The Baptism of the Lord

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Lesson Overview

In this week鈥檚 Gospel passage, John the Baptist foretells of the coming Messiah who will baptize with the Holy Spirit and with fire. He then baptizes Jesus, upon whom the Holy Spirit descends and comes to rest, while the Father proclaims Him to be His beloved Son. In this lesson, students will consider the meaning of Christ鈥檚 Baptism and the invitation to all of us it extends.

Lesson Materials


  1. Have students read the Gospel passage, or read it aloud to your students, and then answer the focus questions. You may have students answer them on their own or you may discuss them together as a class.
  2. Review and discuss the answers to the focus questions.
  3. Have students complete the Why was Jesus Baptized activity and complete the focus questions. Review and discuss the answers when finished.
  4. Play for your students the song 鈥淐ome to the Water鈥 sung by Matt Maher, found at the following link: Have students follow along with the lyrics from the 鈥淐ome to the Water鈥 Reflection handout.
  5. After listening to and reflecting on the song, have your students respond to the reflection question on the 鈥淐ome to the Water鈥 Reflection handout. When finished, discuss the responses to the reflection question.

Answer Key

Focus Questions

  1. Expectation. They were asking in their hearts if John was the Messiah.
  2. John told them that he was baptizing them with water while one mightier than he is coming to baptize them with the Holy Spirit and fire.
  3. Jesus. He was baptized by John.
  4. Heaven opened up and the Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus like a dove.
  5. 鈥淵ou are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.鈥澛

Why was Jesus Baptized?

  1. Jesus鈥 acceptance and inauguration of His mission as God鈥檚 suffering servant.
  2. To be numbered among sinners.
  3. Jesus is already 鈥渢he Lamb of God,鈥 He is already anticipating the 鈥渂aptism鈥 of His bloody death, and He is already coming to fulfill all righteousness and submit Himself to the Father鈥檚 will.
  4. The Son鈥檚 acceptance.
  5. The Holy Spirit rests upon Jesus, who will now be the source of the Spirit for all mankind. The descent of the Son of God and the Holy Spirit is a prelude to the New Creation.


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