John the Baptist was a prophet who preached a message of preparation and repentance to Israelites prior to the beginning of Jesus Christ's earthly ministry. John the Baptist told his audience that Jesus Christ would be the coming Messiah that was prophesied by Old Testament prophets, and that He would come to save mankind from eternal spiritual death and forgive their past, present and future sins. John the Baptist also preached that the Israelites need to repent of their sins. John the Baptist was later beheaded by a Roman emperor.
Poster of John The Baptist's Sayings
Give each child a poster along with some colored markers and ask them to create a drawing and, underneath the drawing, write down two verses from the New Testament in which John the Baptist is speaking to the Israelites about the coming of Jesus Christ. Have each child stand in front of the class and discuss his drawing and how it relates to what they have learned about John the Baptist.
If you have some Bible children's books with a few pictures of John the Baptist in them, make photocopies of these pictures and give one to each child so they can color it. Afterward, ask them to paste their pictures on a medium-sized sheet of construction paper and write down what they think are the most important lessons they can learn from John the Baptist's life.
Importance of Repentance
Because one aspect of John the Baptist's ministry was the call for Israelites to repent of their sins, have each student write down five to 10 wrong actions that a person will need to ask God's forgiveness for. Then discuss the students' statements and talk about why these actions are sinful in God's eyes as well as what can students do to avoid these behaviors in the future.
If you have some puppets in your classroom, you can hold a skit with the students. You can pretend to be John the Baptist while the other students will pretend to be the Israelites he's preaching to. To make it fun, write out an interesting script and then practice it with the students before performing the actual skit.
Thea Theresa English is a freelance writer who lives in New Orleans. She has written articles on career development, maintaining healthy relationships, politics and cultural issues. She is currently a graduate student at Tulane University where she will receive her Master of Liberal Arts degree.