John the Baptist was a special person. To look at him, you might not think so because he did not dress like other people. His clothes were made from camel's hair and leather. His food was locusts (those are very large grasshoppers) and wild honey. He didn't have time to worry about the fancy things of life. He had a very important message to tell everyone "Get ready because the Savior has come!"
John preached to large crowds of people. Many of them had sin in their hearts. They needed to change. But there were also some people who already loved God. They didn't like all the sin that was going on around them. They were praying for a Savior to come. They wanted Someone who would make everything better.
Well, the Savior had come. Jesus was the Savior. But the people thought that Jesus was only a carpenter from Nazareth. He was just thirty years old. He lived quietly at home with His family. The people had never seen Jesus do any miracles yet. They had never heard Him preach. How could He, just a carpenter's son, be their Savior? They didn't know that He was really God's Son.
God sent John the Baptist to tell the people all about the Savior. God wanted the people to be ready for His Son.
Hundreds of people went to hear John the Baptist preach. John spoke to them about their sins. He told them they should be sorry that they had done wrong. He told them that very soon the Savior would come.
Many of the people began to see how wrong they had been. They asked God to forgive their sins. Then John baptized them in the river. This was a sign to others that they had given up their sins, and that God had forgiven them.
One day, when John was preaching and baptizing at the Jordan River, Jesus came to be baptized. John knew that there was something very special about Jesus. He said that Jesus should baptize him. But Jesus said John must baptize Him because that was God's plan. So John baptized Jesus.
And as soon as Jesus came up out of the water a wonderful thing happened. The sky was opened and the Spirit of God came down. He appeared like a dove and came to rest on Jesus. Then the people heard a Voice which said, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." That was God's voice. John knew that Jesus was the Savior. He was very happy that God had chosen him to tell the people to get ready.
This lesson is about John the Baptist and how he was used of God to tell people about the Savior, thus preparing the way for Jesus' ministry. John performed his appointed task well, and many came to know Jesus because of his efforts.
Explain to your child that John's special job, given by God, was to tell about the Savior who was to come. Liken this to a menu. It prepares the people who are going to eat the meal by telling them what is coming, perhaps even describing how the dish is fixed or the ingredients used.
Let your child prepare the family for their evening meal by making an advertisement or menu for the planned meal. He might cut out pictures of food or write a brief description of each dish. Allow him to present his creation to the family at mealtime.