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This thread is for posting Video Workshop Lessons and Ideas for teaching the baptism of Jesus and/or John the Baptist

Please include the full name of the video, whether it is still in print or not, and the publisher.

Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer
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Videos suggested in the lessons below:

  • Nest Entertainment's John the Baptist
  • Jesus of Nazareth
  • A video taken of a baptism done in your church. 


Other Video Suggestions (moved here from other posts):


Discussion between compared and contrasted as appropriate

  • Opening sequence of the Lion King, a video of a baby being baptised,
  • DVD clip of Jesus' baptism from Visual Bible: Matthew.

Here's an idea from member Staci Woodruff


Watch any movie where the main character gets some sign of approval from the "master" -- Narnia, Karate Kid, even How to train your Dragon might have a scene like that.

Draw the comparison to how things went before and after the approval.

  • What did it mean to the various people (John, Jesus, bystanders) for God to do that?
  • Right after this, Jesus is led into the desert to be tempted. Do you think this made a difference to him? (Of course Jesus was perfect, and knew God was with him, but it leads into the next question.)
  • Can we know we have God's approval? How?
  • How would this help/change/impact you/me in our daily lives if God audibly said this to us?

I don't know if you want to go into it or not, but some people do not feel that anyone could see the dove or hear the voice. Does that make a difference? For whom?


Luanne Payne

Baptism of Jesus is included in the following DVDs

Jesus by Campus Crusade staring Brian Deacon (Gospel of Luke Version) drama, 120 minutes.

Event 2 - John prepares the way
Event 7 - Baptism of Jesus.


Visual Bible: Matthew drama, 240 minute.

Event 5 - John prepares the way
Event 6 - Baptism of Jesus




What video suggestion do you have for this story?  (A complete lesson is not necessary.) Scroll down and use POST REPLY to respond.


A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.


Last edited by Lesson Forma-teer

John the Baptist and the Baptism of Jesus

Video Workshop

Grades 3-6

Summary of Lesson Activity:

The first video, John the Baptist - Nest Family Entertainment, itself is going to focus more on the life of John the Baptist with a small segment on the Baptism of Jesus. It’s important that we understand a little bit about the man John the Baptist to get further perspective into the role he played in the old/new covenant. The second video (one of your church's own baptisms) will focus on our own baptism, followed by a discussion on Martin Luther’s teachings on baptism.

Scripture Reference:

Luke 3: 15-22

Key Verse:

"Then a voice said from heaven, ‘This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased.’” Matthew 3:17 TEV

Workshop Objectives — Chidren will:

  • learn who John the Baptist was and his significance in the life of Jesus
  • learn that Jesus baptism was not a baptism of repentance – Jesus was without sin – but rather more of an anointing by His Father.
  • contrast the Baptism of Jesus with the baptisms we have in church today.
  • understand that this is one of the few places in scripture that the Trinity is seen together – We see Jesus, we see the dove (the Holy Spirit) and we hear God speak.
  • memorize the Bible verse and to understand that it is God’s Word telling us that Jesus was indeed the Messiah – the Promised One – Emmanuel (God with us).
  • reinforce the way that we as Lutheran’s understand the scriptural teaching on Baptism

Life Application: To see a video of a Baptism at Augustana, to remember what Martin Luther taught about baptism, and to find a tangible way to remember our own baptism every day realizing that our salvation is truly a gift from God.

Supplies List:

  • Video: NEST's Animated Stories from the New Testament: "John the Baptist."
  • Video of one of our Baptism Services
  • TV or projector and DVD player.
  • Popcorn and beverage. Perhaps some hand wipes would be a good idea to keep on hand.
  • Small dish of water
  • Journals, color markers
  • Crossword puzzle sheets available if the lesson runs short and Children’s bulletins for the Sunday of the common lectionary

Teacher Preparation:

  • Prepare yourself personally with prayer for the Holy Spirit’s guidance to touch the hearts and lives of each and every student. You can use something like this:

God our Father, you see your children growing up in an unsteady and confusing world. Show them that your ways give more life than the ways of the world, and that following you is better than chasing after selfish goals. Help them to take failure, not as a measure of their worth, but as a chance for a new start. Give them strength to hold their faith in you, and to keep alive their joy in your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

  • Read and review the lesson
  • Preview the movies so you’re comfortable teaching. Don’t forget about the stop and rewind button on the VCR. It can be your best friend – use it as you feel necessary.
  • Please feel free to use your own ideas. This is only a guide – you are the teacher and know the students far better than I do.
  • Have the John the Baptist video in the VCR and the church video cued to the Baptismal service.

Lesson Plan


Greet the children and introduce yourself.

SAY: Before we begin, let’s say this month’s Bible verse together: "Then a voice said from heaven, ‘This is my own dear Son, with whom I am pleased.’” Matthew 3:17 TEV

Explain the purpose of this workshop: Today we will learn about Jesus’ baptism by watching a movie about John the Baptist’s birth and ministry. We are also going to watch a video from a Baptismal service that was held at our church in October.

Opening Prayer: Ask if any student would like to lead the group in prayer. Also ask if anyone has any special prayer requests or prayer concerns that they would like to have the group pray about. If no one volunteers to lead, be prepared to do it yourself. Also make sure that any special prayer requests are addressed during this time. Perhaps you could add the prayer concerns that are addressed in the Sunday bulletin or if there are community or national prayer concerns that could be added.

Say to the children: “Much of what is in the video about Zechariah and Elizabeth is probably fiction. The Bible really doesn’t tell us much about them but we do know a little more about their son, John. We will read just a small portion of John the Baptist’s story now and then watch the video.”
Have the students take turns reading the scripture: Luke 3: 15-22 helping them when needed.

Watch the Video

A Bit of background before we watch the video:

“Zechariah and Elizabeth were righteous in God’s eyes, careful to obey all of the Lord’s commandments and regulations. They had no children because Elizabeth was barren, and now they were both very old.” (Luke 1:6-7) [Take time to make sure everyone understands what ‘righteous’ and ‘barren’ mean, especially the younger children.]

“This video begins before the story of Jesus’ birth. The Mary that is Elizabeth’s cousin is Mary, the Mother of Jesus.

While your watching the video, notice:

“Zechariah was a priest who worked in THE Temple in Jerusalem. He was chosen by lot (that’s like rolling dice) to burn incense in the Temple at the beginning of the video. The Temple is the center of Jewish worship and faith in Jerusalem. “Incense was burned in the Temple twice daily. When the people saw the smoke from the burning incense, they prayed. The smoke drifting heavenward symbolized their prayers ascending to God’s throne.” [Life Application Bible notes, Luke 1:9.]

“The name ‘John’ means ‘the LORD is gracious.’ The angel tells Zechariah to name his son this. (Luke 1:13) As you watch the video, think about if it is an appropriate name.”

Pass out wipes, popcorn, and drinks. Start the video at the beginning.

STOP the video after Zechariah can speak again and says, “I prophecy in the name of God that John will be a prophet of God...and prepare the people for the coming of the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God.”

Q. What does ‘Christ’ mean? [the Messiah, the Son of God; literally, the anointed - from the Greek language]

Q. What does ‘Messiah’ mean? [the promised and expected deliverer of the Jewish people; literally, anointed - from the Hebrew language]

Q. I wonder how Zechariah knows all this?

Say: “Some time passes, and now we will see John as an adult.” Start the video again.

STOP the video after John the Baptist says, “...and now he’s here, the Christ has come.”

Q. Why do his listeners look so surprised?

Q Why does John say this? Jesus isn’t there with them, is he?

Before we start the video again, let me tell you about some of the characters in the next section:

  • Caiaphas: We have met him before (in the Saul and Easter videos). Can anyone tell me anything about him? [Caiaphas was the High Priest for 18 years. He led the group that had Jesus crucified and led the persecution of the Christians afterwards. The Bible does not indicate that he participated in the capture of John the Baptist, but because he cooperated with the Roman government in other instances, he may have been a part of this plot also.]
  • Herod: this is the son of the Herod who was king when Jesus was born and killed all the baby boys when the wise men did not return to tell him where to find the new-born king.
  • Herodias: she left her husband to marry his brother Herod. She was not a good woman and did not like what John said about her sinful ways (even though it was true).


STOP the video after Herodias says, “...or I will take matters into my own hands....”

Q. Why didn’t John the Baptist lie? Remember, he told the truth about King Herod, even though he knew the men were spies and up to no good.

Q. I wonder why Herod is reluctant to arrest John the Baptist?

Q. Do you remember what John says a prophet is? [“I am a prophet. I say what the LORD tells me to say.”]

Notice in the next scene how the animator chooses to show the Spirit of God coming down on Jesus like a dove when he is baptized. We don’t know how it really looked, but it may have been like this.

Start the video stopping it after Jesus’ Baptism.

Q. When Jesus arrives in the crowd where John is teaching, John says, “Behold the Lamb of God.” I wonder how he knew? They had never met before and did not speak to each other before John said this.

Q. Why did John not want to baptize Jesus?

Q. Say: The Baptism that John performed was a Baptism of Repentance meaning that people were to be baptized to be cleansed from their sins. Did Jesus need a Baptism of Repentance? Why not? {Jesus was without sin}. Why did Jesus say it was important for John to baptize him? [“In this way we will fulfill all righteousness.”]
Q. I wonder why John said that his work is done? What was his work?

Debrief and Discuss

  • What was John’s job? [John’s job was to prepare the way for the Lord.]
  • How did he do that? [By preaching about God’s love and modeling that in his behavior and calling for the people to repent.]
  • What is a prophet?
  • Remember, the name ‘John’ means ‘the LORD is gracious.’ The angel tells Zechariah to name his son this. (Luke 1:13) Do you think it is an appropriate name? Why or why not?
  • Why was John reluctant to baptize Jesus? [Why were others coming to be baptized? Reread Luke 3:3 if necessary.]
  • Why did Jesus want John to baptize him anyway?
  • What happened when Jesus was baptized? Who spoke? [God the Father] What came down? [the Holy Spirit] Who did the Spirit come upon? [Jesus, the son]. The people there actually saw Jesus, heard the Father and saw the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove.

When Jesus was baptized, God the Father announced to the world that Jesus was indeed His Son. There was no longer any question in the minds of those who were present that day that Jesus was not just another prophet but He was the One that God had promised to send. Jesus was the Messiah, the Son of God.

WATCH THE BAPTISM VIDEO (which we videotaped earlier this month in worship)


  • What do you know about Baptism?
  • What happens when you’re baptized? When you’re baptized, you have been chosen by God to become His Child forever. You receive God’s free gift of grace given for all.
  • Is the water "special"?  Or is the action and belief the special thing?
  • How much water does God need to let you know you are a beloved part of his family??

OPTION: What Luther Says about Baptism

Explain who Martin Luther was -- that he was one of the leaders and teachers during the 15th Century's Protestant Reformation in Europe. That "revolution" in thinking about the Bible and how to organize churches spread across the world and gave rise to the many different "Protestant" denominations you see today. Note that Martin Luther King Jr., the great civil rights leader in the U.S. was named after Martin Luther.

NOTE: If you're not a Lutheran or your children are younger, you may want to mention only a few of these questions and their answers.

Taken from Luther’s Small Catechism -- a teaching document used by many Protestant churches

  1. What is Baptism?

    Baptism is not simply plain water. Instead it is water used according to God’s command and connected with God’s Word.

    What then is this Word?
    In Matthew 28 our Lord Jesus Christ says: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.”

    Note: The Lutheran Definition of a Sacrament—an outward sign of God’s grace using an earthly element and commanded by Christ.

  2. What gifts or benefits does God give in Baptism?

    In our church, we believe baptism is the outward sign of God's welcoming grace which falls on all of us  --like a refreshing rain and cleansing shower. The water symbolizes the washing away of our sins. When you are Baptized, God declares to all that you are one of his own, a member of God's family --who should be treated as such. And as part of God's family, we as his children gladly serve God by serving others and welcoming others into God's family. In your Baptism, God gives you the opportunity to state your faith and join with others to serve him.

  3. How can water do such great things?
    Clearly the water does not do it, but the Word of God, which is with, in, and among the water, and faith, which trusts this word of God in the water. For without the Word of God the water is plain water and not a baptism, but with the Word of God it is a baptism, that is, a grace filled water of life and a “bath of the new birth in the Holy Spirit.”

    St Paul writes in Titus:
    “He saved us…in virtue of his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, which he poured out upon us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life. The saying is sure.”
  4. What does Baptism mean for daily living?
    It signifies that daily the old person in us with all our sins and evil desires is to be drowned through sorrow for sin and repentance, and that daily a new person is to come forth and rise up to live before God in righteousness and purity forever.

    St. Paul writes in Romans: “Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized unto his death? Therefore we have been buried with him by Baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of God the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”


Take some water and gently "dab" it on each student's forehead as you pronounce a blessing on each student. If they prefer, let them dip their fingers in the water and dab themselves or their neighbor. Doing so is a sign that we are blessed and accept one another, because we are all part of Christ's family.

A lesson originally written by Diane from Augustana Lutheran Church, St. James, MN with some small improvements by This lesson adapted from Amy Crane's River Community Church RiverKidz lesson posted at

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

Jesus' Baptism

Video Workshop 

Summary of Lesson Activities:

In this workshop, the learners will view a movie version of Jesus’ baptism (Jesus of Nazareth DVD) and discuss it in relation to our baptisms. They will also view a baptism ceremony at Brookhaven. They will become familiar with the story of Jesus’ baptism and understand the sacrament of baptism with its promises.

 Scripture Reference:

Matthew 3:13-17

Supplies List:

  • Bibles
  • video # 1 of the film “Jesus of Nazareth”, cued to the baptism scene
  • video #2 of baptism of a child from your congregation, cued to the beginning of the baptism service
  • popcorn

Teacher preparation:

  • Read the Bible passages. Read over the background material included in your teacher packet. See that popcorn is made to be distributed during watching of videos.


Opening-Welcome and introductions:

Greet the children and introduce yourself. Remember that you are interacting with a different group of students each week—some may not know you. Wear your nametag and make sure that the children are wearing theirs if there are visitors.

Dig-Main Content and Reflection:

Lesson Plan:

1. Distribute Bibles. Help the children find the story (Matthew 3:13-17). Read it, or have one of the students read it.

2. Briefly discuss the story. Ask:

  • Where did the story take place? (at the Jordan River)
  • What took place here? (John baptized Jesus; dove descended; voice)
  • Why was John baptizing people? Why did Jesus feel it was important to be baptized by John?
  • How do you picture the scene in the story? How do you picture the events taking place? (Let them tell you how they imagine the events taking place.)

3. Explain that there are many ways of interpreting the events of this story, and many ways people picture it. There are also many movies that show someone’s interpretation of this event, and that we will watch one. Watch the baptism scene of the movie “Jesus of Nazareth.” (This scene is only about 3 minutes long. Be prepared to rewind slightly and rewatch if the children would like to see it again.)

4. Discuss this portrayal of the story. Let the children tell you their impressions. You may want to ask some questions to elicit responses to the video:

  • What was John like? Why do you think there were people coming to the river to see and hear him?
  • What was Jesus like? Why did he come to see John?
  • What happened in this video when Jesus was baptized? What do you see in the video that is different in the Bible story?
  • What would you have thought about the events if you were in the crowd that day?

5. Explain that Jesus’ baptism, with the coming together of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit in this one event, is a model for our baptisms, even though we can’t know for sure how it took place from this story. Read the following from the Cumberland Presbyterian statement of faith, the Confession of Faith:

“Baptism is a sign of God’s love for us and of Christ’s grace extended to us. In baptism God claims persons as God’s own and marks them as peculiarly God’s, heirs of the covenant of grace. . . . It proclaims that God’s grace and love reach out to people before they are able to respond, and it affirms our new identity as members of the body of Christ. It sets people apart from the rest of the world, and claims them as participants in the ministry of Jesus Christ.” (p. 99)

6. Ask them what they remember about baptisms at Brookhaven. How are they similar to Jesus’ baptism as portrayed in the movie? How are they different?

Watch the video of the baptism of Cara M. (Ask the questions comparing the baptisms again if they couldn’t remember much about baptisms here.) Talk about how some people are baptized as infants and others are baptized when older. (You may get some “why” questions here. Be sure to convey that the age of the person and the method of baptism are not important, but that the sign of God’s grace and the participation in the covenant community are the important elements.)

Read Matthew 28:19. Connect the presence of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit at Jesus’ baptism with our baptisms “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” 

Journal Time:
Help the shepherd pass out the journals. Ask the children to write down how they feel when they watch a child being baptized.

 Close with a prayer of your own, or use the following:
Gracious God, at Jesus’ baptism we heard you tell the world that he is your beloved child. Help us to live as your beloved children, too. Amen.

A lesson written by Jan Marshall from: Brenthaven Cumberland Pres.
Nashville, TN

 A representative of reformatted this post to improve readability.


Last edited by Luanne Payne

New Superbook Animated Video about John the Baptist

Online and on DVD - “John the Baptist” Episode 206

At home, Chris has to choose between playing stolen games or deleting them. Suddenly, Superbook sends Joy, Chris, and Gizmo to a time when John the Baptizer chooses to live truthfully and point others to Jesus. They meet him and watch his ministry unfold. This encourages Chris when he returns to face Sam.

Lesson:  Live truthfully and point others to Jesus.  (Animated - approx. 28 mins)

Superbook has put episode 206 on YouTube:

See;s reviews of the "New Superbook" Series for more details on this series.

Online and on DVD - “The Birth of John the Baptist” Episode 303

Storyline: Phoebe is babysitting 2 year-old CHARLIE for her friend, Mrs. Peterson. Joy has a hard time with the tyke and she doesn’t want to help take care of him – “No way. Not now. Not ever!” Superbook appears and takes Chris, Joy, Gizmo AND Charlie to meet Elizabeth and witness the birth of John the Baptist

Link to Video of Episode 303 on YouTube

Animated - approx. 28 mins. For more details on this video see the video post here in our "Jesus Birth" forum.

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

The Baptism of Jesus, a free, very short animated retelling of the story posted on YouTube by Saddleback Kids.

1:50 minutes. Matt 3:13-17; Mark 1:9-11; John 1:29-34. 

Last edited by Neil MacQueen

We love these short little videos from Saddleback Kids. We have used several for our Wednesday night ministry, when we have a short large group time for telling the story. They have some that tell longer stories in a series (Moses, Joshua) and we have showed several of those together during our regular Rotation Sunday school. 


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