Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Lesson - The Death Of John, The Baptizer

VERSES:   Matthew 14:1-14

MEMORY VERSE:   Matthew 14:3   "For Herod had laid hold on John, and bound him, and put him prison..."

BOOK TO REMEMBER:   Revelation.  Write "Revelation" on small slips of paper, so the students can take this last book of the New Testament home to memorize.

PRAYER:  Pray that we will always remember that God is over everything. He knows and controls all. Let us be humble and never exalt ourselves

SPECIAL SONG:   Read, Read Every Day (see February - Songs We Sing In Bible Class #1. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)  The Family In God's Plan (see March- Songs We Sing In Bible Class #4. Click on orange circle to hear tune.)

VISUAL AID:   Large Activity (see below)

  • What the Bible says is always true. God does not mince words or say only things that are sweet and lovely. God always says what He means and means what He says. The Bible is full of facts. Some facts are sweet and lovely, but some facts are harsh and cruel. The lesson today is about a cruel, selfish man who did not like truth. The truth made him angry. 
  • Good rulers, who might be called kings or pharaohs or governors or tetrarchs, were hard to find. When a man is a ruler, many times the power he has makes him think that he can do whatever he wants to do, right or wrong, without any consequences. Many times, they forget about God. Herod was a ruler who forgot about God. 
  • We have studied before that God had always said that a man should only have one wife and should love her for as long as they lived. They should not have girlfriends or boyfriends when they are married. John, the baptizer, knew God's laws. When John heard that Herod's girlfriend was his brother, Philip's wife whose name was Herodias, John told Herod that it was against God's laws for him to have Herodias. 
  • Herod and Herodias did not like John's words. Herod captured John and put him in prison. Herod even wanted to kill John, but Herod was afraid of the crowds and crowds of people who considered John a prophet, a messenger of God.
  • John was still in prison when Herod had a birthday feast for himself. On Herod's birthday, Herodias' daughter danced for Herod and Herod was pleased her dancing. In front of everyone at the feast, Herod promised the daughter whatever she wanted. Because Herodias had talked to her daughter before the feast and told her daughter what to ask for, the daughter knew exactly what to tell Herod she wanted. The daughter asked for John's head on a charger or a platter!!! What a terrible, terrible thing to ask!
  • When Herod heard what the daughter wanted, he was very sorry he had made that promise.  Because the people at the feast had heard the promise, Herod went ahead and gave her what she wanted and she gave it to her mother. Not all mothers are good mothers. What a very sad end to a prophet's life. John died because he told the truth. 
  • John's disciples came and carried away John's body, buried it, and then went and told Jesus what had happened. When Jesus heard the news, he went into a desert place, but when the people heard where Jesus had gone, they left their cities and followed Him on foot. Jesus saw a great multitude or a huge crowd of people following Him and feeling compassion toward them, He healed their sick people.
  • So, when Herod heard about Jesus and the miracles that He had been doing, he told his servants that Jesus was really John, the baptizer, who had risen from the dead and that was why He was doing mighty, powerful works. Herod was wrong. John had died and Jesus, the Son of God, was healing the people from their sicknesses.
  • Sometimes people do not like what the Bible says, but that does not mean that the Bible is not true. It only means that the people who get angry over God's Word are going to be extremely sorrowful when they die and find out that the Bible is true and they were wrong. We always need to read the Bible and obey the Bible. God is always right! 
"Older Student" Tips:
  • Read Galatians 4:16 and apply the verse to this lesson. When we tell others about Jesus or about something that is written in the Bible, should we take it personally? Are they upset with us or with God? We need to keep preaching and teaching just like John, no matter the cost.
  • Read Galatians 6:3 and James 4:10. We need to always humble ourselves in the sight of the Lord and never exalt ourselves, thinking we know everything and do not need God. Everyone needs God.
Materials needed:   9" x 12" light green construction paper, two 6" x 7" light brown construction papers, two 4" x 4" white papers, scissors, crayons, marker, glue.

  1. Hand out light green paper. This is the background.
  2. Hand out two brown papers.
  3. On one brown paper, draw John from the side view.
  4. On the other brown paper, draw Herod facing John, side view.
  5. Color both men.
  6. Write "John" on John and "Herod" on Herod.
  7. Cut out both men.
  8. Glue both men on paper, facing each other.
  9. Hand out white papers.
  10. Cut white papers into speech bubbles.
  11. On one white paper facing John, write "It is against God's law for you to have Herodias."
  12. On the other white paper, facing Herod, write "To Prison!!"
  13. Glue both speech bubbles in the middle area between the men. (see picture)
  14. Write "John Dies For Telling The Truth" and "Matthew 14:1-14" at the top of the light green paper.
  15. Above John's head, write "John spoke the Truth."
  16. Above Herod's head, write "Herod was angry at the Truth."