Sunday School – April 5, 2020

Note that we have separated the worship and Sunday school materials into separate posts to keep things organized. You can find the Sunday morning sermon here.

Jump to the Family Sunday School Lesson

Jump to the Adult Sunday School Lesson

Family Sunday School Lesson for April 5

Family Lesson-“Jesus’ Baptism” from Matthew 3; Mark 1; Luke 3; John 1

Watch- “God’s Story: Palm Sunday” from Crossroads Kids’ Club here:

Younger kids, listen to- “Hosanna!” from the Maranatha Singers here:

Older kids, watch- “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus: The Story and the Song” from Revelation TV here:

Older kids, listen to- “The Word (John 1:1-14)” from Seeds Family Worship here:

Later, after the Bible story, watch- “What’s That Word: Repentance” from Crossroads Kids’ Club here:

Summary- Jesus obeyed God by being baptized.

Christ Connection- Jesus never sinned, but He obeyed God and was baptized like sinners are baptized. Baptism reminds us of Jesus’ death and resurrection. It reminds us that when we trust in Jesus, we turn from sin and start a new life- a life lived for Jesus.

Introduction Younger Kid Activity- Draw a Strong Person Have children draw someone strong and powerful. Say, “The Jewish people knew that God had promised to send a Messiah, or Savior. They thought God would send someone strong and powerful. They had been waiting for many years for this Messiah to come. They were probably very excited when they heard John say that his job was to get people ready for the Messiah. John said Someone greater than him was coming. Listen to hear what happened as John was teaching and baptizing.” Untie Shoelaces Put laced shoes on children (if they are not already wearing some!). Help children untie their shoes and help them retie them. Say, “When people offer to tie your shoelaces, they want to help you. They are being kind. Tying your shoelaces keeps you from tripping. When someone unties your shoelaces, you can take off your shoes. Tying and untying shoelaces are small jobs but very helpful. In our Bible story, John said Someone greater than him was coming. John said he was not good enough to even untie this Person’s sandals. Let’s listen to the Bible story to hear who the very special Person John spoke of really was.”

Introduction Older Kid Activity- Paper Dove-Planes Have children fold simple paper airplanes (representing a dove). The goal is to make an airplane that takes longest to “float” to the ground. Test how well they float. Say, “Great job on those paper doves. They really looked graceful floating to the ground. Today we will hear about a time the Holy Spirit came down from heaven like a dove onto Jesus, and God the Father spoke. We’ll hear the whole story soon.”

Big Picture Question- Say, “This story is about a couple of guys- John and Jesus- who went into a river. One of them even went under the water! But don’t worry; this story has a happy ending. First, can you tell me who John was? And who is Jesus? Jesus is God the Son. He came to earth as a human. As you hear today’s story about Him, think about this new big picture question: Why did Jesus become human? The answer is: Jesus became human to obey His Father’s plan and rescue sinners. We’ll see in this story that everything Jesus did was to obey and glorify God. Jesus stepped down from His rightful place in heaven in order to live as a human and make the way for humans to live forever with God.”

Bible Story- Timeline Say, “In the beginning, God created a perfect world and had a perfect relationship with Adam and Eve, the people He created to live in His world. When they chose to sin, it broke their relationship with God and messed up everything in creation. God still loved them though, and He had a plan to fix everything. God raised up a nation- the Israelites- and promised to send a Rescuer through them. After thousands of years, the time had come, and Jesus was born into the world. He was fully human and fully God, and He grew into a man. When the time was right, He began His public teaching and ministry by being baptized. I’ll tell you about it.” Open a Bible to Matthew 3. Either read the passage (Matthew 3:13-17) or tell the story in your own words. You may also read aloud from the Big Picture Interactive Bible Storybook (the Bible storybook your younger child received from Sunday School) page 190. For younger kids, play out the Bible story with water. Fill a plastic bin (on a towel to minimize mess) with a couple inches of water to represent the Jordan River. Set out plastic people figurines (also a plastic bird, if you have one). Lead young children to act out the story as you tell it.

Key Passage- Open a Bible to John 3:30. Read the verse aloud. Use the following hand motions (or have kids make up their own): “He” (point up towards Heaven), “must increase” (move hands apart), “I” (point to self with both thumbs), “must decrease” (move hands together). Say, “This key passage is short, but very important. It comes from the Gospel of John, but it was spoken by John the Baptist, a different John from the man who wrote that book of the Bible. John the Baptist was reminding people who had followed him that he was not the most important. John’s job was to prepare people for Jesus. With Jesus around, John wanted to become less important and let Jesus get the glory and attention He deserves.”

Younger Kid Activity- Visualize Repentance Lead kids to line up on one side of the room. Explain that they will walk from one side of the room to the other until they hear you say the word “repent”. When you say “repent”, they should turn and walk the other direction. Say, “Repent means to turn away from sin and turn to Jesus. John told people to repent and be baptized. People listened to John, and they started to repent; they were sorry for their sins and asked God to forgive them. Then John baptized them in the Jordan River. Later, John baptized Jesus even though He had never sinned.”

Older Kid Activity- Watch youtube video “What’s That Word: Repentance” (see above)

Review Questions- Ask the following questions:

  1. Who was John the Baptist? (Matthew 3:3)
  2. How did John respond at first to Jesus’ request for baptism? (Matthew 3:14)
  3. What happened after Jesus was baptized? (Matthew 3:16-17)
  4. Does baptism save us?  (Guide kids to understand that baptism is important, but it is only a symbol of what Jesus has done for us. A person is baptized because he/she is saved, not in order to be saved.)
  5. Why is baptism important? (Help kids understand that God has commanded believers to be baptized, and Jesus provided an example of baptism for us to follow. We do not obey God to earn our salvation, but we want to obey Him out of love and worship. Baptism is a beautiful picture of our sinful lives dying with Jesus and our new life beginning when we are raised from the water. It shows the world we trust Jesus and identify with Him.)

Say, “Jesus obeyed God by being baptized.”

For Older Kids- Also, ask the following questions:

  1. What message do we declare when we are baptized? (read Romans 6:4)
  2. Where do we see the Trinity- the three Persons of God- in today’s Bible story? (read Ephesians 2:18)
  3. Why does obedience to God bring Him glory? (read 1 John 3:23-24)

Reflection- Ask older children to answer one of the following questions:

  1. What does this story teach me about God or the Gospel?
  2. What does the story teach me about myself?
  3. Whom can I tell about this story?

Closing Activity- Prepare the Way Hold a length of cardboard at a slight incline to serve as a track for toy cars. Place small obstacles like paper wads, cotton balls, and so forth on the track. Let kids predict how long the car will take to reach the bottom. Then allow a kid to remove the obstacles before sending the car down the track again. Say, “The toy car was able to make it to the bottom much more easily when the obstacles were removed. When we prepared the way, it rolled down better. In a similar way, John’s job was to prepare people for Jesus by telling people the Messiah was coming and by preaching about repentance and God’s kingdom. When Jesus obeyed God by being baptized, God proclaimed that Jesus was His Son, and the Holy Spirit rested on Jesus like a dove. The people could remember what John had said and see that Jesus was the Messiah that God had promised long ago. When we show people love and teach them about the Gospel, we are preparing the way for the Holy Spirit to change their hearts to love and worship Jesus. Pray for someone you know who needs to trust in Jesus as Savior. Then, practice telling the Good News about Jesus before sharing with that person.”  

Pray- Thank God for giving us His Word- the Bible- and for Jesus’ example of obedience through baptism. Pray that kids would trust in Jesus and follow His example in baptism and telling the Good News about Jesus to people they know. Thank Him for the gift of new life in Christ when we trust in Jesus as Savior.

Adult Sunday School Lesson for April 5

Adult Lesson- “Jesus is Baptized” from Matthew 3:1-17

Watch- “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus: The Story and the Song” from Revelation TV here:

Listen to- “If We Confess (1 John 1:9)” from Steve Green here:

Summary- Jesus was baptized by John, not as a sign of repentance like the people, but to fulfill all righteousness and show that He fully obeyed the Father.

Christ Connection- Jesus never sinned, but He obeyed God and was baptized like sinners are baptized. Baptism reminds us of Jesus’ death and resurrection. It reminds us that when we trust in Jesus, we turn from sin and start a new life- a life lived for Jesus.

Application- Because we have died with Christ and have been raised to new life through Him, we call on others to repent of their sin, trust in Christ, and be baptized.

Point 1. The Son’s herald calls for repentance and baptism (read aloud Matthew 3:1-6).

Note- John addressed his message of repentance both to known sinners and to people building their own “Tower of Babylon” through all their laws and regulations. Instead of running to religious rituals to prepare for the coming Messiah, as if to clean themselves up, they needed to repent and see God for who He really is and see themselves in the true light of His holy gaze. For people to be ready for the Messiah, they first need to be exposed to the ways they don’t see God clearly and to the ways they don’t see their sin clearly. Their minds must be changed.

Respond- Why is confession of sin a vital step on the path to changed behavior?

Point 2. The Son’s herald calls for the fruit of repentance (read aloud Matthew 3:7-12).

Note- Genuine confession prompted by conviction from the Holy Spirit and which leads us toward biblical accountability within the church will result in transformation of our actions. That’s how we know if our repentance and confession are real or not. Things may not change overnight, but change does happen. Yet we must remember that meaningful changes in behavior and actions come after a heart change, after true repentance. Confession is an essential part of repentance, but we don’t start here. We only get to the fruit of repentance when our hearts are first truly repentant, which starts with our identity being changed.

Respond- What are some examples of “fruit in keeping with repentance”?

Note- John’s baptism was a religious ceremony employing water that symbolically depicted cleansing or purification. It was ideal for his message of repentance in preparation for the coming Messiah. 

Point 3. The Son’s herald baptizes Jesus (read aloud Matthew 3:13-17).

Note- Those who witnessed this occasion must have been amazed, and probably confused, about what they saw. After so many years of silence, so many years of waiting, the herald had come followed by God in the flesh; the anticipated Messiah was finally here (see Malachi 3:1).

Respond- What are some ways one’s identity as a believer in Jesus should impact thoughts, actions, and life choices?

Conclusion- Jesus’ baptism did so much more than simply kickoff His earthly ministry; it powerfully confirmed His identity. The baptism also clearly foreshadowed the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. Even though Jesus had no sin to repent of, He was baptized in order to identify with us; in the same way, our baptism now identifies us with Him. Because of the work Christ completed on the cross, we are adopted into God’ family by faith. The words spoken over Christ at His baptism can now be said of us. This new identity is key for us. Jesus’ baptism is a reminder for us to repent because our King is coming, and we need to prepare and live in light of the reality of His presence and the new identity we have in Christ. 

Apply- Because we have died with Christ and have been raised to new life through Him, we call on others to repent of their sin, trust in Christ, and be baptized. 

            -How will you respond to the call to repent and the call to join God’s family by faith in Christ?

            -What sin do you need to confess to the Lord to be in right relationship to Him?

            -How will you respond to the call to be baptized? Have you been baptized as a believer?

            -What are some ways your family can encourage one another to live out the identity gifted to us in Christ by faith?

            -How will you use the call to repentance, faith, and baptism to share the Gospel with others?