"Look at all the people! Where are they going?" I asked.
Ruth looked at me in surprise. "Haven't you heard? The man they call John the Baptist is preaching out at the Jordan River again today. I am going there to hear him. Would you like to go with me?"
I really wanted to go and see this man, John. I had heard a lot about him. People said he ate locusts and wild honey, and he didn't have any fancy clothes. He just dressed in clothing made of camel's hair!
So that was how it came to be that I went with Ruth to the Jordan River that day. And there I saw something I will never forget.
"Repent!" John the Baptist was telling the people. "Get ready for God's Kingdom!"
Soon, some of the people in the crowd moved into the water. These were people who wanted to do God's will and follow Him. They had told God they were sorry for all their sins. John lowered the people, one by one, into the water. When he brought them back out of the water they were very happy because they had been baptized by John.
John told the people about God's Kingdom but he also told them about Jesus. These people thought that John was a great person. But he said that Jesus was much greater than he was. Why, he told them that he wasn't even good enough to carry Jesus' shoes!
Suddenly John stopped talking. He looked beyond the crowd of people. A Man walked down to the river, past all the people, and into the water next to John. There was something special about this Man. When He asked John to baptize Him, John said, "Oh, I couldn't do that! Jesus, You are greater than I am. I need to be baptized by You. Why are You asking me to baptize You?"
Again Jesus spoke to John and said, "You must baptize Me now. For it is right that we do all that God says we should do."
I heard a woman say, "This is the Man named Jesus. He is the One John has been talking about!" Everyone was so excited!
Then John lowered Jesus into the water. When they came up out of the water a wonderful feeling was in the air. Everyone could feel the Spirit of God when a beautiful white dove flew down from the sky and came to rest upon Jesus.
Everything became very quiet. Then from out of Heaven we all heard a Voice, the Voice of God, saying "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased."
I will never forget that wonderful day, the day I saw John the Baptist baptize God's own Son.
This week, look ahead to Sunday's lesson by talking about all the things we learn by example. Make a list on a marker board or a large piece of paper, and post the list where it can be easily added to as more suggestions come to mind: tying a shoe, making a bed, setting the table, etc.
Talk about how Jesus set an example for us by His being baptized in water. Look up the word "baptize" in the dictionary and discuss its meaning. Help your child to understand that baptism is one way we tell those around us that we have a new life in Christ.