Lesson 2: Walking to the Jordan

Walking with Jesus Lesson 2 

Walking into the Jordan (Jesus is Baptized:)

 Thesis:  Jesus walked in obedience to his Father’s wishes.

Lesson Prep:  Use the following resources to give you a foundation for your discussion?


Scripture:

Matthew 3:13-17 (NLT)
13 Then Jesus went from Galilee to the Jordan River to be baptized by John. 14 But John tried to talk him out of it. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you,” he said, “so why are you coming to me?”
15 But Jesus said, “It should be done, for we must carry out all that God requires.” So John agreed to baptize him.
16 After his baptism, as Jesus came up out of the water, the heavens were opened and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and settling on him. 17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my dearly loved Son, who brings me great joy.”

Mark 1:9-11 (NLT)
9 One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan River. 10 As Jesus came up out of the water, he saw the heavens splitting apart and the Holy Spirit descending on him[a] like a dove. 11 And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”

Luke 3:21-22 (NLT)
21 One day when the crowds were being baptized, Jesus himself was baptized. As he was praying, the heavens opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit, in bodily form, descended on him like a dove. And a voice from heaven said, “You are my dearly loved Son, and you bring me great joy.”

John 1:29-34 (NLT)
29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 He is the one I was talking about when I said, ‘A man is coming after me who is far greater than I am, for he existed long before me.’ 31 I did not recognize him as the Messiah, but I have been baptizing with water so that he might be revealed to Israel.”
32 Then John testified, “I saw the Holy Spirit descending like a dove from heaven and resting upon him. 33 I didn’t know he was the one, but when God sent me to baptize with water, he told me, ‘The one on whom you see the Spirit descend and rest is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God.”


Icebreaker Question: Would you rather swim in a pool, river, or ocean?  Why?

 

Game:  Honey if you love me, just smile!
The group sits in a circle facing inward. One member of the group is ‘it.’ The objective is for this person to make another smile. He goes around the circle, picks a person, kneels, and asks him/her, ‘Honey, if you love me, just smile.’ The person must respond with, ‘Honey, I love you, but I just can’t smile’ without smiling. If he/she smiles, that person becomes ‘it’, replacing the first. If the person ‘it’ does not convince a person to smile, he/she must approach another until he/she does. The person ‘it’ may do any gestures he/she wants to make the person smile (e.g. make funny faces, do a stunt), but cannot touch the person.

 

 Opening Discussions:

  • What is one of the nicest things your mom or day has ever said to you? Why is that significant?
  • What is something nice you wish your parent would say about you? Why is that significant.

 

Video:  Baptism of Jesus: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_VMNO2MAmwA

 

This is a silly kid’s video.  But it gives a summary of the story.

 

Compare and Contrast: 

Read the three different variations found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke and discuss…

  • How are the similar?
  • How are the different?
  • What makes the differences significant?

Now Read the John passage. What additional details do you get from that perspective?

 

Discussion Questions:  Choose the questions that you think would be best for your group?

  • Why would Jesus come to be baptized? What good will this do?
  • If you were John the Baptist, how do you think you would have felt after Jesus finally came in the scene? Relieved? Disappointed? Wondering what to do next?
  • Do you think John the Baptist was putting himself down too much when he said he wasn’t worthy to untie Jesus’ sandals? Do you fee worthy to untie Jesus’s sandals? Why or why not?
  • To begin his public ministry, Jesus goes to John to be baptised in the Jordan River. What is significant about what happened after his baptism?
  • How does each member of the Trinity appear in this story?
  • Why do God the father and God the Spirit show up at the baptism?
  • What did God the Father say about Jesus? Why is what God said important to the gospel story?
  • What would this have meant for Jesus to hear?
  • Jesus pleased his Father. How are we able to please God?
  • What did Jesus baptism signify?
  • What does Jesus tell us is the reason for his baptism (Matthew 3:15)? What does that mean?
  • Jesus baptism surprises us even today. He will fulfill God’s righteous plan to rescue God’s people from every kind of exile, but not in the way we expect. He will humbly identify himself with God’s people, take their place, share their repentance, live their life and ultimately their death.
  • How is the fulfillment of all this hinted at when Jesus comes up out of the water?
  • Part of the challenge of this passage is to learn afresh to be surprised by Jesus. He comes to fulfil God’s plan, not ours. How does Jesus surprise them then and now?
  • How do our sometimes minor concern compare with God’s plan?
  • If you watched by the Jordan river the day Jesus was baptized what would you have thought about Jesus? Why?

 

Application: 

  • If God spoke in an audible voice about you today, what do you think he’s say?
  • If God described you in a voice from heaven, what do you think he might say? What would you want him to say?
  • It sometimes seems impossible, especially to people who have never had support from their earthly parents, but God looks at us and says, “you are my dear child: I am delighted in you.” What would it mean to you to hear God say that?
  • How should knowing that shape the way you see yourself? How should it shape the way you see others?