Welcome: Welcome to Backyard Club! Thank you to ____________ for allowing us to come today! We’re glad you’re here!
For God so loved! ME! When you hear someone say “For God so loved!” you finish the saying by shouting “ME!”
Let’s try it! For God so loved! ME! God does love everyone of us! In fact, He loves us so much that He sent Jesus, His only Son, to die on the cross and to rise from the dead, to forgive our sins and to give us life forever with Him! For God so loved! ME!
Have a seat on my blanket. Today’s Bible story is about when John was telling everyone about Jesus. Jesus heard what he was saying and asked John to baptize Him. Jesus was baptized, not to wash away His sins, but to keep the commands of God perfectly for us. WOW! Let’s hear today’s story!
Tell the Story: Jesus Is Baptized
Many years went by, and Jesus grew from a boy into a man. His cousin, John the Baptist, was living out in the desert. John was a preacher. He preached about people’s need to turn away from their sins (repent) and turn to God. John told people they needed to be baptized as a symbol of their changed lives. He baptized many people in the Jordan River.
John also prepared the people for the coming of the Messiah. God’s chosen people, the Israelites, had been waiting for God’s Chosen One to come. Some of them even thought John might be the Messiah! When they asked him if he was the Messiah, John said that the Messiah was so much greater than him that he was not worthy to be his slave! So the people continued to get ready for the Messiah to come.
One day, as John was baptizing people, Jesus Himself came to the water to be baptized! Wait a minute—did Jesus need to be forgiven of sins? No, Jesus never sinned. But Jesus wanted the people to see His example of following God’s will.
Also, this was the time Jesus began His ministry. So Jesus’ baptism was a way of saying that He was ready to follow God’s plan for Him.
After Jesus was baptized, something amazing happened. The Holy Spirit came and rested on Jesus in the shape of a dove. Then a voice from heaven said, “You are my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with you.” It was God’s voice!
That must have really encouraged Jesus to know that His Father was happy with Him. Everything Jesus did was to obey His Father. He obeyed God’s will for Him, even when He had to die on the cross. He knew He had to die so that our sins could be forgiven and we could have eternal life.
1. Who did God send to get the people ready for Jesus to come?(John the Baptist) 2. What happened after Jesus was baptized? (The Spirit of God came down on him like a dove; God said, “You are my beloved Son, and I am fully pleased with you.”)
John the Baptist was a man of God. God used him in a very special way— to get the people ready for Jesus to come. John was bold in his preaching. He didn’t worry about what people thought about him.
We can learn a lot from John’s example. How many times do we want to tell someone about Jesus, but then we think they might think we’re weird or different? The truth is that people are waiting for someone to share about God’s love. They need to hear about how God loves them and sent Jesus to die on the cross for them. If we don’t tell them, who will?
For God so loved! ME!
God tells us in His Word:
For God Point up So loved cross arms over heart The world make circle above head with arms That He gave arms waist high, elbows at waist, hands palms up, push away from body His only Son cradle arms, rock baby That whoever believes point to everyone In Him point up Should not perish arms down at sides, head to one side, eyes closed But have eternal life raise arms, eyes open, look up John 3 Hold up3 fingers on one hand Verse 16 Hold up1 finger on one hand, 6 on the other hand Let’s say it again! Repeat John 3:16
For God so loved! ME!
Let’s Play a Game! Listening to God Form groups of three. Have one person in each group close his or her eyes. Have the other two take the person at least 20 feet away from their group.
Say:You have one minute to get back to your seat with your eyes closed. Your friends in your group will guide you, but listen well. The "blind" people can't be led by the hand; they must follow only their group members' instructions. Play three times to let each group member have a turn being the blind one.
Then ask: How easy or difficult was it to listen to your group members' voices? How did other people's instructions affect you? What techniques did you use to listen well? Ask: What happened when Jesus was baptized? (help children re-tell today’s Bible lesson)
For God so loved! ME!
Let's play another game, it's called The Shoe-Tie Guy Game
You’ll Need: 1 large die
Say: John the Baptist said he wasn’t important enough to untie Jesus’ sandals he even said he couldn’t baptize Jesus. 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 or to baptize Him? 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. We can serve Jesus with a great attitude knowing that we have the best job in the whole world.
For God so loved! ME!
Let’s huddle together and pray: Dear God Thank you for loving me and protecting me. Thank you for sending Your Son, Jesus, to be my Savior and friend. I love You. Amen.
Blessing: May God, who is all around you, Beginning at the bottom of the circle, slowly pour his love upon you.make a large circle with your hands. Finish by bringing your hands down and wiggling the fingers to resemble rain.) And Jesus, his life a sacrifice,Slowly make a large sign of the cross. Then walk right there beside you.move your hands out to the sides. And may God’s Holy Spirit,Cross your hands over the heart. the one who lives inside you, keep you strong,Move to a “strong man” position. Then comfort, lead and guide you!cross your arms with the hands on corresponding upper arms to communicate comfort. Bring one hand forward with “lead” and the other with “guide” to complete the blessing.)