Download this children’s sermon message based on Matthew 3:1-12 that uses a creative object lesson to teach about the role of John the Baptist in pointing people to Christ. Then watch the teaching example video below to prepare to share the children’s moment in your church.
Children’s Sermon on Matthew 3:1-12
Shine the Light: John the Baptist and the Importance of Pointing to Christ
Main Objective: Kids are by nature somewhat self-centered. When doing activities or making goals, it’s easy for them to desire credit and limelight. This message reminds them that our purpose ought to be pointing others to Christ first and foremost. As John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus and pointed to Him, we want everything we do to reflect the love of God and give glory to Him.
Law/Gospel Theme: Jesus came to redeem us, and because of Him alone we have life and hope. We want our lives to reflect that joyful understanding, and to share it with others around us.
Object Lesson Props & Materials: Headlamp, flashlight, or other form of light; optional picture of John the Baptist (or see alternative option).
Bible Passage: Matthew 3:1-12
Lectionary Reference: SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT. Year A. December 8, 2019
- Compare our Sunday School Lesson on John the Baptist (Matthew 3:1-12)
- Another Lesson by Kristen on the Baptist of Jesus (Matthew 3:1-17)
- Download carton illustrations & coloring page of John the Baptist
- See more Matthew 3:1-12 Sunday School Lessons
Message Note: As with most object
lessons, how you choose to communicate this are adaptable and should cater to
timing as well as to your audience and student needs. For this message, a
flashlight or headlamp is recommended; however, you could also just present
yourself in an odd or attention-grabbing way, perhaps shouting in a megaphone
or wearing strange clothing.
Shine the Light: Object Lesson (Matthew 3:1-12) Children’s Sermon
Greet the children, wearing a headlamp or pointing a flashlight…
Hello, children of God! So you may notice that I have some interesting light shining here…do you know what this is? (Allow child responses)
Right, it’s a special headlamp! Now, what do you think the purpose of this tool might be? Why would I use it? (Allow responses)
So this can have several great uses. I might use it if I want to walk or run outside when it’s a bit dark. Or maybe I want to go down into a cave or somewhere that does not get much light. Or perhaps I want to look for something, and I need to try pointing out where it is. Or maybe the power goes out in the house, but I still need to see! There are lots of great ways I can utilize this…
But let me ask you something else…if I point this light on myself (turn light around), will I be able to see very well? Will the light serve the purpose of showing my way or helping me find something? No, not very well…if I want to use the light, I have to point it at something away from me.
You know, that’s what we want to do with our lives. I’ll explain…we want to make sure that what we do is going to point back to God and His amazing work in our lives. Our goal should not be making ourselves look good, but showing people how important Jesus is.
That’s what John the Baptist did. Do you know who John the Baptist was? He was born just a few months before Jesus, and he had a special and extremely important job to get people ready for Jesus. He was a little bit interesting. For example, he wore itchy clothes made out of camel’s hair! And how many of you had bugs for breakfast this morning? Well, John ate locusts (kind of like grasshoppers) with honey! He was also a bit loud, and he wasn’t afraid to tell people that what they were doing was wrong. He’d shout things at people sometimes, and was not always too popular because of all this.
However, those around him knew he was significant. In fact, they asked him if he was the Messiah that they had been waiting for. They wanted to know if he was the special one. And John was quick to point out that his role was different. He had come to prepare for Jesus, but Jesus was so great John couldn’t even untie His sandals. John pointed to Jesus and told people that He was the one they needed to follow. John got some attention, but his goal was always to show others that their attention should go to Christ.
And that’s what we want to do. We want to live in a way that does draw attention, and so that people notice there’s something different and special about us. But we don’t want to keep that spotlight shining on us. Instead, we want to let people know that our lives are different because of Christ. All that we say and do should bring glory to God. We want to let others know how wonderful and full of love He is. We want to point to Jesus. We want to prepare our hearts for Him, and other people’s hearts as well. So as we continue in this Advent season, let’s remember to live joyfully and to share His light with one another!
Children’s Prayer Moment
(Have kids repeat each line)
Thank you for coming to Earth for us
Help us to live in a way that brings glory to You
Help us point others to Christ
And shine His light on the world
We love you, God!
Thank you for Jesus
In His name, Amen!
Matthew 3:1-12 New International Version (NIV)
John the Baptist Prepares the Way
3 In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea 2 and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” 3 This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:
“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”
4 John’s clothes were made of camel’s hair, and he had a leather belt around his waist. His food was locusts and wild honey. 5 People went out to him from Jerusalem and all Judea and the whole region of the Jordan. 6 Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River.
7 But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? 8 Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. 9 And do not think you can say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. 10 The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
11 “I baptize you with water for repentance. But after me comes one who is more powerful than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor, gathering his wheat into the barn and burning up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” –Matthew 3:1-12