As usual, my middle schoolers gave me great writing material yesterday at church. After Christmas, I decided to dive into the life of Jesus. We began a study of the book of Matthew. Specifically, we were discussing how Jesus got from the manger to his ministry. More about that topic later….
During our study, we read Matthew chapter 3 about John the Baptist. The kids remembered our discussion about Elizabeth and her relationship with Mary from the Sunday before. They even knew that John the Baptist would be beheaded later in the book of Matthew. However, my students didn’t really know why John the Baptist was important in the life of Jesus.
As talked, here are the important points they discovered about John the Baptist.
1. Eating locusts was probably gross.
2. He probably smelled terrible since he wore camel skins.
3. Point two was contested because he spent a large amount of time in the Jordan River. They water may have kept him clean.
4. Jesus needed to be baptized to signify his coming of age. The baptism didn’t cleanse Him of sin, since he was sinless. However, it showed that he was now old enough to begin his ministry to the people of Israel. It was sort of like a coronation ceremony for a new king or queen.
5. John the Baptist was perfect to baptize Jesus because they were related, John the Baptist knew Jesus was the son of God, and John the Baptist was humble enough to serve Jesus.
The lesson to be learned, I think, is that we all have to humble ourselves to serve Jesus. It doesn’t matter where we live, how dress, or how smelly our lives may be. Our job is to create a relationship with Jesus, jump in the river with him, and do what he asks us to do.