Prayer. “Dear Lord, please use this study to help the children to see that you are One God and that you are also three Persons, which believers call the Holy Trinity.”
Choose any of these children’s learning activities that fit their ages and needs.
Let an older child or teacher read or tell by memory the story of Jesus’ baptism from Matthew 3:1-17.
· Jesus’ baptism showed the three Persons of the Trinity working together.
· The three Persons are one God and work as one; they are not three gods.
· This truth of three Persons in One God is a mystery that only God can understand.
Ask these questions [The answers appear after each question]:
· For whom was John preparing the way? [See verse 3]
· What did folks do when John baptized them? [They confessed their sins, verse 6.]
· Of what did John warn religious people who did not confess their sins? [Verse 8]
· With what would Jesus baptize people who repented? [With the Holy Spirit, verse 12]
· Why did Jesus ask to be baptized? [To do what was right, as a model for sinners, verse 15]
· In what way did each Person of the Trinity appear at the baptism? [The Son was baptized, the Spirit descended on him, and the Father spoke, verses 16–17.]
Dramatize the story about how the Trinity worked at Jesus’ baptism (Matthew 3:1-7).
· Arrange with the worship leader for the children to present this drama.
· Use your teaching time with the children to prepare the drama.
· You do not have to use all the parts of the drama.
· Let older children help the younger ones to prepare.
· Let older children or adults play the parts of John the Baptist, Jesus and Narrator.
· Let younger children play the parts of Observers, Pharisee and Sadducee.
Narrator: (Tell the 1st part of the story from Matthew 3:1-12. Then say:) “Hear what John the Baptist says.”
John: Shout, “Prepare for the Lord’s coming by repenting of your sins.”
Observers: “I repent of my sins.” “Please baptize me.”
Pharisee: “I am a very religious Pharisee. I do not need to change my life.”
Sadducee: “I, a Sadducee, will be baptized to show how good I am. I need not repent!”
John: Shout, “You Pharisees are snakes! Change your hearts! Soon someone is coming who will baptize you with the Holy Spirit. Obey God or you will face judgment fire.”
Narrator: (Tell the 2nd part of the story from Matthew 3:13-17. Then say:) “Hear what Jesus says to John the Baptist.”
Jesus: “John, you must baptize me.”
John: “But Jesus, I am not worthy to do so. It is you who should baptize me!”
Jesus says, “This is necessary, to do what is right. I must serve as an example to sinners.”
John: (Pretend to baptize Jesus. Then point up and say:) “Look! The Holy Spirit is coming down from heaven like a dove, upon Jesus.”
Observers: (Point upward and shout:) “Listen!” “A voice from Heaven!”
John: “Did you hear what God the Father said from heaven about Jesus? He said, ‘This is my Son, whom I love’. God spoke to us!”
Narrator: (Thank everyone who helped with the drama.)
Questions. If the children dramatize this story for the adults, then let them also ask the adults the questions listed above.
Ask: What are other examples of ways the Persons of the Trinity work together, since they are one God? Let the children give examples if they can. [Examples include creation, Jesus’ resurrection, and our salvation.]
Memorize Luke 9:35: “Then a voice came out of the cloud, saying, ‘This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!’”
Poem. Let four children each recite a verse from Psalm 2:7, 8, 10 & 11.
Let the children draw a picture of a dove descending to show to the adults during worship and explain that it shows how Jesus baptizes us with the Holy Spirit when we ask God the Father to save us from our sins in the name of Jesus.
If older children prefer, let them draw a chart of the Persons of the Trinity.
Let the older children write a song or poem about Jesus’ baptism or the Trinity.
Prayer: “Holy God, You are the One, True God. We praise you for being Three in One, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. We do not understand this, but we believe in you. Thank you for baptizing us with your Spirit into the life that Jesus gives, so that we can be your children.”