Age Group: 6-12 years old
In this lesson, the children will learn about John the Baptist’s call to repent and bear good fruit. They will understand the importance of repentance and how they can demonstrate their faith through their actions.
Hello, kids! Today, we’re going to learn about John the Baptist and his important message of repentance. Our scripture passage comes from the Gospel of Luke, chapter 3, verses 7-18. Let’s read it together:
John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance. And do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our father.’ For I tell you that out of these stones God can raise up children for Abraham. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.”
“What should we do then?” the crowd asked.
John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”
Even tax collectors came to be baptized. “Teacher,” they asked, “what should we do?”
“Don’t collect any more than you are required to,” he told them.
Then some soldiers asked him, “And what should we do?”
He replied, “Don’t extort money and don’t accuse people falsely—be content with your pay.”
The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” And with many other words John exhorted the people and proclaimed the good news to them. – Luke 3:7-18
1. John the Baptist’s message of repentance
John the Baptist called people to repent and turn away from their sins. He told them that they needed to show they were truly sorry by producing good fruit in their lives.
2. The importance of actions
John the Baptist taught that our actions matter. We can show our faith and repentance through the good things we do for others.
3. The coming of Jesus
John the Baptist also spoke about Jesus, who would come to baptize people with the Holy Spirit and fire. He reminded people that Jesus was the true Messiah they were waiting for.
Object Lesson: Tree and Fruit
Materials: A small tree or large branch with leaves, paper fruit cutouts, markers, tape
- Place the tree or branch in front of the class.
- Hand out paper fruit cutouts to the children and ask them to write a good action they can do for others on each fruit (e.g., sharing, helping, being kind).
- Have the children tape their fruit cutouts onto the tree.
- Explain that the tree represents our lives, and the fruit represents the good actions we do as a result of our repentance and faith in Jesus.
1. Fruit Basket Turnover
Materials: Chairs (one less than the number of children), index cards, markers
- Write the names of different fruits (e.g., apple, banana, orange) on index cards, one per child. You can repeat fruits as necessary to accommodate the number of children.
- Arrange the chairs in a circle, with the seats facing outward.
- Give each child an index card with a fruit name, and have them sit in a chair.
- Choose one child to stand in the middle of the circle without a chair. This child will call out a fruit name.
- When a fruit name is called, the children with that fruit on their card must quickly get up and find a new seat. The child in the middle also tries to find a seat.
- The child left without a seat becomes the new caller in the middle.
- Occasionally, the child in the middle can call “fruit basket turnover,” causing everyone to get up and find a new seat.
This game helps reinforce the lesson’s theme by emphasizing the importance of bearing good fruit in our lives.
2. Act It Out
- Divide the children into small groups.
- Assign each group a specific situation where they can demonstrate repentance and good actions (e.g., helping a friend in need, sharing with a sibling, being kind to a new student at school).
- Give the groups a few minutes to create a short skit or pantomime about their situation.
- Have each group perform their skit for the class, and then discuss how their actions showed repentance and good fruit.
In today’s lesson, we learned about John the Baptist’s message of repentance and the importance of bearing good fruit in our lives. We also discussed how our actions can show our faith in Jesus and how John the Baptist prepared people for the coming of Jesus, the true Messiah.
Please bow your heads and join me in prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the message of repentance and the importance of bearing good fruit in our lives. Help us to always remember that our actions matter and that we can show our faith and love for You by the way we treat others. Guide us to live our lives in a way that honors You and brings others closer to You. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.
Send each child home with a “Good Fruit Journal” to help them remember to show their faith through their actions throughout the week. Encourage them to write or draw about the good actions they’ve done each day and to share their progress with their families.