John the Baptist
3 It was now the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius, the Roman emperor. Pilate was governor over Judea; Herod Antipas was ruler over Galilee; his brother Philip was ruler over Iturea and Traconitis; Lysanias was ruler over Abilene. 2 Annas and Caiaphas were the high priests. At this time a message from God came to John son of Zechariah, who was living out in the wilderness. 3 Then John went from place to place on both sides of the Jordan River, preaching that people should be baptized to show that they had turned from their sins and turned to God to be forgiven. 4 Isaiah had spoken of John when he said,
“He is a voice shouting in the wilderness: ‘Prepare a pathway for the Lord’s coming! Make a straight road for him!
5 Fill in the valleys, and level the mountains and hills! Straighten the curves, and smooth out the rough places!
6 And then all people will see the salvation sent from God.’ ”
Prepare the Way of the Lord
Luis held the map and tried to make sense of the lines and directions.
“So, Mom, if we are supposed to be on this line why aren’t we moving?” he asked.
His mother answered, “When your aunt invited us to cousin Isaiah’s baptism she didn’t know there would be road improvements.”
“What is road improvements?” wondered Luis out loud.
“Well, the people who used this road were concerned about how rough the road was getting,” his mom explained. “ There were holes and cracks that made using it unsafe. So this construction company was hired to make things better. They are using all of these people and machines to make the way easier for us to follow. They are preparing the way for us to follow. They take some of the bumps from over here and put them in the holes over there, they are making things level. They are kind of like John the Baptist. God gave him the job of setting the path to Jesus for the rest of us to follow.”
“He had a construction company?” asked Luis.
“No, in the time of Jesus, John was is the one that baptized with water and told every one that God was going to make things level in their lives. He told people to be baptized and be sorry for their sins and God would forgive them,” answered Luis’ mom.
“Was the baptism like the one we are going to today?” Luis asked.
“No, at that time John would take people to the river Jordan and he would baptize them right there in the river. The baptism we are going will be in a church,” she explained.
“I am excited about seeing Isaiah. The last time I saw him he was still in His mommy’s tummy. Do you think John was excited about his baptisms too?” he asked.
“I think so. People had been waiting for him for a long time. Thousands of years ago, the prophet Isaiah told his friends that John was coming. He told them about John and about Jesus when he said.
He is a voice shouting in the wilderness:
Prepare a pathway for the Lord’s coming!
Make a straight road for him!
Fill in the valleys,
and level the mountains and hills!
Straighten the curves,
and smooth out the rough places!
And then all people will see
the salvation sent from God.”
“What is a prophet?” Luis asked.
“A prophet is some one who is really good at hearing God’s voice, his mom explained. “Prophets are message takers, they hear the message and share it with the people around them that aren’t as good at hearing God’s voice.”
“Was John a prophet, I mean why was he telling people what God was saying when Jesus was standing right there?” Luis asked.
“Some times, people have a hard time hearing what God wants from them, so God uses us, as message takers, to help Him show His love and tell people what to do. Today when you see Baby Isaiah, will you want to hug and kiss him?” she asked.
“Why? You’ve never met him. You don’t even know if you will like him?” she asked
“I don’t really know.” Luis answered.
“When you share how much you care for someone, you are sharing God’s message of love. Baby Isaiah is too young to understand your words, but you show him in other ways. John did the same thing for Jesus. Some people couldn’t understand what Jesus was going to tell them, so John helped them get ready to understand.”
Just then the car started moving again. As they drove by, Luis looked at the big machinery, the deep holes and the huge piles of dirt. He thought about baby Isaiah and John the Baptist and what his mother had told him. The car bounced around as they drove through the construction. Soon they were driving on the newly improved road.
“ Wow, this road has no bumps,” Luis noticed and he asked his mom, “Is it a lot easier to drive on?”
“Yes, it sure is easier to get where you are going once the road is ready. That is why John’s job was so important. Baptism makes it easier to get to Jesus.” Luis’ mom explained.
As soon they arrived at the church, Luis ran to see baby Isaiah. He gave him a gentle kiss and whispered to him, “Don’t worry about the construction, the path gets a lot easier. If you aren’t sure just follow me, I think I know the way.”
By Rob Neves - The narration of this story and others by Rob Neves are also avaialble in CD format. Click here for more information.
Scripture: Luke 3:1-6 Modern Examples V Element Essential Characteristic Barrier Sensorial Links Emotional Links Physical Links Language Links 4 Road
Show the way
Other people follow the same path
Does not know how construction works
Tractors, noise, lights
Map on the invitation
On the way to a baptism stuck in construction
Proclamation of turning from sinForgive
What were the first baptisms like?
Mud between the toes
Swimming in a pond
Don’t know how to hear God’s voice
Isaiah wrote about him (another message taker)
Seeing the mother pregnant
Feel it before you hear it Happy/contentExcited to get messageAnticipation of baby coming Invitation to Baptism
Printable version of the above template - in pdf format.
For an explanation of the rationale behind this template, see “How Would Jesus Tell the Story?: Effective Story Telling In Our Ministry to Children "
© 2003 Rob Neves Press - May be reproduced and used by teachers and catechists in their teaching ministry.
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