Key Passage: Luke 1:76 “And child, you will be called a prophet of the Most High, for you will go before the Lord to prepare His ways.”
Big Picture Question: Why was John the Baptist special? John the Baptist told people about Jesus.
Christ Connection: Long ago, God’s prophets said, One day Jesus will come.” Finally, a prophet named John said, “Jesus is almost here!” John the Baptist told people to get ready for Jesus. He said Jesus was coming to be King over the whole world.
Thank you for continuing this journey of The Gospel Project® for Kids. Today’s Bible story is about John’s birth. Shortly after Mary left Elizabeth and returned home, the time came for Elizabeth to give birth to her baby. For the duration of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, her husband, Zechariah, had been mute. His inability to speak was punishment for his doubting the angel who foretold John’s birth. (See Luke 1:20.)
Elizabeth gave birth to a son, and her friends and family rejoiced with her—just as the angel Gabriel had said. (See Luke 1:14.) Everyone had assumed the baby would be named after his father, but Zechariah was clear: HIS NAME IS JOHN.
In Luke 1:66, the people wondered, “What then will this child become?” John would grow up to be an evangelist. He would be spiritually strong. John’s ministry would be brief, but through the power of the Holy Spirit, he would lead thousands to repentance. He would humbly prepare the way of the Lord with this aim: “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). John would gain thousands of followers and then joyfully hand them over to Jesus as the groom’s friend who rejoices at the groom’s voice. (See John 3:29.) Then John would go to prison and ultimately be beheaded by King Herod. But Jesus Himself would say, “Among those born of women no one is greater than John” (Luke 7:28).
As you teach kids the story of John’s birth, talk about how John’s birth was prophesied by Isaiah. (Isaiah 40:3) A long time before Jesus was born, prophets said that Jesus would come. The prophets also said another man would come first to say, “Jesus is almost here!” John the Baptist told people to turn away from their sins because Jesus was coming to be King over the whole world.
Family Activity: Give each family member a brightly colored index card and a pencil or pen. Help them find Luke 1:76-77 in the Bible and copy the verses onto their index cards. Based on the verses, list some of the plans God had for John’s life. Let each family member choose a special place to display his or her card. Challenge your family to memorize these verses this week.