Good News: Children’s Sermon on Mark 1:1-8 about the John the Baptist Pointing to Jesus

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How do we receive information? Is the news good, or frustrating? In this message, discuss who John the Baptist was and the message of hope he came to share. Encourage students to receive this good news and to tell others about the joy of Jesus.

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Main Objective: John the Baptist is a key figure in the Bible, not only for His place as baptizer of Christ. The New Testament prophet brought the blessed news of Christ’s coming, announcing the Messiah and preparing the way for Him. This message communicates to kids that, while there is a lot of negative news emphasized, we know the greatest news of all. The Gospel is, by definition, good news, and we should share it with those around us!

Law/Gospel Theme: This message reminds us of what the Gospel is! Some prophets came bearing news that God’s people were not acting as they should, or needed to change behavior. John came to announce the hopeful good news of a coming rescuer. He came to point the way to Christ. So we, too, eagerly await Jesus, and point others to Him.

Optional Materials: Newspaper or periodical, letter/card, phone, computer (forms of receiving news and communication); also optional: megaphone, bell.

Bible Passage: Mark 1:1-8

Message: Note: As with most messages, the details of how you choose to communicate this are adaptable and should cater to timing as well as to your audience and student needs. Use your judgment and ideas to best serve students.

Children’s Sermon (Mark 1:1-8) Prepare the Way with John the Baptist

Greet children, perhaps ringing a bell or making an announcement with a megaphone.

  Hello, children of God!
       Good news! I have good news to share! Listen up, important announcement on the way!!! Have you ever heard someone getting ready to make an announcement? Here’s another question: how do you receive information? Where do you hear about the world around you? (Take answers from kids, and then hold up examples of news sources one at a time). Perhaps you read the newspaper or a magazine…or more likely, you watch TV, or read things off the internet, or maybe use your phone or device to access information. Sometimes we get news from less reliable sources, like social media or other people around us. Does it sometimes seem like a lot of the news is not so great? Especially lately, it can feel like a lot of what we hear is pretty negative information. Sometimes I don’t even care for watching the news.
            Well, in Bible times, God had a different way of communicating information. They didn’t have TVs or computers back then. They didn’t even have newspapers, in fact! But God sent messengers to spread His word. These people were called prophets, and they would give information to God’s children about what they should be preparing for. One of these special messengers was named John. He was called John the Baptist, because he baptized people and called them to repent, turning from their sins and starting life new. He had some interesting habits. For instance, he wore rough scratchy clothes, and he ate bugs with honey! He was sort of a wild man in some ways…
            John also brought an important announcement. He had good news for the people. A Messiah was coming! The people of Israel had waited a long time for God’s promised savior. They were enduring oppression and bitter times, but knew God had promised a redeemer. Some people asked John if he was the Messiah, but he was quick to point the attention away from himself. He was not the one all had been awaiting, and was in fact not even worthy to untie the shoelaces of the Messiah! John pointed to Jesus. His job was to let people know the awaited one was coming, and to remind them that God kept His promises. John was the announcer, the newscaster, the messenger sent by God. He pointed people to the One who was to come, and he let them know that good news was on the way!
            We have a similar job to John the Baptist. We can rejoice and be glad that God has sent a savior. We can “prepare the way” by telling other people about Jesus. So we, like John, point others to look to Christ. And we recognize that good news is for us. We also take peace in knowing that we can trust and celebrate God’s promises. There is much in life that we don’t know right now. There is a lot of bad news. But thanks be to God, there is good news! Christ has come. He is risen! He will come again! Let’s be eager to put our hope in that, and to spread the good news of the Gospel with all of those around us.

Children’s Prayer Moment

(Have kids repeat each line)
Dear God,
Thank you for your news and messengers
Thank you that you sent us Jesus
Help us to point to Him and prepare for Him
Keep us mindful of the hope of His coming
And share that good news with others
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!

Bible Verses/story to Reference: Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.   As it is written in Isaiah the prophet,

“Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
    who will prepare your way,
the voice of one crying in the wilderness:
    ‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
    make his paths straight,’”

John appeared, baptizing in the wilderness and proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And all the country of Judea and all Jerusalem were going out to him and were being baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair and wore a leather belt around his waist and ate locusts and wild honey. And he preached, saying, “After me comes he who is mightier than I, the strap of whose sandals I am not worthy to stoop down and untie. I have baptized you with water, but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

-Mark 1:1-8

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