotating the wrists.
“loves” The hands hug something over the heart to indicate the concept of love.
“at all times.” (Sign is for “always.”) With the index finger of the right hand pointing up, rotate the right arm in a large circle in front of the body.
Gather children around you.
Close by saying: Thank you God for loving us every day. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.