Key Verse: Matthew 3:3
Big Idea: John the Baptist came to prepare the pieces for Jesus the King.
Most of us are the heroes of our own stories. We think we are the most important people around and look at who can serve us. Maybe you invite the people to a party who you think will bring the best gifts, or who will invite you back. John the Baptist sets a very different example: he knew that he was not the main event, but just the appetizer, getting things ready for the real King. He began preaching about the responsibility to turn away from their sin (repent) because the King was coming soon.
The people who believed what he taught were baptized: buried in the water and pulled up again in a picture of how their old life had died and been raised again by God. Baptism did not change them (John sent people away who had not already been changed), but it made their change public. Among those baptized were all 12 of Jesus’ disciples, the raw materials He would take to build His first church.
One day, a Man came who was not like the others. He did not have any sins of which to repent, but had been perfect His entire life. He was the one that John had been getting everyone ready for. John knew that Jesus did not need to be baptized, but Jesus asked to be baptized anyway, so He could be the model for His followers. As Jesus came up out of the water, God’s voice from Heaven announced that this was His Son – the heir of the Kingdom. John continued to work, but His purpose of preparing the pieces for the King’s ministry was completed when He prepared the King Himself.
Discussion idea: Who are some people who have helped prepare you to succeed?
Prayer Focus: Have younger kids think about a time they were selfish, and older kids and adults consider patterns of selfishness in their lives. What desires, temptations or situations make us self-centered? Pray for us to see ourselves the way that John saw himself, as a piece in a much bigger puzzle.