Here is the second lesson in our series for called “Preschoolers Knowing Jesus.” This one teaches about his baptism as found in Mark 1:9-11. It will introduce younger children to the concept of baptism and how Jesus publicly showed his submission to God’s mission. They will also learn what it means for God to call Jesus his Son.
This is part of a series for preschoolers on knowing Jesus through the book of Mark. You can read the series introduction for more explanation and links to the other lessons. These free materials are ideal for your Preschool Sunday School lessons or any teaching setting for younger kids.
Bible Passage: Mark 1:9-11
Bible Lesson Title: The Baptism of Jesus
Target Age Group: 4-5 years old (U.S. preschool & Kindergarten)
Target Time Frame: 30 minutes
Original Teaching Context: Preschool Sunday School
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Knowing Jesus through the Book of Mark: Lesson Two (40 minutes)
Scripture: Mark 1:9-11
Exegetical Idea: Jesus is baptized in obedience to God; He is revealed as God’s Son.
Pedagogical Idea: We can believe Jesus truly was God’s son; baptism is a response of obedience to God.
Cognitive Aim: Preschoolers will understand why Jesus was baptized and what baptism is.
Affective Aim: Preschoolers will feel confident that Jesus is God’s Son.
Behavioral Aim: Preschoolers will memorize Mark 1:11 and declare who Jesus is through song.
Memory Verse: Mark 1:11, “And a voice came out of the heavens: ‘You are my beloved Son. In you I am well-pleased.’”
- Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes) Description: Learn about signs. Supplies: Pictures of various types of signs (Stop, RR, etc.) or make your own signs with paper and markers.
- God Revealed (10 minutes) Description: Presentation of Mark 1:9-11. Supplies: Bible, soft blanket, figurine, bowl of water
- Personal Pursuit (10 minutes) Description: Draw pictures of what they have learned and heard or play a game with signs. Supplies: Paper, signs, crayons, markers
- Daily Knowing (7 minutes) Description: Review Ephesians 2:13 and memorize Mark 1:11. Pray together. Supplies: Notecards with Mark 1:11 written on them.
Begin today’s time with the preschoolers in worship through song: You Are by Mark Roach. The lyrics for this song can be found in the introductory lesson to this series, Knowing Jesus as Immanuel.
1. Kindle Curiosity (5 minutes)
- Show pictures of signs or actual signs you may have around your church. (Stop sign, Railroad sign, etc.) State: What are these? These are signs. Signs usually tell us something important. What does this sign mean (hold up a stop sign)? Right; it means stop. This is a very important sign. It is telling us we need to stop so we will not get hit by another car. What does this sign mean (hold up a railroad sign)? A railroad sign warns us that a train track is near. We have to be careful when we see this sign in case a train is coming. (Show whatever signs you would like).
- State: So signs have very important messages. Today we will be learning about some important signs in the life of Jesus. They will help us to know Him more and see what happened while He was here on Earth. Who is Jesus? Immanuel, God with us!
2. God Revealed (10 minutes)
- We will come to know Jesus more today by reading in the book of Mark. A man named Mark wrote this book so we would know who Jesus is and what He has done for us. The book of Mark is in the Bible (hold up your Bible). This is the Bible. It is God’s Word. He wrote it, so we know everything in it is true.
- So two thousand years ago, a long, long time ago, before anyone you know was even born, God came down to earth. We know God came into the world as a baby, right? But Mark begins writing about Jesus when He was a grown-up. God sent a man named John to preach to people about being forgiven of sins, the things we do against God. When people would come to confess their sins and be forgiven, John would baptize them (demonstrate baptism with a figurine and a bowl of water). Baptism is like a sign. It tells people something very important. Baptism is an outward sign of what Jesus has done for us by dying on the cross. Because of God’s love and mercy, He came to Earth as a human and died for our sins, but did not remain dead! He rose from the dead so that we may rise out of our sins and live for Him. When we believe, repent of our sins, and trust in Jesus for forgiveness, we may be together forever with God and have a relationship with Him here on earth.
- The first story Mark tells us about is the baptism of Jesus. We will read Mark chapter 1 verses 9-11. Turn off your mouths and turn on your ears (demonstrate) so we can listen and come to know Jesus more! In those days Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan River. Immediately coming up out of the water, He saw the heavens opening, and the Spirit like a dove descending upon Him; and a voice came out of the heavens. ‘You are My Beloved Son; in You I am well-pleased.’
- Jesus was perfect. He never sinned. Did He need to be baptized? No! Jesus wanted to be obedient to God the Father in every single way. Though He did not have to be baptized, He chose to be baptized in order to show everyone that He was following God and being obedient to God the Father.
- What happened right after Jesus was baptized?? (Give time for answers.) The sky opened up and a voice spoke. Whose voice do you think that was?? (Time for answers…) It was God the Father’s voice. Through speaking, He was giving everyone a sign that Jesus was His Son. So, Jesus’ baptism had three very important signs. Can you count the three signs? Number one (hold up one finger): It was a sign of obedience. Number two (hold up two fingers): It was a sign that Jesus was a follower of God. Number three (hold up three fingers): It was a sign that Jesus was God’s Son through God speaking.
- After Jesus was baptized, he began His ministry on earth. He taught people about God and performed miracles to reveal to everyone who He was. We’ll be learning about Jesus’ ministry on earth, everything that He did and said from the book of Mark in the Bible.
3. Personal Pursuit (10 minutes)
- Remember, when you see someone today baptized, it is a sign too. It is a sign that tells people we believe in Jesus and trust in Him to forgive us of our sins. It shows people our hearts have been washed clean and we are ready to live a new life in obedience to God. Being baptized is also a way we obey God, just like Jesus did. Baptism is very important and a very special event.
- God wants us to know too that Jesus was not just an ordinary man. He is God’s son, Immanuel, God with us. I want us to draw a picture of what we have heard today. However God has spoken to your heart through my teaching from the Bible, I want you to draw it out. (If they want ideas, remind them that Jesus was baptized in a river, the sky opened up and the Spirit of God came down like a dove, or they could draw a picture of someone they saw baptized or create a sign to help them remember what they have learned.) Allow plenty of time for preschoolers to draw
- Option:. If they are uninterested, offer to play a game with them with the signs using their imaginations (they can pretend to be drivers and have to pay attention to different signs). See if they can remember the three signs that happened when Jesus was baptized and create actual signs that tell the story (a picture of a dove could be a sign).
4. Daily Knowing (7 minutes)
- State: Jesus died on the cross for our sins that we know God. One of the ways we can come to know God more is to memorize His word, the Bible. Today we are going to memorize Mark 1:11 (show them the numbers and letters). We heard it today when I read from the Bible. Can you make up some motions to help us remember this verse?
- Ask: Does anyone remember our verse from last week? (Use motion prompts to help them. Say it aloud a few times together.)
- Make sure you review with them the next week or when you have encounters during the week one-on-one. Encourage them to share this verse with their parents when they pick them up so their parents will be able to help them practice at home. Provide each parent with a notecard that has Mark 1:11 written on it. If some children do not have parents who are believers, make a special effort to encourage them in every time you see them in their scripture memorization and pursuit of God.
- State: Because Jesus came, died, and rose from the dead, we can pray to God whenever we want. God loves to hear our voices lifted to Him in prayer. Let’s pray to Him now together! (In your prayer, be sure to affirm Jesus as God’s Son. Praise Him openly for who He is. Encourage the children to pray with their heads back and eyes closed as you enjoy God’s presence together. Also encourage them to pray to Him aloud or silently all throughout the week whenever they would like.)