This free Bible lesson is based on John 1:6-8, 19-28 where John the Baptist is questioned about his identity and purpose. It is designed for children’s church or Sunday School. Please modify as best fits your ministry.
If your church follows the Revised Common Lectionary, this teaching plan would correspond to Year B – 3rd Sunday in Advent, Gospel Reading – John 1:6-8, 19-28.
Opening Activity – Who Are You? – Who am I?
Supplies – index cards, dark marker, tape
On each index card write the name of a well known Bible character in large print. Then attach a card to each child’s back. Instruct the kids to ask each other yes or no questions to find out who they are.
- Mary, Mother of Jesus
- Saul / Paul
Lesson – Who Are You?
Great job everyone! I am amazed you were able to get some of those right!
- What helped you figure it out? Did you ask if your person was a girl or a boy? Did you ask if they were from the Old or New Testament? Did you ask if they were a good guy or a bad guy? What other questions did you ask?
You know there was someone in the Bible that played a game just like this one time. Only, they weren’t planning on it being a game! Let’s see if you can figure it out.
This one is going to be a little bit different than before, so listen up. I am going to be the mystery person, and you are going to play the part of the Pharisees, who were the religious leaders in Bible times. I know who I am (*John the Baptist*), and I need you to try to figure it out by asking me some yes or no questions.
It’s John the Baptist! Great job!
The Pharisees heard about a man who was baptizing people, and they wanted to know it was. So they sent some of their people out to find him, and asked him a bunch of questions.
They thought maybe it was Jesus. And when that wasn’t right they thought maybe it was Elijah come back from the dead. But again, that wasn’t the answer.
John could have claimed he was anyone he wanted to be. He could have been a king and told them all to bow and prepare him a feast. He could have said he was a great warrior sending everyone running away in fear. He could have said he was Elijah, and ordered enormous sacrifices, taking all of the greatest possessions. He could have even said he was Jesus Christ, claiming the power of God and demanding complete control of their possessions, families, and lives.
But John knew better. He knew Jesus was the only Christ, and the only one worthy of that title, power, and recognition. John knew he wasn’t worthy to claim that title, or to accept any of the praise that came with it. So he simply told them he was only a messenger, no one special at all.
The best part is that because John did the right thing, God was able to use him to prepare the Pharasees, and many others, to meet the Christ. John was able to preach about repentance, water baptism, and the power of the true Christ; Jesus. And that made John special.
It’s amazing to see what God can do when we do the right thing. John could have gotten anything in the world he wanted, all he had to do was claim to be something he wasn’t. But John knew better, and instead of money or power here on earth, he was able to bring people to Christ and spread the news of Salvation. He never got any money or power or anything special on earth; instead he received something much, much, much better. John was able to be used by God to spread His love, forgiveness, and grace. And that made John the Baptist special.
Activity A – Who Are You? – Bible Verse Challenge
Supplies – Bibles
Verse – John 1:23-26
Pass out Bibles to students. Bibles should be closed and sitting on the table face up in front of each child. When you say go, have the kids look up this week’s Bible verse. As each child finds the verse, have them stick one finger on the verse and quietly raise their other hand. The first one to find the verse gets to read it to the rest of the class.
Help younger kids and new kids find the verse by following these steps.
- Look in the Table of Contents for the book you are looking for. Make an effort to show them if it is found in the Old Testament or New Testament to help them in the future. Then open the Bible to the page number listed in the Table of Contents.
- Show them the large numbers in the text, known as the chapters. Flip through pages until you find the large chapter number you are looking for.
- Then scan through the text with them pointing out the smaller verse numbers until the correct number is found.
Activity B – Who Are You? – God Can Use Me
Supplies – none
Divide kids into groups of 2-4 (groups don’t need to be even sizes). Give the groups 5 minutes to plan a short skit demonstrating how God can use them to make a difference and make them special. Let them choose their own topic, or give them suggestions from the list below.
- Invite someone new to play or eat with you and your friends.
- Help a little brother or sister with homework.
- Clean up without being asked.
- Invite someone to church.
- Offer someone a turn on the swings.
- Comfort someone who is having a bad day.
Closing Prayer – Who Are You?
Ask for a volunteer to pray for the class before leaving, and encourage them to ask God to remind them He is what makes them special.